We have been a bit spoiled by NBA offseasons in recent years, as the last few summers have been absolute chaos when it comes to player movement. In the last two years alone, we have seen superstars like LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Jimmy Butler all change teams. While some of those have involved trades, the offseason craziness has been buoyed by star-studded free agent classes.
This year, the free agency element won't really be there, as with Davis likely to re-sign with the Lakers there is no one set to be available who will dramatically alter the landscape of the league. If this offseason is to be as crazy as they usually are, it will require some big-time trades to go down.
With that in mind, here are five hypothetical deals that would make sense and help improve all 10 teams involved...
Warriors trade Andrew Wiggins to the Cavaliers for Kevin Love
This one may look familiar, as Wiggins and Love were traded for each other back in 2014 when Cleveland acquired Love Cleveland from Minnesota to play alongside James and Kyrie Irving, a trio that would end up winning the title in 2016. Love would give the Warriors another major piece without them having to part with the No. 2 overall pick. He's a stretch-four ideal for their small-ball brand, and he is also still a very good rebounder when the Warriors need help in that department. Imagine the spacing with lineups featuring Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Love. Draymond Green could fill in the gaps defensively and with his passing.
Wiggins could go back to Cleveland where he was drafted first overall in 2014 and only played a few Summer League games with the team before he was shipped to the Timberwolves. The Cavs are light at the wing position and could use another athlete to run the fastbreak with their two recently drafted guards - Darius Garland and Collin Sexton. While Cleveland wouldn't get the first-round pick they might covet in a Love deal, they would get younger with Wiggins, who is still only 25 and not yet in his prime.
Sixers trade Ben Simmons to the Clippers for Paul George and Landry Shamet
Now, this one would be a blockbuster deal. The Clippers would get one of the best young players in the league in Simmons, who would help them remain a good defensive team while adding a new element with his passing ability. The Clippers would just need to add some shooting to help balance things out. Simmons would also help rebound, which could become a question for them if Montrezl Harrell leaves in free agency.
It is fair to question whether Philly would do this deal, as Simmons is six years younger than George. But the Sixers would also get back Shamet, whom they traded to L.A. for Tobias Harris. He's a solid young two-guard who has the potential to be one of the league's best shooters. And George could play well off of Joel Embiid, potentially giving them a better shot at chasing a title in the next two-to-three years than they would have with Simmons.
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Wizards trade Troy Brown Jr. and Jerome Robinson to the Magic for Mo Bamba
This one is not a major deal, but it would help both teams. The Wizards desperately need help on defense and specifically with rim protection, especially with John Wall coming back from a ruptured Achilles. Bamba has been a bust so far in Orlando, but maybe he would be better-suited in the type of role the Wizards would ask of him. He would just need to provide some resistance at the rim on defense. On offense, they wouldn't need him to do much more than set screens and be a rim-runner. In fact, Bamba was one of the most efficient screen-setters in the NBA last season, ranking ninth in screen assists per 36 minutes.
For the Magic, they can get something for a guy in Bamba who doesn't appear to be a big part of their future. And their biggest needs are on offense where Brown and Robinson could help. Brown would arguably be their best passer as soon as he steps in the facility. Picture the lobs he could throw to Aaron Gordon. With D.J. Augustin being a free agent, the Magic could use another point guard and that's where Brown would prefer to play. With Robinson, they could take a flier on a former first-round pick who could back up Evan Fournier at first and possibly replace him as the starter long-term when Fournier leaves (he has a player option after 2020-21).
Bucks trade Eric Bledsoe and Brook Lopez to the Pelicans for Jrue Holiday and Josh Hart
In an ideal world, the Bucks would find another legitimate star to pair with back-to-back league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, but it's really hard to see that happening based on the assets they have. Khris Middleton is their second-best player, and though he's good, he's 29 years old and due roughly $147 million over the next four years.
So, this trade circumvents all of that by giving them an upgrade at the point guard spot. The Bucks get Holiday, who is a better player than Bledsoe on both ends, to pair with Antetokounmpo and Middleton. They just have to give up Brook Lopez to make it happen. Meanwhile, the Pelicans get to swap one proven veteran for two of them, which could help their young core make the leap to the playoffs. Lopez would be an ideal compliment to Zion Williamson given he can create space with his 3-point shot and can also protect the rim. Hart does not play a position of need for Milwaukee, but he would give them a little more long-term upside.
Thunder trade Chris Paul to the Jazz for Mike Conley, Ed Davis and a lottery-protected first round pick
While many are trying to find ways to get Paul on the Sixers, Bucks or Lakers, it is hard to see those deals happening when you really look at the roster and how the pieces would match. Maybe the Sixers could swing it, but this deal may make more sense as it would likely vault the Jazz up into the upper echelon of the West while getting the Thunder another first round pick in their effort to collect as many of them as possible.
OKC would also get a two-way guard in Conley, who comes off the books after next season (one year before Paul). And Davis would give them another rebounder when last season they were dead-last in offensive boards. The Thunder would set themselves up to be a good team with tons of picks and cap room to spare, the ideal tool set for GM Sam Presti to build his roster with.