These 4 NBA title contenders must make a move ahead of the NBA trade deadline

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Philadelphia 76ers

The NBA trade deadline is slowly approaching, causing teams to quickly decide to move pieces or keep their assets to themselves. With some teams already making moves to shake up their roster, four teams need to work rapidly to improve their chances of being legitimate title contenders.

The Dallas Mavericks surprised many after they secured the deal to acquire Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets. Most thought that the Los Angeles Lakers would be able to make it possible for LeBron James to reunite with his former teammate. But, Nets’ owner Joe Tsai had other plans and shipped him to Dallas in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round, and two second-round picks.

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Following this trade, it’s clear that the Mavs are trying to contend while Luka Doncic is still in his prime. He’s never had elite help before since entering the league in 2018. So far, Irving is the best teammate Luka has ever gotten. This trade transformed the Dallas franchise into a legit contender in the tough Western Conference.

While fans of the Mavericks are celebrating their gain, four contending teams need to be active this week. For them to be above the rest, these teams must decide which players they’ll trade away.

Philadelphia 76ers need to trade high-paid player at NBA trade deadline

Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers have had an exceptional 2022-23 NBA season with their dynamic duo, Joel Embiid and James Harden. However, they seem to be missing one piece to push them to where they want to be in the Eastern Conference. Some would argue that Tyrese Maxey is enough to help the team. But the Sixers should be ready to part ways with Tobias Harris at the trade deadline.

The Sixers have been with Harris since the 2018-19 season and will enter the final year of his deal next season. This season, he’s the highest-paid on the roster, and the Sixers could use him as a trade asset to get decent trade pieces. Harris still produces incredible numbers for Philly, and this is their chance to trade him. It would be best to move Tobias while he still holds a ton of value in the trade market.

Stagnant Miami Heat need a shake-up

Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7)
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Success in the NBA is hard to duplicate, especially if the pieces aren’t right. That has been the case for the Miami Heat, who have remained mediocre since their last Finals appearance in 2020. After three years, they’ve been hovering as an average team struggling to keep up with the better teams. One player the Heat need to trade this season is Kyle Lowry. Recent reports came in and have revealed that both parties seem to be ready to move on from each other.

It is his second season with Miami, and it looks like the experiment isn’t successful. Two possible teams could land him on the trade deadline; it’s just a matter of making it happen. The Los Angeles Clippers and the Minnesota Timberwolves could acquire Lowry this week. The six-time All-Star has been underperforming in his past games, which could drive the Heat front office to trade him.

Los Angeles Clippers are in need of big backup

Jun 26, 2021; Los Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac (40)
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

To be a contending team, one must sustain elite consistency throughout the season. The Los Angeles Clippers is the one team that has been inconsistent throughout the 2022-23 campaign. During the offseason, the energy around them was high due to the depth the management was able to build around their stars. However, due to injuries, they haven’t lived up to standard. Not until lately.

There have been reports that the Clippers are willing to trade John Wall somewhere. News from January said that the team could trade Wall for a decent backup big. Los Angeles has been relying heavily on Ivica Zubac to do the work inside. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Los Angeles desires a more accomplished big to serve as the backup to Zubac.

“The Clippers are searching for depth in the frontcourt and have discussed guard John Wall in potential deals, league sources say. Behind Ivica Zubac, the Clippers have relied heavily on two-way big man Moses Brown but have also looked into a more accomplished center,” Charania reported.

Cleveland Cavaliers could trade five-time All-Star

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) talks with guard Darius Garland (10) in the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Seeing a former star fall off the rotation isn’t easy for die-hard fans. But most of the time, it’s what’s best for the team. It’s the situation the Cleveland Cavaliers have gotten themselves into this year. Their success could elevate once they decide to get rid of some of the veterans on their team. One name that has been out of the Cavs’ rotation is Kevin Love.

Based on reports, Love and JB Bickerstaff talked about giving his minutes to a younger forward, Dean Wade. Since the last week of January, it appears as if the five-time All-Star has played his last game for Cleveland. He’s in the final year of his four-year $120 million deal, which would make him an unrestricted free agent this upcoming summer. There has been no news on which teams are interested,

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