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.
Milwaukee Bucks Receive: Portland Trailblazers Receive:
C.J. McCollum Jabari Parker
Top-10 Protected 2016 Milwaukee First Round Pick
Why Milwaukee Would Make this Trade: The Bucks need a point guard who can space the floor and create offense on his own, but aren’t particularly well-positioned to find one. They will have meaningful cap space this summer, when few are available, but will likely have far less in 2017 when more hit the market thanks to potential extensions for Giannis Antetokuonmpo and Michael Carter-Williams. If they want to find one, they’ll likely have to part with a significant trade chip or two. Luckily, trading Jabari makes sense as his fit next to the three-point averse Giannis seems less viable by the day. Biting the bullet on that first rounder is tough, but this trade has the added benefit of opening up the power forward spot for John Henson, helping Milwaukee shift back towards the defensive system they had so much success with last season.
Why Portland Would Make This Trade: It’s exceedingly difficult to build a functioning defense around two 6’3” guards (especially if you plan on keeping Meyers Leonard). While Jabari Parker is by no means a stopper himself, his size represents at least the hope of a passable defensive forward, whereas McCollum would likely spend his career getting destroyed by bigger guards if he stays in Portland. He hasn’t shown as much as McCollum as a scorer, but playing next to arguably the second best shooter in the game in Damian Lillard would open the floor up for him significantly, and the Blazers have far fewer mouths to feed offensively anyway. That first-round pick is a valuable asset for a rebuilding team, and O.J. Mayo helps save them real-life cash by getting them closer to salary floor via his cap number but only costing them the money it takes to pay him for the rest of the year.