1. Memphis Grizzlies

Looking back at this year, the Grizzlies had a pretty successful season. They didn’t get Jaren Jackson Jr back until the last few games, they were able to get past the scorching hot Warriors in the playoffs, and even won a game on the road against the Jazz in the first round. Dillon Brooks was phenomenal for the greater part of the season, especially down the stretch. In my opinion, Brooks has passed Jackson as the ultimate No. 2 option on this team. Jackson signed a 4 year, $29 million contract that expires in 2022. If the Grizzlies want to take a step in the right direction, they need to look at trading him for more value. Here’s the trade:

Memphis Grizzlies Receive: Jerami Grant, Dennis Smith Jr (sign and trade)

Detroit Pistons Receive: Jaren Jackson Jr, DeAnthony Melton, 2nd round pick 

As we know, the Pistons are entering a rebuild stage, and they’ve acquired some pretty nice pieces. Jerami Grant was their star this year, a Most Improved Player candidate who showed that he can get the job done. Memphis could use a player like Grant as he is a great defender, and an efficient scorer. He might not put up the same numbers as the No. 3 on the Grizz, but who knows, Memphis is one of the best teams rotation-wise, so he could be getting more touches than expected. As for Detroit, Jackson Jr is still a young piece that has a ton of potential. He’s been battling injuries, and with the situation that Detroit currently sits in, he has plenty of time to develop and work with future stars Killian Hayes and Saddiq Bey. They also get DeAnthony Melton, a quality role player who can get hot quickly. The Grizzlies also would get former lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr. Smith had a pretty decent rookie year, before Luka Doncic came around. He never got quality minutes in New York, got traded to the Pistons, and played exceptionally well in his first few starts before getting injured. DSJ would be a quality backup for Ja as he also has a lot of potential.

2. Washington Wizards

Look. The Wizards front office have a hell of a job to do this offseason. There’s two options as to what direction to head into. You can somehow compel a top free agent to come to D.C., or you go full rebuild and trade away Beal and maybe Westbrook. While we question how much longer Russ can keep his energy consistently throughout the season, I believe the Wizards have something to fight for, and that they shouldn’t be giving up this easily. Coach Scott Brooks is out, which means a new beginning begins for D.C.

Washington Wizards receive: Kristaps Porzingis

Dallas Mavericks receive: Thomas Bryant, Rui Hachimura, Davis Bertans

This trade is risky for both sides here. The Mavs would save a little bit of money, while the Wizards acquire a 7 foot Unicorn that still has a lot of potential. KP may be a better fit in Washington, as the pick and pop with Beal could turn into something pretty elite, and he will have one of the best point guards in the league helping to spread the floor. One thing that the Mavs need to utilize is Davis Bertans’ contract. He is owed $15 million a year, which means that if the Mavs don’t play him enough, he needs to be traded. Rui Hachimura is a young asset that can become one of the better forwards in the game. Although he won’t be a number 2 alongside Luka (Dallas will need to find a true second option), he can still bring a lot to the table. 

3. Boston Celtics 

Hiring new head coach Ime Udoka will bring a new voice to the locker room for Boston, giving their fans something to believe in. Boston has been a team linked to Damian Lillard, but that trade would likely involve giving away Jaylen Brown, or at least Marcus Smart. Just how aggressive should this Celtics front office be? They’ve already reunited with Al Horford, and traded for a young Moses Brown who showed a lot of potential with Oklahoma City. 

Chicago Bulls receive: Marcus Smart, Jabari Parker, 1st round pick

Boston Celtics receive: Coby White, Thaddeous Young

It doesn’t seem like this Celtics-Marcus Smart relationship will last much longer, as injuries and trade talks have soured how Smart feels. Here, Boston will get a promising young point guard who can become something special if developed the right way. They also receive Thaddeous Young, who became one of the more underrated PF’s this year. As for Chicago, moving Vuc to the four could create a pretty nice starting 5 featuring Marcus Smart, Zach Lavine, Nikola Vucevic, Pat Williams, and Tristan Thompson. They could even acquire point guards lika Lonzo Ball to help spread the floor. 

4. Los Angeles Lakers

As we all know, the Lakers dealt with a ton of injuries this year, primarily during the postseason surrounding Bron and AD. Their supporting cast was unable to get going at all in the first round against the Suns, causing them to lose in 6. This roster just doesn’t seem like a championship roster, it seems like they need a few more assets to be in contention. We saw teams like Milwaukee and L.A. (Clippers) survive without their main man, which shows just how much this front office needs to work. The big problem here is that they don’t have much to work with, because most of their role players played terribly to end the season, not giving them much value. 

Indiana Pacers receive: Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma

Los Angeles Lakers receive: T.J. Warren

Pacers fans may be a little reluctant when looking at this trade, but it could end up working for them better in the future. In this postseason, the Lakers didn’t really use Harell that much, as he got a combined 25 minutes over the span of 6 games. Harell seemed frustrated over social media tweeting that the worst feeling is “wasted time”. People forget that he won the sixth man of the year award, showing that he can bring the energy off the bench. As for Kuzma, it may take a while to make him fit with Indiana, but with the right staff, it shouldn’t be a problem. For the Lakers, we have seen what T.J. Warren is capable of doing it on a nightly basis. His stats in the bubble were insane, and before his injury this year, he was still being productive, averaging 15 points. What L.A. lacked this postseason was efficiency and rhythm. Warren helps this team become more efficient by expanding towards the mid-range and driving, not just sticking to the three ball. He’s another weapon that Coach Vogel would be able to utilize on offense, not to mention he is a strong defender. 

