Freeman Cebu Sports

Trading begins

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus - The Freeman

January 15 is the official start of the NBA trading season and teams have up to February 8 to overhaul their roster.   And as far as moving players are concerned, the future is never certain for them as trade situations are always fluid, if the price is right.

One notable team who had dominated the league a few years back but as of now had been struggling, are reportedly in talks with a former title team for a possible deal.

Word has it that Mike Dunleavy, Jr. and Masai Ujiri, Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors executives respectively, had been in discussions with the possibility of moving Paskal Siakam to the Bay Area.

Siakam would be a valuable investment for the Warriors, sitting 12th in the Western Conference with an 18-21 win-loss record as of this writing.   Reportedly, GSW will be willing to trade anyone except Stephen Curry.

But Siakam will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and GSW will be making a big gamble on him if they decide to go on with the deal.   The Warriors will be risking important assets for him especially if he pursues maximum money elsewhere.

Siakam is also rumored to be swapped for Utah’s Lauri Markkanen, who had become the main scoring option for the Jazz.

Utah reportedly will entertain offers for anyone on the team and Markkanen had become the favorite commodity.  OKC would like to have him paired with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Indiana Pacers are also rumored to be in the mix for the sweet-shooting seven-footer from Finland.

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The New York Knicks are shooting for a deeper playoff run and are looking for help in the center position.  Rumor has it that they have a strong interest in Minnesota’s Karl Anthony-Towns, which could be a one-on-one deal with Julius Randle.  Both are effective offensively but must do well on the defensive end.

Also on NYK’s radar are Clint Capella (ATL), Isaiah Stewart (DET) and Daniel Gafford (WAS).  Among the three, Stewart has the most upside for the Knicks.  The 22-year old energetic center-forward posted averages of 11.3 points and 8.1 rebounds in 50 games for the Pistons this season.  He will fit into coach Tom Thibodeau’s defense-centric system.   There is a high potential for improvement for Stewart, unless of course Thibodeau makes him ride the bench.

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Other notable players who could be moved before the trading deadline are Kyle Kuzma (WAS), Brook Lopez (MIL), Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura (LAL), Cameron Johnson (BKN), Jerami Grant and Matisse Thybulle (POR), PJ Washington (CHA) and Jakob Poeltl (TOR).

Hachimura is more likely to be moved than Reaves as the Lakers had been reluctant to include him in rumored trade packages to acquire Zach LaVine or Dejounte Murray.  His $12m annual pay is lower than Hachimura’s $15.7 paycheck.

Unless we see things in black and white, all of the above mentioned are mere rumors and speculations.

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