NBA Trade Deadline Warnings: Deals All 30 Teams Shouldn’t Make


USA Today Sports. Pictured: Marc Gasol, Anthony Davis, Mike Conley

Feb 07, 2019, 08:00 PM EST
  • The 2019 NBA trade deadline is looming at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday.
  • Rob Perez, Matt Moore and Bryan Mears advise all 30 teams on what they should not do this week, including why the Pelicans should not trade Anthony Davis.

NBA trade deadline week has become one of the most hectic times of the season, with superstars like Anthony Davis hanging in the balance.

Titles — be it this season or in the future — can be won by excellent and timely trades. But they can also be lost by teams making ill-informed moves.

So in the name of the latter, we recruited three of our NBA experts — Rob Perez (World Wide Wob), Matt Moore and Bryan Mears — to write letters to NBA teams advising them on what they should absolutely not do this week leading up to Thursday’s deadline.

Jump to: ATL | BOS | BKN | CHA | CHI | CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GSW |HOU | IND | LAC | LAL | MEM | MIA | MIL | MIN | NOP | NYK | OKC | ORL | PHI | PHX | POR | SAC | SAS | TOR | UTA | WAS

Atlanta Hawks

Well, you can’t trade the rights to Luka Doncic away, so I think you’re good.

But seriously, stay focused on long-term growth. Any deal with Kent Bazemore needs to fetch picks. Travis Schlenk gets the deal. Outside of trading Doncic, the plan itself has been really good. Schlenk has prioritized future options at every turn.

They’re asking for a pick and a young mid-value player for Taurean Prince, which is weird because it’s asking for a pick along with a player like Taurean Prince for Taurean Prince. But, hey, do what you can. — Moore

Boston Celtics

Don’t panic because Gordon Hayward is a shadow of his old self. I know how you’re feeling after the gruesome injury last season. We’ve all been there. You’re in the casino and your 20 just got busted by a five-card 21 draw-out.

You’re out of money and you’ve maxed out your daily ATM withdrawal. Do not pull out the credit card and take a cash advance.


You’re one major piece away from the finals. We all know Jaylen Brown is struggling. We all know Terry Rozier is as good as gone at the end of the season because he needs to get paid.

That Brown/Rozier package right there plus the Kings’ first-round draft pick you stole from the 76ers this past summer makes a DAMN FINE offer to anyone looking to unload … oh, let’s say … a Marc Gasol or Mike Conley Jr.

Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier

The Celtics taking on Gasol is a lot more realistic than Conley, not just because they’re already stacked to the brim with guards, but Conley’s cap hold would pretty much guarantee you are never getting Anthony Davis or any major free agent for the next three years.

Gasol has a $25 million player option for next season, which, as of this moment, he might actually pick up depending on which team he’s playing for. That $25 million hold would handcuff the Celtics just as tight during the gold rush free agency coming up in July.

You made your bed giving Gordon Hayward that max deal — fair or not what happened to him, now you have to sleep in it and ride out this season … or you’ll never even get your chance to put a team together worthy of facing the Warriors in the Finals, let alone beating them. — Perez

Brooklyn Nets

Do not attach a player asset to dump Allen Crabbe.

It suuuuuuuucks that he has an $18.5 million player option for next season. He’s going to sign that thing at 12:01 a.m. the morning he’s allowed, so honestly, the best thing you can do is turn your mailbox into a basketball hoop — that way Crabbe has no chance of ever delivering it.

In the event that fails or you want to guarantee everyone but Joe Harris, Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, Rodions Kurucs and Dzanan Musa are off the roster before free agency/Russell’s negotiations … think of a way that doesn’t involve any of those names.

You finally got your draft picks back after the Celtics stripped them off you like they were Cersei’s clothes before her walk of atonement. But you guys are actually good this year and might make the playoffs. That pick will be in the late teens. It is expendable.

The core players of this team play soooo well together. Do not mess that chemistry up.

Use the first-rounder to entice a team to take Crabbe if you have to — and if you do, almost TWO max contract slots become available this summer — but not any of the core guys who Kenny Atkinson has molded into this pace-and-space war machine. — Perez

Charlotte Hornets

I can’t honestly tell you not to do a deal.