5. Miami Heat

A disappointing 2021 campaign for the Heat was the result of being swept in the first round. They were stone cold on offense, much like the beginning of the season, and just couldn’t find any kind of momentum with the exception of game 1. They acquired Victor Oladipo from the Rockets, but he soon got injured and not only was he out for the rest of this season, but reports have come out that he may miss most, if not all, of next season. What the Heat need to look for is an offensive weapon that can deliver consistent points. And now that Tyler Herro had a subpar season, they don’t have a ton to work with. 

Sacramento Kings receive: Tyler Herro, Precious Achiuwa, 2nd round pick swap

Miami Heat receive: Harrison Barnes, Maurice Harkless

When we look at the Kings roster after this trade, it’s obvious that they’ll have 2 perimeter players in their starting 5 with Buddy Hield and Tyler Herro. When completing this trade, I believe Sacramento would move Hield to fully utilize Herro. As for Miami, Harrison Barnes can play exceptionally well when he’s used in the right way. With Sacramento, he hasn’t been able to use all of his arsenal offensively. This could potentially bring a starting 5 of Goran Dragic, Jimmy Butler, Victor Oladipo (when healthy), Harrison Barnes, and Bam Adebayo.

6. Portland Trail Blazers

The team everyone will be looking at come this offseason. Will Dame stay in Portland, or will the Blazers trade him in hopes of getting a lot of picks and some nice pieces? He’s given his all to this city, but his team just can’t back him up in the playoffs. Portland is a team to look out for every year, but there stands that same feeling of “they aren’t making the finals” every single time. 

New Orleans Pelicans receive: Damian Lillard

Portland Trail Blazers receive: Brandon Ingram, Eric Bledsoe, 3 first round picks

After reports came out that Zion Williamson’s family is “unhappy” with the Pelicans organization due to them not surrounding him with good pieces, it is vital that New Orleans be active this offseason. A pairing of Lillard and Zion would be perfect, as scoring would come with ease. The Pelicans are also most likely losing Lonzo Ball, so they need a ball handler desperately. Brandon Ingram and C.J. McCollum should bring an interesting duo as they are both 2 of the top small forwards in this league, dominating from beyond the arc and in the mid range. Obviously, the Blazers wouldn’t be in a “win now” situation after this trade, but Ingram and C.J. could definitely become a play in team. 

7. New York Knicks

A great season for the Knicks went south quickly as they fell to Trae Young’s Hawks in 5 games. Some bright takeaways from this season were the emergence of D-Rose, R.J. Barrett’s improvement, and, of course, Julius Randle. New York is a big market team that can attract top free agents, but can they make something happen in the trade market? If they want a star like Dame, their going to have to give away at least R.J. and quickly, but would Portland even agree to that? Or should the Knicks go for a good player, not elite, to keep the group together. 

Boston Celtics receive: R.J. Barrett, 2nd round pick 

New York Knicks receive: Marcus Smart, Jabari Parker

I can see both fan bases being very angry about this trade. Personally, I don’t think Marcus Smart is a good fit with the Celtics now that Tatum and Brown are taking over. Barrett can be that third option for the C’s on the perimeter, but also when driving. He has a lot of developing to do, but can turn into a great third option, and a future star, in Boston. Smart is a veteran who can help this younger Knicks team, especially in the tough moments. We know how great he is defensively, and how he can turn it up on offense as well. 

8. Dallas Mavericks

Coach Carlisle and GM Donny Nelson are out of Dallas, and it’s now time for the Mavs to start making some big moves. The last thing you want as a Mavericks fan is for Luka to be unhappy. In the Clippers series, it was evident that Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t capable of standing in the paint all game, and that the Mavs game plan failed. They need to acquire a solid center, and a weapon that can knock down spot up 3’s consistently when Luka dishes the ball. 

Sacramento Kings receive: Dwight Powell, Tim Hardaway Jr

Dallas Mavericks receive: Buddy Hield, Hassan Whiteside (sign and trade)

Hassan Whiteside may not be what he used to be back in his Miami days, but he is still a productive center that can balance his minutes with Boban. Tim Hardaway was very solid for the Mavs in the playoffs, but he tends to be inconsistent, and when he can’t knock open 3’s down for Dallas, they fall. Buddy Hield is one of the greatest three point shooters in today’s game, and can become a solid 3rd option in Dallas. When looking at Hield’s film, he took a lot of contested three pointers with the Kings, which still fell, but not at a rate greater than an open attempt. With an elite ball distributor like Luka, you can count on Hield to make that shot that Doncic passes to him, building up his confidence. This trade may not seem big, but it can sure turn out to be something very special for the Mavs. As for the Kings, Hardaway is a streaky player. Him, Haliburton, and Fox can stretch the floor, and become one of the better guard trios in the league. 

Top Photo: Getty Images

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