The NBA trade deadline is a little more than a month away, and the rumors are starting to fly.
So in the spirit of embracing basketball chaos, we are identifying each NBA team's most valuable trade asset in 2016-17. For this exercise, we considered only players and picks that could actually be on the move.
We're not going to propose that LeBron James is the Cavs' best trade asset, even though that's true in a vacuum because there's a less than zero chance that Cleveland would trade the King for anyone or anything in the NBA.
With that caveat out of the way, then, here's every NBA team's best realistic trade asset, ranked from 30 to 1.
Kelley L CoxKelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Cavaliers: 2021 first-round pick
With Kyle Korver officially in Cleveland, the Cavs' cupboards are bare. Short of a blockbuster Kevin Love trade, the only real asset of any value in Cleveland is years down the line.
Los Angeles Clippers: 2021 first-round pick
Unless Doc Rivers decides it's time to break up the Clippers' Big Three with a Blake Griffin move, this is the team L.A. will take into battle against the likes of the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs — because a first-round pick more than four years from now won't net you much.
Golden State Warriors: 2019 first-round pick
The Warriors dealt away most of their valuable assets to make room for Andre Iguodala a couple offseasons ago, and we're assuming Golden State would immediately hang up the phone on anyone calling about Klay Thompson (until the offseason, at least).
NBAE/Getty ImagesNoah Graham
Memphis Grizzlies: PF Zach Randolph
Z-Bo's recent improved play means he's not going anywhere, but the Grizzlies have moved away from their two-big-man look under coach David Fizdale. Perhaps Memphis would entertain offers for Randolph, although it's hard to envision any of the 29 other teams offering signficant value in return.
Los Angeles Lakers: G Lou Williams
Your mileage may vary in Los Angeles; maybe you'd rather trade Jordan Clarkson, who has seemingly peaked over the past few months. Clarkson is still young, though, while Williams is a proven scorer. The Lakers could probably get decent second-round pick for the 2015 Sixth Man of the Year.
Phoenix Suns: PG Brandon Knight
In a vacuum, the Suns' first-round pick this year would be immensely valuable. The only way Phoenix is moving that asset, however, is for a superstar — and that kind of trade isn't on the horizon for the Suns. Moving Knight remains the goal in Phoenix.
Oklahoma City Thunder: C Enes Kanter
Do you need a big man with a nose for scoring, rebounds and little else?
If so, you probably haven't paid much attention to the direction the NBA is heading these days, but Kanter might be the man for you. Or perhaps I can interest you in ...
Milwaukee Bucks: C Greg Monroe
Monroe has embraced his role as a veteran leader in Milwaukee, but he's still the odd man out on a young team with an eye on the future. As the deadline nears, the Bucks would be wise to kick the tires on any and all Monroe deals.
Indiana Pacers: SG Monta Ellis
The 31-year-old Ellis can still fill it up as a scorer; he's just not going to do much to help you win important basketball games these days. If the Pacers are lucky, maybe they can find a way to move Ellis to a team in need of a somewhat well-known name who can sell a few tickets in March and April.
... what? I'm an optimist.
Minnesota Timberwolves: PG Ricky Rubio
Hot take: if I were coach and de facto Wolves GM Tom Thibodeau, I'd be shopping Andrew Wiggins to any team that believes he can still become a superstar. Short of that outside-the-box thinking, a Rubio trade is the likeliest move in Minnesota.
Utah Jazz: SG Alec Burks
Injuries have slowed Burks' growth time and time again in Utah, and that history will give teams pause if the Jazz make Burks available. At 25 years old, the next year or so will make (or break) his NBA career; a rebuilding team might decide to take a chance on Burks.
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY SportsRussell Isabella
Brooklyn Nets: C Brook Lopez
Someone, anyone: please free Brook Lopez from his prison in Brooklyn.
Houston Rockets: 2017 first-round pick
Keep an eye on Houston at the deadline. The Rockets are one major piece away from being a real concern for the Warriors, and GM Daryl Morey could move Houston's pick if he feels the right players are available to add to Mike D'Antoni's system.
Toronto Raptors: The Clippers' 2017 first-round pick
You generally won't get much for a pick in the latter third of third of a draft, but some GM is bound to overvalue the choice simply because it's in the first round. Package that asset with Jonas Valanciunas, and maybe you have something.
