Last week, I wrote 5 trade predictions for the deadline. A lot has changed in a week. With the deadline now just 24 hours away, I've updated it with 3 completely new trades and updates to another one. So here are the revised deals:
Lakers Officially Move On From AD
It's disaster hour for the Wizards. After John Wall was already set to miss the rest of the 2018-19 season due to surgery to repair his bone spur, it was just announced that he could miss at least the next 12 months after rupturing his Achilles in his home. In all likelihood, Wall will be held out the entirety of next season as well while he recovers from both surgeries. The Wizards currently sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference and 3.5 games back of the Miami Heat for the 8 seed, but if they commit to tanking now they can assure themselves a top-6 spot for the NBA draft lottery in May.
Washington could prey on a Lakers team that is still desperate to add a star, but has grown tired of the Pelicans increasingly high demands for Anthony Davis. This deal would allow the Wizards to fast track their impending rebuild with Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, who remain promising and intriguing despite their struggles this year in LA. The play of former Lakers like Julius Randle and D'Angelo Russell since leaving Los Angeles suggest that the Lakers player development system may not be getting everything they can out of their young talent and gives the Wizards hope that Ball and Ingram could blossom with a new team.
While “Ball and Wall” would sound good if it were the name of a blacklisted sitcom, they're not a fit together on the court. The Wizards would have a year and a half to increase Ball's trade value to a point where they could ship him off for a good return in the summer of 2020 or they could keep him and attempt to trade Wall for whatever they can get for a former All-Star coming off two major injuries, who was struggling to get his team to the playoffs in the East, with 3 years/$131.5 million left on his contract and a 15% trade kicker...
The Lakers get Beal for not nearly as much as Davis would cost them and provide LeBron with arguably the best shooter he's played with since Ray Allen. Unlike Allen, Beal will be in his prime and will be afforded a role as a secondary ball handler next to James that will provide much more playmaking opportunities than Beal is afforded in Washington when Wall is healthy. Beal could fit nicely into a “Kyrie-like” role next to LeBron, but will be far more comfortable playing off the ball than Kyrie ever was.
A big 3 of LeBron, Beal and one of the marquee free agents this summer may not be the Lakers dream scenario, but it's not too shabby. Not too many 25 year olds can average nearly 25 points per game like Beal and he is more than good enough to be a strong member of a dominant NBA team. If the Lakers have truly pushed away from the Anthony Davis talks as has been reported, this is the move to make.
Oh, and the Lakers create a roster spot for Carmelo Anthony! Yay!
Clippers Continue Firesale
2021 2nd round pick from Memphis or Miami (least favorable)
The Clippers are in full sell mode after dealing Tobias Harris. The Clips made it clear they are far more concerned with the 2019 offseason than the 2019 postseason, but they'll have to find a deal for Danilo Gallinari if they want to have two max salary slots available this summer. Enter: Sacramento.
The Sacramento Kings have the cap space and expiring contracts to take on Gallinari and are in desperate need of a small forward. They've had rumored interest in players like Otto Porter and Harrison Barnes, but Gallinari may be the easiest fit. He'll provide plenty of floor spacing next to Buddy Hield and the cost for Gallinari shouldn't be too high with the Clippers primary ask being salary cap space. Out of the available options, Gallinari has had the best season and would give the added benefit to the Kings of taking away talent from one of the team’s their contending for the #8 seed with. The Kings own the 2021 2nd round picks of both the Heat and the Grizzlies and slightly sweeten the pot for the Clippers by giving them the lesser of the two.
The Kings and Clippers goals for this season are opposite of one another, with the Kings not owning their first round pick and the Clippers only owning their first round pick if it's in the lottery. The Clippers want to miss the playoffs, the Kings don't. As a result, the two teams make perfect trade partners and both get exactly what they need.
Detroit Completes Poor Man's Lob City
2019 top-5 protected 1st round pick
Up until Victor Oladipo's injury, the Pacers were the team that everyone wanted to see Mike Conley on. Now that Oladipo is out for the season, it feels like the Pacers will be too reluctant to pull the trigger on a deal for Conley even if they remain focused on trying to compete this season. That shortens the list of potential Mike Conley suitors significantly and may even bring the price down just enough for Detroit to get him in a Pistons uniform.
An offer or Jackson, Galloway, Kennard and a 1st provides Memphis with moderate cap relief and a still young shooter/scorer lottery pick to work with. An unprotected lottery pick may be off the table with how things have gone in recent weeks for the Pistons, but the Grizzlies could still land a decent lottery pick if things don't go right post-trade in Detroit. With the Grizzlies first round pick ready to go to Boston as soon as it falls out of those protections (top-8 in 2019, top-6 in 2010, unprotected in 2021), they'll want a quick rebuild and another pick in this year's draft could help them do that.
Assuming health for their 3 stars, Detroit should have enough to make the playoffs with this trade and potentially even make some noise if the matchups fall in their favor. Omri Casspi will provide some shooting and depth to Detroit's fairly mediocre wing core.
2021 unprotected 2nd round pick via Trail Blazers
Trail Blazers Get:
2019 top-5 protected 1st round pick via Hornets
The Trail Blazers are in desperate need of wing players to surround Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic and nothing screams desperation more than this trade. Taking on Batum's contract is a tough pill to swallow, but nostalgia and the simple fact that he's still better than Evan Turner should be enough to get the Trail Blazers to look past the crippling long-term ramifications of the deal. Getting Lamb and Green doesn't hurt either, 2 versatile players who provide much needed depth to Portland's roster.
Memphis solidifies their "frontcourt of the future" by pairing Miles Bridges with Jaren Jackson and the Hornets first round pick to go along with it. It's a nice haul for Gasol's expiring contract, but they'll have to take back some of Charlotte's long term salaries in Cody Zeller and Marvin Williams in exchange.
The Hornets kill two birds with one stone by landing Gasol to pair with Kemba and clearing off some massive contracts resulting in nearly $7m in cap relief this season and possibly even more next season depending on whether or not Marc Gasol and Evan Turner's player options are exercised. It also gives a much needed semi-roster turnover to a 23-25 team in need of a spark. The supporting cast around Kemba Walker hasn't been good enough this season, so a change in personal may be for the best.
Mavs Continue Roster Commitment To Doncic
2020 unprotected 2nd round pick via Miami
The Heat have always been desperate to stay competitive and the deal between the 76ers and Clippers involving their future first round pick puts a spotlight on the fact that their future is somewhat bleak. Trading for Barnes keeps them firmly in the playoff race this season and gives them a semi-legitimate offensive threat, which they haven't had on the wing for a while.
A lineup of Dragic-Richardson-Winslow-Barnes-Whiteside is solid, which is all Miami seems to care about at this point. The Heat have been chasing mediocrity for years, so trading for Barnes suits them fairly well.
The Mavericks have been looking for a trade partner for Barnes for a while and this deal would provide much needed cap relief to a team that not only just traded for the somewhat ugly contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee, but also needs to potentially re-sign Kristaps Porzingis this offseason if he doesn't take the qualifying offer like he's threatening to. Jeremy Lin can adequately fill that hole left at point guard by Dennis Smith Jr. in the Kristaps Porzingis trade and Wayne Ellington provides Luka Doncic with another shooter to dish to on offense.
Atlanta is in this trade mostly as a facilitator, but they’d be more than happy to recoup a future 2nd round pick for Jeremy Lin’s expiring contract and take on James Johnson, although he’s had a down year after he was in 6th man of the year consideration last season.
Photo: (All Photos courtesy of ESPN.com Trade Machine)