Friday, June 14, 2024

3 Offseason Blockbuster Trades That Would Change the NBA

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As the 2024 NBA Offseason heats up for the teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs, several teams are eyeing blockbuster trades.

Moves that can shift the landscape of the NBA, internet sleuths have been trying to follow the breadcrumbs left by the media. As the rumor mill is often filled with smoke and mirrors, each report must be taken with a grain of salt. However, where there’s smoke, there’s often fire.

3 Offseason Blockbuster Trades That Would Change the NBA

With consideration to the most recent rumors, here are three trades that could go down this offseason.

LeBron James to the Suns, Bradley Beal to the Lakers

In this trade, the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers give fate a little nudge.

Even if LeBron James wants to live in Los Angeles, he has little reason to play for the Lakers. Yes, Anthony Davis has been a great sidekick and they’ve become thick as thieves. The championship they won in the bubble wasn’t a fluke. However, L.A. has been wildly unsuccessful in the LeBron years and nothing about the way Kobe Bryant’s career ended inspires confidence in their ability to pull a rabbit out of the hat.

If the Suns make overtures, which they appear to be doing by hosting his son for a predraft workout, James will likely hear them out. Suns general manager James Jones is a friend and former teammate of James. Suns superstar Kevin Durant is another friend. Through their playoff battles they’ve gained a mutual respect for each other, and Durant’s championship pedigree is well-known.

Though Phoenix is limited in the moves they can make, Bradley Beal’s high salary could make a sign-and-trade for James possible. If this happens, James will taking his playmaking to the Valley, where his pass-first mindset will be greatly appreciated. Beal will spread his wings in Hollywood, helping L.A. remain competitive.

DeMar DeRozan to the Heat, Jimmy Butler to the Bulls

When Miami Heat president Pat Riley said “give me 72 games” in response to his team’s inability to remain healthy, did he have Chicago Bulls swingman DeMar DeRozan on his mind?

After all, DeRozan has played in at least 72 games in 11 of his 15 career seasons. This includes each of his last three campaigns. In the two COVID-shortened season that preceded those, he missed just 14 total games. Suffice it to say, DeRozan is one of the most durable players in the NBA. He’s also a generational scorer, averaging at least 20 points per game in each of the past 11 seasons. The midrange maestro would be the ideal replacement for Bulls forward Jimmy Butler, at least offensively, if they can complete a sign-and-trade.

To that point, what Butler lacks in availability he makes up for with hard-nosed defense. With Chicago allowing opponents to score 113.7 points per game in 2023-24 (16th in the NBA), they could use the five-time All-Defensive selection. Having Butler on the wing might also make Zach LaVine a more feasible long-term starter at shooting guard. That said, as LaVine’s trade value leaves a lot to be desired, he may stick around a while longer.

Darius Garland to the Bucks, Damian Lillard to the Cavs

There’s no rumor linking the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks together.

However, Darius Garland and Damian Lillard are candidates to be moved this offseason, and for a similar reason. Neither has completely clicked with the team’s best player on the court, their strengths in some ways undermined by the other’s skillset. Yet, where the Cavs need a more aggressive scorer, the Bucks would benefit from an efficient floor general. If Cleveland and Milwaukee swap their starting point guards, they can accomplish that.

A four-level scorer with his deep range, Lillard has averaged at least 24 points per game in each of the last nine seasons, including a career-high 32.2 points per game in 2022-23. He has the 13th-highest career scoring average (25.1 points per game) in NBA history.

The 24-year-old Garland already ranks seventh in career assists (2,052) in Cavs franchise history. A slippery ball-handler, he can form a dynamic pick-and-roll duo with Giannis Antetokounmpo thanks to his outside efficiency and passing ability.

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