The Whiteboard: 3 NBA trade ideas worth arguing about

Indiana Pacers, NBA Playoffs, NBA Trade Rumors, The Whiteboard

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Trade rumors are heating up and we’ve cooked up a few debatable NBA trade ideas including Myles Turner, John Collins, Jae Crowder and more.

NBA trade rumors are basically a year-round phenomenon but they definitely ebb and flow. Over the past week or two, as the relative strengths and weaknesses of each team have come into focus, things have started heat up. The NBA Trade Deadline is still in the distance but on Dec. 15, most players who signed as free agents this past summer will be eligible to be traded, opening myriad new possibilities.

To shake off the turkey haze of the holiday break, we’re starting our Monday with a few trade ideas built around some of the biggest pieces featured in recent rumors.

Tell us what you think of these NBA trade ideas:

Knicks Get

Malik Beasley

Rudy Gay

Jazz Get

Immanuel Quickley

Evan Fournier

2024 second-round pick (DET)

Jalen Brunson has given the Knicks everything they could have hoped for but the team is still floundering at 9-11, 11th in the Eastern Conference. They rank in the bottom half of the league on both sides of the ball and have problems to fix all over the place. However, their outside shooting is a fairly obvious one and could make things much easier for everyone else to fill their roles on offense.

Right now, the Knicks are paying Evan Fournier about $18 million and he’s making just 33.3 percent of his 3-pointers. A more reliable outside threat could help open driving lanes for Brunson, Randle and Barrett and make the entire offense more dynamic. Beasley is younger than Fournier, on a deal that’s slightly cheaper and a year shorter. He’s also making 42.2 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3s this season and has a lot more upside attacking closeouts and as a secondary creator than Fournier.

It’s not an enormous upgrade but it might be enough to help get the Knicks into the playoff race and they could accomplish it without giving up a first-round pick. Knicks fans may hate this idea, both because they’re giving up Quickley and adding a player in Rudy Gay who will almost certainly take some minutes from Obi Toppin. But if Tom Thibodeau isn’t going to get fired and isn’t going to give these young players the minutes they need anyway, it might be worth landing some players who actually raise the short-term ceiling on the Randle-Barrett-Brunson core.

The Jazz might prefer to find a deal where they can land a first-round pick for Beasley but Detroit’s second-rounder could very well be the first pick of the second-round and Quickley is a young point guard prospect with upside. Fournier’s value is much lower than Beasley’s given his age, contract and shooting struggles but he could be repackaged in another deal down the road to help flip the roster toward youth and upside.

Hawks Get

P.J. Washington

Kelly Oubre Jr.

2023 1st-round pick (BOS)

Pacers Get

John Collins

Hornets Get

Myles Turner

This one looks extremely fragile and I can understand if fans of all three teams involved here aren’t wild about this one. But…

The Pacers are unlikely to re-sign Myles Turner at the end of this season, even though he’s been key to their resurgence over the past few weeks. I’m not sure there’s a deal out there that returns more talent to Indiana in a Turner trade than this one, even if they also have to send the Celtics’ first-round pick (currently No. 30) to the Hawks. The Turner-for-Collins swap is a big downgrade to Indiana’s defense and will put a lot of eggs in the basket of Isaiah Jackson’s development but the upgrade in offensive skill and versatility is significant.

The Hornets are giving up two key rotation players but, at 6-14, this is already looking like a lost season and they probably weren’t going to re-sign both Washington and Oubre Jr. this offseason anyway. They would have to feel confident about Turner re-signing in Charlotte but it would give them the defensive anchor they’ve been lacking and a terrific pick-and-pop partner for LaMelo Ball.

The Hawks get a pair of players who can take Collins’ frontcourt minutes and offer significant defensive upgrades. Both are struggling enormously shooting the ball this season but have track records as established floor-spacers and are probably a better fit for what the Hawks need right now around the ball dominance of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Both Washington and Oubre Jr. are expiring contracts but the Hawks will have them both for a playoff run this season and could try and re-sign whoever fits better, likely at a dramatic discount over Collins’ contract. They also pick up that late first-round pick as compensation for the overall talent downgrade.

