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Anticipating the NBA Trade Deadline

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Anticipating the NBA Trade Deadline

The NBA trade deadline is approaching (Feb 7) and there are a lot of rumors about which players will be on the move. Teams are in different stages of their life (contending, playoff contender, rebuilding). Each stage values assets in a different way. A contending team may just want a player for one year to help in its chances of winning it all. Meanwhile a rebuilding team doesn’t value that one-year contract the same way, instead valuing draft picks and sometimes even bottoming out for the lottery. Last year there was a lot of movement around the trade deadline, as we saw Dwyane Wade, Rodney Hood, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, Tobias Harris and Nikola Mirotic traded to different teams near the deadline.   

This year it feels like there may be even more movement compared to last year’s deadline because there are more teams trying to win. Last season it seemed like half the league was trying to tank to draft one of the top prospects (Doncic, Ayton, Porter Jr., Bagley, Young). Let’s take a look at some of the likely names that will be coming up in rumors and their impact on the new/old team.

Jabari Parker, Chicago Bulls, 77 OVR

Key Ratings: 87 Driving Layup, 85 Standing Dunk, 85 Driving Dunk, 85 Vert, 80 Post control, 94 Hands

The Chicago Bulls signed Jabari Parker to what some (misguided) people thought was a team-friendly 2-year, $40 million deal with a team option on the second season. However, things have not clicked in Chicago. Jabari Parker went from a trial run at SF, to the bench, to out of the rotation and now finds himself back in the rotation as a bench player. It’s been a roller coaster of a year for the Chicago native. In theory, Parker could be very useful to a team making a playoff run as he provides a nice scoring option off the bench (to go along with zero defense), but his professional career (beyond one or two games in the Boston series last year), has not been very promising. Even if he’s not in a team’s plans for next season, he’s also a $20 million expiring contract, which has some modicum of value. 

Teams Interested:  Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, Miami Heat

The Thunder are looking for a bench scoring player similar to the role Carmelo Anthony had last year, except hopefully this one works out. They currently don’t get much production off their bench as they rely heavily on their two stars. Parker in Oklahoma City could have a big impact and help the team with a deep playoff run. The Knicks are an interesting team that has popped up in the rumor mill recently. It looks like the Knicks are trying to move Enes Kanter, and they see Parker as a good piece for now and maybe the future. This deal looks like it will need a third team involved since the Bulls have no interest in Kanter. The Miami Heat are another team looking for a playoff run, and they could use a little more scoring on that roster.   

Parker probably has more value in NBA 2K than he does in real life, but there may still be a fit for him during the stretch run. 

Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, 95 OVR

Key Ratings92 Open Mid, 92 Shot Close, 76 Open 3, 98 Standing Layup , 94 Driving Layup, 95 Standing Dunk, 96 Hands, 89 Post Control, 92 Post Hook, 92 Post Fadeaway, 89 Defensive Rebounding, 97 Boxout, 95 Delp defense IQ, 88 Block, 96 Shot Contest

Anthony Davis is the biggest name that possibly could be moved before the trade deadline. There have been numerous reports out there with various levels of legitimacy, and his 1-2 week injury with a sprained finger will add fuel to the fire for the rumor mill. Winning seems to be the major focus for Anthony Davis. In his time in the league, he hasn’t been on many winning teams and the playoff success from last year seems to have motivated Davis to become a champion. The Pelicans are currently struggling this year and are currently out of the playoffs. Davis’ contract also puts the Pelicans on alert because he can opt out of the contract after next season. They are going to be faced with a tough decision this deadline as they may have to come to the realization that they are in danger of losing their star player in a year and a half. It might be beneficial to trade Davis now and recoup some young assets/draft picks.  

Teams Interested: Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, (every other team in the NBA)

The Lakers are currently looking to try and win a championship now that they have LeBron James for the future. When the Lakers signed LeBron James, they instantly became a team looking to win a ring. I could see the Lakers making an offer of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and picks for Anthony Davis. The Boston Celtics have floated the idea of a Jayson Tatum for Anthony Davis swap. It would be a big move for the Celtics as they feel they are ready to get to the Finals now that LeBron is in the Western Conference. The Chicago Bulls are Anthony Davis’ home team and maybe a package of Wendell Carter Jr., Zach LaVine and a future first-round pick could help bring Davis back home — Carter’s injury clouds that to a degree as well.

If the New Orleans Pelicans do decide to move Anthony Davis, it will be interesting to see what they value. All three teams listed above could provide the Pelicans with young players and help brighten the future in New Orleans. Davis is a generational talent, and the Pelicans need to make sure they accept the best offer possible before his trade value diminishes next season.

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards, 87 OVR

Key Ratings: 79 Open Mid, 80 Open 3pt, 89 Driving/Standing Layup, 75 Driving Dunk, 81 Hands, 98 Offensive Consistency, 75 Help Defensive IQ, 87 Vertical

Bradley Beal is having a great year and has proven that he is among the elite guards in the league. The Washington Wizards are having a horrible year and it probably won’t get much better. John Wall is set to receive a huge pay raise starting next year ($19 million to $37 million). With the Beal and Wall contracts added for next year, the Wizards will be paying their two stars over $64 million, which is just under 60 percent of the projected salary cap for next season. That is a lot of money to pay two players next year when you aren’t even competing for a top-four seed.

