With the NBA trade deadline less than a week away, the Crossover staff explores potential deals they would like to see happen.
Howard Beck: Zach LaVine and Goran Dragić to the Lakers, for Russell Westbrook and protected first-round picks in 2027 and ’29
Let's be clear: There is no single trade that will turn the Lakers into undisputed contenders. But that can’t be the standard for making a deal (or for trading those picks). The Lakers can’t keep squandering what’s left of LeBron James’s late prime. They need to at least ensure themselves a playoff berth, and give James and Anthony Davis—still one of the best tandems in the league—a chance to make a deep run. In a year with no clear favorite in the West, a James-Davis-LaVine lineup absolutely has a shot.
Chicago is going nowhere with this roster. LaVine is due $178 million over the next four seasons, through 2026–27. The Bulls gain cap flexibility by swapping LaVine for Westbrook’s expiring deal, and a couple of draft picks to rebuild. Dragić is included for cap purposes, but he’d also be a valuable playmaker off the bench for the Lakers.
Chris Herring: Toronto’s OG Anunoby to Memphis for Ziaire Williams, Danny Green and two unprotected first-round picks
I like the idea of the Grizzlies solidifying the wing spot now that they’re likely to be perennial contenders. Dillon Brooks is a free agent after this season, and for everything he brings—tenacity, pest-level defense—his three-point percentage has dropped into the low 30s the past two seasons, and he still fouls a bit too much. (He’s fouled out of three games this season and logged five personals in 10 other games.)
Anunoby is steadier, more consistent. And with a young team that’s progressing to one of the favorites in the Western Conference, that’s worth paying for—even if it means having to trade away the upside of a very talented youngster like Williams.
Chris Mannix: James Wiseman to Chicago for Alex Caruso
Internally, the Warriors know they need something. The starting lineup is solid, albeit older (fun fact: Klay Thompson averaged 27 points in January, his highest scoring average in a calendar month). But the bench is unreliable; its -2.2 net rating is 27th, sandwiched between the Rockets and Hornets, per NBA.com. Caruso, 28, is a versatile defender (which would upgrade a middling defense) and a reliable three-point shooter with championship experience.
Look: Dealing Wiseman would make me queasy. But he’s three years into his NBA career and showing no signs of living up to his potential, at least not in Golden State. It’s possible, maybe even likely, he develops better in a new, less-pressure-filled environment. But he’s the best asset the Warriors have, and, if it means landing Caruso, who is owed an ultrareasonable $19 million over the next two years, it’s a risk Golden State should be willing to take.
Robin Lundberg: Patrick Beverley and lottery-protected first-round pick to Detroit for Alec Burks
The Lakers made a nice move in acquiring Rui Hachimura, but they still need some help. A realistic shot might be something like moving Patrick Beverley for Alec Burks, of course with draft compensation mixed in. Burks isn’t a flashy name, but he is a vet who can score and shoot a little and isn’t totally undersized at 6'6". Ideally L.A. would also target Bojan Bogdanović from the Pistons, but that doesn't seem likely given current asking prices on the market.
Another team surely to be involved in rumors is the Nets. There is a lot of talk about their needing a big, but I also believe a bigger guard who can rebound would be a solid target for BK. Seth Curry, Day’Ron Sharpe and a pick works salary-wise but would probably be dependent on Portland deciding whether it’s better off collecting assets than going for the play-in/playoffs.