EVERY TRADE WE WILL SEE THIS SEASON: TRADE 10 (TRADE DEADLINE)
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS GET: Willie Cauley-Stein
SACRAMENTO KINGS GET: Cedi Osman and 2021 Cleveland Cavaliers Second Round Draft Pick
The Cleveland Cavaliers take a shot on Willie Cauley-Stein reviving himself in the second half of the season in a new environment. Cauley-Stein could provide a nice fit next to Kevin Love if he could be somewhat of a defensive presence in the middle. The risk is worth the reward here for what they give up.
The Sacramento Kings would need to feel uncomfortable re-signing Cauley-Stein for this to happen, but if that becomes the case then Cedi Osman seems like a good fit in the Kings culture. Osman is a solid player at a position of need for the Kings and the added second round pick should ease their mind on giving up the potential of Cauley-Stein.
EVERY TRADE WE WILL SEE THIS SEASON: TRADE 9 (TRADE DEADLINE)
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS GET: Al-Farouq Aminu
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS GET: Ian Mahinmi
SACRAMENTO KINGS GET: Evan Turner, Wesley Johnson, 2019 Top 20 Protected New Orleans Pelicans First Round Draft Pick and 2019 Top 12 Protected Washington Wizards First Round Draft Pick
WASHINGTON WIZARDS GET: Zach Randolph
The New Orleans Pelicans need to get talent now to try to keep Anthony Davis. Al-Farouq Aminu is a great fit that could slide right into their starting line-up and considering the pick sent out is Top 20 Protected then upgrading from Wesley Johnson to Al-Farouq Aminu for a draft pick between 21st Overall and 30th Overall is good value for winning now.
Sadly, for the Portland Trail Blazers, one of the side parts of Paul Allen’s death is that the team will likely be sold and I can’t imagine a new ownership group will want to start over the luxury tax from the get-go. Using Al-Farouq Aminu to shed that $2 Million off of Evan Turner’s salary and taking Mahinmi instead gets them below the luxury tax outright without losing any core pieces. Quite simply, this is an ownership move, not a fan move.
The Sacramento Kings use the salary relieved in previous trades to take on a bunch of salary, but add two draft picks in the process. This is the Kings patience paying off and finding an opportunity to turn their cap space into luxury tax relief for assets. They would have a solid asset collection after this to move forward with.
The Washington Wizards would be outright below the luxury tax after this deal and the Knicks trade while sneakily adding veteran talent to their bench in Trey Burke, Courtney Lee and Zach Randolph. They increase their talent overall at the deadline and get below the luxury tax, so this should be a win even if that pick conveys.
EVERY TRADE WE WILL SEE THIS SEASON: TRADE 8 (TRADE DEADLINE)
BROOKLYN NETS GET: Alec Burks, 2019 Utah Jazz Second Round Draft Pick and 2020 Utah Jazz Second Round Draft Pick
UTAH JAZZ GET: DeMarre Carroll
The Brooklyn Nets are rebuilding so taking on an expiring contract of a player worse than the one they send out and getting some picks to do so is a good idea. DeMarre Carroll provides a skill set that most teams crave, but given that the Nets won’t take on long-term salary, this likely maximizes his return
The Utah Jazz do not seem to value second round picks that highly. They have would prefer a quality veteran like Carroll right now than two second round picks later. Carroll would be a good fit on their team and be a solid contributor in their quest to compete atop the Western Conference.
EVERY TRADE WE WILL SEE THIS SEASON: TRADE 7 (TRADE DEADLINE)
NOTE: Technically February 5th due to expiration of Traded Player Exception
MILWAUKEE BUCKS GET: Malachi Richardson (absorbed into Rashad Vaughn Traded Player Exception)
TORONTO RAPTORS GET: Future Top 55 Protected Milwaukee Bucks Second Round Draft Pick
The Milwaukee Bucks add a player that could provide shooting off the bench without losing anything. Richardson’s potential is at least worth that.
The Toronto Raptors save more than Richardson’s salary alone given the luxury tax. Richardson is not worth paying the extra salary so this is an easy way to cut costs.
EVERY TRADE WE WILL SEE THIS SEASON: TRADE 6 (TRADE DEADLINE)
CHICAGO BULLS GET: Alex Abrines and 2021 Oklahoma City Thunder Second Round Draft Pick
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER GET: Justin Holiday
The Chicago Bulls don’t lose much in terms of talent from this swap and the additional salary they take doesn’t have enough of a negative impact that they wouldn’t take the draft pick for their troubles. Abrines expires after the season and that pick is far enough in the future that it may carry decent value by the time it conveys.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have a severe luxury tax issue on their hands. Saving even this slight amount of money is a relatively equal of a talent swap warrants them giving a second round pick to give the Bulls some incentive to help them. Holiday should easily fill Abrines’ role off the bench for $5 Million less in luxury tax payments.
EVERY TRADE WE WILL SEE THIS SEASON: TRADE 5 (TRADE DEADLINE)
NEW YORK KNICKS GET: Iman Shumpert
SACRAMENTO KINGS GET: Lance Thomas
The New York Knicks eliminate the $1 Million in guaranteed salary from Lance Thomas contract for the 2019-20 season and relieve some cap space in doing so after the season. Thomas isn’t crucial enough to their plans not to take the extra cap space in the summer. They would likely buy out Shumpert afterwards as he would be better served on a contender.
For the Sacramento Kings the $1 Million lost in 2019 cap space isn’t as valuable to them as the immediate cap savings from this deal. The increased flexibility gives the Kings room to make additional moves and add assets in the process to continue their rebuild.
EVERY TRADE WE WILL SEE THIS SEASON: TRADE 4 (TRADE DEADLINE)
BOSTON CELTICS GET: 2019 Most Favorable Of Denver Nuggets or Washington Wizards Second Round Draft Pick
DENVER NUGGETS GET: Marcus Morris (absorbed into Kenneth Faried Traded Player Exception)
The Boston Celtics may have that “good problem” of having too much talent to find enough minutes for every one, but it is still a problem. They would probably be better served using this issue as an advantage and getting below the luxury tax. The luxury tax payments aren’t of major concern to the Celtics ownership, but getting below it without losing any core pieces or assets would certainly have to be considered.
Marcus Morris gives the Denver Nuggets veteran depth at the forward spot and compliments their second unit well. Morris is versatile enough to be mixed in with a variety of line-ups for the Nuggets. He isn’t on a bad contract and helps them win now without giving up much or going above the luxury tax.