A lot of time in the NBA, a player is associated with a certain team: for example, someone like Shaquille O'Neal is always associated with the Lakers. But in this era of commonplace player movement, players often switch teams for a variety of reasons. Even if players do leave a team where they are beloved, there are times where they get the opportunity to come back for a reunion, such as Kevin Garnett towards the end of his career, when he went to the Timberwolves. A reunion could also mean reuniting with their former teammates on another team, re-creating
There are a few reunions that could happen this season, before the deadline. All of them would be fun to watch for basketball fans. They would also be sound basketball moves even without the reunion factor. Here are the top 5 reunions that could happen before the deadline.
5. Isaiah Thomas To Boston Celtics
Isaiah Thomas was once one of the top point guards in the world, even being in MVP conversations. The small point guard was an offensive force on the Boston Celtics, being able to score buckets due to his speed and elite shooting. While Isaiah Thomas hasn't quite been All-Star caliber since his hip injury, he could still be a great scorer off the bench for a team that needs depth. Isaiah Thomas is currently a free agent, meaning that he's available to be signed.
Isaiah Thomas coming back to the Celtics would be heartwarming to watch. The Boston Celtics need a solid backup PG who can score, but also distribute to his teammates. On the bench, Thomas's defense would be exploited less by the opposition. This would be a low-risk signing for the Boston Celtics that would bring a fan favorite back to Boston while providing a solid offensive addition for their roster.
4. JJ Redick To Los Angeles Clippers
JJ Redick would be a solid veteran on any contender. Redick is a known shooter who can knock down shots from the perimeter, and he shoots a solid 41.5% from beyond the arc for his career. JJ Redick played with the Los Angeles Clippers during the Lob City era, so they know how lethal he is from the perimeter. A reunion could be good for both parties. The Los Angeles Clippers could use an elite shooter like JJ Redick, while Redick himself would get to compete in Los Angeles.
While the Los Angeles Clippers are a different team from the time JJ Redick played, a reunion would allow him to try and win a championship with two superstars. That situation would be perfect for JJ Redick. The Los Angeles Clippers could probably acquire him in exchange for Lou Williams if they were to pursue him. Redick would be a good addition to a championship-caliber squad, and it would be fun to see him in a Clippers jersey again.
3. Blake Griffin To Phoenix Suns
Blake Griffin is a former All-Star forward that could still be useful to a team that is trying to compete. While Griffin isn't as athletic or as big of a scoring threat now, he is still a forward with a solid all-around skill-set. Griffin is a solid shooter from 3PT range, and an underrated passer and defender. If he were to go to the Phoenix Suns, he would get to reunite with All-Star point guard Chris Paul. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are the duo that powered the Lob City era for the Clippers, and a reunion between the two would bring back many memories.
Blake Griffin would only be able to go to the Phoenix Suns if he gets bought out by the Detroit Pistons. A buyout would allow him to go to any contender, and perhaps his familiarity with Chris Paul could sway him to go to Phoenix. The Phoenix Suns would let Blake Griffin compete in the playoffs again, and fit in as a solid veteran on the roster.
2. DeMarcus Cousins To Los Angeles Lakers
DeMarcus Cousins has recently been waived by the Houston Rockets, but that doesn't mean that he's a bad player. DeMarcus Cousins has shown signs of being a solid contributor on the Rockets. While Cousins hasn't quite been his former dominant self this season, he has been a great high-energy center. Cousins can shoot and rebound well and has some degree of shot creation ability. A center like Cousins would be perfect for the Los Angeles Lakers who need a stopgap solution at center. DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Lakers during the 2019-20 season, but never actually played for them as he suffered an injury to his ACL.
DeMarcus Cousins would be a solid fit next to LeBron James, as his game complements James' game very well. It would be relatively easy for the Los Angeles Lakers to acquire DeMarcus Cousins as he is currently a free agent. His signing wouldn't have a downside, and it would allow DeMarcus Cousins to reunite with his former teammate in Anthony Davis.
1. LaMarcus Aldridge To Portland Trail Blazers
LaMarcus Aldridge was formerly one of the best big men in the league on the Portland Trail Blazers. He is a seven-time All-Star who has a solid history in Portland. Returning there would allow Aldridge to cement his status as a Trail Blazer legend while having the opportunity to compete for a championship. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are both former teammates of Aldridge's, and would undoubtedly like to see him return.
LaMarcus Aldridge would likely help them shore up their big man position, providing a steady presence on the court, with solid floor spacing as well. LaMarcus Aldridge would be best in a supporting role in the Portland Trail Blazers' offense, letting their star guards do the heavy scoring. LaMarcus Aldridge would help the Trail Blazers guard some of the best big men in the Western Conference as well. A deal could be centered around Rodney Hood, Derrick Jones Jr. and Zach Collins. In short, he would be a wonderful acquisition for Portland.