By: John Morgan Francis
Though we just saw a free agency period full of surprises and power-shifting moves, I feel as if there are more to come. With some teams with attractive assets and others possibly ready to hit the reset button, don’t be surprised if some of these hypotheticals become a reality.
Cavaliers Receive: Kent Bazemore, Brandon Knight & Tyson Chandler
Hawks Receive: Iman Shumpert
Suns Receive: Tristan Thompson
Not exactly the Carmelo Anthony trade hype you expected but I believe this makes the Cavs a better match for the Warriors. Cleveland gets two play makers who can shoot consistently and a cheaper, more reliable version Tristan Thompson. Atlanta gets primed for next summer’s free agency and the Suns get younger with a stud they can grow in the middle.
Celtics Receive: Nikola Jokic, Will Barton & Kenneth Faried
Nuggets Receive: Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Marcus Morris & rights to the 2018 Lakers first round pick
Yes, this is a real idea. Here’s why: Boston needs shooting, a skilled/young big and rebounding. Check, check, check. Denver needs an elite point guard, a 3 & D wing on a cheap contract and a versatile big who can score. Check, check, check. I believe Danny Ainge thinks, in Brad Stevens’s position-less basketball, that Marcus Smart can be the future point guard. Therefore, he must get the most out of Thomas’ value now and in order to get a rising star, will part with a beloved asset. Denver becomes a real deal out West and can afford to max Isaiah barring a few salary dumps.
Grizzlies Receive: Tyson Chandler, Jared Dudley, Kenneth Faried, Trey Lyles, Will Barton, Emmanuel Mudiay & Suns, Nuggets 2018 first round picks
Suns Receive: Marc Gasol
Nuggets Receive: Mike Conley
Memphis knows they will be the definition of mediocrity this season and in the NBA that’s the worst place to be. They blow it up for large salaries and young talents/future picks. Phoenix gets a top-5 center in the league and Denver becomes a real threat with an elite point guard.
Celtics Receive: Kemba Walker, Frank Kaminsky, Charlotte’s 2018 first round pick
Hornets Receive: Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder
Boston fans will call me crazy but you really shouldn’t. Boston can’t pay Thomas the max next season and they shouldn’t anyway. He’s creeping into his 30’s and his style of play doesn’t spell longevity in the NBA. Walker fits Boston’s system and plan going forward. Besides, there’s no shot Danny Ainge is turning down yet another first round pick. For Charlotte, if they can trade players like Jeremy Lamb and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for another veteran, they’ll become a very real threat in the East.
Pelicans Receive: Al Horford, Jaylen Brown & 2018 Lakers, Nets first round picks
Celtics Receive: Anthony Davis
Yes, you’ve been waiting for this one. Chris Mannix of The Vertical said “it’s widely believed” the Celtics will make a Kings Ransom for Davis if the Pelicans situation goes bad. Trust me, there’s a 95% chance it doesn’t go as planned for New Orleans. Boston has held on to it’s assets for this chance and now they can pounce on a top-5 player. New Orleans will have to take on all-star Al Horford’s max contract but for two likely top-5 picks and Jaylen Brown, I’m not sure the Pelicans can say no.
Twitter Handle: @MonJorgan