While there are no NBA games until Thursday, teams will be extremely busy trying to bolster their rosters before Thursday’s 3PM EST trade deadline.
Currently, there are 22 teams still jockeying for playoff position and then there are the other eight teams who have basically given up on the season, but might have valuable trade assets. Some teams will be desperate to dump some of their salary in order to rebuild through free agency this offseason.
There are three big name players to watch in the next few days that may get traded-- Brook Lopez, Lance Stephenson, and Goran Dragic. Brooklyn has experimented with the trio of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez for awhile and have yet to find no real success yet. So the odd ball out, Lopez may find himself a new home this week.
Lance Stephenson has not been the addition the Charlotte Hornets needed so they too will be looking to get something in return for Stephenson. As for Dragic, he has made it pretty apparent he will sign elsewhere this offseason so Phoenix might as well get what they can for Dragic before he walks away.
There was a reported trade earlier this season that would have sent Lopez to OKC, Stephenson to Brooklyn, Jarrett Jack to Charlotte, and expiring contracts and young assets to Brooklyn. However it fell through at the last minute. But, it wouldn't be surprising if Oklahoma City's GM Sam Presti makes another phone call to Brooklyn to try to facilitate a deal for Lopez. He would solidify their frontcourt and help propel them into the playoff picture.
Phoenix faces the problem of having a plethora of point guards. Eric Bledsoe, Isiah Thomas, and Goran Dragic are all good point guards, but at some point, one of them isn’t being used properly. Goran Dragic seems to be the most likely to be traded this week because he has expressed interest in possibly signing with another team this offseason. Houston and the Los Angeles Lakers have continuously tried to pry away Dragic from Phoenix, so look for both of those teams to make another push leading up to the deadline.
As for Stephenson, it has been pretty apparent he wasn’t the fit Charlotte had hoped he would be. Yet Charlotte is still in position to make the playoffs so it would love to get talent back for Stephenson. And the Brooklyn Nets are one team that would love to bring Stephenson back home.
There’s many teams with valuables players for contenders. For example, the Denver Nuggets' season may not have went as they planned yet they still have plenty of talented guys a contending team may want their hands on. Arron Affalo, Randy Foye, and Wilson Chandler all have tremendous value for a team desperate for some help on the perimeter. Also their two star players, Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried are also said to be available this week. So at the right price, a team could get an explosive veteran player in either one of them.
Other teams are searching for a big man to bolster up their frontcourt and Brandon Bass of the Celtics would be a solid addition to fit that role. He is a terrific rebounder and can finish around the basket. Lakers big man Jordan Hill is also having a tremendous season despite the Lakers being near the bottom of the West.
Recently, Chicago has made Taj Gibson available in trade talk. With rookie Nikola Mirotic coming into his own, Chicago might be able to fill another hole in their rotation by letting Gibson go via trade. Gibson has great value in trade talks because he is a solid contributor off the bench, and could quite frankly start for plenty of teams around the league. Watch for teams like the Clippers or Blazers to look for a much needed big man.
Needless to say, there are plenty of intriguing options out there for teams in need of help. However, I don’t foresee any blockbuster trade taking place this time around. We already saw Rajon Rondo get traded earlier this season, and there isn’t any player as talented in trade talks. But a contending team can definitely find a missing piece this week and could change their fortunes come playoff time.