The playoffs are veering towards the NBA’s final four. Still, the league is chock full of around-the-clock trade rumors. And why not? Over 20 teams are already on vacation, looking for ways to upgrade for next season. Even the eight squads still playing could always strive to improve upon their 2022 success.
It’s never too early to start looking ahead to the offseason and predict which players will be on the move. The summer of 2022 could feature an especially juicy trade season with current All-Stars or former All-Stars Russell Westbrook, Donovan Mitchell, Ben Simmons, D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle running through the rumor mill.
The NBA trade season will pick up around the June 23 draft, and we’re here to offer four realistic blockbuster trades.
The Trail Blazers Add Jerami Grant For Josh Hart And Justise Winslow
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Jerami Grant
Detroit Pistons Receive: Josh Hart, Justise Winslow
Jerami Grant has only one year left on the three-year, $60 million contract he signed with the Pistons in 2020. It’s nearly impossible to envision the 28-year-old wing re-upping with a Detroit team that is at least three years away from competing for a playoff spot in the crowded Eastern Conference after his deal is up. The Pistons should look to trade Grant during the offseason before losing him for nothing.
Josh Hart blew up after he was dealt in a trade deadline swap to the Trail Blazers, averaging 18.7 PPG while shooting 47.6% from the field and playing his typical brand of hard-nosed defense. Justise Winslow was a high draft pick who never found his footing in the league. However, he’s only 26-years-old with the prototypical size and talent to become a top-10 defensive wing. The Pistons could insert both players around Cade Cunningham, adding toughness and defense to the Pistons’ starting unit.
The Trail Blazers, meanwhile, shipped out half of their rotation at the trade deadline, and outside of Damian Lillard and perhaps Anfernee Simons, lack consistent two-way players who can defend and add a little bit of shot creation to the offense. Jerami Grant would slip in nicely next to Damian Lillard in Portland’s starting lineup as a solid two-way wing who can handle the opposing squad’s most talented scorer, shoot at a high clip from deep, and drive to the rack.
The Nets Give Up On Ben Simmons For Jason Collins And Onyeka Okongwu
Brooklyn Nets Receive: John Collins, Onyeka Okongwu
Atlanta Hawks Receive: Ben Simmons
If you haven’t been on an eight-month camel trip through the Sahara Desert without a cell phone (yes, there is cell phone service in the Sahara), you know about the Ben Simmons saga. He sat out the entire season due to mental health and back issues. And even though Simmons, again, didn’t play basketball for the entire season, he recently went under the knife to alleviate back pain from a herniated disk.
Ben Simmons’s back problems could be real. Or they could be phantom pains created by his anxiety about playing basketball in front of the world again (I’m not criticizing Simmons, mental health issues are a very real problem for many people and can be debilitating). Hell, he could have consulted 20 surgeons before one agreed to go in and have a look at his lower back. We just don’t know. And that’s a problem.