Happy trade deadline week!
With the NBA calendar back to normal, the last day teams can make trades this season is Thursday, Feb. 10. The cutoff point is 3:00 p.m., but it's not unusual for some trades to be reported shortly after the deadline.
There is never a shortage of rumors heading into the trade deadline, this season being no exception. The 76ers still haven't found a new home for Ben Simmons, it was reported early in the season that Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis are available, there's no shortage of interest in Jerami Grant and Goran Dragic is one of many veterans who could be on the move.
With that in mind, four members of our TSN staff share the one deal they'd like to see go down on Thursday's trade deadline.
Myles Turner to the Queen City
The Hornets are a fun and competitive team as is, but if there's one position they're lacking, it's at center.
Enter: Myles Turner.
It's well known that Turner is available, and Indiana's asking price is said to include two first-round picks. Him being sidelined with a stress reaction in his left foot is a little scary — nothing sets off the alarm bells quite like a 7-footer with a foot problem — but assuming he returns to full strength, he's the perfect type of center for these up-and-coming Hornets.
Defensively, Turner would give Charlotte a legitimate defensive anchor who can protect the rim at a high level. (This is your reminder that Turner is on pace to lead the league in blocks for the third time in his career this season. The Hornets could do with that type of presence.) Offensively, he'd provide some valuable floor spacing at the five, and playing next to a pass-first point guard in LaMelo Ball could help him grow into the role he's looking for.
It wouldn't be all that difficult for the Hornets to put together a package for Turner, who is on the books for $18.0 million this season. Kelly Oubre Jr. ($12.0 million) gets them close to Turner's number, and the Hornets could sweeten any deal with draft capital and/or one of their young prospects, such as Kai Jones, James Bouknight or P.J. Washington.
I don't claim to be a trade machine expert, but does this get the stamp of approval from both the Hornets and Pacers?
— Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles)
The path to Luka Doncic's sidekick?
How are the Mavericks going to find a no. 2 good enough to pair with Luka Doncic?
This is the question that they have to be asking themselves. They have an option of locking up their future roster by re-signing Dorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson this summer. But that’s the team going forward, barring trades. They’ll be in the tax and financially locked up. That’s probably not good enough to be a true contender. They need to move Brunson if they want an upgrade.
This package for Brunson might seem kind of meh at first, but here’s the key: The Knicks currently own the Mavericks’ 2023 first-round pick, which is top-10 protected through 2025. Because of the NBA’s Stepien rule and the uncertainty as to when that pick will actually convey, the Mavericks are severely limited in which first-round picks they can trade out.
In short, if a no. 2 type of player does become available in the trade market, then it becomes a lot easier for the Mavericks to put a package together if they get their pick back from the Knicks.
The Knicks have been rumored to be in love with Brunson. Immanuel Quickley is a nice player too, but Brunson is a lot better. The two second-round picks are a throw-in to help the Mavericks with that future star trade. The Knicks have two second-rounders in both of those years, so they’re not missing out on much. This is a win-win trade for both teams.
— Steph Noh (@StephNoh)
Kings and Pacers swap young stars
I love everything about this deal for both sides (and of course I do, I'm the one that created it). The Pacers have been stuck in mediocrity for years now and the Kings haven't made the playoffs in over 15 years – the longest active playoff drought in the NBA. Both teams have some intriguing young pieces but nothing is clicking, and it's time for both franchises to move on and get some new life in their respective locker rooms.
Trading De'Aaron Fox allows the Kings to start fresh, building around future star Tyrese Haliburton. He and Domantas Sabonis would create a terrorizing dual-threat on offense as both players are more than capable of creating for themselves and others.
The Kings also receive the prolific scoring T.J. Warren in the deal, who has only played in four games since his outburst in the NBA bubble due to a foot injury, but he would give them a scoring boost once he's healthy. Jeremy Lamb, who is on an expiring deal, is only there to make the money work, while Sacramento would have to give up the more favorable 2023 first-rounder in a pick swap because Sabonis is the best player dealt.
For the Pacers, they get an electrifying point guard in Fox who might just be a change of scenery away from reaching his All-Star potential. He could fit in nicely next to Malcolm Brogdon, and Harrison Barnes would replace Warren's scoring threat, which, as I mentioned, has been absent since 2020.
The more favorable 2023 first-rounder is the icing on the cake to send the deal through.
– Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_)
The Spurs and Raptors make a deal, again
To the surprise of very few, the Raptors are a pain to deal with this season and, as a result, are putting themselves in a position to make a respectable playoff run. In order to do so, they'll need to bolster their frontcourt and get a little more from their second unit. The Spurs have both of the answers:
Considered by some as an "add-on" when he was traded from the Raptors to the Spurs, Jakob Poeltl is the centerpiece of this deal. He returns to Toronto, where he began his career in the same rookie class as Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet.
In Thaddeus Young, the Raptors get a proven veteran who is the perfect player for the system. The 15-year veteran is 6-foot-8, can defend, pass, rebound and is extremely cerebral.
The Spurs take on the expiring contracts of Goran Dragic and Chris Boucher, which provide potential cap relief for a team that's building for the future and will need to pay its young talent soon. As a sweetener, San Antonio receives Toronto's first round pick in the upcoming draft as well as a young talent in Malachi Flynn, who has shown flashes during his time with the Raptors.
After falling out of Nick Nurse's rotation, Flynn might need new scenery to reach his potential as a former first round pick. As revered as the Raptors' development system is, a switch to the Spurs' famed development system could be what gets the most out of Flynn.
Masai Ujiri has let it be known that he's not content with Play-In appearances, and if he's going to swing, a first round pick is a small price to pay to move his team towards the East's top four.
– Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21)