Fresh Trade Target List for Every NBA Team

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Bleacher Report

The NBA trade market is open for business.

While teams weren’t restricted from wheeling and dealing before, the arrival of Dec. 15 carries significance on multiple fronts. It not only means that most players who signed deals this offseason are now trade-eligible, but it also means enough time has passed for franchises to be able to assess what their teams can accomplish.

As clubs continue to fall clearly into the buckets of buyers and sellers, trade activity could roar to life sooner than later.

Before that happens, though, teams need to carefully plot their shopping lists and determine who or what exactly they need to add—both for this season and beyond. We’ve taken the liberty of drafting those lists for them by identifying clear areas of need and spotlighting a few players (or assets) who can check those boxes.

Atlanta Hawks

  • Possible Targets: Delon Wright, Jordan McLaughlin, Kyle Anderson

It feels like the Hawks could take a massive swing this trade season, particularly since they’ve basically played .500 ball since their surprise run to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals. The eye test shows the vibes are less than immaculate in Atlanta, and maybe this will finally be the season for a John Collins blockbuster.

On a smaller scale, though, the Hawks still need more playmaking behind Trae Young. Their point-of-attack defense could use a lift, too.

Wright offers a chance to check both boxes in a single swap. Anderson does, too, though he’s more of a secondary playmaker than an offensive hub. McLaughlin is the worst defender of the lot, but he’s the best creator, and Atlanta could decide that matters most since its attack is essentially non-functional when Young takes a seat.

Boston Celtics

  • Possible Targets: Jakob Poeltl, Mo Bamba, Bismack Biyombo

Despite recent turbulence, the Celtics remain this season’s best team—by winning percentage (.759) and net rating (plus-7.0). Their likeliest course of action at basketball’s biggest swap meet is sitting out the proceedings and maybe sifting through the buyout market after the trade deadline.

Should the Shamrocks opt to shop, though, interior depth will top their wish list or comprise it entirely. Obviously, their frontcourt would look better if it had Robert Williams III (knee) and Al Horford (personal), but that’s kind of the point. Williams has a lengthy injury history, and Horford turned 36 in June. Boston can count on that combo only so much.

A Poeltl pursuit could prove too rich for this front office, but his paint protection, rebounding and low-maintenance offense would be awesome for this club. Otherwise, this hinges on what the organization wants from a backup big. Bamba stands out for his floor-spacing and athleticism, while Biyombo offers limited range but loads of energy and activity around the basket.

Brooklyn Nets

  • Possible Targets: John Collins, Mo Bamba, Jae Crowder

There was a time in the not-so-distant past in which it seemed the Nets could rank among this season’s biggest sellers, but Brooklyn has found its stride under coach Jacque Vaughn. Since he took over for the ousted Steve Nash, the Nets are 15-7 with the Association’s fourth-best net rating (plus-4.4).

Just like that, Brooklyn might be among the most aggressive buyers. The club has interest in Collins, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, though Atlanta isn’t keen on accepting a package built around Joe Harris. It’s possible the bouncy big man is out of Brooklyn’s trade budget, but Collins would be a perfect combo big for the Nets since he can function as a rim-runner but also hit threes and shoulder a not-insignificant amount of the scoring load.

If the Nets don’t feel the need to swing that big, then frontcourt depth will be the target. They have nothing behind Nic Claxton at center—Day’Ron Sharpe isn’t a rotation regular—and the forward spots could use someone such as Crowder, who would supply defense, toughness, experience and some degree of shot-making.

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