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NBA trades we’d like to see


Most NBA trade restrictions are lifted on Saturday. So what deals do our experts think should happen before the Feb. 7 deadline?

Here are 10 that work.

Trade guide for every team | Draft assets


The Wiggins deal

Kings get: Andrew Wiggins

Timberwolves get: Iman Shumpert, Zach Randolph and Justin Jackson

Kevin Arnovitz: For the Timberwolves, this is an opportunity to act on their buyer’s remorse and eradicate the four years and $122 million remaining on Wiggins’ contract after this season. In exchange, the Wolves take on the expiring contracts of Shumpert and Randolph, and they get an inexpensive look at Jackson for a couple of seasons. In the process, Minnesota will free up minutes for rookie guard Josh Okogie, who needs some reps.

For Sacramento, the acquisition would be a bit of a chemistry experiment. But the Kings are flush with cap space moving forward and are an improbable destination for any max-level free agent. Wiggins might never live up to his potential and could be a drag on a team that plays with as much energy as any young team in the league. But perhaps a change of scenery would draw out more of his raw talent and give Sacramento a true creator on the wing, something lacking on a roster loaded with 4s and 5s.

The Wall deals

Spurs get: John Wall

Wizards get: Pau Gasol, Dejounte Murray and Lonnie Walker IV

Marc J. Spears: Who could revive Wall as one of the elite NBA point guards? How about Gregg Popovich, who coached Wall on Team USA?

The Spurs are a player away from being scary again, so imagine a lineup with Wall and fellow All-Stars DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. Behind the Warriors, the West still looks wide-open right now. Plus, a small-market San Antonio team would be locking in a star backcourt long-term.

On top of moving on from Wall’s contract, the Wizards would surround Bradley Beal with a point guard of the future in Murray (once he gets healthy) and another young talent in Walker, a 2018 first-round pick. Gasol would be included for financial reasons and to add some veteran leadership to Washington’s locker room.

Get more on Wall’s complicated trade bonus here Insider


Knicks get: John Wall and Troy Brown Jr.

Wizards get: Enes Kanter and Ron Baker

Ohm Youngmisuk: Washington has seen enough drama this season, and it’s time for a change in D.C. So what about Wall and Brown to the Knicks for the expiring contracts of Kanter and Baker? The Wizards desperately need to start over and getting out of Wall’s massive contract will not be easy.

While Wall’s deal is a lot to swallow, the Knicks have a history of giving stars in need of a fresh start — even those saddled with bad contracts — a second or third chance. If Wall’s health checks out and the Knicks know Kevin Durant or any other elite free agent won’t come next summer, New York could hope that a motivated Wall rediscovers his All-Star game in the Garden under head coach David Fizdale.

The Spurs embrace the tank

Spurs get: Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews and a 2021 second-round pick

Mavericks get: DeMar DeRozan

Andrew Han: Ever since the Spurs lost promising point guard Dejounte Murray in the preseason, they’ve been staving off their first lottery appearance since 1997. They’re only three games apart in the loss column, but San Antonio and Dallas are trending in opposite directions. The Mavs are currently sixth in point differential (seventh in the standings), and the Spurs are 14th (10th in the standings). To jettison DeRozan and restart with Murray and dunking dynamo Dennis Smith Jr. would be the fifth stage of grief as San Antonio finally comes to terms with the end of its era of dominance.

Meanwhile, Dallas continues to make others look foolish for not swinging for Luka Doncic in the draft. The Slovenian product has harnessed the hype, and the Mavs are unexpectedly frisky for the playoffs. As a proven scorer, DeRozan can take some of the attention off the rookie and turn a “just happy to be here” playoff hopeful into a postseason rabble-rouser.

The Nuggets go for it

Nuggets get: Kemba Walker and Willy Hernangomez

Hornets get: Jamal Murray and Mason Plumlee

Baxter Holmes: Before being riddled with injuries, Denver looked like one of the best challengers to Golden State out West. This deal would put the Nuggets in win-now mode, and we’d finally see Walker in position to make a deep run in the playoffs — something a player of his caliber has deserved for a while now.

