Welcome to the first ever edition of Who says no? A (hopefully regular) article where I will come up with three potential trades in the NBA, give my reasoning as to why each team will do it and then let anyone who reads this decide ‘who says no’ to the deal. Let’s do this!
Note: The Timberwolves would also send the Pacers their 2017 1st rd pick with a top ten protection
Why does Minnesota do this? It has been reported that Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau is growing increasingly frustrated with their teams growing pains and apparently is open to the idea of trading one of Wiggins or Lavine for a veteran who can get them over the top. PG13 is that guy. The Wolves are currently one of the top offensive teams in the first half of games this season and they are also dead last in the second half of games. Of course, that comes down to inexperience, something George can help with. Lavine is a really nice player but George is better both offensively and defensively. Pairing George with Wiggins would give the Wolves a scary good perimeter defense. Dunn has also been struggling this year so they can let Tyus Jones be the backup point guard.
Why does Indiana do this? Paul George is one the best players in the entire NBA but the Pacers are hot garbage at the moment. Why not hit the reset button while George has a ton of value. Building around a trio of Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine and Myles Turner sounds appealing and in the East, they could be back in the playoff hunt in only a couple of seasons. Plus the Pacers would get rid of Monta Ellis’ terrible contract whereas Pekovic is out and his contract is at least partly covered by insurance.
Note: Denver will also send their 2017 1st round pick to Sacramento
Why does Denver do this? The Nugs have a solid mix of youth (Gary Harris, Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel Mudiay) and veterans (Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari) and could arguably contend if they got one more player. Cousins is the best center in the NBA (at least until KAT takes over in a season or two) but has always had problems with his coaches except for one; current Denver coach Mike Malone. Cousins says he likes it in Sacramento but his body language says otherwise. He often times dogs it on both offense and defense and his negative attitude is rearing its ugly head more than it should be. A move to a new city that should be a better situation for him playing under his favourite pro coach can only be a good thing right? Nurkic is good but Cousins is much better. Murray is a solid SG that is finding his touch but the Nugs already have Gary Harris and Will Barton so Murray is expendable. They also have Memphis’s 1st round pick this season so they won’t even miss their draft pick they send.
Why does Sacramento do this? Simpy put, the Kings need a hard reset. Since Rick Adelman left at the end of the 2006 season, the Kings have gone through nine head coaches. This has created all kinds of problems for the players, in particular their best player since C-Webb, DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is a free agent after next season and despite what he says, there is no chance in hell that he will extend with them. If the Kings wait until next season, Cousins value drops as the Kings hand will be forced. The time to trade him is now. I don’t condone tanking, but if I did, I would suggest the Kings do it. If they finish out of the top ten in the draft next season, Chicago gets their pick. Why not move Cousins for a couple of young pieces and an extra draft pick and just give Jamal Murray a green light and see what he can do?
Note: Boston will also send Minnesota’s 2017 2nd round pick and their own 2019 1st round pick to Washington. Sacramento will also send their 2018 1st round pick to Washington
Why does Sacramento do this? If Sacramento doesn’t want to trade Cousins and rebuild then they need to go all in and what better way than getting Cousin’s teammate at Kentucky, Mr. John Wall. Rudy Gay has said he is opting out at seasons end and Willie Cauley-Stein has been pretty bad in limited minutes. Wall joining forces with Cousins could motivate both of them and they would form perhaps the deadliest PG/C combination in the entire league. Markieff Morris is a great stretch four as well and would fit nicely next to DMC.
Why does Washington do this? John Wall’s attitude has been getting shittier and shittier as each game passes and it’s clear that he isn’t happy in Washington. Time to rebuild around Porter and Beal maybe? They will need to clear out any other contracts they can, meaning Morris and Gortat have got to go. This deal would get them a bunch of expiring deals and two first round picks over the next two years. A decent haul for a guy who clearly wants to leave.
Why does Boston do this? Easy. Boston is THE WORST rebounding team in the league, bar none. They are terrible and if they want to compete, they need a big body or two in the paint. Gortat is currently 5th in the NBA in rebounding at 11.2 boards per game and is one of the toughest players in the league. He would provide some much needed oomph in the paint for Boston. Cauley-Stein, while unimpressive this season, is very athletic and actually averages 9.5 boards per 40 minutes. He is also great defensively and only owed about $10m total over the next three years so could be worth a flier. The two draft picks are a low cost when the real goal for Boston is championships.
Well there they are so tell me…who says no?
If you think you have some better deals, feel free to share them with me. Follow me on the tweet machine @onpointayden.