December 15th has come and gone which is a big deal for those who love to talk NBA trades. This is when the recently signed free agents become eligible to be traded, which makes up for a big portion of the league. Now trades become much easier to construct for front offices with more salary filler options, more targets, and more front offices looking to switch it up or make a big move after seeing their team play for a few games. I’m going to be joined by Trade Machine guru Cain Ross to bounce some trade ideas off of each other. Let’s dive into some fake trades. Cain, you’re the master so I’ll let you start us up.
Credit to FanSpo.com for the trade machine.
Cain’s 1st Trade – Pacers go after Simmons
Cain: Can’t not do a Ben Simmons deal & rumors are a 3-teamer. Sixers get a very versatile forward in Pascal Siakim who can do a bit of everything & a nice scoring/playmaking guard to come off the bench in Levert. Has been running minutes at PG in Indiana & doing a great job. Pacers want an identity & with Simmons lining up next to Turner then gives them one. The first I think is fair in going to Indiana as they give up a bigger talent in Sabonis over Siakim while Philadelphia gets 2 truly good players who have plenty of prime left. Flynn is a young PG that with McConnell out fills in at that role with a little upside as well. Toronto has elite size & perimeter defense, so having a guy that isn’t great in the middle defensively would be that bad. Offensively he could unlock a lot for the Raptors guys with his passing, think the Boston Celtics version of Al Horford with more passing.
Reilly: I have a Simmons trade too, I think it would be crazy to not take the best offer and move him. I like him and Turner together a lot defensively. What you’re saying about the Raps is spot-on, they have the perimeter defense to survive a center that isn’t great defensively. I think the 76ers would want more but I don’t know how much more they can get at this point.
Reilly’s 1st trade – FVV to the Knicks, Raps commit to rebuild.
Reilly: The Knicks are one of the teams that can’t be happy with their season so far. They are below .500 and are looking more like a team that will have to fight to get into the playoffs, opposed to a team fighting for home court advantage. A big reason for this is poor point guard play. VanVleet could step in and start for them at point guard and give them some more playmaking without sacrificing on defense. The Raptors are at a point where I think they need to go young, they snag two 1sts from the Knicks, neither of which are the Knicks’ own picks to they can still open up the treasure chest of picks if a star is available and VanVleet’s salary could help in a trade for a star down the road as well.
Cain: This deal makes sense for both sides in my opinion, my only issue would be the Hornets pick is Top 18 protected in a loaded East that’ll be hard for it to transfer over. I’d be after the Knicks pick with Top 10 protection as making the play in my eyes gives them an opportunity.
FVV is the exact guy that they wanted Kemba Walker to be & I love the fit, they’re still a star short of being really good, but it’s a move in the right direction.
Cain’s 2nd trade – Young guys play musical chairs.
Cain: Hornets need a C & I think Mo Bamba has been solid this year so why not take a risk here. Magic may give up a little with that pick, but given how good the Bulls are it’s looking like mid/late 20’s so getting a big wing in Reddish + PJ Washington as a nice change of pace guy off the bench would be awesome. Hawks don’t get a first which may turn them off this deal, but their guard defense sucks with Markelle Fultz + Cody Martin that hugely boosts the back-court defense while giving the Hawks an actual back-up PG to boot.
Reilly: I think this trade makes sense for all parties in terms of trying to fill a need. The Hornets get a center like you said, Magic add some shooting, and the Hawks get another creator who could maybe help their defense. I do wonder with all the contract extension talk coming up for some of the young guys that their teams might want to hold onto them and try to get something more valuable on the sign-and-trade market, but that is sometimes difficult to pull off.
Reilly’s 2nd trade: Let’s Get Wild
Reilly: Let’s start with the Cavs who push some chips in the middle and commit to being an elite defense and a playoff team. The Cavs could bully teams even more with their size and Simmons fits well with the Garland and Mobley core. The 76ers get their shot creator and an asset, the Blazers get a much needed wing defender who can also replace some of the offensive production of CJ, and the Pistons go younger with a young promising guard that I think could fit in with Cade well.
Cain: I like this deal for the Sixers as I think that’s the exact type of guy the Sixers could use, but if Philadelphia would settle for that then I’d expect the Blazers to go get Simmons themselves rather than involve 2 other teams where they don’t get Simmons. Only thing I want in Cleveland is a 2-guard who can score off the bench or start, it doesn’t matter. Pistons suck so I understand the risk & I’d love a decent guard next to Cunningham.
Cain’s 3rd trade: Knicks target BI.
Cain: Pelicans suck & I have no idea what’s happening with Zion so I say a rebuild sounds like a good idea. Coby White is a nice young player & 2 x 1st Round Picks is a good place to start. Brandon Ingram needs to be saved & a reunion with Julius Randle sounds great. When Barrett scores the ball they win, he just isn’t a consistent scorer so let’s get a really good scorer in Brandon Ingram into the fold to build the Knicks up. The Bulls probably don’t like losing DJJ, but Fournier is a really nice bench scorer as well as all the Covid giving them more insurance. Not too mention a big C who can defend the rim would be a nice little cherry on top with Mitchell Robinson.
Reilly: I love the idea of the Knicks trying to get aggressive and adding a bigtime shot creator. Maybe I’m high on Ingram but I think the Pelicans would need a blue chip pick or young guy to move him, I don’t think Coby White is that level of an asset. Robinson could be an interesting get for the Bulls, they are getting close to the point of needing some Vooch insurance with how he has been shooting, I’m not as big on them committing money to Fourneir when they are loaded at guard right now.
Reilly’s 3rd trade: Bulls push for some wing help.
Reilly: I wrote about how the Bulls should go all-in last week. I think it’s safe to say the Bulls will make a move of somesort. It has been reported that the Hawks are willing to trade Reddish for a 1st. From a value standpoint I think this makes sense for both sides. Reddish helps the Bulls with two of their weak points which are wing defense and three point shooting (Reddish shoots 37% from 3). One of my hesitations is that the Hawks might not want to help out a potential 1st round playoff matchup and will look elsewhere.
Cain: Big, big Cam Reddish fan here & I certainly like the idea of him in Chicago. I think they’d benefit more from a big forward, but if one ain’t on offer then getting a talent like Reddish would be awesome. The pick seems ok, but right now that ain’t going to Bulls & if that’s the case I can see a rebuild happening with that pick being at risk of disappearing whilst Portland rebuild.
Cain’s 4th trade: Sexton gets moved.
Cain: I love the Cavaliers & I think all they’re missing is a scoring guard. Levert at 6’6 can get his own shot, is starting to hit the 3-ball again & can really give that 2nd unit a boost off the bench where I think he would thrive. Indiana just needs to take a shot at some high quality talent & I think Sexton can get there, but he doesn’t come with risk as a 6’1 SG who has questionable defense coming off injury. Since he can’t play this season should help with the tank though.
Reilly: Maybe this is a hot-take, I think Sexton might be the most likely player to get moved by the deadline, he doesn’t fit with the Cavs’ starters and I don’t think he wants to come off the bench. I love the idea of the Pacers taking a step back to hopefully take two steps forward this season. Seems like a win-win to me.