NBA trade deadline bold predictions: Knicks, Nets go big for these stars

One more day.

How long does it take for teams to find that elusive final piece of their potential NBA championship puzzle?

The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. Perhaps the biggest move was already made when the Dallas Mavericks dealt Kyrie Irving to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday after requesting a trade.

But there’s still a lot of action left. Here are six trades we think could happen before Thursday afternoon.

NBA trade deadline predictions

The Nets traded Kevin Durant to the Celtics for Jaylen Brown.

Whether the Boston Celtics should actually do it is up for debate, but Jaylen Brown is due a huge pay raise this offseason in the form of a five-year, $290 million extension. The Celtics may love Brown, but do they love him that much?

Kevin Durant is in the first year of a four-year extension where he will make less on average than Brown if he gets the full max extension for next season. Durant, 34, is eight years older, but his skills are able to match up with Jayson Tatum and he undoubtedly leads the Celtics closer to a title this season.

Jalen Brown
Jalen Brown
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It’s the ideal matchup if they’re ready to tackle a rival in the division. The Draft Kings have odds on trading Durant. They believe he has a 66.67 percent (-200 odds) chance of moving before Thursday’s deadline.

OG Anunoby is traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Dylan Brooks, Zaire Williams, and three first-round draft picks.

The bidding war for OG Anunoby has been surprising throughout the NBA. Anunoby has never been the flashiest name in trade talks and we see teams trying to get him at the deadline.

OG Anunoby
OG Anunoby
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Anunoby is a valuable asset thanks to his stinginess at defensive end and a very team-friendly contract that pays him just $11.6 million next year. Anunoby is your prototypical “three-and-d” player who must match up with the opposing team’s best offensive player every game.

Fred VanVleet traded to the New York Knicks for Cam Redish, Obi Toppin, and a protected 2023 top-10 first-round draft pick from the Mavericks.

In desperate need of a shooter, the Knicks’ top front office executives need to make a move that will put them in the playoff race. That potentially puts New York in a precarious position to overpay for a small upgrade, but Van Vleet doesn’t necessarily think so.

The hard-nosed Heatcheck shooter could also be with Gary Trent Jr., as many speculative trade proposals see the two as a package deal. Should the Knicks pass on Van Vleet, don’t be surprised if they target DeMar DeRozan or Zach LaVine.

Traded Russell Westbrook, Lakers 2027 top-5 protected first round pick, 2029 top-5 protected first round pick to Utah Jazz for Mike Conley, Malik Beasley and Rudy Gay.

After losing Kyrie Irving, the Lakers are still in desperate need of capable guards to pair with a LeBron James-Anthony Davis frontcourt. Enter the Utah Jazz. After a surprisingly hot start, Utah has come back down to earth and is barely hanging on to a Western Conference play-in spot. They are expected to sell some of their valuable veteran pieces.

Conley and Beasley would be a significant upgrade for Los Angeles’ backcourt, which is sorely lacking in shooting. Beasley is one of the best high-volume shooters in the NBA, while Conley has long been one of the best on-ball/off-ball point guards in the league. Gay could provide some solid wing depth off the bench for the Lakers.

If this trade happens, Westbrook would be bought out to sign with a contender — if anyone really wants to take a chance on the former MVP. The first rounders that go to the Jazz in this trade are one way, but they could prove extremely valuable once the drafts arrive.

Fred van Willett
Fred van Willett
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Traded D’Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Los Angeles Clippers for Terrence Mann, Luke Kennard and Brandon Boston Jr.

Like the Lakers, the Clippers need help at the guard position. Russell will immediately step in as the Clippers’ starting point guard and third fiddle behind Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Russell has been a questionable fit with 2020 No. 1 draft pick Anthony Edwards. The trade would help them get a bit younger and potentially help a young, caliber starting guard in Mann. Russell is set to test free agency this summer, hence the irreversible return.

The Clippers’ offer for Irving also dwindled, and owner Steve Ballmer is desperate to win a championship with his superstar duo. With limited resources to trade, this is his best option.

Alex Caruso of the Chicago Bulls for James Wiseman of the Golden State Warriors

Alex Caruso
Alex Caruso
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Who would have thought a year or two ago that this would be a viable trade?

Caruso could be the missing piece for the Warriors as they try to move up the Western Conference standings and defend their NBA title. It’s become clear how much Golden State misses Gary Payton II’s defense — Caruso can replicate that effort and provide a bit more 3-point shooting.

The Bulls get a project and a lottery ticket in Wiseman. The former second overall pick has the tools to become an All-Star caliber player one day, but it just isn’t working out with the Warriors. It’s a low-selling move for Golden State, but one that should happen in order to prolong their championship window.

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