Trades are constantly happening in the NBA and execs are night in and night out trying to find a way to make their teams better, either for the next season or for the mid/long-term future beyond the present campaign.
With this years’ regular season already on the books, we can go ahead and make our predictions on what should every franchise do for the upcoming year, mostly trying to fix the problems they showed throughout this campaign.
Every team needs to make at least one move in order to keep up with their competition, either to sign top-notch talents or just to help their rebuilding process. Today, we’re going to let you know about the player every team needs to trade ASAP.
Atlanta Hawks: Kent Bazemore
The Atlanta Hawks are going through a major rebuilding process, so that means they need to give as much run to their young players as they can handle, especially with them likely to land a top 5 pick in this upcoming draft.
That means some veteran players of the likes of Kent Bazemore won’t get as many touches as they need to stay in shape, and considering how good he’s been in both ends of the court, he can actually draw a lot of interest from other teams.
Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart has always been one of the most productive and reliable players in the Boston Celtics ever since getting drafted, especially in the defensive end where he’s become one of the league’s best backcourt defenders.
His ability to guard one through five is remarkable considering his height, but the C’s need to get his salary off the books ASAP. He can get a lot of value in return, so they could extend him a qualifying offer and then do a sign and trade.
Brooklyn Nets: Timofey Mozgov
It’s been a really long time since Timofey Mozgov was an actual factor in the court, and he’s looked slow and washed out every time he’s been forced to play for the Lakers and Nets, and it’s going to be extremely difficult to move his huge salary.
Still, Brooklyn’s trusting Jarrett Allen as their main guy down low while also trying to keep Jahlil Okafor for the long run, so they need to find a way to offload Mozgov as soon as they can, even if that means just buying him out.
Charlotte Hornets: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
MKG is one of the biggest busts of the decade, being a top-5 prospect especially because of his so-called grit and feel for defense, something that he’s been unable to prove consistently ever since making it to the NBA.
He’s an offensive non-factor and the Charlotte Hornets are a huge mess on both ends of the hardwood anyway so they need to kick-start yet another rebuilding process, parting ways with most of their veterans.
Chicago Bulls: Omer Asik
Omer Asik is once again with the Chicago Bulls after the team was forced to absorb his huge deal in order to land a pick in the Nikola Mirotic deal, but he’s unlikely to ever suit up again for the Bulls after spending over a season sidelined with injuries.
The veteran isn’t a part of the team’s plans, especially with them looking to turn younger and more athletic for the future. Obviously, he’s unlikely to have any takers unless the Bulls attach a couple of picks in that deal, so he’s a prime buyout candidate.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson
Tristan Thompson earned a lot of money out of rebounding LeBron James’ bricks in the playoffs two years straight, but he’s flat out sucked ever since inking his signature on the very lucrative deal the King got him.
TT is a huge offensive liability and isn’t much of a rim protector, and now that he’s lost his lone valuable skill as an offensive rebounder, there’s absolutely no reason why the Cavs would want to keep him beyond this season.
Dallas Mavericks: Wesley Matthews
The Dallas Mavericks are actually looking pretty fine for the future, but Wesley Matthews has no place in this young renewed squad, especially with Seth Curry set to make his return next season to share backcourt duties with Dennis Smith Jr.
Matthews 3 and D expertise could get him a couple of suitors, especially contending squads needing a veteran. The Mavs need would be smart to offload his deal and clear a lot of cap space in order to try and land some nice role players to complete their core.
Denver Nuggets: Kenneth Faried
The Denver Nuggets are one of the most stacked teams in the frontcourt, and it’s pretty safe to assume that coach Malone has absolutely no interest in playing Kenneth Faried, even if the team’s plagued with injuries.
Faried just racked up DNPs all year long and he didn’t do much to earn his minutes the prior campaign again. Still, his feel for getting the offensive boards can make him a very solid backup power forward, but he definitely needs a fresh start elsewhere.
Detroit Pistons: Reggie Jackson
The Detroit Pistons have really fared pretty well when Reggie Jackson’s been forced to sit with constant injuries. Or hey, at least they haven’t been any worse with him sitting out, and it’s been pretty obvious that they don’t need him.
Jackson thinks he’s way better than he actually is and he’s struggled to build any kind of chemistry with Andre Drummond, but he could still get some interest for some teams needing a backup at the point guard spot.
