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What Every NBA Team Needs To Do At The Trade Deadline

Written by Thomas Biasetti

Bleacher Report wrote a way too in-depth 12k word blog on what every team should be looking to do at the NBA trade deadline. I’m gonna shorten it up so you can realistically read what every team should be looking to do, as well as giving my own opinion on what teams should do. The actual blog is linked at the bottom if you want to read more in depth about your specific team.

Here we Go:

Atlanta Hawks (12-29)

Trade away anyone over the age of 27 (looking at you Bazemore) with talent and sink down the standings like the titanic. Specifically look to trade for draft picks or veterans on expiring deals.

Boston Celtics (25-15)

Number one priority is to be watching the Pelicans front office every second of every day and if they even mention name Anthony Davis they should make sure that they are first in line to discuss a deal. Ideally they want him to become a free agent so they can look to sign him without giving anything up but if he is going to be traded make sure he ships up to Boston.


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Brooklyn Nets (21-22)

Nets are pretty much in the worst position a franchise can be in. Sitting at 6th in the Eastern Conference with a team that isn’t the youngest and not much cap room at the end of the season to draw a big free agent they should prioritize moving big contracts off their roster.

Charlotte Hornets (19-21)

Figure out if you are looking to push now and for the future or if you want to just get younger and not worry too much about the playoffs this year. Also trade Batum so you can resign Kemba with no issues.

Chicago Bulls (10-31)

One word: TANK. Offload big contracts if you can but you have an opportunity for Zion so take your chances there.

Cleveland Cavaliers (8-34)

Last in the NBA at the moment, they know exactly what they are doing and just need to continue their excellent gameplan of losing every game possible. If you can get any value (Picks) for Love then go for it but if not hold onto him and take a look next year.


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Dallas Mavericks (19-22)

Luka Doncic has been a star this season and what the Mavs do at the deadline will be very interesting. They don’t have to decide by this deadline but if Dennis Smith Jr still has real value he may be one to deal as the Mavs will be building around Luka in the future and DJR and Luke haven’t exactly meshed on the court. The Mavs also have to decide if they are going to really go for it this year or cut back and accept their 2nd to last spot in the western conference and look to gain picks. Either way Mavs will definitely be a team to watch at the deadline.

Denver Nuggets (27-12)

The biggest surprise in the NBA so far, the Nuggets sit at 1st in the West. They should be looking to add depth if it’s available at a cheap price but they are a very young team and should not mortgage the future for this season. If no one is available at a cheap price they should just stay put at the deadline.


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Detroit Pistons (17-22)

Remove current shooters on the wing, and replace with better shooters if they want to push for the playoffs and dispose of veterans if they want to tank.

Golden State Warriors (27-14)

Do Nothing. They just won your 3rd title in 4 years and then added Boogie Cousins. They will be fine come playoffs and probably win it all again. Nothing to do here.

Houston Rockets (23-17)

After a horrific start by their standards the Rockets have rebounded since releasing Melo. The Thunder are also having a better season without Melo so I think it pretty much proves that Melo is a cancer to whatever team he is on. He can rest easy with his Gold Medals and scoring championships though. Anyway back to the Rockets… They should try to add shooters (Considering it’s all they do) and as weird as it sounds they need to get some D help. Bleacher Report says that they should call the Sixers to see if Jimmy Butler is available but I think that’s an awful idea with both Harden and Paul already wanting the ball in their hands a ton.


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Indiana Pacers (27-14)

If a star is out there (AD) as a rental that they can convince to stay they should go for it but if not just sit tight and pass on this deadline. Pacers are young and have a future with this roster so no need to blow it on veterans.

LA Clippers (24-16)

Pick up an expiring contract or two and look to KD or Kawhi. It sounds weird with them sitting 4th in the west but they have prioritized getting a least one big free agent this summer so looking ahead to that isn’t crazy.

LA Lakers (23-19)

Don’t panic about anything, except Anthony Davis being dealt. If it sounds like AD is going to be dealt then they have to try to get him but if not be patient. They have LeBron for another 3 years so they can build young.


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Memphis Grizzlies (19-22)

Get rid of Chandler Parsons ASAP. Other than that play out the season because the Grizzlies are in an awkward postion of “Not bad enough to tank” and “Not good enough to risk the future for the now.”

