With the free agency market dried up, it’s now time to evaluate the trade market. The Los Angeles Lakers set the tone early with their acquisition of Russell Westbrook. As we move forward, it appears that the Wizards are content with keeping Bradley Beal, which means that five other big names on the market could be moved.
For some teams like the Kings, Raptors, and Rockets, it might be time to start thinking about their identity. By buying or selling, these teams could help turn their rebuild around, while other teams will put their name back into playoff contention. These five players could help move the needle in the right direction.
Jerami Grant - Boston Celtics
Trade Package: Marcus Smart, Romeo Langford, Aaron Nesmith, 2023 First-Round Pick
After inserting his name into the Most Improved Player of the Year conversation last year, Grant made his value worth at least a first-round pick. Grant averaged 22.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists last season. With two years left on his deal, Grant won’t be around when the Detroit Pistons are contending. That is why Grant could be dealt with this offseason, or closer to the deadline.
Grant would complete one of the most underrated starting lineups in Boston. The Celtics already have a wing defender in Josh Richardson. Bringin in Grant would move Richardson to the bench, but at the cost of Smart. Langford remains a young, unproven player, while Nesmith is moved to compensate salary. The 2023 first-round pick could be critical in Detroit’s final stages of the rebuild. As for Boston, a starting lineup of Dennis Schroder, Jaylen Brown, Grant, Jayson Tatum, and Al Horford would be pretty hard to stop.
Kristaps Porzingis - Sacramento Kings
Trade Package: Buddy Hield, Richaun Holmes
It almost feels like this trade is too good to be true because of how the salaries match. Long story short, Porzingis is a franchise-changing player that you can build around. The marriage between Porzingis and Luka Doncic doesn’t work. The Kings don’t have a true face of the franchise, sorry De’Aaron Fox, and could use a player like Porzingis to create their next competitive team.
Buddy Hield would be perfect for Doncic and would stretch the floor. Holmes is a true center, who averaged 14.2 points and 8.3 rebounds last season. This is the true definition of building around your star. With Doncic, Hield, and Tim Hardaway JrThe Mavericks would have some lethal shooting on their hands.
Pascal Siakam - Washington Wizards
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Thomas Bryant, Deni Avidja, 2022 First-Round Pick
If the Wizards are truly trying to compete with Bradley Beal, then they need to find a player that complements their superstar. Russell Westbrook didn’t complement Beal at all, which is why the team traded for assets in Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell. In this scenario, the Wizards could flip Kuzma, Thomas Bryant, last year’s lottery pick Deni Avidja, and a first-rounder to bring in former Most Improved Player Pascal Siakam.
The Wizards would have an attractive starting lineup in Spencer Dinwiddie, Beal, Siakam, Rui Hachimura, and Harrell. As for the Raptors, it would allow the team to truly tear it down and rebuild. The team won’t compete with Siakam in their future lineup, so it’s time to max out his worth.
Ben Simmons - Portland Trail Blazers
Trade Package: CJ McCollum, Afernee Simmons, 2022 First-Round Pick, 2026 First-Round Pick
The 76ers could benefit from parting ways with Ben Simmons. Defensively, he is one of the best in the business. He is one of the few point guards that can rebound at a high rate, while his playmaking is undeniably great. However, you can’t win with someone who doesn’t trust his shot. The team can’t rely solely on Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris. It’s time to bring in someone who can truly help.
The 76ers have a window of opportunity in the Eastern Conference right now. McCollum may not be a true All-Star, but he is a lethal outside shooter. Simmons is an up-and-coming prospect that can also shoot when needed. Assuming the 76ers could win a championship, those picks won’t mean much anyway. You have to take risks sometimes to win. Portland would give Simmons a place to reinvent himself. Philadelphia has a chance to win, so it’s time to make a move that betters the team.
Karl-Anthony Towns - Golden State Warriors
Trade Package: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga
With the Warriors in “win-now” mode, the team cannot wait around on the development of James Wiseman. The former No. 2 overall pick had a solid rookie season, but he is not a bonafide All-Star like Karl-Anthony Towns. By bringing Towns into the mix, the Warriors could boast a starting lineup of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Otto Porter Jr., Draymond Green, and Towns.
That lineup would be enough to compete with the likes of the Lakers, Clippers, and Nuggets. As for the Timberwolves, it’s time to move on from Towns. He will not be a part of the competing squad in the future, so the team needs to capitalize on his value. Bringing Wiggins back would be required due to salary purposes, but adding Wiseman, a former No. 1 overall prospect in college, as well as Jonathan Kuminga, another former No. 1 overall prospect, would help accelerate the rebuild. Anthony Edwards, Kuminga, and Wiseman would be one solid young core to build around.