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Who’s Getting Traded At The Deadline?

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The NBA Trade Deadline, one of the wildest times on the NBA calendar, is fast approaching. Last year there were 15 trades before the deadline and 12 of those deals happened in a deadline day frenzy. We saw massive names such as Kevin Durant (Suns) and Kyrie Irving (Mavericks) jump ship in surprising moves, seemingly out of nowhere.

The Deadline is always chock-full of drama and excitement, and this year appears to be no different. Many players just became trade-eligible as of December 15, and their names are already linked to trade talks. In this article, we dissect the players who very well may be moved by this deadline, and consider their potential landing spots.

Pascal Siakam

Pascal Siakam’s time in Toronto is likely coming to an end. The Raptors have been linked to multiple teams to move their 2-time All-Star and start a rebuild. With Pascal being in the last year of his contract, Toronto cannot afford to let him walk for nothing in the offseason. Toronto is not going to let him walk for cheap, but Siakam is sure to garner a lot of interest when February rolls around.

Where Might He Land?

Pascal Siakam has been rumored in multiple trade talks, but the Atlanta Hawks have stood out among the rest. The Hawks have been the butt of numerous “mid” jokes as their descent into mediocrity since the 2021 ECF has been disappointing, to say the least.

Siakam would bring a level of length and frontcourt depth the Hawks are severely lacking right now. Imagine a starting lineup of Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, Saddiq Bey, Pascal Siakam, and Okongwu. That’s three all-star caliber players and an elite 3&D wing. This core can score and help mask the defensive shortcomings that are inevitable to any lineup that includes Trae. 

If the Hawks decide to make an aggressive move for Siakam, what would that look like? The Hawks have to offer a lot for Pascal. The deal would probably have to include a combination of Jalen Johnson, Onyeka Okongwu, or De’Andre Hunter plus a number of draft picks.

The Dejounte Murray trade was a win-now move that has yet to pay dividends. With that in mind, now is not the time to take the foot off the gas with roster reconstruction. The Hawks have the assets to get this deal done– a deal that delivers the best second option that Trae Young has ever played with.

Terry Rozier

Terry Rozier has quickly climbed the list of the league’s most underrated players. This season, he is averaging 23 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds per game on 45 FG%, and 35 PT%. To put that into perspective, Jaylen Brown, an All-NBA player, is averaging less in every aforementioned statistic on worse shooting efficiency. Rozier has been spectacular this season!

What stands about Rozier is that he is only making $23 million a year for the next 3 seasons, about a third of Giannis’ contract, and half of Fox’s. His contract and his experience with contending teams (Boston Celtics) will have a lot of teams clamoring to acquire him.

Where Might He Land?

So what teams may be after his services? I could very well see a team such as the Miami Heat, who lack consistent offensive firepower, making a call for Scary Terry. Pat Riley is no stranger to deadline moves, especially the buy-low-sell-high roster construction that has become a Heat staple in recent years.

Rozier also slots in perfectly to each of their identities. The Heat shoot plenty of threes, and are above average on three-point makes per game. Unfortunately, they struggle to make them (except for Duncan and Herro), placing in the bottom half of the league in three-point percentage. This is in part due to a lack of creation and playmaking on the team. It’s no secret that Kyle Lowry‘s best days are far behind him, and Miami needs another guard who can consistently be relied upon to generate shots off the bounce as well as for teammates. 

That’s what Terry Rozier brings. Off the bench, his scoring draws double teams that allow for free-flowing, off-ball movement for the rest of the team.

A deal built around Kyle Lowry plus draft capital would seem agreeable for both parties.

Buddy Hield

Buddy Hield is the embodiment of the modern player. He brings a level of outside scoring that every contending team needs on their roster. Hield made more three-pointers in his first 500 games than any player in NBA history. Hield knocks down 40.2% of his three-point shots on an average of 7.7 attempts per game. The only other player to achieve that feat? Stephen Curry.

Where Might He Land?

Buddy Hield requested a trade out of Indiana before the start of this season, but this request never materialized. When he and the Pacers inevitably DO part ways, there will be a lot of teams who will be eager to trade for him. One, though, shines above the rest: The Los Angeles Lakers.

They place 28th on three-pointers made per game. Since the 2014-15 season, seven times of the nine eventual winners of the championship were top 10 in this stat. 

Only once in this era has a team won a championship whilst being a bottom 10 three-point field goals made team. That was the 2019-20 Lakers. 

The Lakers certainly have the assets to get a deal done. They have a plethora of young pieces who have shown solid flashes such as Jalen Hood-Schifino, Max Christie, and Maxwell Lewis. Pair a couple of these guys with D’Angelo Russell, who the Lakers are reportedly “actively looking to trade before the deadline” and it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a trade that works for both sides. They also have 4 second-round picks at their disposal.

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Zach Lavine

 Zach Lavine’s time in Chicago is coming to an end. The two-time All-Star has been there for seven years now and has only got one playoff appearance to show for it.

It’s time to move on and try again. 

 The market for Zach LaVine has been slow to develop. Despite this, desperation always creeps in for front offices as the deadline approaches. It’s not hard to see a middling team in need of some offensive firepower making a serious call for LaVine’s services. 