Miami Heat (19-21)

I have nothing for Miami so here’s what the article said

“1. Playmaking Wing

Dion Waiters’ return from a left ankle injury gives Miami’s half-court offense another outlet, and the Heat are getting more production from their set attacks since Justise Winslow started breaking out. They still don’t have enough proven playmakers.

Goran Dragic isn’t coming back from right knee surgery until after the All-Star break at the earliest, and Miami is 22nd in half-court efficiency since the end of November and 26th overall, according to Cleaning the Glass.

With an abundance of guards, the Heat need their playmaking boost to come on the wing, where they run thin after Winslow (starting as the de facto point guard!), Rodney McGruder and Josh Richardson. They don’t have the assets or championship glitz to give up the farm for an upgrade, but a second-rate option should be within reach if they use Wayne Ellington’s expiring deal as bait.

2. Trade Wayne Ellington

Speaking of pinball shooters who have fallen out of Miami’s rotation…

Ellington’s playing time has decreased after the Heat’s backcourt winnowed down its absentees. He’s appeared in just four of the past 16 games, during which time he has eclipsed six minutes of action only once.

Contenders always have a standing need for complementary shooters. The Heat should play to that rather than risk losing him for nothing in free agency. Ellington can veto any trade and loses his Early Bird rights if he does consent, but the prospect of an actual rotation spot mitigates whatever hesitation he might feel.

Parlaying him into a wing isn’t a given when they’re all the rage. The Heat don’t have the requisite other assets to beat out bids for shiny names. But they can aim for someone like Stanley Johnson, Thabo Sefolosha or Jonathon Simmons.”

Milwaukee Bucks (29-11)

Best winning percentage in the league at the time of writing, building around Giannis has officially worked and worked well. They should look to add a depth shooter but other than that they don’t need to change much and don’t have the assests to go after a big name so expect the Bucks to be quiet at the deadline.


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Minnesota Timberwolves (20-21)

Quite the first half of the season they’ve had, from the Jimmy Butler saga to firing Tibs a few days ago.  At the moment they are in-between doing nothing and fire selling pieces that don’t have a real future in Minneapolis.  If the next 10 games go poorly expect Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague to be headed out the door at the deadline.

New Orleans Pelicans (20-22)

Either go for it by trading for shooters and try to convince AD to stay or sell him to the highest bidder. They should get a huge return for him if they choose to trade him at the deadline and will be in a rebuilding mode if they do.

New York Knicks (10-31)

T-A-N-K TANK! TANK! TANK! Dump Courtney Lee to get rid of his cap and see if you can get any picks for Tim Hardaway Jr. Either way lose every game possible.

OKC Thunder (25-15)

Shooters. That’s all OKC needs. They are dead last in 3-point percentage and those shots from behind the arc tend to be important in the modern game. Add any shooter they can get.

Orlando Magic (17-24)

Trade away Terrance Ross if they don’t plan on resigning him in the offseason

Philadelphia 76ers (27-15)

Philly needs depth scoring if they want to be a legit contender this year and one way to do that is to fix Markelle Fultz’s mind so he remembers how to shoot a basketball. If not trade for a shooter or two.

Phoenix Suns (10-33)

Another team in full on tank mode. Same idea as all the others, trade away Vets on big deals and try to get picks back.

Portland Trail Blazers (25-17)

Look for a big player to help out Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Think Kevin Love, Bradley Beal or someone a behind them like Batum. They need to do something at the deadline to assure they make it past at least the first round.

Sacramento Kings (20-21)

The Kings don’t own their pick in this upcoming draft so they should really be pushing for the playoffs by adding a wing player and some depth.


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San Antonio Spurs (24-18)

Pop rarely ever makes in season deals so don’t expect anything. The Spurs don’t have a glaring hole either so unless they are looking to the free agency market by dumping contracts, don’t expect much.

Toronto Raptors (31-22)

Most wins in the league at the time of writing, the Kawhi trade has made the Raptors legit Championship contenders assuming they can get out of their 1st round funk. Despite all of their success, the Raptors don’t shoot the three ball great and should look to add a good perimeter shooter.

Utah Jazz (21-21)

Trade for Kevin Love. Kevin Love would work great with Donavan Mitchell in their offense and will probably be available for a cut price. If the Jazz want to push this season expect them to go after Love.

Washington Wizards (17-25)

Blow it up. It has finally come that time for the Wizards to blow their team up. It is remarkable how bad they are considering they are in the East and have so much talent on their roster. Trade at least a few pieces for picks so they can retool or rebuild going into next season.

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About the author

Thomas Biasetti