It’s real estate season in the NBA. From now until February 20th, bigwigs from every corner of the league will be dialing phones and shaking hands every five minutes. Some to make a run at a title, and some to gear up for next year. You’ll hear a lot of noise in the next three days, but the majority of it is just that: noise. Which teams will actually be making moves before the NBA trade deadline? Let’s find out.
Movers & Shakers
Phoenix Suns: The upstart gang from Arizona is in the middle of the most shocking NBA season in recent memory. Lest us not forget that various Las Vegas betting circuits had the Suns winning 19 games this season. They’ve already won 30. While Phoenix is this season’s feel-good story, they won’t stop there. As of the new year, the Suns have been transparent about their plans to lure in a quality player in exchange for 2014 draft picks; of which they have plenty. Expect Phoenix to walk out of the deadline with a Danny Granger or Luol Deng type player.
Washington Wizards: Chocolate City Hoops is back, baby. John Wall & company are in the midst of a breakout year and are gunning for that 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference. Standing in their way? An absolutely atrocious group of backup point guards. The Wizards have a group of young and promising pieces, (Jan Vesely, Eric Maynor, etc.) and are looking to bring in a quality backup with savvy and experience. As of now, Andre Miller is the prime candidate. So, look for a “changing of the guard” in the nation’s capital.
Denver Nuggets: This year’s Nuggets have been exactly what we expected them to be: the result of firing George Karl, and more importantly, letting Masai Ujiri bolt to Toronto. When almost every big piece from Denver packed their bags after a playoff loss to Golden State, they immediately fell into mediocrity. While dancing around .500 all year, the Nuggets have been subject to some locker room turmoil. Veteran point guard Andre Miller has not been quiet about his poor relationship with head coach Brian Shaw. The team have since deactivated Miller until further notice, and would probably trade him for a Chipotle burrito.
Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers are the NBA’s most unforgettable franchise. Every time their team is in the gutter they find sneaky ways to lure in superstar talent. In a nutshell, it ain’t happening this year. It seems as if L.A made reservations to stink this year when only signing one player beyond the seasons end. The plan is in full effect as they are now tied for last place in the west. While the Lakers have gotten away with murder at previous trade deadlines, Mitch Kupchak and his gang of magicians have their eyes on the free agent market of 2014 and ‘15. Expect to see the likes of Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook, two L.A natives and UCLA teammates, to be rocking the purple and gold in coming years. As for now, they stink. Sit tight Laker nation.
New York Knicks: For a while Carmelo Anthony actually seemed to genuinely enjoy where he was playing. He really had us fooled, didn’t he? Well, ‘Melo is back to his usual shenanigans. This time even getting his wife involved in the hoopla. Side note: Has Carmelo ever actually helped a franchise? Doesn’t it seem like they always get worse? At any rate, don’t expect to see the former scoring champion changing jerseys until season’s end. There isn’t an available piece worth trading him for and no team will take on a contract that large for only half a season. But, if you’re looking to buy a house in New York this summer, I can assure you that Carmelo Anthony’s will be for sale.
Portland Trail Blazers: The Blazers have made the improbable leap into serious contenders this season, but are still one player away from making the final leap. Beyond LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez, Portland is missing a definitive big off the bench. With a number of young players at their disposal, expect Terry Stott’s squad to go after Omer Asik or Taj Gibson.
Miami Heat: LeBron James and the Miami mafia are no longer alone at the top. The young and hungry Indiana Pacers have emerged as a legitimate threat to a south beach three-peat. Are Pat Riley and the Heat scared? Absolutely. We all can see it. As of right now, the Pacers are more suited to win a title than Miami. With Dwyane Wade’s knees practically made of glass, look for the Heat to bulk up their back court. If Caron Butler is bought out by the Milwaukee Bucks, he would be an affordable option. As for now, the Miami Heat are sleeping with one eye open.
Who do you think will make a big splash before the NBA trade deadline? Let us know in the comments!
Written by Sean Mallers