Golden State Warriors: Shaun Livingston
Shaun Livingston has always excelled at running the Dubs offense off the bench ever since Steve Kerr’s arrival, and he’s been able to sustain his performances despite getting older, but the team really needs to clear some cap space this summer.
The Warriors need to keep Klay Thompson happy and that means handling him a very lucrative offer, and Quin Cook has proven that he’s ready to handle the backup playmaking duties after he’s been quite solid stepping up for Steph Curry this season.
Houston Rockets: Nene
Clint Capela has quietly surged as an elite rim protector and rebounder so that has made Nene Hilario quite expendable, with the injury-prone big man having a lesser role as seasons go by with the Houston Rockets.
Nene is unlikely to have many takers due to his harsh temper and proneness to get hurt, but Houston needs to find a way to get him off the books as soon as possible in order to clear cap space to extend Capela.
Indiana Pacers: Al Jefferson
If the Indiana Pacers decide to keep Al Jefferson for an extra season, they need to find a way to move him, as the veteran big man can still provide some grit in the offensive end but he’s not needed on a rebuilding young squad.
Indiana has leaned on TJ Leaf and Domantas Sabonis as their backup big men and both have fared quite well so far, while Big Al could really be a major boost for any contending team with his top-notch feet game.
Los Angeles Clippers: Danilo Gallinari
Danilo Gallinari was extremely productive throughout his first season as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, but once again, he was only able to play for a handful of games after spending the most season in the nursing home.
Also, they landed Tobias Harris in the Blake Griffin deal so they don’t actually need him that much, and a player so prone to get hurt is something you can’t trust to be your offensive go-to-guy, regardless of how talented he is.
Los Angeles Lakers: Luol Deng
Luol Deng has earned a lot of money for sitting out throughout the whole season for the Los Angeles Lakers, a team where he’s unlikely to play ever again with Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart on their ranks.
Also, they’re trying to make a huge push this offseason to land Paul George and LeBron James, so they need to get Deng’s salary off the books. Still, he’s unlikely to have any takers, to they’re going to have to buy him out.
Memphis Grizzlies: Marc Gasol
Marc Gasol is a former defensive player of the year and the kind of point center that can lead the break and pull up from three-point territory, owning a very rare skill set that any contending squad would thrive to get their hands on.
Gasol isn’t happy to go through Memphis’ rebuilding process, so the Grizzlies should deal him while they can still get some value in return, even though they’ve blatantly refused their intentions of dealing him.
Miami Heat: Hassan Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside has been horrid all season long, especially during clutch time and in the playoffs, so the Miami Heat are pretty much done with him and are trying to move him as we speak.
The big man has a big mouth but is unable to back it up on the court, and he doesn’t bring much from the table beside stat padding and some occasional rim protection. Still, he’s very likely to get a lot of interest from desperate teams this summer.
Milwaukee Bucks: John Henson
John Henson’s development has pretty much stalled and besides his huge length, wingspan and shot blocking ability, he’s not much a defensive presence down low and his offensive skill set is non-existent.
Also, Thon Maker has shown glimpses of greatness when he’s had to step up and fill the gap in the middle, so they should just go ahead and trust him with the starting center duties from day one next season.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Cole Aldrich
The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the verge of Championship contention, but if they want to take a step forward next season and actually transcend during the playoffs, they definitely need to strengthen their second unit.
Naturally, that means parting ways with guys of the likes of Cole Aldrich, a tweener big man that lacks the range to play the four, size to play the five and speed or athleticism to play at the small forward spot.
New Orleans Pelicans: Alexis Ajinca
The New Orleans Pelicans thrived all season long due to their monster frontcourt of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, and now that they’ve also landed Nikola Mirotic, they’re quite stacked there and need to reinforce other roster spots.
So, they need to find a way for any other team to take Alexis Ajinca’s deal away from them, with the Frenchman being one of the worst big men in the league and constantly piling up DNP-CD’s due to his poor performances in both ends of the floor.
New York Knicks: Joakim Noah
Joakim Noah’s no longer the top-notch defensive center he used to be, nor the great playmaker he was during his Chicago Bulls tenure, and he’s unlikely to ever suit up again for the Knicks following the altercation he had with their former coach; Jeff Hornacek.
