A complicated trade to get your head round today but one I believe benefits all 5 teams in some way or another. Firstly, I think the Blazers should make a move, I worry if they stay dry in the trade market they'll dip into the play-in and could find themselves out of the post season before it begins. The only issue is they won't want to pay the luxury tax and that makes big moves difficult considering they aren't going to be moving the likes of Lillard, Simmons or Grant. As we know the Suns and Deandre Ayton are working through a rough patch in their relationship and last years contract signing to me seemed like a temporary ceasefire as opposed to a permanent resolution to their issues. The Wizards need to blow it up, they're on a terrible run of form but have tradable assets to move. Tearing it down see's them in with a great chance at a top 3 pick as well as a wealth of assets to rebuild for the future. There's talk of Bey departing from the Pistons and Miami could still do with a starting power forward. This trade adresses all of the above. Here's why each team makes it.
Blazers: I think the Blazers have a good defensive scheme, possess good switchy wings but aside from defeciencies in the front court, Nurkic let's them down from a rim protection stand point. He's too easily beat on the perimeter due to his slow feet and while he has a good connection with Dame any decent center in the league should. Ayton is a long term piece for the Blazers which would allow them to continue their two track team building and I think the different situation would suit him well. Sadiq Bey is another valauble addition to the team. I think his shooting splits have gone down this year due to a lack of gravity from primary creators so putting him with the likes of Lillard and Simmons I see him being a valuable roleplayer who can space the floor at a high level and hold his own defensively. Hart and Little aren't insybstantial losses. Hart is a great glue guy and one of my favourite players on the team but in order to upgrade at center he'll always have to be sacraficed in a trade like this. Little is another forward on a great contract but he's in a diminished role for the Blazers this year. This trade see's Portland improve their ceiling and solidify their top 6 seed credentials.
Suns: The Suns push assets in here, upgrading their depth pieces to high end roleplayers and bringing in a high ceiling 5 to replace Ayton. Porzingis has had one of the best seasons of his career thus far in Washington. I like the idea of Phoenix having a 5 who can space the floor and his rim protection ha sbeen nothing short of fantastic this year. Originially I wanted Porzingis on the Blazers but it's too hard to maneuvre if you want to keep Portland out of the tax. On top of Porzingis the Suns essentially swap, Crowder, Saric and Shamet for Hart and Kuzma. Both of the incoming players are starting calibre forwards n the league and the addition of Kuzma could accomodate their guards getting more of a rest as he could shoulder the scoring burden on some nights. As mentioned above Hart is a quality roleplayer, great rebounder and prior to this year has been a good spacer, particularly from the corners. I see Monty loving Josh, he's a high IQ player who can play the 2/3. Admittedly the Suns really shake up the roster with this trade and they lose draft capital which could count them out of a trade for a star but if they're looking to push for the title this year I think they have to make a move.
Wizards: For the Wizards this is a simple tear down. They keep a hold of young players like Avdija, Kispert and Davis and embrace a long term rebuild, something the fans in DC have clamoured for since the end of the Beal and Wall days. They're bringing in 3 1st's Jovic and some 2nd's for Kuzma, Porzingis and Morris, a pretty fair sum considering Kuz's contract situation and Porzingis's lengthy contract and injury history. The real downside of this deal is taking on salary like Robinson and Shamet but if the Wizards look to rebuild with a young core it shouldn't be an issue. By the time they're ready to contend the likes of Robinson and Shamet will either be expiring or expired and they'll find themselves with a much brighter future in store. Of course this trade leaves Beal on the roster who they should get off of as soon as possible. If AD's injury isn't too bad I'd be calling up the Lakers to see if I can get Westbrook and the 2 1st's for Beal. That'd give them $70,000,000 in expiring money which could be bolstered by incorporating Pat Bev or Nunn in a deal.
Pistons: A simpler trade for the Pistons. They move Bey for another 1st in next year's draft adn get back a replacement forward in Little who's on a brilliant contract for the next 3 years. This keeps the team cheap and is a great return for Bey considering the lack of interest thus far on the market. They take on some expiring money to help the other teams involved out of the luxury tax and even bring in Jabari Walker, anothe ryoung player who could be given a run in the team consdiering their tanking aspirations this year.
Heat: Again this is a no brainer for the Heat. They get off of Robinson's contract all while bringing in a starting level 4 in Crowder who knows the franchise and knows Jimmy from their Marquette days and they bring in the best back up PG in the league in Monte Morris which could allow them to move off of Lowry next off-season or at the very least manage his minutes. Lowry is currently playing 36 minutes at the age of 36, simply not sustainable if you want him to eprform in the playoffs.
Let me know your thoughts on this trade. It see's the Suns become the best all round rotation in the league, their 7th man being Josh Hart, the Blazers make a big splash in the market landing Ayton, Miami sort out their issues at the 4, and the Pistons and the Wizards add assets to their warchest with Washington in particular committing to the tank.