The trade deadline nears

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - March 3, 2021 - 12:00am

It’s about a month until the NBA closes its doors to player transfers.  As of the moment, nothing significant had happened but when the trading deadline nears, let’s expect a surge of activities. Some players are often mentioned to be on the move no matter how much their mother teams deny otherwise:

BRADLEY BEAL – The Washington Wizards continually deny rumors that they’ll be parting ways with their 27-year old star.  It is obvious that they want to build around Beal who is averaging above 30 points per game.  It would take a package of multiple players and draft selections for the Wizards to deviate from their stand.

ZACH LAVINE – In the same breath as Washington, the Chicago Bulls also don’t want to part with Lavine but he’s also on trade speculations for sometime.  At 25-years old, he’s having the best season of his career and is under contract until 2022.  Chances are, Lavine stays as a Bull for now.

KRISTAPS PORZINGIS – Dallas front office, as per reports, had reached out to Golden State and check on their interest in KP.  But Mark Cuban had denied that the Mavericks had any discussions with teams as to KP’s availability.   His size, defense and the ability to knock down 3s makes him untouchable but if the right offer comes, then, maybe.

LONZO BALL – It was reported that New Orleans dangled Ball for trade last January but since then, he had been playing well and has upped his 3-point shooting percentage to almost 50% in 8 attempts per game. He has plays good defense and his passing ability is among the elites of the game.  It would be wise for the Pelicans to keep him.

There are some stars who just might be available for the right price, but some players, because of their high salaries, could be difficult to ship out, notwithstanding the desire of their teams to move them.   Add to the fact that they’re “old” and had seen better days.

KEVIN LOVE – A 32-year old with a $31 million salary who is recovering from a calf strain would dampen interest from teams. He’s still serviceable with his scoring and rebounding if completely recovered.  If only his price is lower, some teams will still be interested in him.

ANDRE DRUMMOND – Another Cavalier had become expendable the moment Cleveland got Jarret Allen.   Prior to being deactivated, Drummond was productive on offense and defense.   Several teams could certainly use him but his $29 million annual take would be difficult as the league has rules on salary matching.

BLAKE GRIFFIN – Several knee surgeries had limited the movements of the former high flyer and he haven’t dunked at all this season.  Teams will shy away from his $36.8 million this season and a player option of $39 million next season.  Stiff price for a player whose glory days are far behind.

Teams could have all the outside shooting and playmaking they need with these guards available - Patty Mills (SAS), JJ Reddick (NOP), Lou Williams (LAC), Wayne Ellington (DET), Eric Gordon (HOU) and Austin Rivers (NYK).   Need frontcourt help?  How about Trevor Ariza (OKC), Rudy Gay (SAS), Taurean Prince (CLE), PJ Tucker (HOU), JaVale McGee (CLE) and Thaddeus Young (CHI).

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