With the next batch of teams bowing out of the playoffs, it has begun to spin the rumor mill on what could happen next with their respective superstars. Teams like the Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks, and Washington Wizards all have superstar talent but have not been able to piece together a successful long playoff run.
For those teams, among others looking to tear everything down, it could mean that the trade market will be hot this summer. There are lots of teams that will be looking to improve this summer, which means they could vet the services of these superstars. With that said, here are some blockbuster trades that could happen this summer.
Kristaps Porzingis To The Charlotte Hornets
Hornets Receive: Kristaps Porzingis
Mavericks Receive: PJ Washington, Malik Monk, Jalen McDaniels, 2022 first-round pick
Porzingis is currently with the Dallas Mavericks, but this offseason, he could get traded for an assortment of reasons. For starters, after his dismal playoff performance, the Mavericks are not keen on paying him over $30 million per season over the next three years. There are also reports that the partnership between Luka Doncic and Porzingis is deteriorating. Doncic is on pace to make over $200 million on his next contract, so finding a way to secure extra money is a priority.
As for who would be duped into taking the Porzingis contract, the Charlotte Hornets are notorious for taking on bad contracts. All jokes aside, the Hornets could give Porzingis a chance of scenery and make a Big 3 of Porzingis, Gordon Hayward, and LaMelo Ball. Realistically, the only major player the Hornets would lose is PJ Washington, so this could work for both sides.
Russell Westbrook To The Miami Heat
Heat Receive: Russell Westbrook
Wizards Receive: Goran Dragic, Kendrick Nunn, Tyler Herro, KZ Okpala
The Heat have been linked to the Washington Wizards all season but in regards to Bradley Beal. Instead, the Heat would be better off making a trade for their other superstar talent in Russell Westbrook. Coming off a successful season in which he averaged a triple-double for the fourth time in his career, the Heat could look to make a Big 3 with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
The Wizards could look to fully rebuild (more on Beal later). With this package, the Wizards would get a salary dump in Dragic, pending sign-and-trade, and two potential real contributors in this league in Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro. Nunn has shown flashes of being a 20-point scorer in this league, while Herro could be a legitimate deep-threat. Both would be young, foundational pieces to jumpstart the Wizards’ rebuild.
Karl-Anthony Towns To The Golden State Warriors
Warriors Receive: Karl-Anthony Towns
Timberwolves Receive: James Wiseman, Eric Paschall, Jordan Poole, Alen Smailagic, 2021 Minnesota Timberwolves pick (if outside 1-3 range), 2021 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick
The dynasty of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green have maybe three years left of making a run at a fourth championship. Call it a “Last Dance” if you will. The combination of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen needed Dennis Rodman to win three more championships. These Warriors, who made five straight NBA Finals from 2015-2019, need one final piece to their team and that would be the two-time All-Star.
If the Warriors want to win now, they need a superstar like Towns. Wiseman is not ready to play at a high level. Poole is an average shooter with potential. The draft capital is a lot, but if you are trying to win right now, does it even matter?
Bradley Beal To The New York Knicks
Knicks Receive: Bradley Beal
Wizards Receive: RJ Barrett, Frank Ntilkina, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, 2021 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick
The Knicks clearly can’t rely on Julius Randle to lead their team offensively. He is a No. 2 option at best and there is nothing wrong with that. The Knicks live on their defensive toughness, a perfect image of their Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau. However, you can’t purely rely on defense in a scorer’s league.
To receive premier scoring, it will come at a cost, which includes a potential rising All-Star in RJ Barrett. Toppin had a ceiling of Taj Gibson one day, while Quickley had an impressive rookie season. These role players are nice and all, but Beal is a 30-point scorer and the league’s runner-up in the scoring race. The defense may have to give a little, but Thibodeau always finds a way to get the most out of whatever players he has on his roster. This would be no different.
Damian Lillard To The Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers Receive: Damian Lillard
Trail Blazers Receive: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Talen Horton-Tucker, Alex Caruso, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell
If you are LeBron James, this trade is a must this offseason. For the first time in nine years, there is a legitimate chance that Lillard could be traded. With the Trail Blazers losing in the first round of the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, the Trail Blazers moved on from Terry Stotts, who was beloved by Lillard.
At 32 years old, Lillard has to be thinking about wanting to win a championship. At 36 years old and only two years left on his deal, LeBron has to be thinking that he has just two more shots at tying Jordan’s collection of six championships. This trade would cost the Lakers the majority of their bench, but that’s the price of doing business for superstar talent. A Big 3 of LeBron, Lillard, and Anthony Davis would maybe push LeBron to six rings in his career.