Ben Simmons is still a member of the Philadelphia 76ers even though the NBA trade deadline is in two days. The Indiana Pacers have parted ways with Domantas Sabonis, but the Sacramento Kings did not want to build around the De’Aaron Fox-Tyrese Haliburton backcourt. When Damian Lillard returns to the court, he will have a different supporting cast.
The major trades so far are: The Sabonis-Haliburton swap, Caris LeVert to Cleveland, and Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Clippers.
Will the Simmons saga be over by 3 pm? On Feb. 10? Maybe! Teams looking for a shake-up, players about to hit free agency, and log jams to sort out are some of the other situations that can be monitored. 75 players could be traded before the deadline.
The most prominent trade candidates.
The players who are being discussed are the biggest names, not all of them are certified stars.
It’s amazing how little has changed since Simmons asked out. They have refused to trade him for a bunch of non-stars, so they have been at a standstill. The president of the team said in a radio interview that they need to get an impact player and that they are looking for a deal that makes them a championship contender. It’s unclear if a blockbuster is realistic if James Harden or Bradley Beal don’t push for a trade.
Harden didn’t sign a contract extension before the season started, leaving the door open for speculation about his commitment to Brooklyn. Harden has had an up and down season, in part because of conditioning issues and in part because of the Nets’ poor spacing. It’s not his fault or the team’s fault that Irving won’t get vaccine, but the reality is that these things have made Harden look worse. Nets coach Steve Nash said on Feb. 6 that nothing has changed, despite all the “noise.” He wants to be here for a long time. Brooklyn will probably keep Harden and re-sign him, rather than trading him for Simmons.
The Pistons don’t have to trade Grant right now, but if they can get a contender bidding against each other, they’d be smart to do so. Grant is not a rental, and he would plug obvious holes for teams like Chicago and Utah. He wants a featured role on offense and a long-term extension wherever he ends up. If you’re going to use Grant the way Denver did, don’t trade for him if he’s not going to be the go-to guy.
Wood’s situation is similar to Grant’s, but he’s a year younger, on a smaller contract and a different kind of player. There is a small list of bigs who can roll and pop. The Houston Rockets have been terrible this season, but they have an elite offense in the minutes he’s played at center. Change of scenery might help the other end. According to The Athletic, Miami has inquired about Wood, and the Rockets are waiting for an offer that will blow them away.
The Pacers broke up their big frontcourt after years of trade rumors. If Turner is still available, he would be appealing to any team in need of an elite rim protector and would be willing to play for them like a star. Turner is eligible for an extension in the off-season, and he has been clear about the kind of role he wants. He has been out since mid-January with a stress reaction in his foot.
Barnes is a win-now player on a team that has yet to win. The Kings should move him to a contender if they don’t care about chasing the last spot in the play-in or if he doesn’t fit with the new version of the team. Barnes turns 30 in May, and he has quietly improved this season, shooting better than 40 percent from deep and getting to the free throw line more than ever before.
In the first year of a five-year, $125 million contract, Collins has picked up where he left off, as he was a crucial part of the Hawks team that went to the Eastern Conference finals. The Athletic and Bleacher Report reported that Atlanta was shopping Collins. Since then, the noise has been much quieter, as an eight-wins-in-nine-games stretch might have signaled that the Hawks are about to go on the same kind of run that they did in the middle of last season. According to Stein, Collins isn’t leaving yet.
The idea is to trade Harris and his max contract for Simmons. It is difficult to make it happen. The Hawks are unwilling to take him and the Kings would need to send the right combination of players and picks to Philadelphia in order to get a third team involved. Another idea is to move Harris’ contract so the 76ers can sign Harden in free agency.
The big names are Simmons and Harden. No Dame, no Beal?
I couldn’t justify putting any other recent All-Stars in the first section. I still feel like I should speak to the other guy in the Nets’ backcourt and the point guard in Los Angeles.
“If I have the chance to create my own legacy and make it work here with the team that drafted me, then why not give it a shot?” he said. If it works, it works. I can say at least I tried. Wizards president Tommy Sheppard told The Athletic that their goal was to build a team around him. The max extension they offered him in October is still on the table, but he can make more money by re-signing as a free agent. While he hasn’t committed to the franchise long-term, he hasn’t indicated that he wants out. According to The Athletic, he’s not sure if the front office can turn the team into a contender, but he wants to stay in D.C. He would have season-ending surgery on his injured wrist two days before the deadline.
