Beyond the rare useful player who makes it to the buyout market, NBA teams are past the point of adding talent to their rosters.
But what if they weren't? What if the basketball gods felt extra generous and gave every franchise one more crack at trade season?
For some, that would open the door to covering roster flaws ahead of the grueling postseason. For others, it might be a chance to send out win-now talent in exchange for long-term assets that could help with future playoff pushes.
Since we're bending the rules with the timing of trades, we'll also ignore them on the financial front. That means we're focused more on finding the basic framework of a swap, not necessarily full packages that would satisfy the league's money-matching requirements.
Got it? Great, let's start correcting some flaws.
The Trade: Jalen Johnson, Vit Krejci and two second-round picks to Detroit Pistons for Alec Burks and Cory Joseph
If this was the offseason, we could entertain interesting discussions on whether it's time to finally trade John Collins or if consideration should be given to breaking apart the Trae Young-Dejounte Murray backcourt. Since we're still in season, though, Atlanta can ignore those big-picture questions and shore up its rotation for the playoff run ahead.
The Hawks, who sit just 22nd in defensive efficiency, are short on stoppers, so they could use a perimeter pest like Joseph and a versatile defender like Burks. Both are willing ball-movers too, which Atlanta desperately needs. Despite getting better than 16 dimes a night out of Young and Murray, the Hawks are 29th in assist percentage.
The Pistons seem keen on competing next season, but what's the rush? The team timeline suggests adopting a much more patient approach would be the prudent move, so Detroit could want to see whether Johnson, Krejci or the picks could stick with its long-term core.
The Trade: Payton Pritchard and 2025 first-round pick (lottery-protected) to Charlotte Hornets for P.J. Washington
With Robert Williams III back on the injury report (this time with a strained hamstring), Boston might be kicking itself for not doing more to fortify its frontcourt at the deadline. Mike Muscala's combination of size and shooting is helpful, but his limitations have already shown.
Paying up for Washington could be the ultimate mulligan. His two-way versatility would shine at both ends, and he'd offer an alternative to paying Grant Williams this summer since both are heading to restricted free agency.
Washington might be the proverbial jack of all trades, master of none, but the Shamrocks could squeeze plenty out of his well-rounded skill set. He works as both a physical 4 or a small-ball 5, and depending on what the night calls for, he can contribute points, rebounds, assists and threes.
If Charlotte doesn't plan on paying Washington, this trade would net a first-round pick and allow it to see whether Pritchard could lead its second team for the next half-decade.