Simple NBA changes that could change everything about the 2022-23 season | Bleacher Report


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    While we wait to see where Kevin Durant ends up after his trade request from the Brooklyn Nets, sometimes smaller deals can make a difference for teams, too.

    Whether it’s PJ Tucker bringing toughness to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021, Marc Gasol helping the Toronto Raptors capture the 2019 title, or Channing Frye’s chemical cleanup of the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, simply adding a veteran starter or rotation player can allow teams to take a big leap. general.


    The following five trade ideas do not include a player who made the All-Star team last year. However, if any of these players are traded to the right destination, it could have a huge ripple effect on the rest of the league.

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    The Toronto Raptors receive: C Myles Turner

    The Indiana Pacers receive: F/C Precious Achiuwa, C Khem Birch, G Malachi Flynn, G/F Svi Mykhailiuk, 2023 first-round pick (top five protects)

    Although the Raptors were not in Durant’s course wish list of teams to join, Toronto has some of the best assets to own. Masai Ujiri obviously isn’t afraid to hit the fences with his 2018 trade for Kawhi Leonard, a move that handed him a championship 11 months later.

    So what can the Raptors do to help convince Durant to push Brooklyn into orchestrating a trade? A deal for one of the best rim protectors in the NBA should help.

    Getting Turner gives Toronto a potential oversized lineup, one that could include four starters (along with OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam) who are 6’7″ to 6’11”. If purchased, the 6’10” Durant also fits this mold.

    While the Raptors are giving up a first-round pick in this deal, they keep all of their starters and own all of their other future first-round picks, meaning the Nets could still pick from a talent pool that includes Gary Trent. Jr., Anunoby, Barnes, and Siakam.

    Getting another first in 2023 would give Indiana three total (theirs plus one owed by the Cleveland Cavaliers) in what is projected to be an excellent draft. Achiuwa, 22, is a good young building block up front that the Pacers should covet as well.

    What changes: Toronto becomes a more attractive destination for Kevin Durant without giving up any starters.

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    The New Orleans Pelicans receive: PG Mike Conley

    Utah Jazz receives: F/C Jaxson Hayes, PG Devonte’ Graham, 2027 first-round pick (via Milwaukee Bucks)

    The Pelicans were one of the good stories after the trade deadline, turning what seemed like another lost season into a playoff experience with a competitive first-round series against the Phoenix Suns.

    The truth is, New Orleans isn’t that far from contending for a championship, especially if Zion Williamson returns healthy next season.

    Another key to pushing the Pelicans to the top of the West? Acquire a veteran point guard who can put it all together.

    Since the Utah Jazz have already traded Rudy Gobert, Conley could be the next veteran to go as they reshuffle the roster around Donovan Mitchell. The 34-year-old point guard averaged 13.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.3 steals and just 1.7 turnovers per game for Utah last season, and his 40.8 percent shooting from 3-point mark would do wonders for a Pelicans team that finished 27th. overall in external accuracy (33.2 percent).

    With so many great scorers on the roster, joining a starting five made up of CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram, Williamson and Jonas Valanciunas would simply mean setting the guys up and hitting open 3s for Conley. With a bench that includes Herbert Jones, Larry Nance Jr., Jose Alvarado, Trey Murphy III and others, New Orleans could be in the hunt for a championship with a playoff-proven point guard in Conley.

    Hayes, 22, gives the Jazz a young center to potentially build with Gobert out, while Graham takes over at point guard alongside Mitchell and is seven years Conley’s junior. Utah also adds another first-round pick to a now-massive collection thanks to the Gobert trade, giving it more options to add talent around Mitchell.

    What changes: The Pelicans go from being a 36-46 eighth seed to being a serious contender in the West.

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    Los Angeles Lakers receive: G/F Josh Richardson

    The San Antonio Spurs receive: G/F Talen Horton-Tucker

    While the Lakers were not short of talent last season with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker and others, one of the main reasons the season caught fire was the terrible fit of all these players.

    Finding a way to trade Westbrook for Kyrie Irving should be at the top of Los Angeles’ to-do list, but trading Horton-Tucker for a wing 3-D would also do wonders for the Lakers’ return to relevance. .

    Horton-Tucker, 21, averaged 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.0 steals in his 25.2 minutes and showed promise as a 6’4″ playmaker, though his awful outside shooting (26.9 percent) made a terrible fit between stars already struggling to consistently hit 3-pointers.

    While the Lakers were off when the three-man combo of James, Davis and Westbrook were on the floor together (minus-3.5 net), adding Horton-Tucker to the mix made LA abysmal (minus-12.3 net). .

