NBA: Exploring Hypothetical Trades
The NBA offseason kicked off on Nov. 16 at noon, which means teams can make trades to make a run for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Trades have already begun, with Chris Paul being shipped to Phoenix to team up with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. More trades include Jrue Holiday being dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, and draft picks headed down to New Orleans.
As the NBA offseason begins, more trades will soon follow. Let’s take a look at some hypothetical potential trades.
James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets
It may seem surreal, but it’s rumored that James Harden has said he wants out of Houston. The idea of Harden rejoining forces with Finals MVP Kevin Durant strikes fear into opposing teams.
The loss of Harden will create a huge hole for the Rockets, leaving a superstar guard out of the picture. Houston tends to play small ball to begin with, but with the talent that the former MVP has, it will turn a once promising contender into an average team.
The Brooklyn Nets have 21 players on their roster, and cleaning house can help cut down the list. Houston could use a center and some guard play, so Brooklyn could send key pieces such as Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen. A draft pick could also be in the mix.
Russell Westbrook to the Charlotte Hornets
Former MVP Russell Westbrook has been on the mind of Hornets owner Michael Jordan. Jordan wants to bring Westbrook to Buzz City.
The Hornets have the third pick in this year’s NBA Draft. If Jordan wants to bring Westbrook to Charlotte, he may have to give up that pick, along with a young piece of the core.
The front office, however, seems to be butting heads with the player turned owner about giving up the third overall pick. They would rather want to develop a prospect like Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball.
If Charlotte can pull off this trade, it would give Westbrook the same playing style he once had in Oklahoma City. Charlotte may have to give up pieces like Terry Rozier or Bismack Biyombo for Houston to make the trade.
Bradley Beal to the Miami Heat
Bradley Beal has been in trade conversations for years now. His production level is not being matched by anyone on the Washington Wizards, which may result in him leaving after his contract year in 2022.
If the Wizards want some return on Beal before he heads into a loaded free agency class, the Miami Heat may be the best suitor available. However, the Heat may have to give up some valuable assets to their deep playoff run.
For Beal, Miami could trade pieces like center Meyers Leonard, guard Kendrick Nunn and possibly some draft picks. Players that could be on the chopping block as well may involve Tyler Herro and Jae Crowder.
The Wizards may have to rebuild once Beal is gone, considering the significance of John Wall’s Achilles injury. The pieces they would gain from this trade may be a good starting point.
Kemba Walker to the Chicago Bulls
After one season in Beantown, the Boston Celtics seem ready to move on from Kemba Walker. In his first season, he managed to average 20.4 points per game, which happens to be a five-point decrease from his last season in Charlotte.
The Celtics may have wanted to see Walker go over the top in Boston, but the statistics say that he had a rough year, considering he was not the center of focus for an organization loaded with talent. Walker’s contract ends in 2023, with that being his player option year.
The Chicago Bulls have struggled to find talent at the point guard position since the departure of Derrick Rose in 2016. The Bulls do offer some interesting players such as Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine.
For this trade to work, Chicago would send Kris Dunn and possibly the fourth pick in the NBA draft to the Celtics to acquire Walker. The only concern would be the salary cap, since Walker would be taking up $35-million a year.
Jonathan Draeger is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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