With the NBA trade deadline looming teams are prepared to exchange some major pieces for the betterment of their respective teams. We already seen 5x All-Star Blake Griffin (20.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 6.0apg) moved to the Eastern Conference for Avery Bradley (8.0 ppg, 2.0 ppg, 4.0 apg), Tobias Harris (18.2 ppg,5.1 rpg, 2.0 apg), Boban Marjanovic (6.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.7 apg), and a 2018 first round pick and joined the likes of Andre Drummond (15.0 ppg, 15.3 ppg, 3.8 apg) and Reggie Jackson (14.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.5 apg) in Detroit. As February 8th approaches, it all leaves us to prompt the question in our late 90’s WCW superstar Bill Goldberg voice “Who’s next?”
Well there is this 6’11 center on the Los Angeles Clippers who is a double double machine and a 2x First Team All-Defensive team member. Yes, I’m referring to DeAndre Jordan. In 2015 he signed a 4 yr./$88 Mil deal to stay with the Clips and a player option in the last year. Three years later and with the departure of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the All-Star center isn’t likely to pick up his player option.
So rather than letting him walk, it seems like the Los Angeles Clippers are in full rebuild mode and looking to deal him and first time all star Lou Williams (23.4 ppg, 3 rpg, 5.5 apg) to clear up cap space and receive some picks in the upcoming star studded NBA Draft. So where will Jordan land before the deadline? The Cavs have expressed interest in Jordan several times but neither team had the cap space to do so, but with the Cavs defensive struggles this year, they are looking to acquire DJ, at all cost. That could mean moving J.R. Smith (7.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 apg), Tristian Thompson (5.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.6 apg) and even that covenant 1st round pick from the Brooklyn Nets. The Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trailblazers have expressed interest in DeAndre Jordan as well but none of their offers have been worth consideration for the Clippers.
Then there are arguably the two best big men in the Entirety of the NBA. DeMarcus Cousins (25.2 ppg, 12.9 rpg, 5.4 apg) and Anthony Davis (27.0 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.5 apg). Both of which play for the New Orleans Pelicans. Both Davis and Cousins were playing lights out basketball this season propelling the Pels to the eighth seed in the Wild Western Conference, until Cousins went down with a torn Achilles and is now out for the season. With the 3x All Star center out of commission, it leaves the Pelicans with a tougher decision than before. Do you keep the best Center in the league and build around him and deal Anthony Davis? Or do you keep the best Power Forward in the league and deal DeMarcus Cousins?
New Orleans can keep both and offer Boogie Cousins to a max contract in the offseason, however that leaves them with no cap space to bring in stars who might want to play with this dynamic duo. Now you trade Boogie who is damaged goods at the moment, he won’t be an immediate impact to the team he goes to and again he’s a free agent at the end of the season. So teams don’t want to necessarily take that chance of him leaving in the offseason unless they are prepared to put him in a situation to have the right pieces around him to compete for a NBA Championship. However if the pelicans decide to keep Boogie and trade away AD, they could be looking at a scenario similar to the Boston Celtics of years ago. When they dealt away what was practically that 2008 championship squad in return received multiple first round picks for years to come in what were upcoming drafts.
The Celtics who ironically are contenders for a potential landing spot for Davis are prepared to trade a way some key pieces like Sophomore Combo Guard Jaylen Brown (14.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.6 apg), Shooting Guard Marcus Smart (10.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.7 apg), and even All-Star Center Al Horford (13.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 5.3 apg) just to name a few. Not to mention the Pelicans are likely to land a couple of First and Second round picks in this upcoming and the following year’s Draft. And as wise as Danny Ainge has been in assembling this current roster I wouldn’t put it past him to make a BIG move like this.
The Denver Nuggets were looking to acquire Boston’s Marcus Smart for young Point Guard Emmanuel Mudiay (8.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.9 apg) but the Celtics aren’t exactly enticed to move the 23 year old Smart to Denver unless a First round pick is involved. Another Point Guard who may be setting up shop else where is Charlotte Hornets Point Kemba Walker (22.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.8 apg). Hornets owner Michael Jordan told Rick Bonnell from the Charlotte Observer “The team isn’t looking to move Kemba Walker”.
With Walker’s contract up in the offseason however, the Hornets may not be ready to give the All-Star Point Guard a max contract. Kemba is the franchise leader in 3- Point field goals made surpassing Legend Dell Curry in nearly 300 less games. The Cleveland Cavaliers have discussed a trade for Kemba Walker but none too desirable for The Hornets to jump at. It has also been reports that the Hornets have been in talks with the Pacers, and Knicks amongst others for Walker.
Teams such as the Thunder, Bulls, Pistons, Magic and Nuggets have all reached out to the Utah Jazz for scoring option Rodney Hood (16.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.7 apg). Rodney Hood was nagged by injuries last season, and he was unable to help the Jazz last year in their brief playoff run. With all new additions to the team like star rookie Donovan Mitchell (19.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.5 apg) Hood sees himself on the inside looking out. Rodney Hood is from Duke and there is no doubts he can stroke it, when he gets going it’s a long night for the opposing team. Since he has entered the NBA , Rodney Hood has yet to play a entire season and last year he missed over half of the season. These are just factors that are holding certain teams back for making the push for him right now. With the trade deadline just days away, teams are looking to do almost anything to contend with the cream of the crop.
-By Safir Robinson