The Hornets, meanwhile, get ahead of Walker’s free agency by acquiring a high-upside player for the future in Murray, someone their young players can hopefully play and grow alongside for years to come.

The Fultz-to-Phoenix deals

Suns get: Markelle Fultz

Lakers get: Trevor Ariza

76ers get: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Royce Young: Trades are supposed to be beneficial for all parties involved, and although the Sixers probably would be looking for a little more than a player on an expiring deal for someone just two years removed from being the consensus No. 1 overall pick, adding Caldwell-Pope could be a big boost if Philly is indeed all-in for the present. Caldwell-Pope holds veto power on a deal because of the one-year Bird restrictions, but the Sixers have a need for shooting and wing depth. He could build his value before hitting free agency.

Fultz gets a shot at a fresh start and lessened attention, the Suns get a low-risk, high-reward player at a position of great need, and the Lakers add a proven playoff wing. Good, good, good, right?


Suns get: Markelle Fultz

76ers get: Josh Jackson and Dragan Bender

Tim MacMahon: Just shuffle the deck with 2017 high-lottery busts, letting Fultz and Jackson be reclamation projects in new cities. (Bender, the 2016 No. 4 overall pick whose fourth-year option was declined, is a flyer for Philadelphia and salary savings for the Suns.)

Phoenix is in desperate need of a point guard, and Fultz would face minimal pressure on a rebuilding team as he tries to come back from whatever ails him. Maybe Jackson blossoms with Jimmy Butler as a tough-love role model.

The Lakers grab a shooter

Lakers get: Wayne Ellington

Heat get: Michael Beasley, Isaac Bonga and L.A.’s 2021 second-round pick

Ian Begley: This isn’t the kind of trade that leads SportsCenter, but it’s a secondary move that could give Los Angeles some much-needed shooting. This deal probably happens only if Miami decides to depart from its win-now approach and rebuild the roster (something many in the NBA doubt will happen this season under Pat Riley).

The Lakers would likely have to add a second-round pick and a young player such as Bonga to get Miami to consider moving the 31-year-old Ellington, who is shooting 37.4 percent from 3 on 7.2 attempts per game.

The Cavs go hunting for picks

Pelicans get: Alec Burks and Rodney Hood

Cavaliers get: Solomon Hill and New Orleans’ 2019 first-round pick (top-10 protected)

Combined with …

Rockets get: JR Smith

Cavaliers get: Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss and Houston’s 2019 first-round pick (lottery protected)

Tim Bontemps: In tandem, these deals accomplish all that each team is looking to do the next couple months.

Cleveland, which has already moved on from Kyle Korver and George Hill to the tune of a first- and two second-round picks, would take on an additional $28 million in 2019-20 salaries for two more first-rounders. This would have the added benefit of allowing Cleveland to enter next season with around $80 million in expiring deals, giving the Cavs maximum flexibility moving forward to either continue flipping contracts for dead-money picks or open up reams of cap space in 2020. One wrinkle: They’d have to find a way to get under the luxury tax before the 2020 trade deadline to avoid paying the penalty for a likely lottery team.

New Orleans, meanwhile, would get a pair of rotation players to plug into a thin wing rotation as the Pelicans try to convince Anthony Davis to stick around. It also would open up an additional chunk of cap space next summer by eliminating Hill’s deal from the books.

Houston might be able to rehabilitate Smith, giving the Rockets another swing man who can shoot and guard a little, but this deal is mostly financially motivated. Not only would the Rockets save about $8.5 million in combined payroll and luxury tax payments, but if they chose to stretch the $3.7 million guarantee on Smith’s contract for next season next summer, Houston would also potentially give itself a shot to not have to pay any luxury tax next season.

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