Admittedly, it feels stupid to talk about trades right now amid
the postponements caused by the Decepticon Variant, but so long as
the season rages on — whether or not it should be is another
conversation, one the NBA probably knows the answer to because of
recent cancellations — I guess we’ll keep talking about
Well, let’s give this a shot, and hopefully, it’ll provide a
boost to your day...
We’re gonna play Stay or
Trade, which goes as it sounds, and it will involve four noteworthy
guys who are now available to be dealt following Dec. 15. I wrote about one of them
already, so no Will Barton talk today. Let's proceed with who
we will discuss.
Dennis Schröder, Boston Celtics
— $5.9 million
Disregarding that even ESPN
is using eyeball emojis in their YouTube video titles, Bobby Marks
expects Schröder to be traded. On the most recent episode of
The Dunker Spot, Steve Jones Jr. and Nekias Duncan
discussed Boston's needs as part of their mailbag
Schröder was famously a
mini-mid level signing after passing on a reported $84 million
extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, allegedly desiring for
north of $100 million. At least he let y’all cook him for
The fit with the Celtics has
been productive, but it’s looking increasingly likely that it’ll be
short-term. Schröder’s producing and, as of now, is in line to
recoup some of the money he reportedly turned down.
Currently, he’s averaging 17.1 points and 4.8 assists per game on
44/34/89 shooting splits, roughly on par with where he’s been since
his fourth season (2016-17). As Marks outlined, all signs point to
him being on the move, and the Celtics, in theory, selling
Schröder’s $5.9 million could
combine with, say, Josh Richardson’s $11.6 million. For now, leave
that to the side. Juancho Hernangómez and his $7 million are
sitting there, and he's averaging just 4.2 minutes per contest with
another $7.5 million to come next year. If you pair him and
Schröder with Romeo Langford's $3.8 million, you’re at about $17
From there, throw in however
many draft picks it takes. Use those three contracts and your draft
capital, and do what you can to convince the Toronto Raptors to
bring in Fred VanVleet. Two unprotected first-rounders, at least;
unless you make it Schröder and Marcus Smart. Though, that would
have to wait until the latter’s restriction is lifted after Jan.
25. (None of this has to happen immediately, anyway.)
But if I’m Toronto, I’m
mostly telling Boston to headbutt Trey Murphy’s “dry
ass chicken sandwich,” and get the f—outta here. Worth a shot
if you’re the Celtics, though.
Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks — $21
Hardaway's production is declining like his contract right
So far, through 28 appearances, he’s at 14.4 points per game on
38/33/74 shooting splits. It’s his worst scoring output since
2016-17 and among the worst splits of his career. His contract is
outlined as follows, per
2021-22: $21.3 million
2022-23: $19.6 million
2023-24: $17.9 million
2024-25: $16.2 million
We’ve always said the same two things about the Mavs for at
least two years now. The first is the constant questioning of Luka
Dončić’s fit next to Kristaps Porziņģis. The second is: How could
the Mavericks get adequate shot-creation next to Luka?
Hardaway Jr.’s contract would be a burden to move, but none of
us expect him to finish all four years in Dallas, do we? We’re just
anticipating it’ll be increasingly difficult to deal him in Year 1
of the contract.
Verdict: Stay (for now)
Kemba Walker, New York Knicks — $8.7
After being removed from the rotation, Kemba Walker returned on
Saturday night well-rested against his former Celtics, netting a
season-high 29 points while hitting 5 of 11 shots from three and
converting 8 of 12 free throws. The 13-17 Knicks are 10-9 in games
Walker plays this season, and were 2-8 following his benching.
Their defense has taken a step back, and Walker’s been partially to
blame. Still, he was effectively scapegoated for a team-wide issue.
Now, he’s playing again because of a COVID outbreak in the
organization that primarily hampered their depth at guard.
Walker’s averages are at 12.6 points and 3.1 assists in 25.2
minutes per contest. The minutes and assists are the lowest of his
career, and his scoring is only second to his rookie season of
2011-12. His 112 Offensive Rating is actually on par with where
he’s been since 2015-16, his breakout offensive season. His
defense, well, is about what you’d expect. But, for where the
Knicks are, he can still be productive offensively and gives them
their best shot-creator at the point guard position since...
Walker is due $9.2 million next season, making him a trade
candidate. But seeing as how the Knicks still might need him in
some regard, honestly, they should just keep him around at this
time. We’ll reevaluate the situation next month or something.
Verdict: Stay (for now)
Kelly Olynyk, Detroit Pistons — $12.2
Kelly Olynyk is up to 12.5 points and 5.3 rebounds (and 2.3
assists) on 46/34/60 splits. Olynyk is a nice player, and is
apparently already being thrown around in trade rumors.
Olynyk may or may not get attached in a trade to Jerami Grant’s
deal, but the Canadian 7-footer is bringing home $12.8 million next
season and $12.1 million in 2023-24, so his deal is long-term in
Combining him with Grant puts you at $32 million of incoming
salary. That’s the Porziņģis, CJ McCollum, D’Angelo Russell,
Brandon Ingram, Ben Simmons, K—sigh, Kyrie Irving,
territory financially. None of that sounds entirely realistic
except maybe Simmons since it was at least credibly reported as a
Otherwise, you’re looking at sending Olynyk to a big-needy,
playoff-worthy team, who probably wouldn’t want a long-term
commitment right now. This will probably be an easier process next
season, save for adding to a Grant deal, but if you can make one,
Verdict: Trade if you can, but not by himself