With the trade deadline quickly approaching, mediocre NBA teams and execs need to plan ahead to the future and try to figure out what’s best for the long term, instead of trying to make a late playoff push that’s very unlikely to happen.
Trades are bound to happen sooner or later, and when the clock ticks, players lose value and teams lose leverage, so they need to make some fast moves in order to get the most out of the few assets they currently own.
So, in order to get a nice deal out of some players that may actually be helpful to some contending teams heading towards the postseason, we’re going to let you know about 5 deals that tanking teams should just go ahead and do already before it’s too late.
5. Chicago Bulls: Justin Holiday, Robin Lopez, Nikola Mirotic
After being pretty much the league’s laughing stock, the Chicago Bulls made a recent push following Nikola Mirotic’s return to the hardwood, and considering how great the forward has been off lately, that’s their perfect chance to sell high on the European.
Also, they should try and move veteran swingman Justin Holiday, who could provide a much-needed shooting stroke from deep, as well as Robin Lopez, a proven center that may be quite attractive for contending sides. With Chicago sliding in the standings, they should be looking for a couple of picks and bad contracts in return.
4. Memphis Grizzlies: Marc Gasol and Brandan Wright
Let’s face it: The Grit and Grind era is over at the Grindhouse, and the Memphis Grizzlies need to part ways with their 32-year-old center before his value starts dipping even lower, and just let young ballers like Harrison and Brooks run the show while Conley comes back from injury.
Gasol is one of the smartest and most skilled two way big men in the league and he’s got plenty of markets, but Memphis has seen reckless to explore trade packages for him. Just like the Bulls, they’d be smart to take a handful of first and second rounders as well as some spare parts for the Spaniard.
3. Atlanta Hawks: Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli
The Atlanta Hawks are perhaps the worst team in the NBA, at least talent wise, as they’ve been stuck on a mediocrity spiral for so long that has stalled him from landing top-tier talents over the last decade or so.
Nevertheless, they’ve got a decent young core with Schroder and Collins, while Bazemore has proven to be a very reliable player as well. So, with teams constantly looking for sharpshooters and big men that can stretch the floor, they should try and move both Ilyasova and Belinelli, looking to land more lowkey prospects or picks.
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson
The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a very good position for the future right now despite their standings, as they own several young assets that are bound to be very good ball players and may get a lot of value in return while they try to clear more cap space looking ahead of the offseason.
Keen to make a run at both Paul George and LeBron James, the Lakers are likely to try and move Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson in exchange of some expiring deals, and if they can also land a second rounder in the meantime, that should be a perfect scenario.
1. Sacramento Kings: George Hill, Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos
Sacramento has been awful as usual and as expected, but they landed a couple of very productive veterans in the offseason in George Hill and Zach Randolph, and both have been quite good for the Kings so far this season.
Considering how shorthanded teams are at the 1 spot and how good Randolph has fared, the Kings could get some young assets or picks from contending sides, and they should also try and move veteran big man Kosta Koufos. Sac Town should be smart to look for some wing players, as they’re already stacked in the frontcourt with Labissiere, Papagiannis and Cauley-Stein, while Fox and Hield take the backcourt.