Noah’s getting paid a lot of cash but he’s just not needed, and he looked heavy-footed, out of shape and kind of clumsy. His best years are far behind him, and it’s going to be quite difficult to make a comeback for him.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony has already stated that coming off the bench is out of the question for him despite being one of the main guys to blame for the Thunder’s downfall.
Melo’s shot didn’t fall, he hid through key stretches and looked out of rhythm, not to mention the fact that iso-ball really hurt OKC. Sadly, he’s unlikely to veto his no-trade clause and they’re definitely going to have to buy him out as they still owe him 28 million dollars.
Orlando Magic: Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic can be a very productive guy when it comes to boards and scoring, and he’s even added the three-point shot to his offensive repertoire, but he’s one of the worst defensive big men in the league.
Also, he’s likely to ask for a lot of money, but he doesn’t make the Magic actually better. So, with Orlando going through yet another rebuild, they should try and move him to a team desperate from frontcourt depth.
Philadephia 76ers: Jerryd Bayless
The Philadelphia 76ers have put together a really solid roster balancing youth and experience, but Jerryd Bayless is definitely the odd man out in this rotation, especially with them having Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz and TJ McConnell on their ranks.
Bayless has never been quite good and he’s nothing more than an inconsistent offensive spark off the bench, not to mention he’s a terrible defender. With Philly being stacked at every roster spot, they could be even scarier if they offload the veteran guard.
Phoenix Suns: Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler was once considered to be one of the strongest, most dominant and hardnosed defenders and rebounder in all of the NBA, but it’s been quite a while since he was in Defensive Player of the Year shape.
Father time has really taken a toll on Chandler’s health and impact, and with the Suns leaning towards younger players, there’s simply no room or use for the former Champion, and he’d be way better off on a contending team.
Portland Trail Blazers: Evan Turner
The Portland Trail Blazers shot themselves in the foot during the playoffs as they leaned in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum to handle all scoring duties, mostly because they couldn’t trust anybody on this team to make a bucket to save their lives.
Evan Turner is one of the team’s main problems, as he has a really big contract but is an offensive liability and isn’t much of a defender either. It’s going to be tough, but they need to find a way to part ways with him in order to make room for role players and 3 and D wings.
Sacramento Kings: Kosta Koufos
The Sacramento Kings are going through their 15th rebuild in the same number of seasons or so, so they don’t have much use for veteran players right now; especially with Vince Carter and Zach Randolph most likely heading out the door.
The Kings need to give Skal Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein as many runs as they can handle, so Kosta Koufos definitely needs to go, with him being unable to bring anything to the table in either side of the glass.
San Antonio Spurs: Patty Mills
Patty Mills used to be an explosive scorer off the bench with his unlimited range and ability to pull up on the blink of an eye, but his best years seem to be far behind him after he struggled all season long with the Spurs.
He failed to step up in Tony Parker’s absence and didn’t look nearly half as good as a starter as he did against slower opposition when he came off the bench, so the Spurs could definitely do better if they part ways with him.
Toronto Raptors: Lucas Nogueira
The Toronto Raptors have built arguably the best bench in the whole NBA, and they’ve found a couple of diamond in the rough in Paskal Siakam and Jakop Poetl, leaving Lucas Nogueira on an island as a 3rd or 4th string big man.
Nogueira seemed keen for stardom with his sick athleticism, hops and defensive awareness, but it seems like “Bebe” is never going to be able to live up to the hype, so they should definitely explore trade options for him.
Utah Jazz: Alec Burks
Alec Burks looked like he was going to have a major offensive role this season with Gordon Hayward out of the team, but with Donovan Mitchell’s surge out of the gate, he’s really not needed right now.
Burks is quite injury prone and inconsistent, but he’s the kind of player that can draw a lot of interest from teams in need of scoring off the bench, as he’s not going to have much playing time with Dante Exum fully healthy next season.
Washington Wizards: Marcin Gortat
Even John Wall has stated that the team needs “athletic bigs” and would be better off without Marcin Gortat, who has been quite slow and heavy footed for a couple of years now, as well as disappearing through key stretches in the playoffs.
Truth to be told, the Wizards are just wasting Wall’s and Beal’s prime and they’re never going to get to the ECF unless they find a consistent third scorer, so they need to find a way to turn Gortat’s deal into picks and role players.