Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Krunch Time With Katelin: NBA Trading Deadline Predictions

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

The NBA trading deadline is one of the most hectic time of the sporting year. And this year is looking like one for the ages. Dating back to January there have been a number of moves that could change the state of teams not just this year but in future years. Starting with the Kyle Korver to Cleveland deal, Serge Ibaka to Toronto,  and the surprise post All-Star game Demarcus Cousins trade to New Orleans to play along side Anthony Davis. But that's all in the past and now its time to make some predictions for what's to come in the next 48 hours.

1. Carmelo Anthony doesn't get traded:
It seems unlikely that the Knicks: A. Finds a deal that benefits them going forward. B. The deal involves a contending team for Carmelo to join. The team the holds a ton of assets for a trade like this is the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have the expiring contracts and the potential top draft pick a team like Knicks would want for someone like Melo. But when it comes to the Celtics I don't see Melo waving his no-trade clause to go to Boston. If reports are true, Melo would only waive his (NTC) for Cleveland (play with LeBron) or the Clippers (play with Chris Paul).

2. The Timberwolves make a Deal involving Ricky Rubio:
    Rubio is a solid point guard, but with the way the T-Wolves play spacing becomes an issue. Rubio's inability to shoot the three consistently ends with defense clogging the paint when defending Rubio. And it doesn't help when their frontcourt; Wiggins, Anthony-Towns, and Dieng all have the same strengths of getting into the paint and finishing. Plus with the season-ending injury to Zach Lavine the T-Wolves now have a giant hole at shooting guard. A trade of Rubio to the Cavs for Iman Shumpert has been speculated for a bit since it fits a need for both teams but I don't see the Cavaliers making a trade like this...or one at all.

3. The Cavaliers keep things "Status Quo":
Like I stated in my article "What Should the Cavs Do Now with Kevin Love Out 6 Weeks?", "Status Quo" just means keeping an open roster spot for a player who is a free agent or someone who has their contract bought-out after the deadline. With the injuries to Love and J.R. Smith the Cavs should focus on getting healthy and learn how to play with the players they have now. We seen it take a month or so for Kyle Korver to fit into the Cavs offense and vise-versa. This shouldn't but much of a surprise and fans should think of Korver as their trading deadline acquisition.

4. The 76ers Deal Jahlil Okafor for a Backcourt Player:
With the emergence of Joel Embid the 76ers now have an overstock of frontcourt players. Per reports Okafor was almost dealt to Portland and was rumored in trade talks to New Orleans. The 76ers lack a young shooter guard, and lets keep it 100... Nik Stauskas isn't a starting shooter guard in the league. As of right now teams interested in Okafor are the Indiana Pacers and the Phoenix Suns. So maybe that means Brandon Knight is on the move again.

5. The Knicks Trade Derrick Rose:
If the Knicks trade anyone the smart money seems to be on Rose...and like stated earlier the T-Wolves are seeking to trade away Rubio. Minnesota's head coach Tom Thibodeau is reportedly pushing for a trade that would bring Rose to Minny. It seems unlikely but the contracts aren't too crazy to be worked out and the Knicks might want to get whatever they can for the former MVP.

6. Orlando Trades one (or more) of their Backcourt players:
 The Magic are in a mist of a rebuild...again. And they have a number of player who would seem to fit on multiple playoff teams. D.J. Augustin has played on three playoff teams in his career and its been in a backup role. Augustin is known as a three point shooter who can create his own shot at times and his contract is only $7.3 Million and at the age of 29 the four year deal shouldn't be any cause of concern for teams trading for him. C.J. Watson is older at 32 but like Augustin has playoff experience some teams would want in a backup guard. His contract isn't as bad as Augustin's two years at $5 Million per year. And lets not forget about Jodie Meeks. Meeks is in the last year of his deal

7. Boston Trades for Jimmy Butler:
This one is a long shot but the Celtics should buy into this year and make a big splash. Butler playing along side of Thomas and Horford should give the Cavs an actual series. I'm not saying they could beat the Cavaliers but a Boston vs Cleveland Eastern Conference finals should be an entertain series. The Bulls future is questionable and with the signing of Rondo and Wade they were rushed into contending when in reality that wasn't their plan. So trading Butler for the Brooklyn Nets' pick (which should be a top-4 lock) and expiring contracts is a great place to rebuild.

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