Into the Bears’ Den: Exploring blockbuster trade ideas for the NBA and Memphis Grizzlies

Jan 31, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) controls the ball against Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) and Warriors small forward Andre Iguodala (9) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For this week’s “Into the Bears’ Den” NBA and Memphis Grizzlies roundtable, our writers explored potential trades that would send shockwaves across the league.

Ian Pierno, Parker Fleming and Ryan Snellings participated in this week’s “Into the Bears Den” NBA roundtable, exploring trades that would move stars like Carmelo Anthony, Tony Allen, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson and many more while still benefitting both (or multiple) teams involved in the transaction.

Feb 23, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) drives to the net against Denver Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur (00) in the fourth quarter at Pepsi Center. The Kings defeated the Nuggets 114-110. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Parker Fleming (@PAKA_FLOCKA)

Denver Nuggets receive: DeMarcus Cousins

Sacramento Kings receive: Emmanuel Mudiay, Wilson Chandler, Jusuf Nurkic, 2018 first rounder via DEN, 2017 first rounder via MEM

DeMarcus Cousins may be a hot-head, however, he deserves to be out of basketball purgatory. Re-uniting him with his former coach, Mike Malone, could be an attitude adjustment. In addition, Denver would have a go-to star. With Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton, the Nuggets don’t need Wilson Chandler. Jusuf Nurkic is a phenomenal player, but would be redundant alongside Cousins. Emmanuel Mudiay, despite being a lottery pick, has a long way to go to prove he’s even a startable point guard in the NBA. With the score-first playmakers taking over the NBA, the Nuggets should look to start Jamal Murray at the point.

The Kings just need something new. Mudiay would give them a possible answer at point guard if he develops. Wilson Chandler is a veteran that’s needed in the locker room. Jusuf Nurkic is a brute at center. Pairing him alongside Skal Labissiere could be a solid long-term option for the Kings. In addition, the picks would allow the Kings to (finally) rebuild and acquire multiple prospects from a deep draft class.

Dec 12, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) is defended by Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson (22) during the first half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Parker Fleming (@PAKA_FLOCKA)

Pelicans receive: Brook Lopez via BKN, Bobby Portis via CHI, Doug McDermott via CHI and 2017 first-rounder via CHI and 2018 first rounder via SAC from CHI

Nets receive: Robin Lopez via CHI and Tyreke Evans via NOP

Bulls receive: Anthony Davis via CHI

It’s only a matter of time before Anthony Davis requests a trade. His team is completely mediocre. For Christ’s sake, DANTE CUNNINGHAM is their small forward. It’s time to get Anthony Davis out of there before his prime years are wasted.

The Pelicans wouldn’t lose this trade, necessarily. Brook Lopez is a solid starting center who needs to get out of Brooklyn. Bobby Portis and Doug McDermott are young prospects who should be good fits alongside Buddy Hield, Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez. The possibility of having three 2017 first-round picks in one of the deepest drafts of all-time should be enticing for the Pelicans. They could either build through a deep draft, or trade those picks to put themselves in a better situation in the future.

The Nets, surprisingly, aren’t pushovers this season. At this point, Brooklyn should look at possible gems, while ensuring Boston doesn’t receive a No. 1 pick. The other Lopez, Robin, is an adequate center. In addition, Tyreke Evans could resurrect his career in Brooklyn.

Finally, Anthony Davis will be home. Adding Davis alongside Jimmy Buckets, D-Wade and Rondo turns this team into a title contender. A starting 5 of Rondo/Wade/Butler/Mirotic/Davis could be one of the best lineups in basketball. They have Taj Gibson and great, young prospects in Jerian Grant and Denzel Valentine off the bench. With Anthony Davis, they’ll become the most difficult Eastern Conference match-up for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

February 15, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Eastern Conference forward Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks (7) shakes hands with Western Conference guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets (13) before the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden.Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Pierno (@IanPierno)

New York Knicks receive: T.J. Warren via PHX, Brandon Knight via PHX, Alex Len via PHX, 2017 first rounder via HOU, worse of NYK/PHX 2017 first rounders

Houston Rockets receive: Carmelo Anthony via NYK, Justin Holiday via NYK

Phoenix Suns receive: Trevor Ariza via HOU, Corey Brewer via HOU, Patrick Beverly via HOU, Kyle O’Quinn via NYK, Clint Capela via HOU, 2017 second rounder from DEN via HOU, better of NYK/PHX 2017 first rounders

As much as it would be pain me to see Carmelo Anthony leave New York, he deserves the chance to win while he’s still an elite scorer. Joining James Harden and Mike D’Antoni would give Houston one of the most lethal offenses in the NBA, maybe even the best. Justin Holiday provides stability as a perimeter defender, as well.

In return, New York receives several young players that they can use to build around Kristaps Porzingis, as well as a solid starting point guard for the future once Derrick Rose departs (or re-signs for a substantially reduced salary) next summer.

