Photo Credit: Michael Gonzales/Getty Images
As we creep closer to NBA trade deadline on February 8, there has been a noticeable shift in the landscape of the league. Buyers and sellers have become more apparent and the buzz around marquee free agents to-be will continue grow until a deal is made or the deadline passes.
We’ll take a look at some of teams that may look to make moves before the deadline and players who may be on the move.
Los Angeles Clippers
Most believed that with the departure of Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets the Clippers would be in rebuilding mode this year. While the Clippers got out to an impressive start, the team has been riddled with injuries. Patrick Beverly was lost for the reason due to a knee injury and Danilo Gallinari, Blake Griffin, Austin Rivers and Milos Teodosic have all missed significant chunks of the season due to various injuries.
DeAndre Jordan has been the name that has been popping up recently in potential trade discussions. The Cavaliers have shown interest in acquiring Jordan but would most likely have to part ways with the Brooklyn Nets first-round pick they got from the Kyrie Irving trade.
The Milwaukee Bucks have also put out feelers for the price on Jordan. Milwaukee is determined to get a center but it is unclear if they will be able to create a package consisting of picks and young talent the Clippers would be amiable to accepting.
Lou Williams is another Clipper the franchise may be willing to move. Williams is posting one of the best offensive seasons of his career and has an expiring contract. Williams is a microwave scorer on the Clippers second unit so it is unlikely he will draw first-round picks for his services but it is very likely a contender may try to make a move for the swingman closer to trade deadline.
The Pistons pursued a potential deal for Orlando Magic shooting guard Evan Fournier however it would have been very difficult to execute such a deal without Reggie Jackson’s contract being included. Jackson has been sidelined with a severe ankle sprain that he suffered in December and is projected to be out for at least the next month.
Detroit is still a team that has been very aggressive and eager to make moves before the deadline, which reflects the team’s desire to contend now. Look for the Pistons to make a move to acquire a wing player such as Brooklyn’s DeMarre Carroll or Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have ambitious plans for this upcoming offseason that include making pushes for LeBron James and Paul George. The team is looking to shed salaries now to prepare them to offer lucrative contracts to top free agents this summer.
The Lakers have been on the record saying they believe they can move Jordan Clarkson before the end of the season. Clarkson will be owed $26 million beyond this season and there is a mutual desire between both Clarkson and the franchise to find a deal sooner rather than later. The Lakers have also vocalized that Julius Randle and Larry Nance are also available.
The Bulls have been on fire since Nikola Mirotic returned to the team after recovering from the altercation between he and Bobby Portis. Both have performed exceptionally well but the Bulls are still planning to move Mirotic, which cannot happen until Jan. 15 or without his permission, based on his contract. The Utah Jazz have come forth as a team interested in making a move to get Mirotic.
The Grizzlies’ season has been a disaster, to put it mildly. After the lost of Mike Conley and the firing of David Fizdale, the Grizzlies have made it clear they are done with this season. The one bright spot on the team has been Tyreke Evans, who has become the team’s best offensive weapon, posting his best numbers since his rookie season.
The Grizzlies’ preliminary asking price for Evans is a first-round pick, however it is unlikely that many teams will bite on that, especially since Evans is on an expiring deal and would only serve as a rental for the rest of the season for whatever team did acquire him.
Oklahoma City Thunder
As of now, the Thunder are committed to playing out the rest of the season with future free agent Paul George. The team maintains hope that a deep run in the playoffs can convince him to re-sign with Oklahoma City. George has said he would love to play for the Lakers and return to California but he has remained open-minded on his future with the Thunder, however nothing is clear-cut.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans remain confident that they can re-sign center DeMarcus Cousins and are not currently fielding offers for him.
It is still early but expect for these and many other trade rumors start to heat up as the deadline approaches.
Written By: Kendall Garriss
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