- Tyreke Evans – Current Team: Memphis Grizzlies – Projected Landing Spot: Philadelphia 76ers
Markelle Fultz hasn’t been healthy basically the entire season, so the 76ers have been seriously lacking depth at both guard positions. The 76ers need some more production at both guard positions and they especially need more production off of the bench. That is why Evans is the ideal fit for the 76ers. Evans is a terrific scorer and he would be a terrific rental to make sure that Philadelphia makes the playoffs this season. The 76ers would likely have to give up a 1st round pick in order to acquire Evans, but they would only likely give up their own non-lottery selection for Evans which would be worth it if the team makes the playoffs.
2. DeAndre Jordan – Current Team: Los Angeles Clippers – Projected Landing Spot: Cleveland Cavaliers
There are a few teams that could trade for DeAndre Jordan at the trade deadline, but the team that seems most likely to make a deal is Cleveland. The Cavaliers don’t have much at the center position right now as Tristan Thompson hasn’t been very productive this season. However, Jordan would provide the Cavs with an elite interior presence as he is terrific on the glass as well as being an elite defender. Cleveland probably won’t give up the 1st round pick from Brooklyn. However, the Cavaliers could give up their own 1st round pick as well as Thompson and Iman Shumpert. Maybe that would be enough to persuade the Clippers to move on from Jordan and his big contract.
3. Lou Williams – Current Team: Los Angeles Clippers – Projected Landing Spot: Boston Celtics
The Celtics one area of weakness is at the shooting guard position where Marcus Smart hasn’t been very effective this season. However, if the Celtics really want to win the East this year then they need to make a big splash via trade especially to find a new shooting guard. Lou Williams would be an ideal fit as he is a terrific scorer and he would provide an upgrade to a Boston lineup that is already filled with talent. Williams is a free agent after this season so he would likely just be a rental for the remainder of this season. However, if Boston sends Marcus Smart and another player or draft pick in a deal for Williams then the Clippers might be willing to trade him away.
4. Kemba Walker – Current Team: Charlotte Hornets – Projected Landing Spot: Indiana Pacers
Charlotte has been struggling even with Kemba Walker as their franchise cornerstone, but now rumors have it that they might be willing to move on from him. Walker is not just a rental player as he is under contract at a really modest price through the 2018-2019 season. It would certainly take a lot for the Hornets to trade away Walker, but if there is team that has the ability to acquire him then it would be the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers could include young players like T.J. Leaf and Myles Turner in a deal for Walker. However, they would likely have to include at least one 1st round pick and a young prospect along with veteran players like Darren Collison and Al Jefferson. Indiana has plenty of players that could entice the Hornets to trade away Walker, but it would take a huge package of players and picks in order to do so. Acquiring Walker would give the Pacers a dynamic duo in the backcourt for many years to come as the team already has proven shooting guard Victor Oladipo. This would be a risky trade to make for Indiana as they would likely have to give up some promising young players, but it would probably make the team better even long-term.
5. Rodney Hood – Current Team: Utah Jazz – Projected Landing Spot: Detroit Pistons
Rodney Hood is having the best season of his young career as he is averaging a career-high 16.4 points per game for the Jazz. However, the Jazz have a somewhat crowded backcourt which means there isn’t too much of a role for Hood. One team that could really use Hood is the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons have a major need at shooting guard after trading away Avery Bradley in the Blake Griffin deal. Hood would provide a significant upgrade at shooting guard for Detroit and he is under contract through the 2018 season so he wouldn’t just be a rental player for the team. The one player that Detroit could trade to Utah in this deal is young small forward Stanley Johnson who is only 21 years old. Johnson has tons of upside, but he has yet to make a real impact as an NBA player. Utah has a need at small forward and maybe they could develop Johnson into the player that many people thought he would be. Either way, Hood would be a great addition for Detroit as they try to make a playoff run in the eastern conference. However, we’ll see if the Jazz would be willing just to accept Johnson in a deal for Hood or if they would want something else from the Pistons in return.