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4 Wild NBA Trades That Could Happen Before The Season Starts

4 wild trades

In the NBA, we often see insane trades happen prior to the start of the season. There is no doubt that sometimes moves that are unforeseen suddenly happen. Perhaps that can happen again prior to the 2022-23 season.

In this article, we will cover four wild trades that could potentially happen ahead of the 2022-23 season. Perhaps we'll see teams work on deals with similar frameworks in the future.


Miami Heat Acquire A Good Point Guard And Remove Long-Term Salary

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Miami Heat Receive: Russell Westbrook, 2027 First-Round Pick (LAL)

Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson

This trade clearly has multiple good effects for the Miami Heat. They would be able to move off long-term salary committed to Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson by trading for Russell Westbrook's expiring contract and draft compensation. Also, the Miami Heat could use a hard-nosed and gritty player like Russell Westbrook, who seems like a solid fit for Heat culture.

For the Los Angeles Lakers, this is about acquiring solid complementary players next to stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Both Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson are capable floor spacers, which is beneficial when playing with two stars that thrive near the rim. Kyle Lowry can also be a secondary ballhandler for the team and get easy buckets for the other players on the roster.

Russell Westbrook would probably start at the PG position for the Miami Heat in this scenario, and he would give the team a player that can thrive during the regular season and take some of the load off of Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, and Jimmy Butler. There is also a chance that we see coach Erik Spoelstra convince Russell Westbrook to buy into playing hard-nosed defense within the Heat system, and if Russell Westbrook gets back to being an elite perimeter defender, he will be an even more valuable player. The Miami Heat would also be getting a valuable first-round pick in this scenario.

Overall, this is a trade that is simple and immediately helps both franchises. Obviously, it is unclear if the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers will ever talk about a deal with this structure, but it definitely has its positives.


Sacramento Kings Trade For A Proven Veteran Star

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Sacramento Kings Receive: Chris Paul

Phoenix Suns Receive: De'Aaron Fox, 2026 First-Round Pick (SAC)

This trade could seem odd at first glance, but there are reasons for doing it. Chris Paul brought the young Phoenix Suns all the way to the NBA Finals during the 2020-21 season. Perhaps the Sacramento Kings could take a risk and acquire the star point guard to achieve the same effect with their young core.

Due to Chris Paul's age, De'Aaron Fox and a first-round pick are all that is required to get the deal done. Obviously, for the Phoenix Suns, this is fantastic from a value perspective as they would be getting a young scoring point guard and draft compensation. For the Sacramento Kings, they would be adding Chris Paul to a group of hungry young players who can take some of the offensive load off of the older point guard's shoulders. His leadership and knowledge would be crucial to a Sacramento Kings franchise that hasn't been able to make the playoffs for 16 straight seasons.

Obviously, this could backfire for the Sacramento Kings if Chris Paul ends up aging poorly. But perhaps the risk is worth it from the Sacramento Kings' perspective, as they would be able to start building a winning culture with one of the most accomplished point guards in the NBA.


The New Orleans Pelicans Increase Their Star Power

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New Orleans Pelicans Receive: Kyrie Irving

Brooklyn Nets Receive: CJ McCollum, Jaxson Hayes, 2023 First-Round Pick (NOP)

This trade would simply be about the New Orleans Pelicans raising their talent level and star power. Kyrie Irving can do everything that CJ McCollum can on the basketball court and is a better shot creator and ballhandler. Irving's off-ball game and sharpshooting ability suggest that he could thrive when playing off Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.

In this scenario, CJ McCollum would likely be the centerpiece of the deal. Kyrie Irving is on an expiring contract with the Brooklyn Nets, and the team has not yet restarted extension talks with him. Thus a deal for him likely wouldn't require as many assets to get done. 

CJ McCollum would give the Brooklyn Nets a scorer and playmaker that can help them win now, and the Nets would receive a promising young big man in Jaxson Hayes. Hayes notably leads the Pelicans franchise in all-time FG% at 63.4%, and is an athletic rim runner that has shown signs of being able to play both the PF and the C positions. The 2023 first-round pick is obviously the draft compensation needed to get a deal done. For the Nets, this is about getting good value for Kyrie Irving prior to his contract expiring.

Overall, this could potentially be a solid trade for both teams. The New Orleans Pelicans would increase their ceiling as a team, while the Brooklyn Nets would get some assets in return rather than letting Kyrie Irving walk for nothing in next season's free agency.


The Atlanta Hawks Truly Go All-In For An Elite Big Man

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Atlanta Hawks Receive: Anthony Davis

Los Angeles Lakers Receive: John Collins, Clint Capela, 2023 First-Round Pick (ATL), 2024 First-Round Pick (SAC via ATL)

This trade would feature the Atlanta Hawks making another win-now move for Anthony Davis. They are clearly committed to building a contender around superstar point guard Trae Young, and Anthony Davis would definitely increase the Hawks' talent level as he is a versatile big man on both ends of the floor. Davis is a good rim protector that also has the mobility to guard multiple positions, and offensively, he is a good post scorer that can also provide some floor spacing for his teammates with his perimeter shooting.

The Atlanta Hawks would send out a large package centered around young big man John Collins to get the deal done in this scenario. John Collins is a versatile big man who is an athletic rim finisher that also has some ability to space the floor. He could start for the Los Angeles Lakers at the PF position. Clint Capela would be sent out in this scenario as well, and he would provide the team with an elite defensive center that is also capable of rebounding at a high level and being efficient near the rim. The two first-round picks would be the draft compensation, with the Kings' pick being particularly valuable.

For the Los Angeles Lakers, this trade would likely be about moving Anthony Davis for depth if they don't believe he can regain his superstar form. For the Atlanta Hawks, this would be banking on Anthony Davis actually being able to be that 2nd superstar next to Trae Young. Obviously, this could be a risk for both franchises, but at the same time, the trade could also end up being a win-win.

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