Back by the popular demand of pretty much only myself, it’s the second annual edition of Around the NBA in 15 Trades. We’re taking all 30 teams in the lead up to the Feb. 7 trade deadline and finding a happy middle ground for prosperous barterdom.
Atlanta and Houston reside at opposite ends of the NBA spectrum.
Atlanta’s biding their time and assembling a young core. They’re years away from contending so any draft trinkets they pick up along their journey are helpful.
This Houston team is championship or bust. They employ one of the league’s stratospheric superstars who slaps up video game numbers on the regular. With Chris Paul’s hamstring still ailing and Clint Capela’s torn thumb ligament, James Harden’s gonna need some help in keeping this team afloat.
PG, Brandon Knight; C, Nene Hilario; F/C, Marquese Chriss; 2019 1st round pick; 2020 2nd round pick via Memphis
G/F, Kent Bazemore; C, Dewayne Dedmon
Why the Hawks do it:
The player return on this trade for the Hawks is a big bag of nothing. Brandon Knight hasn’t been a factor in two years. Nene along with his salt and pepper mane are on their last legs. Marquese Chriss adds intrigue as a recent lottery pick, but it’s entirely possible he doesn’t know how to play basketball. He does, however, have the most eloquent prose written about his talents of any player in history.
The Hawks are looking to unload their veterans, according to a recent Tweet from Marc Stein. While the players coming back to Atlanta would be mere salary fodder, the draft assets would aid their rebuilding.
Why the Rockets do it:
To make it through the wringer of the Western Conference, the Rockets need more capable bodies to rely on. They also need a Capela replacement while he recovers over the next four-to-six weeks — a solution they don’t currently have in-house.
Dewayne Dedmon could give Houston a reasonable Capela impersonation while also providing the aspect of a stretch-5. Because, hey, they definitely need more shooters.
Bazemore’s another mid-sized swingman who can play defense and shoot the 3-ball at a good clip. He’s also known for being a consummate teammate, so he’d fit right into their hierarchy without issue.
Daryl Morey knows it’s go time for Houston. It won’t be a question of if the Rockets make a move, but when.