With the NBA trade deadline only a few weeks away, it’s time to look at which players are on the NBA trade block. The three players in this article will certainly not be on the same team next year. Now the question is where will they end up? Each player still has plenty of talent and, with the right team, they could be extremely valuable. Unlike my trade finder articles, I will not propose an actual trade, but simply suggest where I want these players to end up.
His time with the Thunder and the Rockets may have gone poorly, but Melo should get another chance this season. He offers important wing depth and a scoring touch even if he is well past his prime. The two teams I feel are most likely to land Anthony before the season are over are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. The move to the Lakers is fueled by rumors that LeBron James is looking to bring him on to the team. Anthony isn’t a perfect fit, but due to the number of injuries, the depth he offers would be valuable.
As for the Heat, adding Melo would make some sense. Miami is ranked 26th in points per game, and also has defensive pieces to hide Melo’s flaws. Even in his short stint with the Rockets, Melo proved he can still score. Even though he only played 10 games, Melo recorded games of 28, 24, 22, and 17 points on respectable shooting splits. His scoring ability could rejuvenate the Heat’s struggling offense. Miami has not gotten significant production from their small forward or power forward spot. Replacing either James Johnson or Rodney McGruder with Carmelo would bolster that glaring weak spot.
Although Smith hasn’t played with the Cavaliers for most of the season, he is still on the roster. Plenty of teams could use the shooting JR Smith provides, but the Cavs have held out on buying him out and still haven’t found a trade partner. In my opinion, the three best landing spots for him are the Thunder, Pelicans, and Pistons. All three of these teams have struggled from behind the arc and Smith, although streaky, is a career 37% 3-point shooter on 5.3 attempts per game. Additionally, all three teams have no wing depth. The Thunder have Abdel Nader playing significant minutes, the Pelicans are playing Frank Jackson over 12 minutes a game, and the Pistons are starting Bruce Brown. None of these players have proven they deserve heavy minutes, yet their teams don’t have anyone to play over them.
The Pistons would benefit the most from adding Smith. For a team that attempts the 7th most threes per game, the Pistons’ three-point shooting is shocking, in a bad way. This season, the Pistons rank 2nd to last in percentage, yet still, shoot an insanely high volume. When Blake Griffin is double teamed in the post, I would rather him pass it out to Smith than Reggie Jackson or Stanley Johnson. When I searched for other potential trades for Detroit, I emphasized how important floor spacing is to their offense. Without floor spacing the opposing team can easily clog the paint, limiting the effectiveness of Blake and Andre Drummond on offense. If the Pistons’ can add Smith, their offense would reach a new level.
Apparently, Robin Lopez is being shopped by the Chicago Bulls and is very much on the NBA trade block. Lopez doesn’t seem to be happy with the team as ESPN reports Lopez and Kris Dunn got into an altercation at practice. There isn’t a huge market for back up centers, but a few teams could use one. Among these teams are the Wizards and the Bucks. Lopez would be a great bench piece for any of these teams. He offers both veteran experience and some on-court production. Additionally, Lopez is on a $14 million expiring contract. The Wizards could trade Ian Mahinmi and a pick for Lopez. This would allow them to get rid of Mahinmi’s terrible contract and add another veteran.
The best landing spot for Lopez, in my opinion, would be the Bucks. Joining his brother, Brook Lopez, in Milwaukee would be very mutually beneficial. Although the Bucks have been very good, they don’t have a true center besides Brook. If they want to compete in the playoffs, I don’t think they want to rely on Thon Maker, John Henson, or D.J. Wilson as their back up center. Robin is also a great mid-range shooter (56% from 10-16 feet this season) which would give Giannis Antetokounmpo space to attack the basket. Robin would be the perfect acquisition for the Bucks, padding their bench depth and giving them another true center.
Where do you think these players on the NBA trade block should go?