It’s not clear if he’ll be back on the court before 2022-23, after having surgery to address his abdominal injury. In the week preceding the deadline, the Blazers moved Powell, Coombs, and Larry Nance Jr. There is no indication that they are going to start over. They will attempt to build a different kind of team around him. In the off-season, he will be eligible for a two-year, $107 million extension.
After spending his first 11 seasons in Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook has been on a new team for the third straight season and has been both a cause and victim of Los Angeles’ shoddy spacing. If his salary was half as high as it is, the Lakers need to realize that this is a poor fit and send him to a team that can give them a couple of two-way players. The salary is what it is, so a deal is highly unlikely. Imagine if he is traded for John Wall again.
Who wants to trade for Irving? On the other hand, the price shouldn’t be as high as it normally would be, because the Nets can’t play him in home games unless he gets vaccine. It would be weird to get into the business now. Even if you don’t have to worry about him being ineligible to play in your city, you would have to be comfortable trading real stuff for a star who might not have any interest in playing for your team and can walk in a few months.
What about the other teams?
The incentive to tank is still there despite the softened incentive due to the play-in tournament and adjusted lottery odds. Portland, Indiana, and Sacramento have all made big moves, and Houston is also a seller.
Was Sacramento going to pair Fox with Tyrese Haliburton for a long time? Despite Fox’s disappointing shooting and continued difficulties on defense, it was sending a message. Fox is only 24 but he’s already on his third coach and, after an encouraging 39-43 season in 2018-19, Sacramento has regressed a bit every year. It’s not hard to understand why his name came up in rumors. The Kings couldn’t possibly trade both of their supposed cornerstones, so the plan is to build around those two.
He’s in some ways an ideal second-draft candidate because he’s burdened by expectations, stuck in a logjam, set back by numerous injuries and is a scorer. This is a former No. 2 pick who has spent a lot of time out of the rotation. I don’t know if he’s going to be a shooter or a defender, but I’m sure there are a few teams that will give him a chance. The question is how much those teams will be willing to pay to get started with him immediately and have matching rights in the summer, as opposed to simply trying to sign him in free agency.
It seemed like it would be difficult for the Kings to retain him, so he was on this list last year. It is a credit to their front office that he stayed, but now they have to ask themselves if they should trade him just a few months into it. He should command a better return now that he’s signed a long-term contract. Charlotte has always seemed like a good landing spot forHolmes, and he fits Toronto’s vibe too.
His gut tells him that he’s not going anywhere after a slow start. It’s possible that he’s playing himself out of Portland. The rest of this season is not about winning, and if they can turn Nurkic into something that might help them down the road, they will have to consider it.
Bledsoe has already been traded once in the days leading up to the deadline, and it’s possible he’ll be moved again. He was listed as out with an injury when he arrived in Portland, after playing in every game for the Clippers this season. Does he think he’ll be there after 3 pm? On Thursday? Bledsoe said it was up in the air.
Satoransky is a few months from free agency and likely won’t be part of Portland’s future plans. He might not stay in the car for long.
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There is a player page on the CBS Sports website.
There isn’t much room for him there if he’s sent somewhere else soon after Indiana traded for Hield. Hield has shot around 40 percent on catch-and-shoot 3s his entire career, and he takes them on the move. It’s possible to run offense for a player like that.
He’s out for the season, sadly, but the Pacers could potentially flip his expiring contract to a team looking to shed salary. Remember how much fun he was having in Cleveland before he tore his knee? It’s sad.
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There is a player page on the CBS Sports website.
Craig is still the same dude as he is: Tough, multipositional defender; ball carrier; shaky shooter. It shouldn’t feel any pressure to trade him if Indiana wants to return to the playoffs. Teams should ask about this year’s playoffs.
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The player page for the NBA is at: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/players/playerpage-2135570/t-j-warren.
I don’t know how much Warren can help a team win basketball games in the short term because he hasn’t played since December of 2020 because of a stress fracture in his left foot. You remember how amazing he was when he was in the bubble, because he’s on an expiring contract. Warren is finally playing 1-on-1 again, but it is not clear when he will make his season debut.
