ALERT: The NBA trade deadline is under one month away!
All right, I know the league has been kind of quiet recently, but enough new rumors exist for us to get our feet wet again.
Laying the Foundation:
- First things first, who’s selling? While it’s hard to claim any team as a sure-fire seller right now, The Ringer did their best to share the 11 teams that could be looking to trade away big pieces before the deadline. At the moment, the Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers, and New York Knicks (notice: all Eastern Conference teams) feel like the most “probable” sellers, according to Dan Devine.
- Not every team will be active in the market, but every team does have needs to address. To further understand the foundation of this NBA trade season, I recommend taking a look at Bleacher Report’s shopping list for each NBA squad. For the Bulls, B/R listed Robert Covington, Marcus Morris, Davis Bertans, Malik Beasley, and Elfrid Payton as Chicago’s “trade targets.” To be absolutely clear, I haven’t seen/heard any rumors actually linking these names to the Bulls, these are simply the kind of players B/R is saying the Bulls should pursue.
- Unsurprisingly, these names all help with the Bulls’ lack of true wing depth, which admittedly, would be nice to address somewhere in the trade market. However, pulling off a move for a player like Robert Covington feels almost impossible, and a guy like Davis Bertans has drawn enough interest where his market has grown (probably) too competitive for the Bulls to hold their own. A name I like – and remember this is purely speculative on all fronts – is Malik Beasley. The Denver Nuggets are loaded at the wing, so loaded that the 23-year-old Beasley has been in and out of the rotation. Regardless, according to NBC Sports, the Nuggets are still valuing Beasley quite high at the moment (and they should considering his all-around skill set and major upside). With that being the case, a realistic trade package is hard to think of. A boy can dream.
- Bleacher Report also shared each team’s least tradable contract, if you’re interested in that kind of thing. Can you guess the Bulls? Of course, you can – Cristiano Felicio.
Whose value is trending up?
- The Wizards sharpshooter has found his way on several teams’ wishlist. His expiring contract alongside his career-high 15.4 points per game and 43.4 percent shooting from downtown has made him an extremely intriguing piece for contenders. As of now, the Lakers, Sixers, Celtics, and Nuggets have all expressed interest in Bertans, according to NBC Sports Washington (along with the Atlanta Hawks for some reason). Not to mention, the Wizards don’t mind the idea of keeping him around. The more teams that come into the picture, the higher the price will go.
- Another player who could easily become a hot commodity – Derrick Rose. In the first year of a two-year $15 million contract, Rose is playing his best basketball since leaving Chicago. Currently averaging 17.5 points per game and 4th in NBA’s latest All-Star voting release, Rose is showing the NBA he has plenty left in the tank. Bleacher Report’s Will Gottlieb wrote about Rose as an ideal trade target for some of the league’s best teams. While not many reports exist on legit rumors, teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers have been thrown around as speculated landing spots. As the trade deadline nears, don’t be surprised if you hear more about Rose.
- Speaking of the Pistons, no team feels like a more obvious seller than Detroit. With numerous injuries plaguing the roster and Blake Griffin likely out indefinitely with another knee surgery, a playoff return doesn’t seem like an achievable goal. Now, the Pistons are still very much alive in the hunt for the 8th seed, but “technically” so are the Bulls (who hold the same record). Shipping off some veteran talent feels like the right move, and alongside Rose as an intriguing trade-piece is Andre Drummond. The Boston Celtics currently carry some of the best odds to land the big man, but other teams like the Mavericks, Raptors, and Hawks have given Drummond a look. Remember, Drummond is an unrestricted free agent this summer, so if a team were to trade for him, they have no real say on what his future holds.
Boston, Dallas, Toronto have also registered interest in Andre Drummond, according to sources. Drummond has relationships with Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Lowry
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) January 3, 2020
Other Names Out There:
- The Knicks should be sellers, however, their entire franchise is a drunk mess, so who really knows. According to SNY’s Ian Begley though, teams are expressing interest in former-Bull Bobby Portis. The report states that “some teams” have an interest but didn’t offer any specific names. I understand the interest in Portis for contenders needing an aggressive bench presence, plus his $15 million next season is on a club option, so a team doesn’t have to keep him around. Anyway, Portis is the newest name on the Knicks roster to be thrown into trade talks, joining Dennis Smith Jr. and Marcus Morris.
- Begley also reported that the Knicks want starting-caliber players in trade returns. Good luck with that.
- NBA fans are still waiting to see what the heck is going to happen with Kevin Love. CBS Sports dove into his situation a bit more. The article references the gap between what the Cleveland Cavaliers want in return and what NBA teams are willing to pay. Love has put together one solid NBA career, but he isn’t the same All-Star-caliber talent he was during his time in Minnesota (oh, and he’s owed a ton of money). Who’s going to budge?
- The Lakers are listening to calls on Kyle Kuzma. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis in full championship attack mode, LA is looking for anything to put them over the edge. Thanks to the massive trade for Davis, the Lakers have been left with scraps on their bench. Kuzma hasn’t been able to adjust very well to this new-look team, and therefore, the Lakers appear willing to shop him for a more consistent, second-unit presence. If you want more on this, ESPN’s The Jump tackled this topic this morning. Long story short, finding the right trade won’t be easy.