Comment Opinions Please. Is This Fair?
CHA: Julius Randle
NYK: Russell Westbrook, Wenyen Gabriel, Nick Richards, 2023 DEN 1st, & 2027 Top 5 Protected LAL 1st[Unprotected in 2028 If The Pick Doesn’t Convey]
LAL: Derrick Rose, Evan Fournier, Kelly Oubre Jr, & Mason Plumlee
Why Charlotte Does This?
Main reason is to stay competitive in a revamped eastern conference. With both Cleveland & Atlanta making moves for Star players in the offseason, the Hornets need to respond with a move of their own if they want to have a shot at the play-in tournament. Julius Randle would be a nice secondary option behind LaMelo in Charlotte. He’s someone who can fill up the three major statistical categories every game with his unique abilities as a point forward. Randle will also have a center in Mark Williams who’s very similar to Mitchell Robinson. These two can form a nice pick & roll duo where Williams will receive a bunch of lob opportunities.
The four of Ball, Rozier, Hayward, & Randle with both Williams & Jones rotating at the center position is a solid squad on paper. If they can stay healthy & commit to Coach Clifford’s defensive mindset, I can definitely see the Hornets being around the 8-10 seed & a potential playoff team. After this deal for Charlotte though, they’ll have four roster spots open. An important position of need is the backup point guard slot. Dennis Schroeder is surprisingly still available on the market & I believe he’d be an excellent fit behind LaMelo on the bench. The Hornets could also use a veteran center behind Williams & Jones after trading away Plumlee here. Looking at the remaining free agency class, Hassan Whiteside fits the bill quite nicely.
Next Moves To Make
• Sign Dennis Schroeder
• Sign Hassan Whiteside
• Sign Tony Snell
• Resign Isaiah Thomas
Hornets Ideal Starting Lineup:
Ball, Rozier, Hayward, Randle, & Williams
Schroeder, Bouknight, Martin, Washington, & Jones
Rest Of Bench:
Thomas, Snell, McDaniels, Thor, & Whiteside
Why Los Angeles Does This?
In order to solidify their squad with tremendous depth heading into the season. This trade gives the Lakers four solid rotational players in place of Russell Westbrook. Derrick Rose has been excellent when healthy & he’d be the main guard off the bench. Evan Fournier, while overpaid, gives Los Angeles a nice two way wing who can shoot very well from beyond the arc. Kelly Oubre Jr is simply a nice role player to have off the bench on any team. And lastly, Mason Plumlee provides security at the big man position while keeping Anthony Davis mainly at the power forward position. A deal like this for the Lakers allows them to keep guys healthy during the season due to the great depth they gain here. They won’t need to overplay anyone until the actual postseason where games matter most.
To conclude, I believe this team would be a legit title contender if they’re completely healthy heading into the playoffs. They’ll basically have it all around their two main stars in James & AD; three point guards in Beverley, Rose, & Nunn, multiple wings in Reaves, Walker IV, Fournier, Oubre Jr, & JTA, along with a solid center rotation consisting of Jones, Plumlee, & Bryant, all of whom bring a different unique quality to the team.
Lakers Ideal Starting Lineup:
Beverley, Reaves, James, Davis, & Jones
Rose, Walker IV, Fournier, Oubre Jr, & Plumlee
Rest Of Bench:
Nunn, Christie, JTA, Brown Jr, & Bryant
Why New York Does This?
Pretty obvious isn’t it? Future cap space & draft compensation. The Knicks here set themselves up nicely for the 2023 offseason while also staying competitive with the addition of Russell Westbrook at the shooting guard spot. New York would have an estimated $45M in cap space after doing this deal to go after stars potentially available via trade like Damian Lillard & Bradley Beal along with free agents like Tyler Herro, Jordan Poole, Gary Trent Jr, Dillon Brooks, De’Andre Hunter Andrew Wiggins, Jerami Grant, etc..
Now what would I do after this trade during the 2023 offseason as the Knicks GM? To be honest, I probably wouldn’t try to go big but instead add a couple of players that can grow alongside the core of Brunson, Quickley, Grimes, Barrett, Toppin, Robinson, & Hartenstein. A couple of players I’d target in free agency would be Andrew Wiggins & Dillon Brooks. These two guys would be nice fits at the SF position in between Barrett & Randle. Then you also have to remember, New York will have a total of 4-5 1sts to use in the upcoming 2023 draft class, which projects to be a deep one. This trade just puts the Knicks in such a good position going forward that it really excites me. I completely understand why New New York is interested in swapping their multi-year contracts with Westbrook’s expiring.
Next Moves To Make
• Sign Paul Millsap
• Sign Matt Thomas
Knicks Ideal Starting Lineup:
Brunson, Westbrook, Barrett, Toppin, & Robinson
Quickley, Grimes, Reddish, Millsap, & Hartenstein
Rest Of Bench:
McBride, Thomas, Gabriel, Sims, & Richards