It’s hard to imagine this season going better for Gordon. He has missed a negligible amount of time, made about 43 percent of his 3s and shown that he can still defend across multiple positions and bowling-ball his way to the basket. The contract is not ideal, but he can help teams win now and it will likely end after next season.
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The player page for John-wall is on the CBS Sports website.
This is not comfortable. Wall hasn’t played this season, doesn’t want a buyout, and couldn’t reach an agreement with the Astros on a return to the lineup. Unless the Westbrook stuff gets serious, there is not an obvious solution.
It’s confusing that a rebuilding team was so enthusiastic about signing Theis because he doesn’t fit with the team. Playoff teams should inquire if they want a bench big.
What other vets could be up for grabs?
Are you looking for a proven player to be the missing piece? There are some possibilities.
One of the league’s most efficient pick-and-roll and isolation players was in Brooklyn. The Wizards have reportedly made him available. The contract is fine if he can produce the way he used to and be given the kind of role he used to have. There are big ifs.
Richardson has been on four teams in four years. He played the 3-and-D role as a freshman in Miami. The Celtics’ decision to sign him to a one-year extension last summer looks smart given that he is making more than 40 percent of his 3s and has always been a good defender. They can either keep him as they try to make a playoff run, or if the offers are good enough, move him for more than they would’ve been able to get if he were a rental.
The defense of the Celtics is great. Is it possible that they would trade an all-world defender like Smart? If they get a lot in return. His name has been in trade rumors for most of his eight years in Boston.
Kenny Hustle is your nerdiest friend’s favorite monster. There’s a good argument that he should be retained beyond this deadline, because he’s young enough that they should keep him beyond this contract. What would a win-now team have to offer for Williams to change his mind if he were to be on the roster when they next make the playoffs? How much does Oklahoma City value additional picks?
Young was playing some of his best basketball of his career when he was reduced to a third-stringer. It hasn’t worked out in San Antonio, but he might be able to recreate the magic he had as a point-center in Chicago. Young has defended Antetokounmpo well in the past.
As the Wizards fall down in the Eastern Conference, he’s still doing his usual stuff, even though he had a hot start in D.C. He was always a trade candidate because he’s on an expiring contract and Washington has a crowded frontcourt, and there’s even less incentive to keep him around now that Bradley is out for the season.
He’s a 3-and-D-and-more guy who can help a win-now team and is on a team-friendly contract, even though he’s having a down year in terms of efficiency. Washington isn’t a win-now team.
During the two-month period, Harris averaged 14.5 points on 46-42-86 shooting splits. This isn’t far away from what he did in Denver in the last two years. Is prospective trade partners confident that he has found his form again? Hmm!
The Nets have too many bigs and Millsap ended up being the odd man out. The front office is trying to find a new home for Steve Nash. If Brooklyn doesn’t mind moving him to another team near the top of the East, Chicago is a logical destination.
Williams was part of a Hawks second unit that was finally coming together after he was banged up. When Atlanta was in a tailspin, it was more likely that he’d be traded because this team has more than enough playmaking and has room for improvement on defense.
It’s not a coincidence that the Hawks struggled when Bogdanovic was out of the lineup. They are starting to look like the team that went to the conference finals last year now that he’s looking more like himself. If Atlanta is looking to make a big trade, he’s on the kind of contract that could be included.
The Celtics don’t have his Bird rights and can only offer him a new contract starting at $7 million in the off-season. If they’re going to lose him, they might pick a second-round pick. He is one of the few sources of rim pressure.
Despite the fact that his 3-point percentage has dipped, he is having the best season of his career. He has been given the freedom to push the ball in transition and step outside of his role in the halfcourt by the Mavericks. He’s a huge part of Dallas’ defense, and the flashes he’s shown on the other end have him in line for a significant raise. The team that signed him as a free agent in 2016 now has to decide whether to give him a raise or sell him high.
Anderson isn’t taking as many 3s and free throws as he did last season, and he’s not as important to the team now that Jaren Jackson Jr. is healthy. They could try to get something back for Anderson if they don’t think they will be willing to pay him what he wants in free agency. These decisions have become more complicated because of Memphis’ good fortune. It makes sense to include Anderson in a deal for an impact player.
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Kemba Walker is a player for the NBA.
