Joa's Journal By Joa Maciel
Teams That Need to Make a Move at the NBA Trade Deadline: The NBA trade deadline is right around the corner, and while the NBA has a lot of good teams this year, there are some teams that will have to make a move to take the next step.
The Bulls are great, but they have been overachieving all year and have been playing amazing, fun basketball. However, the Bulls sometimes look like a regular-season story team because they have some flaws, especially on the defensive end. I think the Bulls really thrive on their perimeter defense with guys like Alex Caruso, Lonzo Ball, Ayo Donsumo, Derrick Jones Jr., and DeMar DeRozan, but they really struggle with interior defense. Nikola Vucevic is a great Center, but he can’t guard the paint to save his life! That’s really going to give the Bulls trouble in the playoffs when they can face a team like the Milwaukee Bucks with Giannis or the Philadelphia 76ers with Embiid. The Bulls have to trade for a backup center or someone who can defend the paint, and I think they should pursue Mitchell Robinson of the New York Knicks.
The Grizzlies are an energetic young team with tons of potential. Do you realize how I said young, right? That can be the Grizzlies' problem, they are way too young. The Grizzlies need to trade for a veteran to mentor those young guys how the league works and to develop them. Every great player had a veteran to mentor them. Memphis needs to invest in its youth, they need to bring in a vet, and Eric Gordon from the Houston Rockets would be a good pickup for the Grizzlies.
Speaking of H-Town, they need to blow it up. I am 100% against tanking but it looks like that’s the route that the Rockets should take, and I personally think they have a lot of players on their team that can be traded for assets. Christian Wood and Eric Gordon are two examples of this that can produce decent returns for Houston. The Rockets need to get rid of those contracts immediately.
The Sixers are a good team, but sorry to break it to all my diehard Philly fans, they are not making it out of the East. The Sixers are still inferior to teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, the Miami Heat, and maybe even the Chicago Bulls. The Sixers have to make moves, and I’m not talking about getting rid of Simmons (apparently Daryl Morey thinks he is prime Michael Jordan or the next prophet of basketball). Philly needs better depth immediately and players that fit their roster better. Tobias Harris is a great player, but he's been a bad fit with Philly since Jimmy Butler left. I think it’s time for the Sixers to move on from him and acquire a player that makes more sense on their roster. Second, the Sixers desperately need a backup PG, I guess that would’ve been Maxey’s role with Simmons playing but last face it, Simmons has played his last game in a Sixers jersey. Shake Milton is just not a good playmaker and is way too inconsistent to lead the second unit. I think the Sixers need to trade for a playmaking Guard to make plays for the shooters on the Sixers bench for Andre Drummond. Daryl Morey be active! Joel Embiid is carrying all the load, don’t let him leave the franchise like Garnett left the Timberwolves!
I’ll make this one short and simple. The Bucks are title contenders but the absence of Brook Lopez has been hurting them a lot more than expected. The Bucks need to find someone to fill his void. Bobby Portis is a good player, but the Bucks need yet another piece in the paint if they really want to repeat. I also really like the Mitchell Robinson fit for them but I can see the Bucks going after a bigger fish at center, maybe someone like Mo Bamba from the Orlando Magic, P.J. Washington from the Charlotte Hornets, or even if the Portland Trail Blazers decide to be sellers, Jusuf Nurkic. If the Bucks get another big man, man they are going to cause havoc in the playoffs.