The NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching. A lot has been made about numerous high-profile players on the block.
Things will certainly start to heat up in the days and weeks leading up to the February 7 deadline.
It’s in this that we give you the latest player rumors, teams in the market and a few potential trade scenarios.
Updated rumors: Thursday, Jan. 23
Mavericks looking for help after Dwight Powell injury
Dallas lost starting center Dwight Powell for the season with a ruptured Achilles earlier in the week. This is a massive blow for the playoff team. It also comes amid previous reports that Mark Cuban wants to find another big to go with the struggling Kristaps Porzingis.
The Mavs have reportedly shown interest in free-agent big man Joakim Noah. They are also seemingly in on Danilo Gallinari if the Thunder make him available. Either way, we’re expecting something to happen on this front. Dallas has two expiring contracts in that of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to offer up as bait.
Sixers in play for Thunder star
According to Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer, Philadelphia has expressed interest in Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari. It’s not a secret that the Sixers are looking for more perimeter help. Head coach Brett Brown has made that clear on more than one occasion.
An impending free agent, Gallinari is averaging 19.0 points on 41% shooting from three-point range this season. The issue here is that he’s counting $22.63 million against the cap. Does Philly have the salaries to match?
Updated rumors: Tuesday, Jan. 21
Rival teams intrigued by Myles Turner
Once the Indiana Pacers get Victor Oladipo back from his serious injury, there’s a chance the team could look to add another wing player to team up with him and Malcom Brogdon. According to rumors around the water cooler, big man Myles Turner could potentially provide that bounty in return.
Turner, 23, has not morphed into the superstar Indiana expected. But he’s still young and is averaging north of 12 points and 12 rebounds this season. Indiana might be more invested in fellow big man Domantas Sabonis, which could make Turner expendable.
Could the defending champs trade expiring deals?
We previously focused on the Toronto Raptors potentially looking to add a small piece ahead of next month’s trade deadline. While that still might be true, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times notes that Toronto could also look to trade the expering deals of Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka as a way to avoid losing them for nothing like we saw with Kawhi Leonard during the summer.
Unless Toronto can get core pieces to go with Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam, this doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense. Toronto is still a top-end contender back east. Though, the idea of moving Kyle Lowry and his salary could potentially be in the cards.
Updated rumors: Monday, Jan. 20
Lakers, Sixers interested in former MVP
We already know the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in upgrading from Rajon Rondo at point guard. That could very well come to fruition ahead of the Feb. 7 deadline. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Los Angeles has joined the Philadephia 76ers in showing interest in former NBA MVP Derrick Rose.
Currently on a bottom-feeding Detroit Pistons squad, Rose is in the midst of a career resurgence this season. The former NBA MVP is averaging 18.4 points and 5.8 assists while shooting 50% from the field. He’d be an absolutely huge get for any contending team.
Defending champs looking to buy?
At 28-14 on the season, the Toronto Raptors are right up there in the second rung behind the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference. Even without the star power of Kawhi Leonard, this squad has repeat aspirations.
According to Eric Koreen of The Athletic, that could lead to Toronto buying ahead of next month’s trade deadline. Though, the expectation is that said deal won’t be a blockbuster. Toronto had in the past been linked to Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson.
Bulls looking to sell off veterans
It’s already known that the Chicago Bulls are going nowhere fast this season. They head into the week’s action with a 16-28 record. That could lead to Chicago moving a couple veteran pieces, Thaddeus Young and Denzel Valentine included, reports Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago.
Signed this past summer, Young is averaging the lowest point total of his career (9.0) since the forward’s rookie season back in 2007-08. Meanwhile, Valentine is unhappy in Chicago after falling out of the rotation.
Updated rumors: Sunday, Jan. 19
Fallout from Kent Bazemore trade
The Portland Trail Blazers shedded north of $12 million in salary commitments this season by moving Kent Bazemore to the Sacramento Kings on Saturday in a five-player deal that included Trevor Ariza heading to the Pacific Northwest.
The deal will created two separate trade exceptions ($7.2 and $1.7 million). This could lead to Portland making a larger trade ahead of next month’s NBA trade deadline. At 18-26, Portland could also be mailing it in for the season.
Karl-Anthony Towns shoots down trade rumors
There’s been a lot made about All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns being upset with the trajectory of the organization. Speculation has included him potentially requesting a trade, much like what we saw from Jimmy Butler early last season. KAT shot down said rumors this weekend, taking a swipe at his former teammate in the process.
”I think you’ve been around me long enough to know I don’t go for all the shit. I just do my job, go home and I know what the real story is,” he told the Star Tribune’s Chris Hine. “There’s a reason those stories are made because people need to sell papers, sell links and clicks, whatever the case may be. I’m here to be a Minnesota Timberwolf.”
