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.
Brooklyn Nets receive: Atlanta Hawks receive: Toronto Raptors receive:
Jeff Teague NYK 2016 First Round Pick Thaddeus Young
James Johnson Delon Wright
Anthony Bennet Luis Scola
Why Brooklyn Would Make this Trade: The Nets don’t have an above average guard on their roster. Bojan Bogdanovic is the only one that’d be relatively usable on a winning team. In Jeff Teague they add a point guard around whom you can actually build a functional NBA offense. He can run pick-and-roll with Brook Lopez and, assuming you have a few shooters, actually help the Nets pass themselves off as a real NBA team.
Why Atlanta Would Make This Trade: Atlanta seems to want to hand the reigns to Dennis Schroeder, and with good reason. The Hawks outscore opponents by an astonishing 10.9 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor, a better net rating than every team in the league except Golden State and San Antonio. But adding a major piece in exchange for Teague makes little sense for Atlanta in-season. Their starting lineup is set, and their system takes longer to learn than most in the league. The Knicks’ likely lottery pick represents a fluid asset, a pick they can use to start a rebuilding movement if they think they’ll lose Al Horford, use as trade bait in the offseason to help build around him if he stays, or simply take as an opportunity to add the best player available.
Why Toronto Would Make This Trade: Toronto needs a power forward who can dribble, provide a modicum of spacing and not mess with their chemistry. Young checks all three boxes as a playmaking power forward, and also makes the offseason far simpler for Toronto. With him locked in they’d have to operate as an above the cap team this summer, which takes away flexibility but gives them a full mid-level exception to re-sign Bismack Biyombo (who would otherwise need to be brought back with cap space, as Toronto does not have his full Bird Rights) and perhaps chase a veteran looking for a contender. Assuming they brought back DeMar DeRozan as well, Toronto could essentially have their entire rotation locked in for a two- or three-year run, nearly unprecedented by today’s standards.