The NBA trade deadline is Thursday the 8th 3pm Eastern Time in the States, which is around about Friday 9am here on the East Coast of Australia. With the tremendous Blake Griffin trade having already shaken up the NBA trade landscape, now it’s time to look at the other players and teams that are going be on the phones right up until the deadline.
#1: The Clippers
The biggest movers definitely look to be the Los Angeles Clippers. But, the real question is, if the Clippers are buyers or sellers in this market? Now, they could sell a number of pieces; Lou Williams can bolster pretty much any team with his off-the-bench scoring, DeAndre Jordan can bring elite rim protection to contenders in need, Tobias Harris could be helpful (I guess), Avery Bradley brings an insane amount of playoff defence. All these pieces could help any team in their playoff chase.
But then, on the flipside, the Clippers are only two games out of the western conference playoffs. So just maybe the Clippers look to reach the playoffs this season and could look to add some pieces, specifically a halfway-decent point guard to pair with Avery Bradley and Lou Williams.
#2: The Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs are always on the move at the trade deadline, always. Last year they grabbed Kyle Korver, the year before that they got Channing Fyre, and the year before that they got J.R. Smith and Shumpert. So when someone says the Cavs are always trying to make something happen they aren’t lying. And this year we’ve already heard that there are about 3 different trades already happening.
ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst has been saying that a deal with the Kings involving Fyre/Shumpert for George Hill has been on the one-yard line for about two weeks now. Why it hasn’t happened yet? Anyone’s guess. The Cavs has also been linked to talks with a few Lakers players. Isaiah Thomas doesn’t seem to be too happy, Kevin Love has always seemed like he’s on the trade block. The Cavs are also holding onto that Brooklyn draft pick which is projected to be in the eight to ten range; and even have their own pick this year as well. In conclusion, it’s almost certain that the Cavs are going to do something. Only question is what?
#3: Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks have a couple of expiring contracts on their rosters, about seventeen million worth in total. The major pieces of that are Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova, each making about six million this season. These two players could help some teams that need outside shooting; the Pistons come to mind right now. The Hawks could just sell these guys as expiring contracts though, grabbing some draft picks from teams that want the cap space in the offseason.
The Hawks could always sell teams on Dwayne Dedmon as a defensive centre for teams that need some help in the paint, and on a six-million dollar contract he can bring it on a budget.
#4: Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder’s GM, Sam Presti, is another guy who loves making moves. And with Andre Roberson going down for the rest of the season the team has some holes to fill. I expect they are looking for some replacement defence around the wing, or maybe in a guard spot.
A good plug for this hole would be the newly-acquired Clipper Avery Bradley. Bradley would bring some great defence to the guard spot and with an expiring contract they can move on from him once they get Roberson back for next season. At only 6’2” Bradley lacks the size of Andre Roberson, but any port in a storm right? A big problem with their situation is that they don’t have a draft pick to trade until at least 2021; so I’m not really sure how they put a trade together but it could work.
#5: Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies are not in a good spot; the team is not good, they owe a lot of their salary cap to 3 players who are either injured or Marc Gasol, and those contracts last a long time. With the news that Conley is out for the rest of the year it seems like the tank is starting its engine. With the tank beginning this year the Grizzlies also need to look to move Tyreke Evans, who is having an amazing year, for some draft picks or cheap young guys to take a chance on.
The Grizz also need to use some of their expiring contracts to try and move some of their future money. While I don’t think they have enough assets to get off of the Parsons/Conley/Gasol contracts, they should be looking to lessen their salary if they can. The long and short of it is that the Grizz are not in a great spot, but hopefully they can make some moves and be competitive next year at least.