    Even if Horton-Tucker has the most potential of any young Laker and could eventually learn to play effectively alongside James, the four-time MVP turns 38 in December and is entering the final year of his contract. Los Angeles just can’t afford to wait.

    Moving Horton-Tucker for a proven three-and-D winger like Richardson immediately improves the Lakers. The 28-year-old can play and defend multiple positions and averaged 10.2 points while shooting 41.5 percent from 3 shots last season between the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs. After his trade to San Antonio, Richardson ranked in the 89th percentile among all players with a swing rating of more than 7.9, according to Glass Cleanliness.

    The Spurs are clearly banking on the 2022-23 season after trading Dejounte Murray, so moving a veteran like Richardson for a talented 21-year-old in Horton-Tucker is just smart.

    What changes: With a core of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers can get back into the championship mix if they put pieces that fit better around their two superstars.

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    The Philadelphia 76ers receive: F Bojan Bogdanovic, SG Jordan Clarkson, F Rudy Gay

    Utah Jazz receives: PF Tobias Harris, SF Matisse Thybulle

    Utah should be wary of a trade request coming from star Donovan Mitchell, especially since the Jazz could be left out of the playoff scene after trading Rudy Gobert and Royce O’Neale.

    A way to keep him happy without having to sacrifice any of the five first-round picks acquired in those two trades? Call Philly.

    The 29-year-old Harris would give Utah another big scorer to help take the pressure off Mitchell. He averaged 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and shot 36.7 percent from 3 for the 76ers last season as a third and fourth option at times and would be a perfect fit as the starting power forward now with the Jazz.

    Given how often Utah’s perimeter defense has crippled the team in recent years, adding one of the best wing stoppers in the NBA in Thybulle should also please Mitchell. The 76ers allowed 3.7 fewer points per 100 possessions with the 25-year-old forward on the floor last season, as Thybulle can shut down anyone from point guards to some power forwards. With Patrick Beverley and Malik Beasley now coming off the Utah bench, the Jazz can afford to part ways with Clarkson on the deal.

    For Philadelphia, this trade ticks a number of boxes.

    Getting rid of Harris’ contract (two years, $77 million) is a big deal for a 76ers roster about to get even more expensive when James Harden signs his next deal. He also frees them to extend Thybulle (a restricted free agent next year). Overall, this trade takes roughly $20 million off the books for next season and brings back some good talent.

    Bogdanovic averaged 18.1 points on 38.7 percent of his 3-point shooting last season and should be a good fit in the middle of a lineup that now features Tyrese Maxey, Harden, PJ Tucker and Joel Embiid. Clarkson is just a year away from winning Sixth Man of the Year, and Gay helps him solidify this Philly bench.

    What changes: Donovan Mitchell suspends a potential trade request, and the Sixers cut $20 million from their 2023-24 payroll.

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    The Brooklyn Nets receive: PG Spencer Dinwiddie, F/C Maxi Kleber, 2025 first-round pick (lottery-protected), 2027 first-round pick (lottery-protected)

    The Dallas Mavericks receive: PG Ben Simmons

    Although the Nets are giving up the best player in this Simmons deal, there’s a good reason to do so.

    Moving the three-time All-Star now opens up a lot more trade possibilities for Kevin Durant, as players who are on designated rookie extensions could now return to Brooklyn in a trade without Simmons. This could help facilitate a Durant trade to the Miami Heat (with Bam Adebayo involved), the Denver Nuggets (Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.) or the Golden State Warriors (Andrew Wiggins), among others.

    The Nets aren’t just leaving Simmons, as Dinwiddie returns to the franchise that made him a top starting point guard. The 29-year-old averaged 13.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 0.7 steals between the Washington Wizards and Dallas Mavericks last year.

    Kleber is a good veteran big man who can shoot all three and defend, and the Nets pick up two future first-round picks to use as trade bait to reshape the roster around Durant or whoever returns in a trade for him.

    For Dallas, adding a playmaker like Simmons helps ease the pain of losing Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks in free agency.

    A backcourt of Doncic (6’7″) and Simmons (6’11”) would potentially be the biggest in the NBA, combining two of the best playmakers the league has. If Simmons is healthy, the trio of him, Doncic and Christian Wood is the best Big Three Doncic has ever played with, and this team could be back in the Western Conference Finals with Tim Hardaway Jr. also coming back from a broken bone. on the foot.

    If they made this move, the Mavs wouldn’t be able to trade a first-round pick until 2029 and would trust Simmons to be healthy and wanting to play, but this is a low chance on a three-time All-Star who is still only 25 years old.

    What changes: The Nets can trade Kevin Durant for any player with a designated rookie extension now, while the Mavericks make up for the loss of Jalen Brunson.