Free agency has come to a standstill for the most part, with the majority of free agents already making their decisions. Of course, the NBA Draft has passed on as well. NBA trades are all the rage now as we all know the league never sleeps. Teams are always looking to improve, especially those that believe they truly have a shot at championship contention. Here are a few NBA trades that contenders can pursue.
Quick NBA Trades for Contending Teams
Three Teams, Smaller Moves
Dallas Mavericks receive Terrence Ross.
Orlando Magic receive Talen Horton-Tucker.
Dallas made the Western Conference Finals last season, falling to the Golden State Warriors. It’s clear Dallas is ready to contend. Although the team added Christian Wood, they also lost Jalen Brunson. A bit of scoring needs to come in, and Ross is a solid option. In addition to scoring, Ross brings phenomenal athleticism and solid perimeter defense. He’s a great wing to add to the mix. Dallas has strong defensive wings, so Ross will fit in fine, and he can become a true offensive weapon with Luka Doncic.
The Magic are still rebuilding, so adding a young talent like Horton-Tucker is beneficial to them here. He brings in a lot of what Ross does, but is also much younger. Orlando can help him develop.
The Lakers are desperately trying to get back into the playoffs are an embarrassing season last year. The Russell Westbrook saga is dragging on and is impossible to predict. Los Angeles, however, needs big man help alongside Anthony Davis. Powell can help fill that as he’s experienced in the playoffs and as a starter. He’s not the absolute ideal player to bring in, but he’ll be solid. In addition, the Lakers bring in a young developmental wing who can grow to become a perimeter stopper.
Golden State Warriors Avoid Patience
Warriors receive Rui Hachimura, Washington’s 2025 first round pick, and Boston’s 2023 second round pick (owned by Washington).
Washington Wizards receive James Wiseman.
Patience can be a virtue, although the Warriors are in a win-now mode. They extended their dynasty after winning the 2022 NBA championship and will be looking to repeat. The team is full of stars and Klay Thompson will be fully healthy next season. Golden State lost two key free agents in Otto Porter and Gary Payton II. They made a shrewd signing in Donte DiVincenzo, although need to find a replacement for Porter.
Hachimura can be that piece. Last season he averaged about 11 points and four rebounds per game. He’s not just a temporary fix either, Hachimura is only 24-years-old. He has the potential to be a very talented forward and will only get better within the Warriors’ system. In addition, giving up Wiseman means additional draft compensation.
Washington looks to have improved this offseason. They can upgrade the frontcourt, however, with depth of Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford. Porzingis can also play the four, eventually paving the way for Wiseman to start at the five. Bradley Beal is certainly looking to make the playoffs with the Wizards, and Wiseman may not be fully ready this season, but he’s a major talent for the Wizards to bring in.
Denver Nuggets Add Depth
Denver receives Kenrich Williams.
Oklahoma City Thunder receive Ish Smith and Denver’s 2023 and 2026 second round picks.
The Nuggets will be back to contention should health be on their side this year. Nikola Jokic is a stud and Jamal Murray should be fully recovered. There may still be question marks around the health of Michael Porter. For that reason, it wouldn’t hurt Denver to bring in more wing depth.
Williams is a solid veteran who will do just that. He’s the definition of a hustle and plug-and-play player. Williams will mold into any role and do it well. He brings solid defense, rebounding, and a bit of scoring. He’s a strong addition to the Denver bench.
Oklahoma City is still rebuilding, of course. This team loves its draft picks too, so trading away a veteran for future assets is something that’s right in their alley. They also bring in journeyman Smith, who always seems to find himself in midseason trades.
The Phoenix Suns Fix a Hole Through NBA Trades
Phoenix receives Eric Gordon.
The Suns eventually fell apart to the Mavericks in the Western Conference second round. The most apparent hole for the Suns in that series was their lack of a solid ball handler and scorer off the bench. Chris Paul went into funks and struggled with foul trouble, so if him and Devin Booker were off the floor, the Suns could barely score. Gordon is an excellent player to fill this void, and he also carries plenty of playoff experience under his belt.
Houston gets an expiring contract in Saric. They’re focusing on developing more young players, so it’ s unlikely Saric gets a major role. Shamet, however, can earn a role as a shooter and defender off the bench. If not, he’ll eventually be a solid trade chip. Finally, the Rockets get an eventual first round pick in return for one of their seasoned veterans.