The NBA’s trade deadline is February 7 and more than a few teams have their eyes on acquiring some talent for a second-half of the season run. It’s been an interesting start to the 2018-19 season thus far. The two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors aren’t the dominant team they have been over the past few seasons. Houston, the West’s No. 1 seed a year ago, is off to a terrible start, and there is a significant balance of power shift in the East. So, who is looking to make a deal before the deadline?
Davis to the Lakers? New Orleans PF Anthony Davis is the game’s best big man and he is wasting away in the Bayou. The Pelicans hover around .500 and are seemingly going nowhere. There has been some speculation that Davis wants to be in L.A. That would pair him up with LeBron James. Of note, Davis signed the last offseason with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. Paul is also the agent for James. Could that be a clue?
Wall or Beal? The Washington Wizards have one of the better backcourts in the NBA. The problem is that with Washington wallowing under .500 this season, one of John Wall or Bradley Beal is likely to end up on the trading block so the Wizards can acquire some new younger talent. One potential trade sees Wall headed to Detroit, which is in a “win-now” mode with Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. Wall could be the point guard that turns the corner for the Pistons, a franchise that has been to the playoffs once in the last nine seasons.
Bye Bye Love One of the most certain trades this season will involve Cleveland forward Kevin Love. He was mentioned last year as a potential trade target. After James defection to Los Angeles, the Cavaliers are simply awful. They are in need of a drastic roster overhaul and it begins with their best resource – Love. The 30-year-old is a five-time All-Star and surely would want to be anywhere but Cleveland. It’s possible a team like Denver might have its eye on Love or a team with a load of draft picks looking for instant help.
Kemba or Dame-Time? Which point guard has a better chance of being traded? Both Memphis (6th) and Portland (7th) are currently in the Western Conference’s Top 8. The Grizzlies struggled to make the postseason last year and haven’t made it past a first-round series since 2014-15. Kemba Walker is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. He will make $12 million for this season. Expect that number to jump as Walker has averaged no less than 20.9 points a game for the last five seasons.
In Portland, Lillard’s numbers are even higher. He is averaging 27.2 points and 6.4 assists so far this season after averaging 26.9 and 6.6 last season. Damian Lillard is an Oakland native and there has been talking of him possibly joining the Lakers pairing him with James. The Trail Blazers have made the playoffs for five consecutive seasons, but they haven’t been to a conference final since 2000. It might be time to rebuild the roster with a different goal in mind.