The NBA trade deadline is on our doorsteps and the rumour wheel has been sent into overdrive.
What has Danny Ainge got planned?
The Boston Celtics have been at the centre of trade talk for a while now and it has been widely reported that they are heavily interested in landing a superstar such as Jimmy Butler or Paul George.
They are in a enviable position with a stack of assets (courtesy of Brooklyn). With a strong top end draft coming up many teams across the league are willing to deal something big in order to get inside the top 3 picks.
One of them could be the Indiana Pacers who could definitely benefit from a point guard in the mould of Lonzo Ball or Markelle Fultz. It has been reported that Larry Bird believes that Myles Turner is now the Pacers franchise player and he is trying to build around him. So where does Paul George fit into that? It could be the right move to flip him for a top 3 pick in talented draft and some key role players such as Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder or Avery Bradley or youngsters James Young and Terry Rozier.
The other superstar in the Celtics firing line is Jimmy Butler. The All Star forward is in career best form but it’s hard to see the Bulls challenging in the East in the near future with the talent around him. Wade is on the decline, Rondo is a cancer and the young players aren’t showing much promise. Getting some solid players in their prime plus a top end talent in the draft could be what Chicago needs to re-energize the roster.
Another star player that could head to Boston is Clippers forward Blake Griffin. The Clippers relationship with Griffin has been rocky in the past 12 months and the team could be willing to part ways if the right deal is offered. Maybe a three way trade where PG13 lands in Los Angeles and Blake heads to Boston while picks + players come the way of Indiana.
Could Deron Williams be heading back to Utah?
Both the Jazz and Mavericks are in deep talks about the possibility of sending Deron Williams back to Salt Lake City. The former Team USA member still owns a house in Utah and would be willing to move back. Williams would provide depth and experience on a youthful Jazz roster while the Mavericks can free up some space for the off-season.
Cleveland also remain interested in Williams in their search for a playmaker. However it is more likelt he ends up in Utah with Cavs having to settle for a player along the lines of Shelvin Mack or Jose Calderon.
Where will Jahlil Okafor land?
New Orleans seemed to be a likely destination for the second year big man a week ago but after the Boogie deal that possibility was gone. Since then the Dallas Mavericks have emerged as the most likely suitors and could package up a player + pick deal.
However the Chicago Bulls have also emerged in the race for Okafor in a similar pick + player scenario. Watch this space.
How much for Brook Lopez?
It is becoming increasingly likely that Lopez will find his way out of Brooklyn before tonight’s deadline. Initially the Nets were steadfast that they wanted minimum 2 first round picks for the veteran big man but have eased recently. It is now reported that they would be willing to accept a first round pick plus a second round pick. Currently the Indiana Pacers lead the race in a deal that would involve 2 picks and a swap of other players.
Is Derrick Rose on the move again?
The Timberwolves are reportedly interested in bringing the 2011 MVP to Minnesota in a deal that would see Ricky Rubio moved to the Big Apple. It would see Rose reunited with his former coach Tom Thibodeau and give the Wolves some scoring relief after the injury to Zach LaVine. If all goes well Rose could be a valuable asset if not they can let him wall at the end of the season that would free up cap space.
For the Knicks it seems like a no-brainer, they won’t re-sign Rose this off-season so why keep him? May as well bite the bullet and get something in return. Plus a pass first point guard in Rubio would fit nicely in their offense.
- Dallas looking to move center Andrew Bogut. Celtics firmly in the picture, Cleveland an outsider.
- Lakers may continue clean-out. Nick Young on the clock plus Luol Deng & Timofey Mozgov if anyone wants their contracts
- Rockets & Minnesota interested in Iman Shumpert. Expected to stay in Cleveland
- P.J. Tucker could find a new home. Most likely in Houston, potentially the Clippers
- Boogie trade forces Terrance Jones to want out. Miami likely destination