The Best Fits for the Top 2022 NBA Trade Deadline Candidates

We highlighted some of the logical, and maybe not so logical, landing spots for the more notable players who could be dealt before the Feb. 10th deadline.

John Collins Hawks Danilo Gallinari 2022

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 14: John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks looks on during the game against the Miami Heat in the second half at FTX Arena on January 14, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

John Collins Hawks Danilo Gallinari 2022

We’ve just about reached the peak of silly season. Leading up to the big day next week, sources have revealed exclusively to Complex Sports that you should take a lot of the reporting and sourcing you’ll hear and read from NBA observers and insiders with a grain of salt. Or two.

“There’s so much disinformation out there and people run with it,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters earlier this week. “Very rarely does anything happen. You can talk about 100 trades and one might get done.”

Thibs knows that smoke screens, nonsense, and complete bullshit are in plentiful supply around the NBA as we approach the 2022 trade deadline (Feb. 10, 3 p.m. ET) and we encourage everyone to exercise extreme caution consuming rumors or reports about impending deals or hypothetical transactions. As we often like to repeat this time of the year, consummating trades in the NBA is never as easy as firing up a trade machine and matching up the money.

“If you ever got under the hood most fans would be disappointed with the way these things happen and pretty much how things are really outside of your control,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti told us last year. “Constructing the math or the composition is less than a percent of actually executing a lot of these things. A lot of these things come down to circumstance, fortune—good or bad—relationships, and other market forces.” 

Keep that mind while also realizing this year’s deadline could feature a flurry of activity thanks to a staggering 12 squads in the Eastern Conference and practically the entire Western Conference that could consider themselves in the playoff race right now thanks to the Play-In Tournament. Love it or loathe it, the wrinkle the NBA added last year to make the regular-season matter for more teams means this year’s deadline could be filled with drama.

It also will be notable for what it will almost assuredly not feature.  

Before scrolling down and looking for Ben Simmons in a trade, we’re leaving the maligned Philadelphia point guard off this list. All indications are the Sixers will hold onto Simmons at the deadline in hopes of landing a superstar (James Harden) this summer when a blockbuster trade seems way more palatable to the tastes of Philly’s front office. If you want to get nuts, browse the six destinations that, at one point a few weeks ago, seemed plausible before reports started flying around the Association that the Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is happy holding onto Simmons until free agency.

You won’t find De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton here because our pal Shams Charania from The Athletic and Stadium—who you probably should believe when he reports something —recently said the Kings aren’t interested in breaking up their backcourt at the deadline. You also won’t find many mentions of the Lakers here. Because as we already outlined, realistically speaking, there isn’t much they can do. Unless they shockingly found a taker for Russell Westbrook. Maybe they make a minor move, but we already outlined why the odds of Los Angeles orchestrating a season-changing acquisition are slimmer than the models sitting next to Jimmy Goldstein at Staples Center. And if you don’t know who Jimmy is, Google the legend.

That being said, we wanted to highlight some of the logical, and maybe not so logical, landing spots for the more notable players that, for good reason, could be dealt. Not everyone we wrote about here will be shipped to a new city before Thursday’s deadline, but it’s a safe bet—after canvassing all the reports, tweets, stories, and podcasts for as much intel as we possibly could—that these names will figure prominently in plenty of discussions.

CJ McCollum

CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Buddy Hield

Buddy Hield Kings Sixers 2022

Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes Kings Knicks 2022

John Collins

John Collins Hawks Hornets 2022

Jerami Grant

Jerami Grant Pistons Blazers 2021

Terrence Ross

Terrence Ross Magic Clippers 2022

Dennis Schröder

Dennis Schroder Celtics Pelicans 2022

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon Kings Rockets 2022

Domantas Sabonis

Domantas Sabonis Pacers Thunder 2022

Myles Turner

Myles Turner Pacers Clippers 2022

Spencer Dinwiddie

Spencer Dinwiddie Bench Wizards 2022

Montrezl Harrell

Montrezl Harrell Wizards Clippers 2022

Jalen Brunson

Jalen Brunson Intro Mavericks 2022

Evan Fournier

Evan Fournier Knicks Hornets 2022

Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker Knicks Cavs 2022

Christian Wood

Christian Wood Dunk Rockets Spurs 2022

Latest in Sports