top of page

Three Teams That Need To Make Major Trade Deadline Moves

The 2022-23 trade deadline is shaping up to be one of the more mysterious deadline's we have ever seen. The NBA seems to pretty clearly divided into three tiers right now. You've got the championship contenders (Celtics, Bucks, etc), teams stuck in the rebuilding phase (Rockets, Pistons, etc), and then you have the teams in the middle. I'm not sure the league has ever had more teams who aren't moving in a clear direction. Teams like Indiana, Washington, Chicago, and many more are facing a murky future. These middling teams are capable of sneaking in to the playoffs, but are not true championship contenders by any stretch of the imagination. They face the tough decision of making a late-season move to try and maximize their current situation, or try and off-load some assets and turn towards a rebuild. Here are three of those teams that I want to see shake things up soon:

Indiana Pacers

Team Overview: The Pacers have greatly exceeded expectations so far this season. They currently sit 7th in the Eastern Conference, at 22-18. Tyrese Haliburton has rapidly developed into one of the best point guards in the NBA, and Ben Mathurin is having an outstanding rookie season. Outside of Buddy Hield and Myles Turner, the roster is full of very young, exciting players.

The Issue: Indiana can absolutely be a playoff team this year. They have enough talent to do that. The problem is this: the Pacers roster as currently constructed is just not good enough to contend, or even win a playoff series in the loaded East. Like I mentioned earlier, they are one of these middling teams who isn't really capable of contending, but has too much talent to tank. So, what can Indiana do? There's no reason for a rebuild, just a retool. They have several pieces in place that will be the future of the franchise (Haliburton and Mathurin), now they just need to surround them with other guys who fit their timeline.

Who To Trade?: Myles Turner and Buddy Hield

It seems as if these guys have been on the trade block their entire careers, but they are again. To say Myles Turner has had an interesting tenure in Indiana would be quite the understatement. Injuries and trade rumors

have defined the 26 year-old center's career thus far. Turner is a very solid player, one who can definitely be a key part of a championship team. But, it just seems like the relationship with Turner and the Pacers has run it's course. Turner's value is still pretty high, and the Pacers can get some quality young players, or picks out of him. I am higher on Jalen Smith than most, and think he is capable of stepping in for Turner for now, and may develop into their starter. Buddy Hield's case for being traded is really simple. Every single team in the NBA could use a Buddy Hield. He has been one of the best shooters in the league since his rookie year. There are tons of playoff teams who are looking to add small pieces like Hield who can push them over the edge and hopefully into contention. Teams like the Lakers, Bulls, or Heat who are in win-now mode would be more than willing to send away some young pieces in order to acquire Hield. I ultimately don't think trading these two players will make Indiana much worse in the short-term, and will definitely benefit them in the long-run.

Utah Jazz

Team Overview: The Jazz were the best story from the first part of the NBA season. They somehow were first in the West after starting 10-3. They have since struggled and now sit at 20-22. Lauri Markkanen's ascension to a star has been more than exciting, and the rest of the team has done a great job of filling roles, and playing true team basketball. After trading away Mitchell and Gobert, the Jazz are in a much better spot than people thought.

The Issue:

The first 20 or so games might have fooled you into believing that this team is not rebuilding, but they are. Credit to Utah for making something out of nothing this year, but they are just 10-19 since that hot start. They are on the outskirts of playoff contention, and just don't have the pieces in place to be a true playoff team. They have several young guys who they can try and build around, and some veterans that will be very easy to deal to any contender.

Who To Trade?: Jordan Clarkson, Kelly Olynyk, Rudy Gay, Mike Conley

All of these guys are in their 30's, but can still provide some value to teams looking to add some quality veteran pieces. Jordan Clarkson is arguably the best bench scorer in the league, and would be a welcome sight for nearly any team. Kelly Olynyk is one of the most underrated players in the league and can be a solid rotational piece elsewhere. Mike Conley and Rudy Gay are seasoned veterans who can help a younger playoff team. My point is, these guys may be on the back-ends of their careers, but they still hold a lot of value. They do not fit the timeline of this team, and these 4 are not good enough to somehow make this current roster a playoff contender. It's time for the Jazz to commit to the rebuild. Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Malik Beasley all have potential to be pieces of a quality Jazz team in the future. There is really no point in hanging on to these veterans, and Utah needs to go ahead and call this what it is: a rebuild.

Atlanta Hawks

Team Overview: The Hawks have been one of the biggest dissapointments of the season. They currently are 18-21, and sit 10th in the East. They made the major move to acquire Dejounte Murray this offseason, and it has yet to pay off. Trae Young has had a down shooting year, but is still a perennial All-Star. John Collins has fallen off in recent years, and seems to want out of Atlanta.

The Issue:

Atlanta is a team that is in win-now mode. They just aren't doing that. They have arguably the best backcourt in the league, and a slew of younger players who look promising. Trae Young has proven his ability to lead a playoff team. He and Dejounte Murray are still working through the kinks of learning how to play with eachother, but I believe they can be successful. They just need a consistent third option on this team. Atlanta can not afford to miss out on the prime of this backcourt.


This one is painfully obvious. John Collins once looked like a future All-Star, but has fallen off a cliff the last few years. He has been in trade rumors since his second year, and seems unhappy in Atlanta. Whether it's been injuries, mis-use of his abilities, or playing with Trae, it just hasn't worked out. I really think Collins can be a star in this league. You don't have a 20/10 season by accident in the NBA. The Hawks can get a lot out of him, and maybe a better third option for Trae and Dejounte. Both sides seem to be ready for a fresh start here, and I think Collins can absolutely be a starter for a contending team.


bottom of page