NBA Trades to Fix Struggling Teams (3/8)

Enough games have been played this NBA season to sense where teams stand relative to the rest of the NBA. Some NBA Teams have solidly established themselves as playoff contenders, whereas others have fallen outside of the playoff picture. It is early enough in the NBA season where the right trade could save a season for certain teams, and this eight-part series of trades could turn around each team involved with the right factors.

The Trade

Indiana Receives: Josh Richardson

Miami Receives: C.J. Miles

More or less, this trade essentially boils down to offense for defense. Miami needs a player with some offense out on the wing, while Indiana needs a more gritty defender out on the perimeter. The losses of each player hurt the teams sending them away, but the gains they make from receiving the other player outweigh them.

Gary A. Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports

For Indiana, they give up Miles, who is having an excellent season for them with 13.0 points in 22.8 minutes per game and 49.2% and 48.4% shooting from the field and behind the three point line, respectively. They also, however, have good offensive options available to them on the perimeter like Paul George, Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Rodney Stuckey, Aaron Brooks, and even Joseph Young. All of those players, save for the three-time all defensive player George, know how to score above all else.

The Pacers have good front court defenders; Myles Turner is 4th in the NBA in blocks (35) and blocks per game (2.3,) and he is number one in block percentage (6.7%.) There are only four qualified (Rakeem Christmas has only played twelve minutes) players on Indiana with a positive defensive box plus/minus: Turner (2.1,) Thaddeus Young (0.5,) Lavoy Allen (0.3,) and Monta Ellis (0.2.) Ellis, though has played so poorly offensively that his defensive contributions are negligible.

Richardson has struggled so far this season, but excelled as a three and D rookie last season. He averaged 6.6 points and shot 46.1% from three while playing a high level on the defensive end with 1.2 defensive win shares last season in his limited role. Richardson is still growing as a player, and he has good size at the guard position (6’6″ 200 lbs.) As he thrived alongside Miami’s star power from last season like Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson, Luol Deng, Goran Dragic, Chris Bosh, and Hassan Whiteside, Richardson could play similarly well on a talent rich Indiana team that is still finding its identity.

Sequoia Sims / Sir Charles in Charge
Sequoia Sims / Sir Charles in Charge

As I mentioned in Trade One, Miami’s offense has been pitiful this season. They are 22nd in three point percentage, and 27th in general offensive efficiency. Miles could greatly help in both fronts. His personal efficiency is excellent, and his ability to space the floor would create room for Dragic, Whiteside, Justise Winslow, and their other slashers to improve theirs. The loss of Richardson hurts their defense, but with Winslow and Tyler Johnson on the perimeter, and Whiteside protecting the rim, their defense won’t suffer all too much.

Here is what each team is left with:


Projected Miami Heat Depth
PG Goran Dragic Dion Waiters Rodney McGruder
SG C.J. Miles Tyler Johnson Wayne Ellington
SF Justise Winslow James Johnson Luke Babbitt
PF Derrick Williams Josh McRoberts
C Hassan Whiteside Willie Reed Udonis Haslem
Projected Indiana Pacers Depth
PG Jeff Teague Monta Ellis Aaron Brooks
SG Josh Richardson Rodney Stuckey Joseph Young
SF Paul George Glenn Robinson III Georges Niang
PF Thaddeus Young Lavoy Allen Rakeem Christmas
C Myles Turner Al Jefferson Kevin Seraphin

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