Every day, Pick and Popovich will post one fake trade and explain why it makes sense for every team involved to make it. There are no parameters beyond fitting within the salary cap. Sometimes the trades will involve stars, others role players. They are not grounded in actual rumors, they just make sense on paper.
New York Knicks receive: Boston Celtics receive: Los Angeles Clippers receive:
2016 Brooklyn Nets First Round Pick Blake Griffin Carmelo Anthony
Lance Stephenson Paul Pierce Jae Crowder
Kelly Olynyk Pablo Prigioni Amir Johnson
Why New York would make this trade: Unless the Knicks have reason to believe they can lure Kevin Durant this summer, and the odds are starkly against them in that regard, it probably makes sense to trade Carmelo Anthony now while his value is still high. At 31-years-old, he’s going to be past his prime by the time Kristaps Porzingis is ready to win a championship. The Knicks have to make a choice between winning now and winning later. Considering how far they still have to go, how dominant the Warriors, Spurs and even Cavaliers are, and how absurd Porzingis’ potential could be, adding a likely top-3 pick along with a nice group of young prospects seems like a great haul.
Why Boston would make this trade: This is what they’ve been waiting for! They were a year late to the James Harden party and since then, no superstar caliber player has reached the trade market. Boston would give up anything on their roster to get that kind of piece (along with a heartfelt Paul Pierce reunion), and in making this trade they still retain two of their three valuable Brooklyn picks, their All-Star point guard and more depth than any team in the East. And the cherry on top? The Celtics would still enter this summer’s free agency derby with enough salary cap room to sign a max player. Could Griffin, Brad Stevens and the great Celtic history lure Durant? It’s at least possible.
Why Los Angeles would make this trade: The Clippers are a step behind Golden State, San Antonio and Oklahoma City. That much is certain, and if anyone plans on dethroning the Warriors it will likely have to come with a smaller lineup that can keep up with them defensively. Anthony is far more versatile on that end and provides much more spacing than Griffin on offense. Combine that with Jae Crowder’s two-way excellence and the extra defense Amir Johnson provides off of the bench and the Clippers suddenly have a roster far-better equipped to match Golden State’s speed and shooting.