February 2, 2018, 8:48 pm
With the trade deadline less than a week away, reports, news and rumors will naturally start to pick up. It’s one of the most enjoyable times of the year, and an event that many NBA fans look forward to on an annual basis. This year, the February 8 trade deadline is set to be another exciting one with many teams jostling for position in the playoff race. Some teams have already pulled the trigger too. Eric Bledsoe went to the Bucks, Jahlil Okafor was shipped out of Philadelphia to the Nets, Nikola Mirotic moved to New Orleans to help fill to void left by DeMarcus Cousins and five-time All Star Blake Griffin was surprisingly traded to Detroit for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris and a few other pieces.
Most teams know where they sit in the NBA hierarchy. Everyone is chasing the Golden State Warriors, so for teams in contention, that’ll be the motive behind some of their potential moves. Some teams, as always, will get desperate and pull the trigger on a questionable trade or two, others will play it safe and decide to stand pat. There are endless possibilities when it comes to the trade deadline and it’s the unpredictable nature that intrigues so many around the league, from media to casual fans.
With so much news and information out there already, we’re going to filter it down so you’ve got all the important stuff in one place. Want to know every single report, news item or rumor that has hit the wire over the past month? Luckily, we’ve got you covered there too. Click HERE to have a look.
Hornets eager to move their big contracts
The Hornets have reportedly made Dwight Howard (two years, $47 million), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (three years, $39 million), Marvin Williams (three years, $42 million) and Nicolas Batum (four years, $100 million) available in trade talks according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi.
All four players are signed to long, lucrative deals that the Hornets would love to rid themselves of. Moving them won’t be easy, obviously, so it’ll likely mean attaching an asset or two to entice a team to take them on. Nothing is reportedly imminent at this stage, but it’s a situation worth keeping an eye on.
Kemba Walker is another name mentioned in trade reports. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported back on January 20 that the Hornets are open to dealing Walker, but team owner Michael Jordan has since come out saying that this isn’t necessarily true.
Jordan said “I’m not looking to trade Kemba, but I would listen to opportunities,” in an interview with Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. “It’s not like we are shopping him. We would not just give him up. I love Kemba Walker. I would not trade him for anything but an All-Star player.”
Barring a significant offer, it doesn’t sound like Walker is going anywhere.
Lacking Love, will Cleveland pull the trigger on a trade?
Kevin Love‘s hand fracture came at the worst time for the Cavs. They were down in the dumps as it is, but that news was just salt in the wound. Does Love’s injury effect what the Cavs decide to do at the deadline?
Prior to that, they were reportedly engaged with the Clippers on a trade centered on DeAndre Jordan according to Sam Amick of USA Today. However, Amick then went on to mention that a deal between the two teams is unlikely. Marc Stein of the New York Times also mentioned that the Cavs were pursuing a trade for Jordan.
As well as seeking help in the frontcourt, the Cavs are also reportedly looking for help in the backcourt. Cleveland and Sacramento were reportedly in discussions regarding George Hill but those talks have since slowed down according to Cleveland.com.
What’s going on in New York?
Joakim Noah may have played his last game for the Knicks and what a strange, potentially short tenure it has been. He has two years left on the four-year, $72 million deal he signed with the Knicks in 2016. New York, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, are exploring ways to move on from Noah.
The Knicks want to move Noah, but are reportedly unwilling to include any assets in a deal – making it seemingly impossible to actually move him.
Noah isn’t the only Knicks center being discussed on the market. Kyle O’Quinn and estranged big man Willy Hernangomez are two players that could reportedly be moved prior to the deadline. According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, Enes Kanter, Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas are all drawing interest around the league too.
The Knicks, sitting at 23-29, could decide to shuffle the roster after things haven’t gone to plan this season. They’re a team to keep an eye on.
Tyreke Evans is a hot commodity
The Grizzlies announced that Tyreke Evans will sit out until after the trade deadline. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that trade talks involving Evans are starting to intensify and the team thought it would be best to sit him out completely while talks were ongoing.
Evans reportedly has a number of teams expressing interest, including the Celtics, Thunder, Heat, Cavs, Rockets and Pelicans according to Keith Pompey.
He’s having a massive year, averaging 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists on 45.8 percent shooting (career-high 39.2 percent from three) so it’s no surprise to see a number of teams gunning for him. The chances he gets moved are incredibly high, and it’ll just be a matter of who can satisfy the Grizzlies’ needs of a first round pick and potentially more.
Utah angling to make a move
The Jazz missed out on Nikola Mirotic who was ultimately traded to the Pelicans, so where are they at now? They’re reportedly “angling” to make a move prior to the deadline according to Basketball Insiders.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Alec Burks is a potential target for teams. He’s been in and out of the rotation this season for the Jazz and is probably expendable at the right price.
Derrick Favors and Rodney Hood are two guys that have also been mentioned. Both Favors and Hood are reportedly available. Favors is a potential option for the Cavs according to Wojnarowski, while the Pistons are keeping their eye on Hood as they look for help on the wings. Marc Stein of the New York Times also added that the Jazz are receiving interest from multiple teams regarding Hood. His injury history is a slight concern, but he’s got upside that could intrigue some teams at the deadline.