While there’s still a chance Towns will demand a trade during the offseason, it’s not going to be a public matter. Don’t expect a repeat of what we saw with both Butler and then-Pelicans star Anthony Davis recently.
Heat pursuing Spurs stars?
We’ve focused on just how brilliant of a season it has been for the Heat in South Beach. Staying true to his aggressive mentality, Heat president Pat Riley might now be going after Spurs All-Stars DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported over the weekend that we can expect talks between Miami and San Antonio regarding one/both of these players. The Spurs have yet to make them 100% available. But given the team’s struggles this season, that seems imminent.
Updated rumors: Thursday, Jan. 16
Hawks add All-Star, eye another price
The league-worst Atlanta Hawks picked up former All-Star point guard Jeff Teague from the Wolves on Thursday, sending a pair of players to Minnesota in the process.
That might not be the extent of the wheeling and dealing as general manager Travis Schlenk looks to find Trae Young some help. Atlanta has moved on from the possibility of acquiring Andre Drummond, and is now targeting Thunder big man Steven Adams.
Wolves not done dealing?
After sending Teague to Atlanta in the above-mentioned trade, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reports that Minnesota has been eying ball-dominant guards to find an upgrade in the backcourt.
The report suggests that the Wolves talked to Indiana about Aaron Holiday, but talks did not go too far. Dennis Smith Jr. of the New York Knicks is another possibility. Sitting at just 15-25 on the season, Karl-Anthony Town is now Minnesota’s leading assist man at 4.4 per game.
Updated rumors: Wednesday, Jan. 15
Bucks “very confident” in relationship with Greek Freak
Rumors continues to persist that reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo could bolt in free agency during the summer of 2021. Specifically, he has been linked to the Golden State Warriors.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Bucks’ believe that won’t be the case. They are “confident” in the relationship they have built with Giannis and plan for their marriage to continue far beyond the 2020-21 season.
No Karl-Anthony Towns trade?
Rumors have picked up that this All-Star big man is not happy about the lack of progression with the Minnesota Timberwolves and could soon force a trade. While nothing concrete has come out on that end, the Wolves have made it clear they plan on building around Towns.
“We’re challenging him (Towns) as a player and as a leader to be the best that he can, and we have the potential to do something here that’s built around him to allow him to be the best player he can be,” president Gersson Rosas said Wednesday.
Updated rumors: Tuesday, Jan. 14
Andre Drummond staying put?
It sure looks like Andre Drummond will not be traded. As noted, the New York Knicks previously inquired with the Detroit Pistons about the All-Star center. The talks didn’t go too far when Detroit demanded first-round picks as part of the return.
Now, according to James Edwards of The Athletic, the Pistons have yet to be offered that type of deal leading up to the deadline. Drummond, 26, is averaging 17.4 points, 15.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals this season. Complicating things further is that he’s expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent in July.
D’Angelo Russell for Aaron Gordon?
It was previously noted that the struggling Warriors wanted to hang on to Russell for the remainder of the season and see how he clicks with Stephen Curry once the former MVP returns from injury. That still appears to be the case.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, a rumored deal that would send Russell to the Orlando Magic for Aaron Gordon was a “hard no” from Golden State’s perspective. Russell brings a lot to the table in terms of trade value, and could very well be moved during the summer. Just don’t expect anything to happen ahead of February’s trade deadline.
Updated rumors: Monday, Jan. 13
Knicks looking to the future
According to Ian Begley of SNY, the Knicks are opposed to trading future first-round picks in any scenario ahead of next month’s trade deadline. That’s going to make it hard to add a star-caliber player that the Knicks are said to be seeking. They don’t have the assets in terms of players to pull off a blockbuster. If this is true, the idea of acquiring Andre Drummond can be thrown out the window.
Updated rumors: Saturday, Jan. 11
Sixers in the market
In hopes of upgrading their outside shooting game, the Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly showing interest in Detroit Pistons sharpshooters Luke Kennard and Langston Galloway. Both are shooting at 40% from distance on the season. Sixers head coach Brett Brown previously indicated that the team must find more consistency from the outside.
No urgency for the Celtics
At 25-11 on the season, Boston is sitting pretty as the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Youngsters Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been great. Kemba Walker has turned in a tremendous first half of the season in Beantown.
It’s in this that Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is showing no urgency in trading young players for a proven star. This shouldn’t be seen as too much of a surprise. Ainge has in the past pushed back against the idea of moving either Tatum or Brown. That was true even when it came to Anthony Davis this past summer.