Gary A. VasquezGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Charlotte Hornets: SF Nicolas Batum
Batum is an excellent, versatile basketball player who has underachieved on a big contract in Charlotte. There's no reason for the Hornets to move him, of course; there's also no reason for them to ignore any trade overtures from other teams, should the phone ring.
Philadelphia 76ers: PF Nerlens Noel (or Jahlil Okafor)
If the Sixers are smart, they'll use all the Noel trade rumors as a smokescreen to hide their true intentions to move Okafor, who likely has more value at this point and is a less complementary piece with Joel Embiid than Noel is.
Portland Trail Blazers: 2017 first-round pick
Assuming C.J. McCollum is off the table, the Blazers have a decently valuable asset in their own pick this year. The sticking point is whether Portland will rebound from a slow start, diminshing the value of that pick, or continue to flounder.
Orlando Magic: PF Serge Ibaka
Ibaka has had a career resurgence in Orlando — and that's the perfect time to trade him to a contender. I don't know how we make it work, but I want him in Houston as soon as possible.
New Orleans Pelicans: 2017 No. 1 pick
If any team should be considering trading their pick this year, it's the Pelicans. They need to start putting real NBA talent around Anthony Davis ASAP.
Washington Wizards: SG Bradley Beal
The tension between Beal and John Wall has tapered off a bit over the past month, but I'm not convinced Beal is an All-Star level talent in the first place. The Wizards should take a hard look at trading him either before the deadline or during the summer.
Miami Heat: SG Goran Dragic
If you had to bet on one move happening before the deadline, Dragic leaving Miami is the pick. He doesn't want to be there, and the Heat are ready to retool around center Hassan Whiteside.
Although it's a shame, really; Whiteside and Dragic are a match made in heaven on paper.
San Antonio Spurs: PF LaMarcus Aldridge
The Spurs are a pragmatic, rational franchise. They love Aldridge, sure. If a team came pounding down their door for the big man, though, one imagines San Antonio would make Aldridge available.
Atlanta Hawks: PF Paul Millsap
Millsap is not going anywhere — or so he says the Hawks have told him. Unfortunately, the NBA is a business, and I take such proclamations with a heavy dose of skepticism.
The fact remains that Atlanta's best trade asset is Millsap, even if it says he's not going anywhere before the deadline.
Detroit Pistons: C Andre Drummond
Stan Van Gundy's frustration with his team (and specifically Drummond) seems to grow with every additional loss. Would it really be that shocking if Van Gundy quietly put together a blockbuster deal to send Drummond elsewhere?
Denver Nuggets: 2017 first-round pick
Jusuf Nurkic reportedly would like a trade, and he's a valuable asset, too. Yet there's a chance the Nuggets fall into the bottom five in record this season, which would make their pick even more enticing.
New York Knicks: SF Carmelo Anthony
The Knicks need to trade 'Melo. You know it. I know it. He knows it. Everyone knows it.
Let's hit "reset" on the Knicks and make this undoubtedly Kristaps Porzingis' team.
Chicago Bulls: SF Jimmy Butler
Butler probably isn't available — unless you happen to be the Boston Celtics offering the Nets' 2017 first-round pick, that is. In that case, give Chicago a call, Danny Ainge (and thanks for reading!).
Dallas Mavericks: 2017 first-round pick
The Mavs probably didn't waste the twilight of Dirk Nowitzki's career just to trade their first high draft pick in years. Then again, we know how much Mark Cuban loves stars. It's extraordinarily unlikely, but the right deal could entice the Mavs to move their 2017 pick.
Sacramento Kings: C DeMarcus Cousins
Everything is rosy in Sacramento these days, as Cousins the Kings are reportedly prepared to offer Boogie a massive extension this offseason.
Of course, that's about the time that everything goes to hell in a handbasket in Sacramento, so I'm not counting out anything until the ink is dry on the new contract.
Boston Celtics: Nets' 2017 first-round pick
You know what's even more alluring than a tried-and-true All-Star like Cousins or Butler? The potential to draft a franchise player!
Truly, the NBA loves a chance at the No. 1 overall pick — and right now, Danny Ainge is the gatekeeper to that prize, as the Celtics have the right to swap picks with Brooklyn in this year's draft.
At the time of this writing, the Nets have a three-game "lead" on the Mavs for the NBA's worst record. Now, we wait to see what kind of asset Ainge can get for that pick.