The Knicks were hoping that Walker’s story would be more touching than it has been. Walker had a few scoring explosions after he was out, but he hasn’t put his knee issues behind him and he’s no longer a featured part of the offense. If a team wants to bet on its training staff and makes a reasonable offer, New York should probably move him.
Fournier has been a good 3-point shooter for the Knicks this season, but he has not been a factor in their defensive decline. It might help them regain the identity they had last season if they moved him.
If the Jazz were going to make an upgrade on the wing, Ingles’ expiring contract made him a natural trade target. They need to try to do the same thing Cleveland did with Ricky Rubio’s expiring deal.
Utah’s gradual shift into an offensive powerhouse with questions to answer about its defense is if one player personifies it. One of the main reasons the Jazz’s system works so well is that he is right at home in it. If there’s a move that could balance things out, they should at least consider it.
While he is not the only person to blame for the Hawks’ defense, he is one of the main culprits. Simmons could be a part of any kind of blockbuster.
There’s an argument that the Wolves should extend him because he’s played an important role in their defensive improvement this season, and everyone around the team has been talking about him since the beginning of training camp. They need to see what’s out there now if they’re concerned about losing him in free agency.
While he’s playing less of a featured role, he’s actually jacking up more 3s than ever before, and that’s because he’s been erratic this season. Anyone trading for him would have to believe that his inefficiency is an outlier. Beasley is shooting 37 percent from the field and 34 percent from deep.
Harris has been out since mid-November with an ankle injury and may need a second surgery. The market for a sharpshooter is being gauged by Brooklyn because it is concerned with winning a title this season.
After a rough start in Toronto, Boucher has turned his season around. On a team that has recently used a six-to-seven-man rotation, he is providing real production off the bench. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the 29-year-old has played his way into the front office’s long-term plans.
Many teams would jump at the chance to get Dragic on the market because he will be well-rested and can make plays. The Raptors will try to turn his expiring contract into another piece if they are able to trade for him on this salary.
After missing more than two months with a knee injury, Olynyk entered health and safety protocols. He had a 22-9-5 line in just 22 minutes in his first game back, and his 27 game stint in Houston last season was kind of incredible. Despite shooting terribly after clearing protocols, Olynyk’s ability to facilitate and space the floor has value in Detroit, and he might be worth more to a better team.
The longest-tenured Magic man has dealt with a knee injury this season and has not shot well from deep. He would look better if he were on an offensive team. Ross has been on this list for a long time.
Muscala is making about 43 percent of his 3s this season. He’s averaging 21 points, eight boards and three stocks per 36 minutes. I bet you didn’t because he plays for the Thunder. Any team in need of a stretch 5 is aware of this.
Ibaka made sense for the Clippers, but a back injury derailed the partnership before it really got going. If the Clippers want to take on more salary before the deadline, they could try to package his expiring contract with second-round picks.
McGruder played three of his best games as a Piston after the trade that was supposed to send him to Denver was scrapped. If Detroit has traded him before.
Lopez has rim protection, hook shots and goofy stuff. He has provided that, but the frontcourt also has other players, so opportunities have been limited.
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There is a playerpage on the CBS Sports website.
Why would anyone trade for a man who tore his knee? If he plays as well as he did for Phoenix last season, he will be a bargain because he has another year left on his contract. Why wouldn’t the Suns keep him? Because Deandre Ayton will be back on a new contract next year, they will have to pay a lot of luxury tax.
What about the younger guys?
There are some players who could be available. Some of them are on this list because they have established themselves and are about to be paid, while others are not.
When you find a guy like this in the second round, you don’t trade him. One of the Mavericks’ most important players is a player named Brunson. As he approaches free agency, Dallas’ front office must ask itself if it’s willing to be the team that signs him to his first big, long-term deal. He pairs well with Luka Doncic, but on defense you would like to surround him with as much length as possible.
Want a guard who wreaks havoc on defense, like he’s six inches taller, pushes the pace, moves the ball and doesn’t turn it over? If there aren’t that many backcourt minutes to go around, you might be able to get Melton. He’s a good trade chip for the Grizzlies since he’s signed for two more seasons after this one on a team-friendly contract.
