Only two days left as 23rd of February is the day that marks NBA trade deadline. Serge Ibaka to Toronto and DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans. Only two big names have changed teams in mid-season so far but what are the other players that can join their rivals?
Boston Celtics are the team that has to offer most. Containing draft picks from Brooklyn Nets makes them very attractive figure to deal with. Celtics are looking for a superstar to team-up with “little big man” Isaiah Thomas and Al Harford. Its been said that Celtics are one piece away from being contenders. Blake Griffin, Paul George and Jimmy Butler are the names that have sown up most in the media in talks with trade deadline.
If Griffin trade is said to be “extremely unlikely” so either George or Butler scenario looks more real. Both Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers are the average team that was ruined by the injuries. Pacers were contenders before PG13 injury and Bulls were contenders before the former MVP Derrick Rose injuries. Right now both Bulls and Pacers need to decide if they want to push for another superstar or start rebuilding and these talks looks like option number two. Draft picks for superstar does not seem like contending strategy.
Celtics did fade away from Cousins talk as they wanted to focus on Butler. Also Bulls showed a lot of interest in moving players. Front office called every team in the league saying that Spanish Nicola Mirotic is available for trade, they are looking for lottery picks in exchange for Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson. Seems like Bulls are all in for rebuild but on the other hand their front office is most likely not to “pull the trigger”, as they did the same last year not trading Pau Gasol, who left during Free Agency, for Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore.
Jahlil Okafor already packed his bags. Also, he did unpack them. Okafor, Philadelphia 76ers and whole NBA was convinced that he will be traded before NBA All-Star weekend at New Orleans. Center already said goodbyes to the team and he even did not travel to the games with Sixers. Reportedly, he was waiting in his hometown, Chicago, for a done deal.
Pelicans were interested in Okafor but after dealing with Kings there is no way this trade is happening anymore, another teams that was most likely to get Jahlil were Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets. Although, these two teams already shifted players between each other. Blazers got Jusuf Nurkic and Nuggets received Mason Plumlee, both guys are the same position as Okafor.
That leaves as us with Bulls that shown a lot of interest in native Chicagoan, although, Sixers wants a lottery pick that Bulls are not able to offer so instead they want Denzel Valentine. This is the reason why deal is stuck as Bulls do not want to move rookie, so for now Okafor joined Sixers again and had to unpack his bags.
Nuggets, one of the most active teams at the moment is ready to move even more players. Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler are most likely to leave the team. Gallinari is going to become a Free Agent after the season and he is not willing to extend his contract.
While Chandler is not happy with his role in the team. Forward is putting a good numbers this season with 15,6 points and 6,7 rebounds a game, although he only started 19 of 50 games this season. Chandler is associated most with Rockets as they are looking for another good player of the bench. Also Oklahoma city Thunders and Los Angeles Clippers are interested in small forward. As OKC are looking for help, that Russell Westbrook need so much and Clippers are looking for another asset that could help them, finally, make the conference finals.
As in talks with Gallinari, most interest is shown by the Raptors as they said after the trade for Ibaka that they are not done as they need more help to beat Clevelend Cavaliers in the playoffs and also the same Clippers.
Carmelo Anthony is one of the biggest names and one of the very first ones to be mentioned in trade talks this season. While Knicks are struggling in Easter conference with 23-34 record what puts them in 12th position, Melo is trying to be sifted. He was offered to Cavaliers for Kevin Love but NBA champions rejected the offer but hopes for this trade are not dead yet.
Could you imagine the finals between Golden state Warriors with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant against the Cavaliers with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Love and Anthony? That could be the single best finals in NBA history.
Derrick Rose could possibly join Karl Anthony-Towns. Minnesota Timberwolves got in touch with Knicks’ front office for possible Rose trade. Wolves are known for trying to move Ricky Rubio and there could not be better exchange than with former youngest MVP in NBA history. Rose was traded in off-season from Bulls to Knicks but New York team is not looking good at all what makes this trade even more possible.
Knicks also need to realise that Rose is on his last year of contract and is going to become Free Agent. Earlier this season he did leave New York and went back home to Chicago to see his mom and son as it was too hard for him to be so far from them. That makes sense that there is a chance that he could go back to Bulls during summer or join Bucks that is in the same state as Chicago.
The only way to find out if all the rumors are true is just to wait couple more days and possibly, NBA is going to get a lot more interesting for the rest of the season.