Knicks targeting Andre Drummond
When it was reported earlier in the week that the Detroit Pistons were listening to offers for All-Star center Andre Drummond, a number of contending teams stood out as possible landing spots.
Little did we think that the downtrodden Knicks were going to get involved. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, New York is targeting the veteran. The report noted that talks did not go too far once Detroit demanded multiple first-round picks in return. New York continues to swing for the fences, but is striking out at nearly every turn.
Kyle Kuzma remains on the block
According to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers are prepared to move anyone on their roster not named Anthony Davis and LeBron James ahead of next month’s NBA trade deadline.
This report fits in well with recent suggestions that star third-year forward Kyle Kuzma could be had in trade talks. Los Angeles is seemingly in the market for an upgrade at point guard. If moving Kuzma does that, expect general manager Rob Pelinka and Co. to pull the trigger.
- Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers: Following a meltdown directed at general manager Koby Altman, rumors suggest that the Cavs are looking to move this five-time All-Star. In fact, they are asking him to show more maturity as the process plays out. Love is averaging 16.8 points and 10.2 rebounds on the season. He could fetch a decent return.
- Tristan Thompson, Cavaliers: Recent rumors suggest that the Toronto Raptors could be in play for Thompson, who is slated to become a free agent after the 2019-20 season. Thompson remains a force defensively. He’s also averaging a double-double at 12.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
- Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons: With Blake Griffin potentially lost for the season, it seems that Detroit could be looking ahead to the 2020-21 campaign. Drummond has been bandied about in trade talks surrounding the Atlanta Hawks. The All-Star is also in the midst of a tremendous season, averaging 17.5 points and 16.0 rebounds. His five-year, $127.2 million deal could be hard to move.
- Derrick Rose, Detroit Pistons: In the midst of a career resurgence, there’s a number of contending teams that would show interest in Rose if he is made available. The former league MVP is averaging 17.5 points and 5.8 assists on 48% shooting this season. His below-market two-year, $15 million contract also has to be seen as attractive for other teams.
- Marcus Morris, New York Knicks: One of many veterans the downtrodden Knicks signed to a short-term deal this past summer, Morris is playing some of his best basketball. The veteran forward is averaging 19.1 points and 5.5 rebounds on 47% shooting from distance. Any contending team would like a shot at adding Morris. New York is said to be demanding at least a first-round pick in return.
- Julius Randle, New York Knicks: It seems to be unreasonable to believe that the Knicks would get much for this struggling forward. Randle is shooting less than 30% from distance on the season and has taken a major step back since the team signed him to a three-year, $62.1 million deal back in July. Despite this, he’s still only 25 years old and is averaging 18 points to go with 9.1 rebounds per.
- Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers: In the market for a point guard upgrade over Rajon Rondo, it looks like the Lakers are seriously considering moving this stud third-year forward. It just remains to be seen what type of offer they might get in return. Kuzma has regressed this season, taking a back seat to both LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But he has the track record of success and is seen as a major bargaining chip heading into the deadline.
- D’Angelo Russell, Golden State Warriors: It seems like the struggling Warriors are in a holding pattern with Russell. They want to see how the All-Star plays with the injured Stephen Curry before making a decision. Unlikely to be moved ahead of the trade deadline, there’s a chance Russell is traded this summer if the Dubs can get another star player in return. That’s been the biggest rumor in San Francisco.
- Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers: Acquired from the Heat this past summer, Whiteside is a valuable trade chip in that he boasts a $27.1 million expiring contract. If Portland is looking to make a run, moving his deal is the best bet. The former All-Defensive Team performer is averaging 15.8 points, 14.0 rebounds and a league-high 2.9 blocks this season.
- Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves: Rumors out of 29 other NBA cities (not Minneapolis) continue to persist that KAT wants out of dodge. They say he’s unhappy with the under-performing ways of the organization. Even then, we find it highly unlikely that the Wolves will move their franchise cornerstone. At the very least, it’s the type of trade that takes plays during the summer months. There’s really nothing to see here.
- DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs: An impending free agent, San Antonio would be smart to move DeRozan as a way to help build for the future. At 15-20 on the season, that would make sense. DeRozan, 30, is averaging 21.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. He’d be a welcome addition for contending teams, even as a rental.
- LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs: Another player the Spurs would be smart to move, Aldridge has value on the trade block. He’s a proven All-Star with the capability of fitting into any scheme. The veteran also continues to be a consistent force, averaging 19-plus points each of the past three seasons. His $24 million cap hit for next season could be a sticking point.
