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NBA Trade Deadline: Who's Buying? Who's Selling? Who's Moving?
The NBA Trade Deadline Is Upon Us
The Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline means different things to different teams. It's about knowing when to hold up, when to fold up, and when to make your move. For some teams, it's about finding that last piece of the puzzle, the one item missing from their make up capable of turning them into champions. In the case of teams on the playoff bubble, they might be looking to shake things up enough to grab a place in the postseason.
Other squads know that this isn't their year, and will be looking to put chips in play that can allow them to build a brighter future. In this instance, the buyers and the sellers are completely different fellas, and that's a good thing, because it takes two sides to make a deal go down. Who's packing? Who's shaping up and who's shipping out? Glad you asked.
The Celtics must decide what to do with guard Marcus Smart, who figures to get a significant raise in free agency from his current salary of $4.538 million per season. Smart has averaged 10.1 points per game almost exclusively off the bench, but if the Celtics aren't planning to sign him, Smart is a carrot they can dangle. The Denver Nuggets are reportedly interested and have dangled guard Emmanuel Mudiay.
If the rumor mill is to be belived, the Cavs may be among the most active teams before the deadline. Cleveland has been linked to Clippers guard Lou Williams and center DeAndre Jordan, as well as Sacramento Kings guard George Hill. Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith are among the Cavaliers believed to be available, though reportedly there's been little interest in either player.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Losing Andre Robertson to a season-ending knee injury, the Thunder must locate a competent wing defender to fill that void. Avery Bradley of the Clippers and Jonathan Simmons of the Orlando Magic are two names that keep coming up. The Thunder also like Utah Jazz guard Rodney Hood.
The Wizards are another team that covets Jordan, and they are willing to part with center Marcin Gortat in order to make this deal happen.
Los Angeles Clippers
In Jordan, the Clippers may hold the most coveted piece in play at the deadline. Other teams that have expressed interest in the center are the Potland TrailBlazers, Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets, although the Bucks likely took themselves out of the running when they added veteran center Tyler Zeller from the Brooklyn Nets earlier this week.
It's a fire sale in the city that General Sherman once burned down. There are few Hawks who aren't on the market. Veterans Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova can be had, even second-year swingman Taurean Prince is available for the right price. Atlanta would love to shed Dennis Schroder, but with three years and $46.5 million still on his contract, that will prove a tough sell.
Tyreke Evans is the coveted piece that they are shopping, and there's plenty of interest. The Celtics, Nuggets, 76ers and Miami Heat are kicking the tires on the versatile swingman, who can operate as a scorer, playmaker or ballhandler.
Lots of teams would like to add Kemba Walker, but there's a caveat. To get him, the Hornets also ask that the buyer be willing to siphon off one of Charlotte's many bad contracts, and that could prove a deal break with so many teams hard up against the cap. Cleveland is a team that is definitely looking at Walker.
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