For the NBA, “Trade SZN” continues as it isn’t only just Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard in trade rumors. Now we can also add Kawhi Leonard and Bradley Beal among others. The NBA betting lines have most of these stars and their potential destinations.
However, not all teams are a good fit or even offer a scenario, outside of a complicated three or four-team deal, where they can land the superstar (looking at you Lakers). Instead, we look at which teams would be the ideal fit for the potential jetsetters.
Best Team Fits in Potential Trades
Bradley Beal: Golden State Warriors (+250)
The Boston Celtics (+175) are the favorites to get Beal, per the online sportsbook, but Beal’s best fit would be with the Warriors. Not only does Golden State Warriors have more pieces to trade for Beal, but Golden State will be a sizable step up from Washington.
Boston has no clear path to realistically acquiring Beal without giving up Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum and that defeats the whole purpose. But the Warriors can send a package that includes center James Wiseman, forward Eric Paschall, their seventh overall pick (via Minnesota) and others.
Imagine the Warriors with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Beal all on the perimeter. Their NBA title odds will quickly shorten and make them a co-favorite in the West.
Kyle Lowry: Philadelphia 76ers (+300)
This is an easy one. The Sixers badly need a guard that can shoot and deliver in the clutch. Kyle Lowry solves both needs with an added bonus in that he’s a Philadelphian. He’s also a bulldog on defense.
Of course, to get Lowry, the Sixers will likely have to deal Ben Simmons or an impressive haul of prospects and picks. They already refused to do the latter at the NBA trade deadline while reports surfaced that they tried to fleece the Toronto Raptors by proposing Simmons for Lowry and a lot more.
The 76ers and Raptors were reportedly talking Ben Simmons trade. 👀 pic.twitter.com/JTjLAd3Ubd
— theScore (@theScore) July 27, 2021
This trade offer is a joke you’d pull on your friends in a fantasy league. But if the Sixers come back with a better offer, they could just land Lowry. Doing so will give them a sizable boost and maybe finally get them past the conference semifinals.
Kawhi Leonard: Miami Heat (+400)
In terms of playing style, Leonard can fit in almost any NBA team. This isn’t the issue. The nuance is getting him on a team that already has an established leadership. Otherwise, it will be the Los Angeles Clippers all over again.
Out of the teams on the list, the Miami Heat fit the bill the best. The New York Knicks (+300) and Dallas Mavericks (+400) have young cores. But the Heat have a true alpha dog in Jimmy Butler, who already pushed the team as far as the NBA Finals.
Leonard can slot into Miami just like he did in Toronto: as a mercenary that will add to its defense and provide a much-needed offensive upgrade. And just think about how much better the Miami-Milwaukee playoff rivalry will get.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Toronto Raptors
There are no odds on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander moving to another team, but the Oklahoma City Thunder and Raptors are reportedly exploring a deal that could see the teams swap first-round picks. If this is the case, why not throw in Gilgeous-Alexander, who suddenly finds himself as an odd man out on the rebuilding franchise.
Gilgeous-Alexander is just 23, but the Thunder are going into a deep rebuild and their timelines may not align. “SGA” may also not want to spend a good chunk of his prime on a team that’s going to be winning 33 games a season, tops.
The Thunder could send SGA back home to Toronto plus their No. 6 pick for the Raptors’ fourth, guard Malachi Flynn and whoever else. This way, SGA not only bolsters Toronto’s offense but sets them up nicely when they finally move Lowry.