Suns Get

Eric Gordon

Trail Blazers Get

Jae Crowder

Rockets Get

Dario Saric

Justise Winslow

Keon Johnson

Greg Brown III

The long-rumored trade to send Jae Crowder to the Milwaukee Bucks still hasn’t materialized and there are some other hypotheticals that could return greater value to the Suns. Here they’re trading with a Western Conference rival but both the Blazers and Suns could improve their short-term outlooks through the rebuilding Rockets.

The Suns get Eric Gordon who is still a reliable outside shooter who can threaten the defense attacking closeouts and with weakside actions against a bent defense. He’s an injury risk but at this point, the Suns are getting nothing from Crowder so it’s all upside. The one complicating factor for Phoenix is Gordon’s salary. He’s under contract for next year at a hefty $19 million. That salary is non-guaranteed but it becomes guaranteed if they win a title. So the risk is lower if things work out but it’s a lot of extra cost if things do.

Crowder may not be exactly what the Blazers are looking for, especially with Jerami Grant and Nassir Little playing so well. Winslow’s playmaking has been important but his shooting has been an absolute disaster and he’s the one non-essential piece Portland can use to upgrade this offseason. Crowder just deepens their wing rotation with shooting and defense, the kind of overlapping depth that could be more important in the playoffs than in the regular season.

The Rockets don’t get a pick for Gordon but they get off his salary a bit earlier with a pair of expiring contracts in Saric and Winslow. In addition, they get two extremely young and hyper-athletic wings in Johnson (No. 21 pick in 2021) and Brown III (No. 43 pick in 2021) to audition with the rest of their young core.

— Ian Levy


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Russell Westbrook could finish the year with Lakers

HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto spoke on Russell Westbrook in a recent rumor roundup.

  • Role change has worked: Scotto noted that Westbrook being moved to the bench has allowed him to play better.
  • Role change stats: As a reserve compared to a starter this year, Westbrook is averaging 5.4 more points and 3.9 more assists per game. His true shooting percentage was 36.6 percent as a starter, 51.3 percent as a reserve.
  • Executives think Westbrook is staying: Scotto said that rival execs believe even if the Lakers were to acquire Buddy Hield and Myles Turner from Indiana (as has been heavily speculated as the best possible trade available for Westbrook) the Lakers would only be marginally better.

Mavericks plan to sign veteran point guard Kemba Walker

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Mavericks are planning on signing Kemba Walker.

  • Other moves: Dallas is waiving Facundo Campazzo to make room for Walker, according to Charania.
  • Journey to this point: Walker was traded from the Knicks to the Pistons this offseason. Prior to the season starting, the Pistons waived Walker setting their 15-man roster without him.
  • Last few years have been a struggle: After achieving All-Star status for four straight years from 2017 through 2020, Walker had a downturn year in 2021 and then a very disappointing year after signing with his hometown Knicks.
  • Mavericks need backcourt help after losing Jalen Brunson: Jalen Brunson was a backcourt staple in Dallas, but signed with the Knicks this offseason. Walker can help fortify their backcourt depth.

Luka Doncic calls Giannis Antetokounmpo best in the NBA

Luka Doncic was asked if he enjoys playing against Giannis Antetokounmpo, and in his reply he named Giannis the best player in the NBA, “right now”.

  • Bucks beat the Mavs: Milwaukee beat Dallas on Sunday night 124-115.
  • Giannis was hard to contain: In 29 minutes, Antetokounmpo averaged 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists per game.
  • Giannis put Doncic on skates: On a switch in the second quarter, Giannis spun and put Doncic off-balance while attempting to guard Antetokounmpo. JaVale McGee’s help was late and Antetokounmpo went up for an easy dunk.
  • Giannis against Luka: Though he wasn’t the primary assignment for Doncic, Giannis scored 6 points on Doncic last night in 01:32 of minutes.

— Josh Wilson

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