Jones is making more than 40 percent of his spot-up 3s this season, and he is a constant presence on the second unit. These are reasons not to trade Jones, but they are also reasons why he will have trade value. How much does Memphis want to spend on a point guard? He could be moved in a deal that brings back another core player from the same time period as Morant, Jackson and Bane.
There is no reason for the Spurs to give away one of the best defensive centers in the NBA. One of the best contracts in the league has been signed by Poeltl. San Antonio is willing to deal him if it can get a good player and a first-round pick. According to reports, it has rejected an offer from Chicago.
Robinson is an offensive rebounder. You know that he has the potential to be a defensive anchor, because you’ve seen his highlight blocks. He could walk in July because the Knicks couldn’t work out a contract extension before the season started. It’s not clear if New York sees him as part of its core.
It has been an important season for Bamba, he has been starting next to Carter on a giant Magic frontline, and now that he has a bigger role, he has played with more energy. The two-center look has not been effective, and trading Bamba before he hits restricted free agency would open up minutes for the other players.
It wasn’t a good sign for DiVincenzo’s future with the franchise when he didn’t sign a contract extension before the season. If DiVincenzo is traded before the deadline, it will be because the front office thinks it is making some sort of upgrade. DiVincenzo is the best trade chip for the Bucks.
It’s not just that the team has done well this season. It’s hard to see how he would be able to build on the 24.3 points he scored last season, now that Caris LeVert is in the picture. Cleveland can wait and see how restricted free agency goes, but he should be pursued now. Sexton had knee surgery in November.
Why would the Hornets trade a stretch that is 23 years old? Washington is a versatile player, but the front office has to consider what it will pay Bridges and Martin this summer, plus all the money it has already committed to Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier. This team has been searching for a long-term starting center for years, and will be eligible for an extension in July.
Martin’s 3-point percentage jumped from the 20s to the 40s this season, and he’s still bringing the same stuff to the table defensively. The Hornets don’t need to shop him around because of this incredible development. If the right offer comes along, they might have to consider it, because Martin could be too expensive for Charlotte to re-sign him comfortably.
Walker might be a potential star if you catch him on the right night. He can make great plays on both ends, and every once in a while, he’ll drop 20-something on good efficiency. Walker has a sub-50 percent true shooting percentage, which is close to the end of his contract. If Walker isn’t in San Antonio’s plans, it could make an exception.
The Warriors’ messaging has been consistent, that they won’t be going anywhere unless they can get a player in return. The market for him might not be all that compelling, especially after he had a second knee surgery, as most teams in the Warriors’ position would try to cash in their 20-year-old project big.
It’s not Horton-Tucker’s fault that he’s at the center of a desperate situation in Los Angeles. The Lakers decided to make a high-risk trade for Westbrook and let Alex go after he showed enough promise in his first couple of seasons to get a three-year, $30.8 million contract. They’re stuck shopping Horton-Tucker, the next guy on this list and a first-round pick, because they have a roster of ill-fitting parts. I’m not sure how far that will go.
Nunn has a knee injury and hasn’t played this season. The Lakers will have a difficult time acquiring anyone making more than the mid-level exception without including him, as his salary dictates that he will be in trade talks.
It’s not much of a leap to assume Holiday isn’t in the long-term plans of the Wizards. He has always been a creative finisher, but this season he has been more efficient around the paint.
Bryant is the Wizards’ starting center, for now at least, but as soon as they made the change there was speculation that they were showcasing him for a potential trade. If he can ever become a decent pick-and-roll defender, there’s upside here.
Flynn had a nice game against the Hornets in January, but he didn’t get much playing time after that. Is there any chance that he can become the Raptors’ backup point guard? Is he not suited for their style of play? It feels like he would like a fresh start.
Smith came into the lineup in December and gave the Suns good minutes. They’re in a weird spot since they declined his third-year option. He will be an unrestricted free agent in July and Phoenix will not be allowed to pay him more than $4.7 million it would have owed him had it picked up the option. It would make sense for the Suns to move Smith now that he’s out of the rotation, but there isn’t much incentive for another team to help them.
It feels as if he’s completely vanished, even though he was the No. 6 pick in the draft. He’s had a couple of solid games for the Memphis, but he’s been out of the rotation for most of the season because they’re so deep. If teams want to spend a few months with him before he hits free agency, they might want to take a second-round pick.
images: cbs sports
source: cbs sports