5 NBA Trades That Could Help 5 Contenders Win A Title
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher at Hoopstuff…
This article is about 5 teams who all have a chance to win a title in 2014, but whose chances would be even better if they made one deal. The following are 5 trades that can help already excellent teams win a championship this season.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder Trade
Thunder Receive: Arron Afflalo
Magic Receive: Jeremy Lamb, 2014 and 2016 1st Round Picks
- Now that James Harden and Kevin Martin are playing for new teams and thriving in their new cities, Oklahoma City’s lack of spending has left them with a big weakness; a 3rd scorer and because of that they aren’t as talented as they have been the last 2 seasons and even more importantly, they don’t have enough upper echelon talent to compete for a title. Afflalo is no James Harden who is one of the NBA’s top players, but his scoring is near the level of Kevin Martin and his defense is better than either shooting guard. Basically Afflalo would give the Thunder the offense of Martin and the defense of their starting shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha and he would give them the 3rd offensive option they desperately need. The Magic are rebuilding and they would be wise to cash in the veteran Afflalo now, because he is playing the best basketball of his career. A package of Lamb, who is a very promising scorer and shooter and can be a starting 2-guard in the NBA or a top level sixth man and 2 1st round picks would be a very nice coup for the rebuilding Magic who just need to be collecting as many assets as possible. It would be a steep price for the Thunder, but one that makes them a much better team and gives them a far better chance to win a title.
2. Houston Rockets Trade
Houston Receives: Ryan Anderson
New Orleans Receives: Omer Asik
This trade has been floated in the rumor mill for quite some time now and I have even written on the subject on multiple occasions, but once again I say that this trade needs to happen because it makes perfect sense for each team. Howard has always been at his best next to a shooting power forward and as he and Ryan Anderson each played some of their best basketball together with the Magic, there isn’t a single reason why this move shouldn’t be made immediately for the Rockets, especially since Asik is no longer in the Rockets’ plans and they could use an upgrade at the 4. The Pelicans have enough offense and are currently starting Jason Smith at center, so an upgrade is needed. Asik and rising superstar Anthony Davis would create one of the best defensive and rebounding frontcourts in the NBA and Asik would fill a very big need in the middle. This is a move that could catapult the Pelicans into the playoff race, but for Houston, it would make their elite offense even better and would give them a better chance at winning a title, as it would be very difficult for any team to shutdown this offense.
3. Memphis Grizzlies Trade
Grizzlies Receive: Jeff Green
Celtics Receive: Tayshaun Prince and 2015 1st Round Pick
- The Grizzlies would get the big time scoring punch on the wing that they need with Jeff Green and he is a solid defender on the wing, which is always welcomed in Memphis, but most importantly Green would give them the go-to scorer on the perimeter they need. They are an elite defensive team, but they need offense to win a title and Green would be able to give that to them. The Celtics are collecting assets for their rebuild and adding another pick and Prince, whose contract expires sooner than Green’s, which would give them cap space far earlier for them to spend, are each very helpful for a rebuilding team, so this trade would help each team and especially the Grizzlies, as it would make Memphis a far better team and increase their title chances in a very big way.
4. Los Angeles Clippers Trade
Clippers Receive: Bismack Biyombo
Bobcats Receive: 2014 First Round Pick and Reggie Bullock
- It’s pretty obvious that Bismack Biyombo becoming a key part of the Bobcats isn’t going to happen and the Clippers would be wise to try and trade for him to fill their need for a defensive and rebounding big man. Biyombo would be best as a strong role player on a contender, which he would be for the Clippers and under the coaching of Doc Rivers, he could start living up to his strong potential. A 1st round pick in an excellent draft and Bullock, their recent 1st round pick would be a lot to give up for Biyombo, but they are a contender who would fill their only big need and would improve their chances of winning a title.
5. Indiana Pacers Trade
Pacers Receive: Lou Williams
Hawks Receive: Chris Copeland and Solomon Hill
- The Pacers lack a big time bench scorer and Lou Williams has been one of the best sixth men in the league over the last half decade. The Pacers are already one of the best teams in the NBA and a championship contender, but their lack of a scoring punch off the bench is a big need and a need that Lou Williams is very capable of filling. This is also a low risk move for the Pacers as Copeland and Hill rarely play, but each would fill a need in Atlanta, as the Hawks are very thin on the perimeter and they could use Copeland’s shooting and Hill can become a starting wing one day. Atlanta has a lot of talent at guard and can part with Williams with no fear of too big of a drop in production and Indiana would grab a piece that would get them that much closer to winning an NBA title.