For Phoenix, this trade gives it far more depth. The frontcourt becomes a bit crowded by adding in Clint Capela, but between him, Bender and Chriss, oodles of potential. With a lack of stability of New York, Phoenix makes sure they receive the highest pick in the 2017 NBA Draft between all three teams in the deal, as well.

Mar 30, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) high fives forward Rudy Gay (8) after a basket against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Snellings (@rsnellings25)

Sacramento Kings receive: Marcin Gortat via WAS, Kyle Singler via OKC, Anthony Morrow via OKC, Cameron Payne via OKC, 2017 first rounder via WAS, better of WAS/SAC 2018 first rounders

Washington Wizards receive: DeMarcus Cousins via SAC, worse of WAS/SAC 2018 first rounders

Oklahoma City Thunder receive: Rudy Gay via SAC, Kelly Oubre Jr. via WAS

The Wizards need a spark badly. The team has only two wins at press time, including a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Giving John Wall another full-fledged superstar could inject some excitement back into the D.C. area, especially after not even being able to get hometown hero Kevin Durant to attend a meeting this summer. Wall and Cousins have familiarity with each other from their days together at Kentucky and getting a starting 5 of Wall, Beal, Porter, Morris and Cousins could be a top group in the East if healthy. Losing Oubre drops some of their youth, but he has apparently fallen out of favor with Scott Brooks, anyway.

This trade also includes the rumor of Rudy Gay going to the Thunder (which would relegate Oladipo to a bench role). OKC loses Morrow’s sharpshooting and Payne’s high fives, but get a young rough prospect in Kelly Oubre. Gay gives OKC more of an offensive punch and takes some pressure off of Westbrook, while moving Oladipo to the bench makes for a much more fearsome second unit.

Meanwhile, I’m full on for tanking the Kings. Their 2017 pick is top-10 protected and pairing that with the Wizards pick could inject some young star talent to market with their new arena. Gortat will put up decent stats for at least a few more seasons, they get a sharpshooter with Morrow, a luggage carrier in Singler and a possible point guard of the future in Payne. If Harry Giles (if he plays and shows why he was the No. 1 high school player), or another college star falls to them, the Kings would have a solid core to build around. The Cousins experiment has not yielded a playoff berth and cashing in for assets now makes sense.

Oct 21, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver (26) keeps the ball in bounds behind Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) during the first half at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Parker Fleming (@PAKA_FLOCKA)

Atlanta Hawks receive: Tony Allen, JaMychal Green

Memphis Grizzlies receive: Kyle Korver,2017 second rounder

Memphis fans, I’m sorry. I just included the Grindfather in a possible trade. Yes, it sucks, but it’s time. Tony Allen just isn’t himself on the court anymore. His elite defense but mediocre offense are declining. JaMychal Green will be a free agent this summer. I don’t see a point in paying him more than $10 million (that he’ll likely warrant on the open market) with Jarell Martin and Deyonta Davis, prospects with higher ceilings, waiting on their time. Trading Green now allows the Grizzlies to receive value for their starting shooting guard.

Kyle Korver is the ideal target for the Memphis Grizzlies. His elite shooting is the perfect fit in Fizdale-ball. He would space the court out for Randolph and Gasol to operate in the post. Having Korver and Parsons on the wings will be scary for any opponent who dares to double Randolph and Gasol in the post. In addition, the Grizzlies’ ceiling this season becomes higher.

Atlanta doesn’t lose in this situation, either. The Hawks don’t necessarily need Korver with Thabo Sefolosha and Tim Hardaway Jr., proving to be solid contributors at the 2-position. This trade improves their elite defense even more with the acquisition of Tony Allen. Furthermore, he gives Atlanta a top-notch defender that could guard the likes of LeBron James and Paul George in the playoffs. JaMychal Green is a quality third-big who would be an upgrade over Mike Muscala and Kris Humphries. His energy and defense would compliment Dwight Howard or Paul Millsap perfectly.

Mar 1, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) controls the ball while being defended by Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors receive: Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk, 2019 first-rounder via LAC

Boston receives: Klay Thompson

This trade seems ideal for both teams.

The Celtics need a dynamite scorer alongside Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford. In Thompson, they find a 25 points per game scorer and an elite perimeter defender. Imagining him in Stevens’ offense should bring a tear of joy to the eyes of any basketball purist. Adding a legitimate go-to scorer could propel Boston out of the packed second tier of the Eastern Conference and even into the upper echelon of the NBA.

The Warriors need defensive help. While Thompson is their best perimeter defender and a pure shooter, acquiring Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder aren’t bad consolation prizes. Both players are 3-and-D specialists. Bradley could lock down the opposing team’s best point guard, essentially giving Steph a breather on defense. Crowder’s team-friendly contract gives them insurance for when Iguodala costs too much to keep. Kelly Olynyk would give the Warriors a 7-footer who could stretch the floor while not giving up any size.


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