The Northwest Division put on a show in last year’s playoffs. Donovan Mitchell was a one-man scoring clinic for the Utah Jazz. The Oklahoma City Thunder nearly pulled off a major upset, while the Denver Nuggets made the Western Conference Finals. With 2021 upon us, how can each team get better? Through trade or free agency, these teams will need to make some moves. Here should be their top targets.
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Denver Nuggets-Sign Jrue Holiday
Among the top NBA picks, Denver is a favorite to contend for the championship. The team may have to wait until free agency for their move though. The Nuggets are better when Jamal Murray doesn’t have the ball in his hand. If the Nuggets signed Holiday, Denver would have a true point guard and allow Murray to roam free. Gary Harris is set to be a free agent after this season, so the team could use some of that money to sign Holiday. A trio of Holiday, Murray, and Nikola Jokic is a solid “Big 3.”
Minnesota Timberwolves-Trade for Aaron Gordon
This is another great fit for Gordon. The Timberwolves are set at three positions with D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, and Karl-Anthony Towns. The power forward is lacking. Gordon would immediately fit in. This would be a low-cost, high-reward for Minnesota. Gordon is just 25 years old, which is about the same age as the rest of the core.
Oklahoma City Thunder-A Top-3 Pick
The Thunder could deal with Al Horford or George Hill for more draft picks. With 17 first-round picks over the next six seasons, the team’s future could be bright. In 2021, drafting Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, or Brandon Boston Jr. would all be great additions to this team. The Thunder will likely be near the basement of the standings, which is okay.
Portland Trail Blazers-Trade for Myles Turner
Turner is Plan B for Portland. Originally, the Trail Blazers would have loved to trade for Rudy Gobert, but he signed a max deal with Utah earlier in December. The Trail Blazers are lacking a rim protector. Jusef Nurkic would be better suited as a power forward than a center. Turner would push Nurkic over, while Covington could switch to small forward. Along with the combination of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, that’s a true starting five.
Utah Jazz-Trade for Kevin Love
Mike Conley could be a free agent after this season. If the Jazz wants to make a serious run at the title this year, finding a way to acquire Kevin Love is essential. The starting lineup of Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Love, and Rudy Gobert would be a prime example of why basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. It would strap the team over the next two seasons, but if the Jazz wants to win now, this is the move that gets them over the hump.