- Andre Iguodala, Memphis Grizzlies: Still away from the Grizzlies as he looks for a buyout, it seems that this former NBA Finals MVP is more likely to be traded. Memphis has drawn a line in the sand since acquiring the veteran from Golden State this summer. Of those on this list, Iggy is the most likely to be dealt in February. It will be to a contending team, too.
- Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder: Things are a bit more convoluted in OKC than when the Thunder first acquired CP3 from Houston in the James Harden trade. This surprising young team currently sits at 21-16 on the season. Even then, moving Paul and his contract is the best way forward. The future Hall of Famer is still playing great ball, averaging 16.6 points and 6.5 assists on a robust 47% shooting.
The big six
- A ton of teams have been bandied about on the trade market leading up to the February deadline. But here’s a look at six of the most noteworthy contenders attempting to upgrade.
Los Angeles Lakers
Sitting pretty at 30-7 on the season, Los Angeles can pick and choose what it wants to do in terms of an upgrade. The team has obviously been linked to Andre Iguodala. If the Lakers decide that moving Kyle Kuzma makes sense, Memphis could bite. Though, Los Angeles would likely want more than an aging veteran for Kuzma.
Reports out of Los Angeles indicate that the team is not happy with Rajon Rondo as an option moving forward this season. Moving Kuzma for an upgrade at point guard could make sense. Derrick Rose and Dennis Schroder make sense in this regard. Los Angeles has also been linked to the recently unretired Darren
Bucks general manager Jon Horst did well to maintain a strong bench when it looked like the NBA’s best team would lose multiple free agents this past summer. It has Milwaukee at a league-best 32-6 on the season.
Despite this, rumors persist that the Bucks are looking for an elite-level point guard to team up with reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. This would include moving Eric Bledsoe and cap fillers. It’s pure conjecture, but Chris Paul of the Thunder or New Orleans Pelicans star Jrue Holiday would be good fits.
Recent reports suggest that the Nuggets are in the market for rising Washington Wizards star Davis Bertans. This makes sense in that the stretch four would be a tremendous fit with Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap and Jamal Murray. Bertans is shooting a robust 43% from distance this season.
The only question here is what Denver general manager Tim Connelly might be willing to offer up for someone of Bertans’ ilk. Could 2018 first-round pick Michel Porter Jr. be in the cards?
It’s no secret that Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is not afraid to make the big move. Just ask Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul. With Houston seemingly a step behind top contenders in the Western Conference, that could be the case ahead of February’s trade deadline.
The idea of potentially moving the expensive contracts of Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker and/or Clint Capela to find a third star with Russ and James Harden might be appealing. For now, the Rockets have been linked to lesser-known role players.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown has talked about it at nearly every turn. Philly needs to shoot more threes and find a perimeter game if the team hopes to contend for a title.
The elephant in this room is Ben Simmons, who Brown has called out multiple times in the past for ignoring the three-point line. While a Simmons trade makes very little sense, we’re expecting Sixers general manager Elton Brand to pull off a trade. Heck, Simmons could be part of a larger blockbuster. But as of now, the status quo is not working for Philly.
It’s readily apparent that Dallas is looking for another big to go with Kristaps Porzingis. It also has the financial resources in the bloated contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to make a big move ahead of February’s trade deadline.
Boasting potential NBA MVP Luka Doncic, the time could be now for these Mavericks to make that dramatic move. It just remains to be seen if anyone of the ilk Mark Cuban and Co. are seeking is available.
Trades we’d like to see
Derrick Rose and Markieff Morris to the Lakers
We know the Rose and LeBron James relationship didn’t work out with Cleveland back in the day. But the point guard has upped his game big time over the past couple seasons.
Adding Rose to the mix to split time with Rondo would make sense. Bringing in Morris as a top-end reserve would also make sense. In return, the Lakers can offer up Kuzma and a cap filler to make this work.
Chris Paul to the Bucks
This would take a lot of work from a financial perspective. It would also leave Milwaukee thin on the bench. Even then, the idea of teaming Paul up with Giannis might be too sexy to pass up on. It would create an elite one-two tandem with Khris Middleton waiting in the wings (almost literally).
In order to make this work, Milwaukee would have to deal the bloated contracts of Eric Bledsoe, Brook Lopez and Ersan İlyasova as well as multiple first-round picks. It’s the definition of shooting your shot.
Zach LaVine to the Nuggets
We focused on this possibility before, but it makes a whole lot of sense. Gary Harris and Will Barton are not getting any better. They’re good players. They just don’t have that star appeal to go with Murray, Jokic and Millsap.
In adding LaVine to the mix, that would change a great deal. Denver also has a tremendous trade bait in that of Michael Porter Jr. From there, it would have to make the contracts match by offering up a combination of Mason Plumlee, Gary Harris and Jarami Grant.