It’s that time of year again in the NBA, that point in the season where team GMs have to look themselves in the mirror and make the tough decisions on whether to make a trade or stay put.
Luckily for those NBA GMs (and you, loyal fans), we are here to provide some helpful hints on how to improve a few rosters, either for the stretch run or (most likely) next season and beyond. Without any further delay…
Chicago Bulls Get: Kevin Martin; Minnesota Timberwolves Get: Taj Gibson
The roller coaster that is Chicago Bulls basketball is in part caused by a roster imbalance and players who just have been there too long. The Timberwolves need to clear out playing time for its plethora of young wing players which makes this a perfect match. K-Mart gives the Bulls the complimentary professional wing player to go next to Jimmy Butler and clears minutes for Shabazz Muhammad & Zach LaVine in Minnesosta. Taj Gibson provides the T-Wolves a veteran PF who can actually play and help bring along Karl-Anthony Towns.
Atlanta Hawks Get: Trevor Booker, Trey Burke and First Round Pick; Utah Jazz Get: Jeff Teague
The Hawks seem to be ready to start the Dennis Schroeder era and hold a tremendous trade piece in Jeff Teague (friendly contract, all-star caliber player). There should be plenty of offers for Teague and we want to keep Jeff around the playoff picture. The Jazz have to answer the point guard question at some point and need another player to make a legit playoff run. Teague gives you the answer. The Hawks receive Burke who can backup Schroeder without being a threat and Booker gives a physical presence.
Miami Heat Get: Louis Williams; Los Angeles Lakers Get: Chris Andersen, Beno Udrih, 2017 2nd round pick
This trade is all about my personal bias in wanting to see Lou-Will get on a real team. The Lakers’ tanking/Kobe Bryant farewell tour is beneath my guy Lou and I want him off this train immediately. The Lakers get expiring and a draft pick, which is what they want anyway, and Lou gives the Heat the juice they need off the bench. We all win, mostly me.
Sacramento Kings Get: Jeff Green and Courtney Lee; Memphis Grizzlies Get: Rudy Gay
This one would take some politicking to pull off but I like it for both teams. Memphis clearly is not going to abandoned “Grit and Grind” anytime soon which is why Zach Randolph and Tony Allen are not going anywhere. So why not get the band back together? Green has worn out his welcome and Courtney Lee is a likely departure this summer. Green and Lee upgrade a Kings team desperately wanting to get the #8 spot in the West this year, and Gay provides the ever elusive wing scorer to Memphis. Besides, OJ Mayo isn’t around so that’s one less problem for Rudy in the locker room. (“Bah God, Is that Rudy Gay’s Music?!” in my best Jim Ross voice.)
Oklahoma City Thunder Get: Channing Frye and Evan Fournier; Orlando Magic Get: Dion Waiters, Kyle Singler, 2017 First Round Pick and/or 2016 Second round Pick
The once promising Orlando Magic season has gone south and now it’s time to think ahead. Super Mario Herzonja needs minutes and Magic can use more picks to build. Evan Fournier will be hard to bring back when he becomes a free agent this summer. The Thunder have to win sooner than later with the looming free agencies of KD and Russell. Fournier provides you a bigger, versatile wing which makes for all kinds of interesting lineup combos come play off times and a legitimate 3rd option for the inevitable disappearance of Serge Ibaka. Channing Frye serves simply as salary fodder and spot minutes.