NBA Trade Deadline Preview: Northwest Division

Mike Fanelli | February 1st, 2019

FC Barcelona Lassa v Oklahoma City Thunder - NBA Global Games Spain 2016 : News Photo

The NBA trade deadline is just around the corner and the rumor machine is on fire. While most teams won’t make a deal, each will consider many options between now and the February 7th deadline. In a six part series, I will provide one trade each NBA team should consider making between now and the trade deadline. The Northwest division is up next and here is a trade each team should make. Be sure to check out the previous parts on the the Southeast division, Central division and Atlantic division.

Denver Nuggets

Nuggets trade Tyler Lydon, cash considerations

Kings trade future second round pick (top 55 protected)

The Nuggets are one of the best teams in the league and have a deep roster. With many of their key pieces under contract for the next few years, this Nuggets team will be a contender for years to come. However, they have 15 guaranteed contracts and figure to be players in the buy out market. Lydon is a former first round pick who had his team option declined for next season, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. Lydon is averaging just 4.1 minutes per game and would welcome a change of scenery.

For the Kings, they are the only team in the league with cap space so expect them to make at least one trade like this. The Nuggets will send enough cash to cover the rest of Lydon’s contract, plus a little extra for their trouble. Once the deal has been completed the Kings will release Lydon as they have 15 guaranteed contracts as well. Any team that wants to open up a roster spot should call the Kings as they have about $11 million dollars in cap space.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Timberwolves trade Jerryd Bayless, future second round pick

Magic trade Terrence Ross

Since the Wolves traded Jimmy Butler away, the direction of the franchise has been unclear. If the Wolves are making a playoff push, they should look to add another three point shooter to give Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns more space to work in isolation sets. Bayless has played in just 13 games this season and would likely welcome a trade; especially to a team that needs help at point guard. Meanwhile, Ross is shooting 38% from three this season and can help push the Wolves into the playoff picture.

Currently the Magic are just outside the playoff picture in the eastern conference. However, many don’t think they will make the playoffs this year. With that in mind, the Magic should look to add some draft picks for players that aren’t part of their long term future. With Evan Fournier under contract for three more seasons, and former first round pick Jonathan Isaac and Jonathon Simmons on the wing, the Magic aren’t likely to bring back Ross next season. Like Ross, Bayless is a free agent this summer so the Magic aren’t taking back any long term salary.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Thunder trade, Alex Abrines, Patrick Patterson, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrott, two future second round picks

Wizards trade Trevor Ariza

If the Thunder want to contend with the Golden State Warriors, they need to upgrade on the wing next to Paul George. Normally Andre Roberson would start next to George but he hasn’t played this year as he battles a knee injury. While second year man Terrance Ferguson has filled in well, can the Thunder trust him late in games? Adding Ariza would give the Thunder a good locker room leader, a knock-down shooter and a versatile defender. If Ariza can cover the other team’s best player, it would allow George to save energy on defense and be even more dangerous on offense.

Recently the Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said the team would never tank, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be sellers at the deadline. The Wizards don’t have a second round pick till the 2023 draft and should look to add some at the deadline. Wizard fans won’t like this trade because fan favorite Kelly Oubre Jr. was traded for Ariza, but if the team can get two role players who can shoot and two future second round picks, they should make the deal. Abrines is a restricted free agent this summer while Patterson has a player option and Luwawu-Cabarrott is an unrestricted free agent, and likely won’t be resigned.

Portland Trailblazers

Trailblazers trade Wade Baldwin IV, future second round pick

Suns trade Jamal Crawford

Many will hope the Blazers make a big time splash move at the deadline but I don’t see that happening unless they can convince the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade Kevin Love back to his home state. However, a smaller move for a scoring punch off the bench is needed. Baldwin is averaging just 5.8 minutes per game in 15 games this season. The Blazers have just three players scoring 10 or more points per game and none of their second unit players average more than 7.7 per game. Crawford would give the Blazers a scoring punch off the bench when Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum take a seat.

When the Suns signed Crawford in free agency last summer, they knew he wouldn’t spend the whole season with them. If they can’t trade Crawford he will likely seek a buy out to join a playoff contender. If the Suns can swap Crawford for an expiring contract and a second round pick, that’s a great return for a young team looking towards the future.

Utah Jazz

Jazz trade Thabo Sefolosha, Ekpe Udoh, future second round pick

Grizzlies trade Garrett Temple

Like so many teams, the Jazz are in the middle of the western conference playoff picture and should be looking for that last piece to secure a playoff spot. Sefolosha and Udoh are averaging a combined 4.9 points per game. Both players are averaging under 12 minutes per game and have played in under 33 games this season. Swapping them both plus a second round pick for Temple would help the depth and veteran presence on the wing. Temple would fit in perfectly in Utah, as he is a no nonsense kind of player who will be ready to play every night.

If the Grizzlies have a fire sale at the trade deadline like so many expect, Temple could be a nice option for several teams. The Grizzlies will want to avoid taking back long term salary in any deal as no team wants to pay anywhere near the luxury-tax if they are rebuilding. Both players are on expiring deals and won’t be resigned in the offseason. However, this trade would push the Grizzlies into the luxury tax so I would expect one of them to get traded again before the deadline to get the team back under the tax line.

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