Alex Golden, Rob Soni, Mark Wahlen & Zach Milner
Alex, Rob, Mark & Zach are contributors to The Five By 5.
Setting The Stage:
Every NBA team was randomly sorted between the participants (Alex, Rob, Mark and Zach). Participants were allowed 1 day of prep work before the mock trade deadline commenced. This prep period included identifying which teams within the participants assigned groups were "sellers" and which were "buyers", which players would be on the market for a given team, which players a given team would be pursue in trades and what the financial and asset situation looked like for each franchise. After the prep period, the mock trade deadline started with the participants discussing potential trades for a 3 day span in a group chat. Prior to agreed upon deals becoming official, they were checked to ensure compliance to the NBA's CBA. Additionally, once each agreed upon trade was made final, the participants provided their own reactions the trade. These reactions have been included as part of the article to give context and commentary on the plausibility of each completed trade. Lastly, we've also included other deals that were completed as part of the mock trade deadline, but we weren't able to receive participant reactions to. We've also included all the trades that were discussed seriously, but ultimately fell through, and the other trade discussions that started but never became serious.
Although they won't be listed here, the Nikola Mirotic and Blake Griffin trades occurred during the completion of this mock trade deadline. Those deals were assumed that have happened as part of the mock trade deadline, and the teams adjusted accordingly.
Additionally, it should be noted that measures were taken to ensure that none of the participants received the team into their assigned group that they actively cheer for in order to decrease potential biases (Alex - the Pacers, Rob - the Celtics, Mark - The Jazz and Zach - the Lakers). Although, it should also be noted that through sheer luck, none of the participants were randomly assigned their own team, so no further alterations in the groupings were needed after the initial random assignments.
Below are the randomly assigned team groupings to each participant:
Toronto Raptors & Portland Trailblazers
Portland Trades: CJ McCollum + Evan Turner
Raptors Trade: DeMar DeRozan + Jonas Valanciunas
Rob (Raptors GM): “I think if you are realistic, the Raptors can’t score in the playoffs. And I really feel like CJ helps them come playoff time way more (than DeRozan). Come playoff time, I think CJ helps more. Honestly, I think both teams need a shake-up. We’ve seen both squads in this iteration for like 3 straight years. I watch a lot of East coast hoops, and I really believe that they’d be better with CJ."
Mark (Blazers GM): “To be honest, I don’t see the Raptors doing it either. They’re playing too damn well right now to shake things up in a major way. And I feel like CJ and Lowry wouldn’t be the greatest fit. I think the deal would be a home run for the Blazers though. Really interesting trade either way.”
Alex:“There’s no way in hell that I see Toronto doing that trade. Plus, JV has had moments of solid basketball.”
Zach: “What Alex said. Really tough to break up DeRozan and Lowry when they’ve been playing so well. I know they can try and get rid of JV, but I don’t see them losing DeMar to do it. They don’t need to shake things up. Talent and money wise, it’s a fair trade. I just don’t think Toronto considers it. DeRozan has improved and Toronto’s offense isn’t as dependent on ISO anymore. I always have a tough time believing the Raps after the regular season, but this year feels a bit different. They’re not finals bound, but they’re more competitive.”
Los Angeles Clippers & Cleveland Cavaliers:
LA Clippers Trade: DeAndre Jordan + Wesley Johnson
Cleveland Cavaliers Trade: Tristan Thompson + Jae Crowder + Cavs 2018 1st rounder (lottery protected) and Miami's 2020 2nd round pick (top 35 protected)
Zach (Cavs GM):“I think Cleveland would be really happy with getting DJ while keeping the Brooklyn pick and dumping Tristan Thompson."
Mark:"Ya, I think that they (the Cavs) would be ecstatic with that deal. Really good deal for the Cavs. I wonder if the Clippers could get better, but if the Bucks aren’t willing to pay up, it’s hard to find another suitor for that price.”
Rob:“I think it works well, because if DJ opts in, the Cavs are screwed next year, and that has to be factored into the trade”
Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz:
Philadelphia Trades: Dario Saric + Amir Johnson
Utah Jazz Trades: Derrick Favors + rights to swap 2nd round picks in 2018 (Philly would now own the right to swap picks)
Zach (Jazz GM): “For the record, I think there’s no way Philly considers this trade, but I could be wrong.”