Where Might He Land?

Lavine is owed roughly $138 million in the next 3 years. That contract is a huge risk for any franchise. Lavine will likely be dealt to a franchise that is desperate to win now. The Golden State Warriors have struggled to find a reliable secondary scorer. Klay’s best days are behind him, and Wiggins looks like a shell of the 3&D menace we saw play a key role in the Warriors’ 2022 Title run. Zach LaVine could be a great pairing with Steph Curry. LaVine is 28 (most guys’ true prime) and is a career 38% 3-point shooter.

The Warriors have a massive decision in regards to a Klay Thompson extension this summer. Any Warriors offer would presumably include Klay. With the looming extension decision, a big trade would split up the Splash Bros but potentially expand Steph’s championship window by at least a couple more years.

While Bob Meyers may have felt obligated to keep the Splash brothers together to retirement, new GM Mike Dunleavy doesn’t have the same personal attachments to a dynasty whose best days are behind it. In other words, Dunleavy won’t get the same cold feet when tough decisions have to be made concerning the Dubs’ core. 

Jordan Clarkson

Jordan Clarkson has been a fan favorite ever since he arrived in Utah. Clarkson has now spent 5 years in Salt Lake City, and he is the last remnant of those iconic Jazz Playoff teams of the late 2010s. The Jazz are now in year two of their rebuild and are looking to develop their young backcourt in Keonte George, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Ochai Agbaji.

The 2021 Sixth-Man-of-the -Year winner’s time in Utah may be coming to an end. Clarkson did sign a three-year, 55 million dollar extension with the Jazz this past summer, but this contract isn’t the type of cap hit that makes a guy “untradeable”. 

Where Might He Land?

Clarkson would be a very nice asset for several contending teams. He has been a microwave-scoring sixth man his whole career and has shown he can fit into any system and do his thing. A team that could be very serious in the Jordan Clarkson sweepstakes is the Philadelphia 76ers, whose asset pool is anything but dry after the James Harden deal.

Philadelphia has been spectacular this season. Joel Embiid is a front-runner for a back-to-back MVP, and Tyrese Maxey has looked like an All-Star. That being said, The 76ers are dead last in the league in bench points, and Clarkson would help be a reliable scorer off the bench, while also being an insurance policy if Maxey ever missed time. 

The Sixers could make this deal in several ways, but all of them would require draft picks, of which general manager Darryl Morey has plenty to spare. The Jazz would probably be fine taking players on expiring deals like Nicolas Batum or Robert Covington in the deal. The Jazz would also be interested in young guys like KJ Martin and Jaden Springer.

Malcolm Brogdon 

Malcolm Brogdon got left on the Blazers as collateral damage from the Damian Lillard trade. He doesn’t make much sense on a lottery-bound rebuilder, especially one as guard-heavy as the Blazers (Scoot and Anfernee are their clear-cut guards of the future). 

Where Might He Land?

The Brooklyn Nets are a team that could use him. This Nets team is young and could use more maturity in the locker room. They don’t have control of their first-round pick till 2028 due to the James Harden trade, but have plenty of young guys to send the Blazers’ way. 

The Nets could put together a good package for Brogdon. The Nets could send the Blazers Ben Simmons, a young player (Noah Clowney/Dariq Whitehead?), and one of those Suns picks they received in the Kevin Durant trade nearly 12 months ago. The Blazers are the perfect team for Ben Simmons. The Blazers could let Simmons sit on the bench this year and collect their lottery pick, or even give him a chance to pad his numbers on a bad team and flip him on an expiring contract next season.

Brogdon would bring a cool and level-headed persona to the Nets lineup. His playmaking and shot creation will be infinitely valuable to a team that has severely missed both of those since the departure of Kyrie Irving last season. Considering how the core of the Bridges/Claxton/Johson project, this team could very well compete in a few years. Pair that with the youth they have coming through the draft (via Irving and Durant trades), the Nets could quietly build a scary-good core.

Zach Collins 

After agreeing to a three-year, $35 million deal just two days before the opening of the NBA season, Collins has shown consistent production for the Spurs and could certainly help out a contender. The Spurs are nowhere near playoff contention right now and should be focusing on Wemby’s growth.

Collins this season has been a down year from deep, but across his career, he has shown a consistent ability to stretch the floor a bit. He has good footwork in the post, is an underrated passer, and can hold his own on the defensive end against backup units. You wouldn’t want him starting too many games for you, but he has all the qualities of a high-end backup center on a contending team. 

Where Might He Land?

With Mitchell Robinson expected to miss some time, the Knicks could certainly use another center. New York could make a deal for Collins in addition to veteran sharpshooter Doug McDermott. In return, the Spurs could get Evan Fournier, a rookie contract like Jaylen Simms, and some picks. 

Another team that comes to mind is the Milwaukee Bucks. They don’t have a true backup center, and their bench unit can get torched defensively with Bobby Portis running the center minutes. The Bucks have a couple of talented young players in Marjon Beauchamp and Andre Jackson Jr. that the Spurs would be more than happy to add to their young core.

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About Nic Thomas

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