The NBA trade deadline is not until March 25 but that doesn't mean that a blockbuster, or two, couldn't happen before then. We have already seen the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets shock the world with their four-team blockbuster featuring James Harden go down. With nearly two months left until the deadline, it doesn't hurt to have some ideas thrown into the fold.
With that said, we have five ideas for trades that could happen from now to then. We understand that not all five trades will happen but are within the realm of reality. All of these contending teams would love to bring this missing piece to their team to help contend for an NBA championship.
5. Andre Drummond To The Los Angeles Clippers
Cavaliers receive: Pat Beverley, Lou Williams, Ivica Zubac
Clippers receive: Andre Drummond
Drummond has to be on his way out, right? The Cavaliers swooped in and were able to pick up Jarrett Allen for essentially nothing. Allen was closing games out with the Nets and owns double-double potential every night. He is going to be their starting center moving forward. That sets up a trade for the current NBA rebounding leader, who is playing like a flat out All-Star. Drummond is averaging 14.6 points and 13.9 rebounds this season and is worth a first-round pick, even if it is a rental.
Drummond brings the Clippers' franchise size, which they do not possess with their current center situation with Zubac and Serge Ibaka. While Drummond cannot compete with the likes of Anthony Davis on offense, Drummond could hold him down inside. Drummond brings the potential of coming down with 15 rebounds each night, which would neutralize any team's hope for second-chance points. As for Ibaka, he is versatile and could play at power forward, so that both Drummond and Ibaka could play at the same time. The Cavaliers would get a solid defender in Beverley, an expiring contract in Williams, and a center that can compete with Allen for minutes.
4. Victor Oladipo To the Philadelphia 76ers
Rockets receive: Danny Green, Shake Milton, 2021 first-round pick
76ers receive: Victor Oladipo
At some point, the Rockets are going to realize that this core is not good enough to compete, so they should maximize on all of their assets. The Rockets were able to turn James Harden into four first-round picks and Victor Oladipo. The Rockets should flip Oladipo. who is in a contract year, for more draft capital. Houston is the No. 14 team in the Western Conference with the Minnesota Timberwolves as the only team ranked below them. It's time to begin the firesale.
Nobody is talking about how well Shake Milton is playing this season. Milton is averaging 16.9 points per game and is shooting 50.4% from the field. The Rockets would get a quality guard and an expiring contract in Green. The 76ers would need to package a first-round pick but it would be worth the rental because the 76ers need a boost if they want to compete with the three-headed monster in Brooklyn. Oladipo brings defense and would give the 76ers a score of Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid, Seth Curry, and Tyrese Maxey. This would be the best depth in the league.
3. Aaron Gordon To The Golden State Warriors
Magic receive: Kelly Oubre, Jordan Poole, Alen Smailagic, 2022 first-round pick (from Toronto), a future 2nd round pick
Warriors receive: Aaron Gordon
The Aaron Gordon saga in Orlando is finished. Gordon needs a fresh start plain and simple. The Warriors need someone that could provide a high-flying inside presence at power forward and Gordon could provide just that. Draymond Green is suited better at the small forward position with this team, so it would benefit multiple positions altogether. Green has been battling injuries this season and has not looked like his typical All-Star self on offense or defense. He would benefit more from a position shift as well.
Gordon is averaging 14.9 points and 7.0 rebounds this season. Oubre is playing well this year and would give the Magic a shot creator that would pair with Evan Fournier well. With Markelle Fultz out for the year, the team lost some of their quickness and are relying too much on the inside presence with Gordon and Nikola Vucevic. In today's NBA, that will not win championships. For the Warriors, a core of Curry, Wiggins, Green, and Gordon, they would be a competitive squad.
2. Blake Griffin To The Memphis Grizzlies
Pistons receive: Georgi Deng, Justise Winslow, 2021 first-round pick from Utah
Grizzlies receive: Blake Griffin
Nobody is talking about the 7-6 Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are in playoff contention despite Jarret Jackson and Ja Morant battling injuries. A trio of Jackson, Morant, and Griffin would be a solid trio. Griffin could be used at power forward and it would allow Jackson to move to the center. Jonas Valanciunas could come off the bench. Griffin would give the Grizzlies more size and somebody that brings double-double potential every night.
For the Pistons, this would be a dream come true. The Pistons could unload the $38 million that Griffin is owed next season and get a return. Georgi Deng's $17 million expires this year and well as Justice Winslow's $13 million. A first-round pick would be beneficial as the Pistons are trying to complete a rebuild. The Pistons would get the salary cap relief, while the Grizzlies would get better for a playoff push. Everybody in this scenario wins and those make the best trades. Besides, Griffin is good of a player to best be remembered for his poor play in Detroit. Memphis gives him a fresh start as he enters the later years of his career.
1. Bradley Beal To The Miami Heat
Wizards receive: Tyler Herro, Precious Achiuwa, Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk, Kendrick Nunn, a future second-round pick
Heat receive: Bradley Beal
This is the max that the Heat can offer for Beal. Iguodala and Olynyk have expiring contracts and the Heat does not give up a first-round pick. Tyler Herro has the potential to be a future starter, but are you going to miss out on the championship because of "what if?" The Heat couldn't beat the Lakers last year with this group and need to make upgrades. Herro is the foundational piece that gets this trade-off on the ground. Achiuwa is having a solid rookie season and is showing the potential of a future starter in the league.
The Heat are struggling to start the season after coming off a trip to the NBA Finals. One way to fix that is to add a shooting guard that is averaging 34.9 points per game. The Heat love to shoot three-pointers, so Beal would fit right in with this team. In the end, a combination of Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, and Beal could be lethal. The Heat get to keep Duncan Robinson and that's two of the league's best perimeter shooters. It would be worth it if the Heat could hoist the 2021 championship trophy.