NBA Trade Deadline: Who Will Get Moved?
If you don’t follow Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter, you should do it instantly. He is by far the most trusted-respectable sports columnist in the NBA. Wojnarowski will drop the occasional “Woj Bomb” during the NBA trade deadline and particularly the NBA Draft, where he would have insider info on trades and signings before it is reported.
The NBA trade deadline is approaching quickly, as Serge Ibaka is heading to the 6 to be team up with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. This trade has some implications on other various Eastern Conference contenders, where the Wizards, Celtics, and perhaps even the Cavaliers are looking to be a bit more aggressive as the trading deadline is near.
Let’s take a look at some of the guys who could be moved before the February 23rd trading deadline:
Brook Lopez C BKN – I actually forgot Brook Lopez is only 28 years old. Lopez could very well actually be just hitting his prime as he is on a terrible, struggling Brooklyn Nets team. At just 9-46, the Nets find themselves having the worst record in the league. They need to trade Lopez for assets, especially the fact they have only 1 first-round pick this June. Problem is the Nets are asking a steep price for at least 2 first-round picks for Lopez.
Possible destinations: New Orleans Pelicans, Boston Celtics
Lou Williams/Nick Young G LAL – Make no mistake, Lou Williams can still ball. He has been the most consistent guard for the Lakers this season, averaging 18.5 PPG in just 24 bench minutes (Hello Cleveland). Nick Young has resurrected his career under coach Luke Walton and has reestablished himself into a capable NBA player. “Swaggy P” turned “Uncle P” has been great this season, earning recognition as a 3-point specialist to be invited into the All-Star 3-point shooting contest. Swaggy can really get hot and give you 30 points on a random night. However, Sweet Lou and Uncle P just doesn’t fit into the Lakers rebuilding plans, as the Lakers want to give their young guards D’Angelo and Jordan Clarkson more minutes going forward as they are now in player development mode. They are likely to be moved for draft picks.
Possible destinations: Cleveland Cavaliers, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies
Jahlil Okafor C PHI – It’s no secret that Philly has been selling their big man for a while. With the development of Joel Embiid, Okafor has quickly become expendable in Philly. They have not done much to bring up his value as Jahlil has battled some nagging injuries. However, a 6’11 21-year old center with polished offensive moves don’t grow on trees. Yes, there are obvious flaws in his game with defense and shot blocking, but these are skills that can be improved. His best possible landing spot would be the New Orleans Pelicans, where Anthony Davis would provide the defense Jahlil can improve on as he gets more NBA experience. Look for Jahlil to find a new zip code after the All-Star break.
Possible destinations: Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns
Wilson Chandler SF/PF DEN – Wilson Chandler has been a steady capable NBA player throughout his career. He’s a great vet who could be the missing piece to a lot of contending teams. A versatile forward who can be a floor spacer, while also giving you toughness and the ability to score 20 points a night is valuable to playoff teams.
Possible destinations: Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers
Brandon Knight PG – BKnight has been completely pushed out of the rotation because of Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker. Not only is his trade value low, it’s pretty clear his time in Phoenix is limited. Knight is still just 25-years old where a right team and situation will help revive his career. He has obvious flaws as a 1-dimensional gunner who plays no defense. He’s not exactly a point guard neither as he has limited point guard skills. However, he could possibly mold his game to a player like Monta Ellis.
Possible Destinations: Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks
Nikola Vucevic C ORL – Vucevic has one of the more affordable and attractive contracts, with just owed $12.2 million next year and $12.7 million in the final year of his four-year, $53 million deal. A 6-year big man who has a strong back to the basket post-up game, he fits into a team in need of some low post scoring. The Magic are in full seller mode, as they are looking to load up in assets in what is said to be a loaded 2017 draft class.
Possible Destinations: Boston Celtics, New Orleans Pelicans