For the first time in a long while, the upcoming NBA offseason could come and go without a star changing teams in free agency.
But the trade market could be a different story entirely.
Conditions seem perfect for some landscape-shifting blockbusters. With free agency short on both present-focused buyers and high-level hoopers-for-hire, teams in search of major adjustments might need to orchestrate trades to make them happen.
Even if our crystal ball proves correct and Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Bradley Beal all stay put, several notable names could still be on the move. We spotlighted the five best and brokered deals to get them onto new rosters.
John Collins to Golden State
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Golden State Warriors receive: John Collins and Kevin Huerter
Atlanta Hawks receive: Kevon Looney, Jordan Poole and No. 2 pick
A worst-to-first leap is not out of the question for the Warriors. Next season's group will reunite Draymond Green with (hopefully) healthy versions of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, forming a trio that has already delivered three world titles to the Bay.
Of course, Golden State's three stars were younger and better supported back when they were taking annual trips to the Finals (2015-19). For this to work, the Warriors might need serious upgrades to the roster, and it's not realistic to ask that of whichever prospect gets selected second overall.
That's why they might simply ship it out for more immediate help. Collins and Huerter could provide just that.
Collins is already a nightly supplier of 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds, and the 22-year-old's arsenal is bursting at the seams. He upped his rim protection and added a three-ball (which he hit at a 40.1 percent clip) this past season, and his explosive athleticism could have an even greater impact if he was able to play off gravitational forces like Curry and Thompson.
Huerter, meanwhile, would scratch a big itch for supplemental shooting. Atlanta brought him in to play the Thompson role in its Warriors East model, and the stat sheet can see the resemblance. Huerter has averaged 2.0 threes on 38.3 percent shooting through two seasons; Thompson was at 2.2 and 40.6 at the same stage of his career.
The Hawks could jump at the opportunity to find a high-ceiling backcourt mate for Trae Young (presumably Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball) while shedding Collins before he needs his first non-rookie contract. As productive as the bouncy big man has been, Atlanta is reportedly hesitant about giving him "significant money," per The Athletic's Chris Kirschner, and it created some skill overlap when it added Clint Capela at the trade deadline.
The Hawks would do this deal for the pick, but Looney and Poole could emerge as keepers, too. The 24-year-old Looney offers impressive defensive versatility when he can stay healthy, and the 21-year-old Poole might become a quick-strike scorer with an array of off-the-dribble finishing moves.
Buddy Hield to Philadelphia
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Philadelphia 76ers receive: Buddy Hield
Sacramento Kings receive: Al Horford, No. 34 pick (via Atlanta Hawks), No. 36 pick (via New York Knicks)
The 76ers say they're stopping short of splitting apart Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, but they understand the need for change around their stars.