After a proposed three-team deal between the Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards, and Memphis Grizzlies that was centered around Trevor Ariza fell apart last night, it was finally completed this morning, sans one team. The Suns traded their disgruntled, well-paid veteran forward to the Wizards for Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers, and on paper, it was a rare win for the worst team in the league. They lack talent and depth in most areas, and trading Ariza's one-year, $15 million contract for two young wing players may help them in the short and long-term. The funniest part is that Ariza left the Rockets, got paid expecting to be traded to a contender around this time, and got shipped to a Wizards team that will not be competing for anything more than a first-round exit (if they're lucky). I guess he's a winner in the end, though, because he's making $15 million to play basketball and I have $25 in my bank account.
That being said, the players who signed contracts this summer are now eligible to be traded, so here are some trades that I think should go down.
If some of the math doesn't work for these trades, I really don't give a shit. I'm not a GM (I should be, though) and these are strictly hypothetical.
Jabari Parker to the Oklahoma City Thunder
This probably makes me look crazy, but I think this makes sense. After signing a two-year, $40 million deal (team option on the second year) this summer with the Bulls, Jabari's homecoming with the team seems to be coming to an end. It was announced before Thursday's loss to the Orlando Magic that Jabari would be falling out of new head coach Jim Boylen's rotation, all but ending his short-lived stint. I don't really care where he gets traded as long as a deal gets done. I had hope that this was going to work out, but it very clearly hasn't, and it's time for the Bulls to cut their losses.
Jabari is 23 and the former number two overall pick, so he still has some value. He's able to contribute on offense still (at least on a bad team) and can prove impactful off the bench for a contending team. Through 29 games, Jabari is averaging 15.2 points and 6.9 (lol) rebounds a night on 45.5/29.3/72.4 shooting. Not awful, but his 12.6 PER further proves that he's inefficient and playing below the league average so far. Despite this, a few teams could use him, and the Thunder should be calling GarPax before somebody beats them to it. Jabari is an atrocious defender, but the Thunder are currently the best defensive team in the league. They won't be bringing him in to lock down the Western Conference, they just need his scoring off the bench. Andre Roberson is still out, and that defense is going to get a lot scarier once he makes his return. Their bench depth is better than years past, but Jabari would be a welcomed addition alongside Dennis Schroder, Nerlens Noel, and Jerami Grant. Jabari was almost an All Star before his second ACL tear in 2016; he may not be fully washed up yet.
Proposed Trade: Jabari Parker for a 2019 first-round pick
D'Angelo Russell to the Phoenix Suns
Let's get weird with this, fuck it. The Brooklyn Nets have been god-awful for years now, but it seems like things are starting to turn around. They have draft picks again, as well as an abundance of money (two max spots this summer). It was just announced that they signed point guard Spender Dinwiddie to a three-year, $34 million extension, making it sure seem like they're running with him as their point guard of the future. Russell is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, and the Nets don't seem likely to offer him an extension or match any offer sheet thrown his way. He's still really young (22) and like Jabari, is the former second overall pick (2015). There have been numerous displays from Russell of his potential scoring prowess, but there's not much consistency. Maybe that can change on the Suns.
The Suns, as mentioned, are the worst team in the league. They literally don't have a point guard, and Russell would slot in well. Him and Devin Booker are a major defensive liability, but whatever, they fucking suck. If the Suns are going to be bad, they may as well be fun, and a trio of Russell, Booker, and DeAndre Ayton could be a great popcorn team. I doubt this will happen because of owner Robert Sarver being the cheapest owner probably ever, but hey, a man can dream.
Proposed Trade: D'Angelo Russell for Josh Jackson (he's not good) and a 2021 first-round pick (from Miami)
Anthony Davis to the Boston Celtics
Honestly, my brain still hurts from taking finals last week so I'm just going to throw this here and barely explain my thinking. Yeah, the Celtics are turning their early-season dysfunction around, but it's hard to turn away from a top-five player. Gordon Hayward is expensive and doesn't seem to be returning to All-Star form, and while Jaylen Brown is a great, young piece, there's too many chefs in the kitchen. By clearing some room and bringing in an absolute wrecking truck of a man in AD, the Celtics would assert themselves as the top team in the East, and might find themselves back in the Finals-favorite conversation.