The NBA trade deadline. The day that decides which teams are in “win now”, “tank now”, or, “we can win with what we have”, mode. A day in which players will feel honored by the loyalty of their organization, or heartbroken that their organization dealt them for two 2nd round picks and a cookie. Either way, let’s look at some possible trade scenarios that may take place before the Feb. 7th deadline.
Terry Rozier to the LA Clippers for Montrezl Harrell
The only thing scary about Scary Terry Rozier for the Celtics is that he may be moving on to greener pastures when the 2019-20 season comes around. He has around a $4.3 million dollar qualifying offer for 2019-20 season, but I think we all know, including him, he’s worth way more than that. The Celtics currently love their rotation and their depth, but bringing in a legitimate Dennis Rodman-esque talent in Harrell to the lineup to provide toughness and serious depth to bench will not only solidify a top spot in the Eastern Conference for Boston but also provide them with a way out of losing a talent like Rozier for nothing. As for the Clippers, Rozier brings a solid building block for the future of LA. He’s averaging 14 PPG, 4.9 APG, and 6.5 RPG per 36 mins for the Celtics, while also playing exceptional defense and averaging 1.9 SPG. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Patrick Beverly provide a nice 1-2 punch for the Clips, but they would both be placed on the bench with Rozier bringing the best of both worlds. I don’t see this trade being out of the picture for either team.
Kevin Love to the Denver Nuggets for Draft Picks
At this point, the Cleveland Cavaliers season is all but finished. Transitioning from LeBron James being your best active player, to now, Jordan Clarkson being your best active player, will take a toll on any team, and we are seeing it with the Cavs. The Nuggets, on the other hand, have become one of the league’s best teams, all while dealing with multiple injuries to key players. Bringing in a proven rebounder and scorer in Kevin Love might be the move they need to make in order to make them a legitimate concern to the rest of the league. Obtaining draft picks along with expiring or short contracts like Paul Millsap to free up cap space might be the move for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Nuggets may have to throw in a Will Barton or Mason Plumlee in order to even the cap out and provide more incentive to the Cavaliers, with the Nuggets projected draft picks not being very high. It may be Zion Williamson time in Cleveland, and the Cavs might be smart to prepare for it.
Mike Conley and a 2020 second round pick to the Utah Jazz for Derrick Favors, Ricky Rubio, and a 2019 first round pick
With Mike Conley becoming available to the league, there have been a few teams that have reached out to the Grizzlies in attempts to obtain the services of Conley. The Utah Jazz have been one team that hasn’t been shy in their pursuit of Conley. They have already offered Memphis a deal for conley, which included Ricky Rubio and a first round pick, but at the end of the day, that wasn’t enough, understandably. Conley is a very underrated player in the league and I too would try to get as much out of him as I could. The Grizzlies star is currently averaging his second highest scoring total in his career with 20.3 PPG to go along with 6.3 APG, and 3.4 RPG. Conley would bring a nice veteran presence at the PG position to help Mitchell improve his game, as well as bring a needed offensive threat to the lineup. On the other hand, Memphis would bring in an expiring contract from Utah in Rubio, which would help them in dumping cap space. Favors has two years left in his deal, at about $17 million per year, which isn’t all that bad given the fact that he’s played well for Utah this season. The first round pick is just incentive for Memphis to accept the deal, as I don’t think that they would accept it for just Rubio and Favors. The first round pick may not be as valuable given the success the Jazz have been having so far this year, as it seems that they may fall within the middle of the pack or later in the first round if the season continues it’s trend. At the end of the day, I don’t see why either team wouldn’t want this deal done. Memphis clears cap and earns assets for the future, and the Jazz get a playmaker that may help them get deeper into the playoffs with their young core.