The deadline is near and the rumors have been on fire!
With the NBA trade deadline tomorrow at 3:00 PM EST, fans will be giddy to see what trades materialize from all the rumors floating around this season. In the past, many have complained about how the trade deadline comes and goes without any action. Things have changed dramatically in recent years. Players like Carmelo Anthony, Isaiah Thomas, DeMarcus Cousins, and Dwyane Wade have all been dealt at the deadline this decade. This year’s rumors are not disappointing either with talk of moving star-caliber players like Anthony Davis and Mike Conley. We even saw New York Knicks all-star Kristaps Porzingis get shipped out to Dallas last week because of a deteriorated relationship with the team’s front office.
All of the rumors can be challenging to keep up with. So we’ve tracked them and put the most likely scenarios below.
5 Most Likely Scenarios:
1. Mike Conley and/or Marc Gasol are shipped out of Memphis.
With the Grizzlies probably missing the playoffs, ownership seems ready to move on from its commitment to long-tenured stars Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. Both players possess a lot of talent, but are not helping Memphis’s get younger and rebuild.
The team has already engaged in trade talks for both players and seems to have a handful of potential suitors. Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Memphis has discussed moving Gasol to Charlotte.
This comes after a report by SI’s Jake Fischer that the Raptors and the Grizzlies had a trade package on the table that swapped Kyle Lowry and Jordan Valanciunas for both Conley and Gasol. Another team that seems to be lurking in the shadows is the Utah Jazz. With Memphis losing and looking to redefine themselves, expect one or both of Conley and Gasol to leave town tomorrow.
2. Short-lived Knick Wes Matthews finds yet another new home.
Veteran guard Wesley Matthews came over to New York in the blockbuster Kristaps Porzingis deal. After just a week, it’s likely Matthews will be dealt again. Matthews is the odd man out in the Knick’s tank this season. New York is actively listening to offers for the recently-acquired Matthews before tomorrow’s deadline. Per NYT’s Marc Stein, several contenders looking for the veteran talent include the Rockets, Thunder, Raptors, 76ers, and Warriors.
The Knicks are exploring the trade market for Wes Matthews before Thursday's 3 PM deadline, league sources say, but there are also several antsy suitors hoping Matthews makes it to the buyout market. Among them: Houston, Oklahoma City, Toronto, Philadelphia and, yes, Golden State— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 4, 2019
Despite his expiring contract, Matthews is a very likely candidate to be changing teams (again) before the deadline.
3. Kings add another piece for a playoff push.
The Kings have been a surprising story this season. Often a team that gets bullied by the rest of the NBA, Sacramento’s young core of players like De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Yogi Ferrell, Marvin Bagley III, Harry Giles, and Willie Cauley-Stein have finally propelled the Kings into relevance once again.
The team currently sits at 28-25, which is just 1 game behind the 8-seed Clippers. The West is gearing up to be hyper-competitive down the stretch this year. Ten teams are at or above .500 and vying for 8 playoff spots. In order to make their first postseason since 2006, Kings will likely add another piece.
4. The Pelicans sell! But not who you think.
New Orleans will be watching the playoffs from the sidelines again this season (sorry, Saints fans). In a season of little relevance and several moveable assets, the Pelicans are in sell mode. This expectation has only intensified since the Anthony Davis rumors started to circulate.
Players like Julius Randle and Jrue Holiday have strengthened their value in the Big Easy and serve as strong trade chips for a team that is effectively out of the playoffs. Since signing with New Orleans this offseason, Randle is having the best year of his NBA career, averaging 19.9 PPG and 9.3 RPG. Meanwhile, Holiday is putting up better numbers than his 2012-2013 all-star season, averaging 21 PPG and 8 APG. If the Pelicans play this deadline correctly, they can and should move one or both of the veterans for major future assets.
5. Anthony Davis stays put in New Orleans.
Although he is much, much better than his aforementioned teammates, the Pelicans superstar is likely sticking in New Orleans past tomorrow’s deadline. Rumors have been flying about AD going to Los Angeles and New York, but New Orleans maintains all of the leverage in these trade scenarios. With Davis signed past this season, the Pelicans can get a multitude of offers and choose the best one. Expect more teams, like the Celtics and Knicks, to make offers this summer. New Orleans has no incentive to rush into a deal.
The only way Davis is dealt by tomorrow is if they are absolutely blown away by an offer. This almost happened with Los Angeles, but it appears that the Lakers have backed out of trade talks that once included Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, and multiple first round picks (whew…). There is no doubt that Davis is a superstar in this league, but until all potential suitors can offer their best packages this summer, it’s tough to see him being dealt by the deadline.
UPDATE: Upon writing this piece, another major trade has gone down. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Philadelphia 76ers have acquired Tobias Harris from the Los Angeles Clippers to form their own “Big 4” with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Jimmy Butler. Harris and Butler are free agents this coming summer.
Sources: Clippers and Sixers have agreed to trade Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott for Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, 2020 first-rounder, 2021 unprotected 1st via Miami and two second rounders.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2019
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