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NBA trade deadline: 5 blockbuster NBA trades we’d love to see

Blockbuster NBA trades have been the name of the game around during the NBA trade deadline in recent years. Just look at the in-season deal that sent James Harden from the Brooklyn Nets to the Philadelphia 76ers ahead of last year’s trade deadline.

While things are moving relatively slowly leading up the the Feb. 9 deadline, the expectation is that it will pick up in the coming days.

We’re hearing that the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors could end up being sellers as the deadline approaches. The Dallas Mavericks could also end up going big-game hunting. Below, is a look at five blockbuster NBA trades we’d love to see ahead of the deadline.

Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NBA power rankings

Philadelphia 76ers land knockdown shooter at NBA trade deadline

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Dallas Mavericks
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  • Sixers get: Saddiq Bey, Marvin Bagley
  • Pistons get: Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz, Jaden Springer, draft picks

Philadelphia front office head Daryl Morey has indicated that he doesn’t expect to make a major splash ahead of the NBA trade deadline. For anyone who has followed his career, we know to take that with a grain of salt.

Philly currently sits at 33-17 on the season. It is in the midst of a run that has seen the team win 21-of-26. The championship window is right there for these Sixers, and we fully expect Morey to take advantage of that.

In this scenario, the 76ers add a sharpshooting and young wing in that of Saddiq Bey who is on the NBA trade block. The former first-round pick from Villanova is a career 36% shooter from distance. He’s averaging 15.6 points in 31 minutes of action since the start of last season.

Imagine Bey teaming up with James Harden (39%), De’Anthony Melton (39%) and Tyrese Maxey (39%) as lethal three-point shooters for Philadelphia. As for Bagley, he’d provide size with Embiid inside. The former lottery pick fits a need in the low-post, an area the 76ers must address.

Detroit is in full tank mode in an attempt to acquire a certain generational star in the 2023 NBA Draft. The decision to shut down Cade Cunningham for the season adds another layer to this. With that said, it’s not like this squad is void of young talent.

Moving off Bey while acquiring a few other youngsters and draft pick assets makes sense for general manager Troy Weaver. In this scenario, Detroit picks up a future first-round pick and two second-round selections from Philadelphia.

Related: Top 2023 NBA free agents

New Orleans Pelicans finally get that point guard

nba trades, nba trade deadline: mike conley to the pelicans
Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
  • Pelicans get: Mike Conley
  • Jazz get: Devonte’ Graham, Dyson Daniels, Daulton Hommes

After starting the season out with an 18-8 record, the Pelicans have fallen on hard times. They have lost 10 consecutive games. Zion Williamson is sidelined to injury. Point guard remains a major issue with C.J. McCollum forced into ball-handling duties. That’s not the best use for this star player.

New Orleans needs to go out there and get a legitimate starting point guard to team up with McCollum in the backcourt. That’s why this should be considered one of the most obvious NBA trades ahead of the deadline.

Conley, 35, is not the same player he used to be. However, the former All-Star is still averaging a robust 7.6 assists per game on the season. At the very least, he could be a table setter for New Orleans.

As for the Jazz, front office head Danny Ainge has pulled off two of the biggest NBA trades of the past calendar year. While his Utah team has surprised to an extent this season, moving more veterans for young assets and/or draft picks makes sense.

The headliner here would be a 19-year-old guard in Dyson Daniels who is months removed from being selected No. 8 in the 2022 NBA Draft. Ainge plays hardball. Acquiring Daniels would be an absolute boon.

Golden State Warriors bring in another big

nba trades, nba trade deadline: jakob poeltl golden state warriors
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  • Warriors get: Jakob Poeltl
  • Spurs get: James Wiseman, Moses Moody, 1st-round pick

As the defending champion Warriors continue to struggle in the low-post behind Kevon Looney, it’s becoming clear that they must pull off a trade for another big. Sure we’re likely looking at a smaller deal ahead of the NBA trade deadline. But let’s be honest. Golden State’s championship window is closing. It must make a win-now move to appease the big three, including Stephen Curry.

In this scenario, Golden State acquires another big in Poeltl to team up with Looney. Still only 27, the former top-10 pick is among the most-underrated centers in the game. He’s averaging 12.0 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists on 62% shooting. The 7-foot-1 big would fit perfectly in San Francisco.

Clearly in the initial stages of a rebuild, San Antonio sits at 14-38 on the season and has lost 15 of its past 17 games heading into the NBA trade deadline. Gregg Popovich and Co. need to move this rebuild along by acquiring young players and draft picks.

Wiseman is an engimatic figure. We already know that. But the 7-footer is still only 21 years old and has a ton of untapped potential. A first-round pick in 2021, Moody brings something to the table from the perimeter. Add in a future top-three protected first-round pick, and this could be enough for San Antonio to pull the trigger.

Related: NBA Playoffs and Finals predictions

Dallas Mavericks land Luka Doncic another star

nba trades, nba trade deadline: zach lavine to the dallas mavericks
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
  • Mavericks get: Zach LaVine, Alex Caruso
  • Bulls get: Jaden Hardy, Josh Green, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, 2 1st-round picks

Dallas is one of those teams looking to pull off a blockbuster deal ahead of the NBA trade deadline. There’s been rumors of star guard Luka Doncic not being happy about the direction of the organization. Appeasing him has to be a major goal for owner Mark Cuban and Co.

While Dallas lacks the assets to offer up a Donovan Mitchell-type package for LaVine, it does boast enough to get a blockbuster like this done. That includes two young wings in Hardy and Green, both of whom boast a tremendous amount of upside. Chicago could also flip Finney-Smith for a first-round pick and change. Add in two future unprotected first-rounders, and this makes sense from Chicago’s perspective.

Recent reports suggest that Dallas is one of four teams interested in LaVine ahead of the deadline. Why the heck not? The two-time All-Star is averaging 25.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists on 39% shooting from distance since the start of the 2019-20 season. Imagine him teaming up with Doncic out in the perimeter. That would make Dallas a legit force out west after struggles to open the 2022-23 campaign.

Brooklyn Nets go big-game hunting

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Utah Jazz
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
  • Nets get: Pascal Siakam, Malachi Flynn
  • Raptors get: Cam Thomas, Day’Ron Sharpe, Seth Curry, Joe Harris, Patty Mills, 2 1st-round picks

Following their humiliating loss at the hands of the Boston Celtics just ahead of the NBA trade deadline, we believe the Nets must pull off a game-changing move. Sure Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons were sidelined from that defeat. But there’s larger-scale roster issues in Brooklyn. The primary problem is an inability of others to step up when one of the Nets’ star players is inevitably sidelined.

General manager Sean Marks would pretty much be putting on five of the next seven NBA Drafts by pulling off a blockbuster trade for Siakam. But the franchise player in Toronto has more than proven he’s worth it.

  • Pascal Siakam stats (2019-23): 22.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 4.8 APG, 47% shooting

Imagine Siakam and Durant teaming up in the frontcourt with Simmons and Irving doing their thing in the backcourt. Add in an improved center in that of Nic Claxton, and this roster would be championship material.

As for the Raptors, they’ve been among the most-bandied about sellers ahead of the NBA trade deadline. This team is going nowhere fast as it is currently constructed.

Picking up two future unprotected first-round picks would be absolutely huge for front office head Masai Ujiri. That’s especially true given the question marks surrounding Brooklyn’s long-term relevance and just how valuable these picks might be. Youngsters in Thomas and Sharpe are not bad to build around, either.

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