I’m not really sure why, but I think trades/transactions are one of the most exciting aspects of sports. Think about it, we as humans are addicted to trading. We do it with stocks every day. We did it at the lunch table when we were children. More sports-cifically (I’m coming for you, Webster’s Dictionary), when we create video game sports franchises, the first thing we do is trade away our entire team for draft picks. Our fantasy football teams always have like 50 transactions by the end of the season.
With this understanding in mind, it only makes sense that basketball fans are obsessed with tomorrow’s NBA trade deadline. So, fulfilling my bloggerly (I’m on fire today!) duties, I offer my thoughts.
DISCLAIMER: Before we start, I want to verify the obvious – I am not Chris Broussard (thank God) or any other NBA insider, so all of my sources are secondhand. Basically, the only information I have access to is comprised of news reports, ESPN analysis, etc. So instead of providing any real news, I can only offer conjecture and my opinions about previously reported information.
Bold (ish) NBA Trade Deadline Predictions
“This trade deadline will be pretty boring.” – With the new luxury tax kicking in, I think teams are very hesitant to make any big deals before the NBA’s money landscape changes so drastically. Instead, I’m guessing there will be lots of smaller, money-related deals. We already saw the Grizzlies dump Rudy Gay for this reason (although that was actually a very big deal), so I would expect the same motivation to be the driving force throughout the evening.
“Josh Smith will finish this season in Milwaukee.” – Of all the J-Smoove deal rumors, this one seems to be the most likely to me. From what I’m seeing, it seems as though the Bucks are reluctant to trade Monte Ellis, but even if that’s true, I still think a deal could get done. The Bucks have more assets than Brooklyn’s rumored offer of Kris Humphries and Marshon Brooks, so I think they would get the edge if it came down to those two teams. The only other deal that might make sense is something with Boston, but I don’t see Danny Ainge pulling the trigger at this point. Which reminds me…
“Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will retire as Celtics” – I just think Boston’s asking price will be too high for anyone to really go for a deal, especially with the Celtics playing so well in a weak Eastern Conference. The Celts think they can play with anyone in the East, and all it really takes is a LeBron hammy to really open things up. Plus, Ainge knows how hard it would be to justify trading one of these two legends. Boston fans still haven’t gotten over the Kendrick Perkins to OKC deal, how do you think they would react to something like this?
“Rondo will be a Celtic next year.” – Keeping with the green, although Rondo is still the Celtics’ best asset, I think the knee injury is too scary for a team to commit to him at this point. Also, we’ve now seen a team with Rondo as the centerpiece, and it didn’t look too great. If I’m a GM, I’m keeping this in mind.
“Dwight Howard isn’t going anywhere.” – It just wouldn’t make sense. If you’re the Lakers, who would you rather have? No matter what deal they did, they wouldn’t get back full value. The ONLY deal that would seem mildly intelligent would be something that cleared all kinds of salary so the Lakers could make a run at LeBron in a few years, but I highly doubt this would happen. The Lakers have to be confident they’ll be able to keep Dwight after this year as well, and I don’t blame them. Wouldn’t you let Kobe publicly bitch-slap you for 30 million extra dollars? Yeah, me too.
“The Clippers will not have the same team tomorrow.” – Eric Bledsoe is a huge trade chip, and although we’ve seen CP3 get hurt before, I think the Clips would be willing to lose this year’s point guard backup plan if they get a strong offer. Dealing DeAndre Jordan would make sense financially, so if anyone is willing to take on his salary, I think the Clippers would do it.
“J.J. Redick will be dealt to a contender.” – Reports are saying that Orlando wants no less than a first round draft pick, but as the deadline looms, I think they might become more flexible. Even if they don’t, I think most contenders looking for a shooter would gladly part with a first-rounder if they thought getting that missing piece would put them in a position to win it all. As Matt Carroll once said while I was in a room standing near him, “Every playoff team always wants another shooter.”
My Two Favorite Semi-Possible Trades
Utah trades Paul Millsap to the L.A. Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and Lamar Odom – Lammy’s contract is expiring this year, so he’s just a throw in to make the money work. But the Clippers would have another skilled forward to play alongside Blake Griffin (and possibly their final championship piece, even if it’s just a rental) while Utah would get their point guard of the future.
San Antonio trades Stephen Jackson and DeJuan Blair to Cleveland for Omri Casspi and Luke Walton – The NBA’s most foreign team gets a little more foreign, while getting a skilled wing player with better size than Danny Green or Kawhi Leonard. Cleveland gets a little more inside help in a sans-Varejao world without losing anything in the future.