Rob:“I don’t they they move off Saric for Favors and a pick swap. Maybe if they (the Jazz) ate Bayless’s contract, but I don’t that trade (including Bayless) works financially. If the 76ers can get rid of Bayless, they can offer PG13 the max.”
Mark:”Jazz would take Saric in a heartbeat. Can’t see the 76ers doing it. This trade is great for Utah.”
Alex (76ers GM): “The 76ers need a younger veteran center to backup Embiid, so I say good deal.”
Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans:
LA Clippers Trade: Lou Williams
New Orleans Trades: E'twaun Moore + 2019 2nd round pick
Zach (New Orleans GM): “Probably should have taken the swapping of 2 picks, but still a good trade for the Pelicans in my opinion. E'Twaun Moore isn’t bad at all, but gets $7 million off the books and brings someone in who can score off the bench.”
Alex (Clippers GM): “Yeah, me too. That’s why I asked for it (another 2nd round pick). But acquiring another 2nd rounder for next year gives them more pieces to play with in the future. Moore has been solid this year, so that’s why I asked for it. Probably the most realistic trade we’ve made in the group lol.”
Other Completed Trades
Washington Wizards & Memphis Grizzlies:
Washington Trades: Jodie Meeks + 2018 1st round
Memphis Trades: Tyreke Evans + future 2nd
Phoenix Suns & Denver Nuggets:
Phoenix Suns Trade: Troy Daniels + two 2018 2nd rounders
Denver Nuggets Trade: Emanuel Mudiay
Deals That Got Close, But Ultimately Fell Apart
Houston Rockets Trade: Tarik Black + two future 2nds
Utah Jazz Trade: Ekpe Udoh
Golden State Warriors Trade: Zaza Pachulia + Nick Young + Kevon Looney + their own 2018 1st round pick
Utah Jazz Trade: Derrick Favors
Brooklyn Nets Trade: DeMarre Carroll + Joe Harris
Detroit Pistons Trade: Stanley Johnson + Jon Leur + 2018 2nd round pick
Orlando Magic Trade: Elfrid Payton
Phoenix Suns Trade: Three 2018 2nd round picks
Talks That Happened, But Never Got Serious
Miami Heat & Boston Celtics:
Hassan Whiteside to the Cavs for a package centered around IT and their own 2018 1st.
LA Clippers & Milwaukee Bucks:
DJ to the Bucks for a package centered around Malcolm Brogdan + Thon Maker.
Dallas Mavericks & Cleveland Cavaliers:
Nerlens Noel to the Cavs for a package centered around Jose Calderon + Ante Zizic.
Dallas Mavericks & Cleveland Cavaliers:
Wesley Matthews to the Cavs for Channing Frye + the Cavs 2018 1st.
Utah Jazz, LA Clippers & Cleveland Cavaliers:
3 team trade centered around the Jazz landing Kevin Love. The Clippers landing Rodney Hood + Derrick Favors + Joe Johnson + Tristan Thompson + the Cavs own 2018 1st rounder. The Cavs getting DeAndre Jordan + Austin Rivers.
LA Clippers & LA Lakers:
DeAndre Jordan to the Lakers for Jordan Clarkson + Julius Randle.
Utah Jazz & The Atlanta Hawks:
Rodney Hood to the Hawks in a deal centered around one of the Hawks late 2018 1st round picks.
Portland Trailblazers & Cleveland Cavaliers:
CJ McCollum to the Cavs in a deal centered around the Brooklyn 2018 1st round pick.
Portland Trailblazers & Utah Jazz:
CJ McCollum + Meyers Leonard to the Jazz in a deal centered around Rodney Hood + Derrick Favors + Utah's 2018 1st round pick.
Portland Trailblazers & Philadelphia 76ers:
CJ McCollum to the 76ers in a deal centered around Markelle Fultz + Robert Covington.
Charolette Hornets & The Cleveland Cavaliers:
Kemba Walker + Marvin Williams to the Cavs in a deal centered around Isiah Thomas + JR Smith + the Brooklyn 2018 1st round pick.
Miami Heat & The Milwaukee Bucks:
Hassan Whiteside to the Bucks in a deal centered around Malcolm Brogdan + Thon Maker + John Henson.
The Boston Celtics and....
Terry Rozier for… (it didn’t get beyond this, as Boston shut down any talks centered around Rozier immediately)