In any given NBA season, there are only a handful of teams with a real shot at winning the NBA championship. The rest of the league’s squads have to set their own goals by which to measure their season.
Middling clubs might be content with a playoff appearance. Rebuilding teams might be thrilled to see their Defensive Rating climb from 30th to 25th. Whether your team is in the mix for the NBA championship or not, there’s always something to play for.
Of course, some teams are in championship-or-bust mode. For example, look at the Los Angeles Clippers. If they don’t win it all this year, they didn’t accomplish their goal.
On the other hand, the stakes are a little lower for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Still, having traded for Donovan Mitchell this summer, they’ve certainly raised. If the Cavaliers don’t win at least a playoff series this year, they’ve fallen short of expectations.
Finally, the San Antonio Spurs have something to play for as well – losses. After trading Dejounte Murray for three first-round picks and a swap, the Spurs are in full “tank” mode.
Here’s a deal that could help all three teams get what they’re looking for.
San Antonio Spurs Receive: F/C Marcus Morris Sr., G/F Luke Kennard, 2023 Second-Round Pick (LAC)
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: F Doug McDermott, G/F Josh Richardson
Los Angeles Clippers Receive: F/C Kevin Love