The 2019-20 NBA season is not over yet. However, basketball fans already feel like it’s the offseason, but without any trades and signings. The Association should be back soon, and most fans have some kind of a wish list for when player trading starts up again.
Here, I bring you four NBA trades we want to see in 2020. The first three look pretty realistic, while the last one would be the biggest bang if it somehow happens. No LeBron and Giannis on my list, but you will enjoy it, as some guys deserve and desperately need a better chance to challenge the NBA title.
The Spurs Have to Get Rid of DeRozan and Aldridge
It’s about time to finally blow things in San Antonio. Since the Kawhi Leonard trade, the Spurs have been ready for a complete rebuild. Still, they’ve decided to go with DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, but the first-round exit in 2019 and awful performance this term should initiate some changes.
DeRozan is obviously not a player who will bring the Spurs the championship or the Finals appearance, at least. The same story is with Aldridge, who’s already 35 and far away from his prime. So, why dwell on these two guys?
Aldridge has already stated he would like to return to Portland. He spent five years in Texas, averaging 19.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game and leading the Spurs to the Western Conference Finals once. Or should I say, Kawhi Leonard was leading the Spurs to that finals.
As I’ve mentioned, LaMarcus is far away from his best game, while he’s never been a game-changer on the defensive end. The Trail Blazers can offer Jusuf Nurkic or Hassan Whiteside in exchange, which sounds like a solid job for the Spurs.
The Miami Heat was reportedly interested in both Aldridge and DeRozan. They would like to see DeMar alongside Jimmy Butler, while Aldridge would be a useful asset, too. The Heat can offer Justise Winslow and Derrick Jones Jr. in exchange, but the Spurs would like to add Kendrick Nunn into this trade.
Anyway, the Spurs will have a tough pill to swallow, as no rebuilding process is easy. As soon as they start, it would be better for the franchise and some young and talented players on their roster.
From this point of view, acquiring Kendrick Nunn would be a great job. He’s averaging 15.6 points and 3.4 assists a night as an undrafted rookie, showing great energy on both sides of the ball. Nunn and Winslow make a very intriguing package despite all Justise’s injury problems.
All in all, the Spurs’ fans are becoming tired of acquiring mid-level veterans and sliding into the postseason. They want to see some fresh blood, so DeRozan and Aldridge have to go, and the Spurs should replace them with some youngsters.
The Sixers Should Part Embiid-Simmons Duo
The Philadelphia 76ers thought they had a great duo, but they were wrong. Both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons possess great potential, but they don’t get along well on the court. The main reason is quite simple — both guys are very strong in the paint, but neither can shoot the ball, especially Simmons.
The whole Ben Simmons situation is completely ridiculous. Over his three NBA seasons, Ben launched 23 triples in total, while the mid-range shot is completely unknown territory for a 6-foot-10 point guard. Even Tony Parker learned to shoot the ball, and if you don’t want to learn that, why do you still play basketball?
On the other side, Joel Embiid loves to shoot from downtown. He’s attempting 3.6 treys per game over four years in the league. However, he’s making only 32.2% of those 3-pointers. Not bad for a seven-footer.
Now, that’s just my opinion, but the Sixers should stick with Embiid. He’s injury-prone, but Joel would blossom with the different type of playmaker alongside him. Embiid should be improving his low-post skills, establishing himself as the first scoring option in Phila, but he needs consistent shooters around him, not Ben Simmons.
The Sixers had some interest in Devin Booker, but they wanted to keep both Embiid and Simmons and still bring Booker in. That’s not going to happen, especially because Booker is in the first year of his five-year max contract with Phoenix.
Also, the Suns shouldn’t be crazy and trade Devin in exchange for Tobias Harris and Al Horford. Booker is still just 23 years old and has five seasons under his belt. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be sure that the Suns would decline the Booker-Simmons trade.
The Suns haven’t reached the postseason since 2010, and some changes could do them some good. However, everything comes down to who’s ready to work with Simmons on his offense, believing he’s going to extend his range and improve his outside game.
I would like to see Devin Booker in Philadelphia. He’s not a pure playmaker, but Devin’s still averaging 6.7 assists per game over the last two years. Booker is a lethal scorer from anywhere on the floor and would be a great complement to Joel Embiid.
The Nuggets Need an Instant Boost
Denver wants to mount a serious championship challenge, and despite their great depth, the Nuggets obviously need one more top-notch player to join Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Bradley Beal looks like a perfect guy for the job, while the Nuggets should have enough firepower to make this deal real.
Although he’s playing for the hapless Wizards, Bradley Beal is one of the best offensive players in the league. Beal started 57 games in the 2019-20 regular season, averaging a tremendous 30.5 points per game on 45.5% shooting from the field and 35.3% from beyond the arc.
I bet those percentages would have been way better in any other team stronger than this Washington team that misses John Wall. Also, Beal would certainly like to move his talents to a team that is a legitimate championship contender.
And with Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Bradley Beal on their roster, the Nuggets would be serious title contenders, no doubt.
However, the Nuggets will have to pay a high price in order to land Beal. At least they have some players who could convince the Wizards to take the trade into consideration. Gary Harris, Michael Porter Jr., Will Burton, and Torrey Craig are players who could be involved, while the Wizards could easily ask for a couple of first-round picks.
Anyway, the Nuggets shouldn’t hesitate if the opportunity shows up. Beal was omitted from this past All-Star Weekend, but he’s undoubtedly a world-class player. Furthermore, he’s not a typical ball hog and likes to get his teammates involved despite scoring 30 points per game. It sounds like a perfect option for the Nuggets, so I hope they will bring Bradley to Colorado.
Can the T-Wolves Form the Big Three?
Last year, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and Devin Booker all stated they would love to play on the same team due to their close relationship. The Minnesota Timberwolves have already done half of the business, acquiring D’Angelo just before this past trade deadline. So, can they somehow get Booker too?
“I would love to play with him,” Booker said of Russell. “He makes people around him better. He’s a dynamic player. He has the utmost confidence in himself that I don’t think will change ever. That’s why we have the relationship that we do.”
However, if you look at the salaries, this seems like an impossible mission. I’ve mentioned Devin Booker’s max contract; D’Angelo will earn $28.6 million next season, while KAT will get $29.4 million. Furthermore, the Timberwolves have nothing to offer, so they would have to include the third team into this trade.
Although it doesn’t seem like a realistic move, we would like to see these three young lions playing on the same side. It would transform the Timberwolves franchise that is one of the worst in the league ever, forming the Big Three that would be very exciting to watch.