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The 2-3 Zone, featuring five big trade ideas

The “2”

If you’re an NBA trade machine junkie like myself, the trade possibilities of this offseason have probably piqued your excitement. With that in mind, I’ve decided to draw up five trades I hope to see executed that I think make sense for all teams involved.

In this first trade, the Denver Nuggets would send Gary Harris, Michael Porter Jr., Monte Morris and a protected 2021 first-round pick to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Bradley Beal.

Honestly, I don’t see this trade happening until closer to the trade deadline in the 2021 season. The Wizards are going to test out the John Wall and Bradley Beal experiment once again with a now-healthy Wall and a much-improved Beal.

But when the Wizards’ dismal supporting cast eventually drags down the Wall-Beal tandem, they’ll be looking to hit reset on the franchise. Wall’s contract is near impossible to move. And the Nuggets will be eager to make a move for a third star, so this exchange will be perfect for both teams.

Yes, it is a hefty package, but Beal is a borderline All-NBA talent. With so much going to Washington, they’ll have some young pieces to build around. And the Nuggets will be able to add a proven star to the pairing of Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray. If Murray can continue to be elite, that trio will make the Nuggets an instant title contender.

This next trade sees another star switching conferences, as the Milwaukee Bucks would send Eric Bledsoe, Ersan Ilyasova, Robin Lopez, Donte DiVincenzo and the No. 24 pick in this year’s draft to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Chris Paul.

A lot of people have been discussing a Paul trade to the Bucks, for good reason. The Bucks need to make a move to bolster their title odds. If they don’t win it all in 2021, MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will have plenty of reason to leave Milwaukee.

With this trade, the Bucks build the best big-three in basketball. And they get someone who can actually shine in clutch situations. For the Thunder, they can move off Paul’s contract with this trade and get some decent pieces to make further rebuilding moves with.

The “3”

One trade I am dying to see is one involving Jrue Holiday. The prospect of the three Holiday brothers playing together makes me feverish with excitement.

So with this trade, the Indiana Pacers acquire Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Myles Turner, Doug McDermott and a future second-round pick.

This trade gives the Pelicans a big man that can space the floor playing alongside paint-beast Zion Williamson. And McDermott gives them even more outside shooting, a perfect compliment for Lonzo Ball and Williamson. Moving a 30-year-old player to Indiana also helps the Pelicans get younger.

For the Pacers, this move starts a series of exchanges they could make this offseason.

Indiana is in a weird position right now. They clearly don’t have the star power to compete with the elite teams of the East, but they have the talent and culture to be playoff contenders.

With that in mind, the next trade doesn’t necessarily move the needle for the Pacers, but it provides a fun shake up that could draw more attention to Pacers basketball.

In a three-team deal, the Sacramento Kings send Buddy Hield and Richaun Holmes to the Pacers, the Pacers send Victor Oladipo to the Orlando Magic and the Magic send Nikola Vučević to the Kings.

With this deal, the Pacers get to replace Turner and back up Domantas Sabonis. They also add a sharpshooter to play off T.J. Warren’s shot creation and Malcolm Brogdon’s playmaking. With a new setting, Hield may even fulfill his potential.

The Magic would bring in a star with injury risk. But they move to a shorter contract, which can help with their long-term rebuilding plans. And if Oladipo plays well, he can make the Magic a bit more exciting than Vučević can.

The Kings, meanwhile, can finally move away from their soured relationship with Hield. And they can experiment with the combination of Vučević and Marvin Bagley III, which could become an incredibly exciting front court with De’Aaron Fox feeding them in the post.

In this last trade, the Los Angeles Lakers would move their first-round pick this year, along with Quinn Cook and Talen Horton-Tucker, to the Detroit Pistons for Luke Kennard.

This one is simple. Kennard is not working out in Detroit. The Pistons can get a new, young player. 

And for the Lakers, Kennard can provide some much-needed three-point shooting.

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