With the NBA season well underway and the trade deadline quickly approaching, playoff contenders will look to bolster their roster for the stretch run. There will also be those teams who simply want to salary dump for their rebuild. Heck, there will be teams admitting their free-agent signings were mistakes (looking at you New York Knicks). Below is a list of potential NBA trade targets before the deadline.
NBA Trade Targets for the Trade Deadline
This is one of the most obvious NBA trade targets of any player on the block. Since LeBron James left in 2018, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been unbearable to watch. The front office doesn’t know if they want to rebuild or try to make the playoffs. Head coach John Beilein thinks he’s still at Michigan with his coaching style. Collin Sexton is a very poor man’s Kyrie Irving and the rookies aren’t developing. One thing is for sure, Love’s services would be better suited elsewhere. Preferably a contender.
As of this article’s draft, the Trailblazers are tenth in the west and things aren’t looking promising. The injury bug has them without key players like Jusuf Nurkic and Rodney Hood. While Nurkic could return soon, Love would still be a good piece to add. The 76ers could solidify their rotation while at the same time admitting the Al Horford signing didn’t work out as planned. Love will cost a pretty penny but could be worth it in the long run.
He is the most coveted player for a few top teams. People around the league believed that Iguodala would be immediately bought out once traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies had other plans. While upset, there is not much Iguodala can do except wait for a suitor to make a good offer for his services. The three-time NBA champion and former finals MVP will at least be well-rested when the playoffs begin.
Best fit: Los Angeles Lakers
Iguodala doesn’t have much left in the tank but the Lakers have a void that he can easily fill. The Lakers need a hustle player off the bench who can also defend the best opposing player in close games. The Grizzlies are reportedly demanding a first-round pick in exchange for the veteran, however, no team is willing to pay the price. Memphis’ leverage will lessen as the deadline approaches and this deal will get done.
Kuzma’s Laker trajectory went south when his trainer hit the send button. Since then, his name has constantly been in trade rumors. The newly extended general manager is reportedly willing to trade anyone not named LeBron James or Anthony Davis. This means Kuzma is on the block given he is the only other desirable player without a no-trade clause. He’s been playing lights out which only drives the price up. Lakers should get a hefty ROI on this trade.
This Warriors’ season is moot. However, adding Kuzma to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for the future sets Golden State up to be contenders in 2021. The Pelicans could use Kuzma to pair up with Zion Williamson to create their own dynamic duo (if both can stay healthy). The Lakers need a point guard and the Warriors and Pelicans have one to spare.
The Detroit Pistons have been in the news for putting Drummond on the trade block. The 26-year-old center has a player option for next season and the Pistons may need to face the reality of a rebuild. Rumors have linked several teams as trade partners, but nothing significant has materialized. Drummond puts up big numbers but lacks basketball IQ in critical points of games. This could be a reason why no team has offered a first-round pick.
Both the Celtics and Mavericks could use a big man who can get buckets. Neither one needs Drummond to be the focal point of the team as they already have their centerpieces. He is more of a plug to fill a hole and possibly put either at the top of their conference.
The Kawhi Leonard trade was clearly lopsided. Unfortunately, the DeRozan/LaMarcus Aldridge combination isn’t panning out. The San Antonio Spurs aren’t the same team we are familiar with, even with Gregg Popovich at the helm. With DeRozan being a free-agent at the end of the season, this will fall under the mistake admittance category.
There are many teams that could use the services of DeRozan. At this stage in his career, he can put up great numbers but isn’t a franchise player. DeRozan is a perfect second or third option on a playoff team that gets them to the next level. Possibly over the top for the right team.
It’s quite possible that this season’s trade deadline is one of the more active in recent years. The parity in the league means every team will be on the hunt for the missing piece to get them to the finals. February is when the real season begins.
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