Teams interested: Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat

The Lakers could be interested in Beal if they feel like the Pelicans won’t be moving Anthony Davis. I could see a trade involving Brandon Ingram and a first-round pick going to Washington for Beal. The Lakers would ensure themselves a second star next to LeBron James while also keeping some of their younger players (Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball). The Clippers have cap space opening up next year and could view this an opportunity to make sure they get a star. The Clippers are a hard-working team and Beal would fit in nicely next to rookie PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.  

The Washington Wizards would be losing arguably their best player, but they could use a younger prospect and restart a rebuild. It will be hard for the Wizards to make any future free agent signings with Wall and Beal on their books. Ingram would be a nice piece to complement the current players in Washington, and maybe a change of scenery would help Ingram achieve his potential. All that being said, Ted Leonsis’ bizarre comments about never tanking make it seem like Beal is not going anywhere. 

Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies, 85 OVR

Key Ratings: 79 Mid, 80 3pt shot , 88 Standing Layup , 85 Standing Dunk, 94 Hands, 93 Post Hook, 85 Post Fadeaway, 87 Defensive Rebounding, 88 Boxout, 92 Low Post Defense IQ, 96 Shot Contest

Marc Gasol is not happy in Memphis as the team is struggling again. The Grizzlies are currently in 14th place of out 15 teams in the Western Conference. Marc Gasol has a player option next year that some believe he will be opting out of to become a free agent this offseason. Playing time and team success seem to be the issues he is having in Memphis. It seems likely the Grizzlies will be looking to get something for Gasol before they possibly lose him for nothing in free agency.  

Teams Interested: Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets

The Clippers could be interested in Gasol since they are trying to become a playoff team and hopefully make a deep playoff run. Gasol would fit nicely next to Tobias Harris in the frontcourt. If Gasol opts out, the Clippers still have their cap space to go after a big free agent. I could see the Miami Heat being interested in Gasol. Reports are that Hassan Whiteside isn’t happy in Miami and a big man swap could interest both teams (though this seems the least likely as the Grizzlies already have Jaren Jackson Jr., and it’s easy to argue Whiteside has negative value around the league). Similar to the Clippers, the Nets are having a surprise year and are looking to make a playoff run. The Nets are a team that is playing above expectations, and I could see a D’Angelo Russell/Marc Gasol pick and roll being lethal for opposing teams. If Gasol walks, the Nets still retain their cap space to go after one of the big free agents as well.  

Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets, 89 OVR

Key Ratings: 97 Mid, 95 Off Dribble Mid-range, 81 Open 3pt, 90 Standing/Driving layup, 96 Ball Control, 87 Passing Accuracy, 92 Speed w/ball, 88 Acceleration

Kemba Walker is an interesting name that could find himself on the trade block. Kemba Walker will be a free agent this offseason and should receive a max or near-max offer from multiple teams. The Charlotte Hornets are in a tough spot as they are battling for the eighth seed in the East. They have a tough decision to make if they want to try to add or subtract this trade deadline. I think the Hornets are prepared to give Kemba a max deal, but I am still not sure he will take it (even though he’s said all the right things about loving Charlotte). The Hornets will have to evaluate the risk involved in letting Kemba reach free agency. They cannot afford to lose him for nothing as he’s been one of the few bright spots in Charlotte, but the Hornets also have an ugly cap sheet moving forward.

Teams Interested: Indiana Pacers, Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks

The Indiana Pacers are having a great year, and they currently have Darren Collison as their starting point guard. Collison is a good point guard to run the team, but I feel like they could use an upgrade at PG. If you pair Kemba Walker and Victor Oladipo in the backcourt, you have arguably the best backcourt in the East. There are reports that Dennis Smith Jr. is on the trade block in Dallas. The Dallas Mavericks are currently just out of the playoffs, but I could possibly see them trying to sneak in the playoffs. The Milwaukee Bucks currently have Malcolm Brogdon and Eric Bledsoe in the backcourt. I could see the Bucks looking for a little more scoring out of that position and moving one of those players to the bench.

Wrap Up

Some names I didn’t mention who could also be traded are Jaylen Brown, Kevin Love, Robin Lopez, Otto Porter, Jeremy Lin, Harrison Barnes and Kent Bazemore.

As you can see there are some big names on the track block this season. Teams will be looking to make a move for this season or future seasons. Who do you feel could be moved by the trade deadline? What are some surprises we could see as we get closer to the trade deadline? What kind of impact will these players have on their new teams in NBA 2K/NBA Live? What players who were not discussed do you think could be traded near the trade deadline? Please let us know what you think by commenting below.

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  1. I can't see the Nets taking on Gasol's contract without incentive to do so, and Memphis has a Lottery Protected 1st this year that they are trying to keep through tanking. I can see Gasol with a team like Charlotte though. They desperately need a upgrade at Center.
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Scott plays a variety of sports games and is a commissioner of USDA & SSBA 2K online leagues. I am huge Chicago sports fan (Bulls, Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks) and try to play with them any chance I can get.

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