The 5 NBA Teams Most Likely to Trade Before Deadline
by Rick Bouch Scores & Statson
With the NBA’s trade deadline approaching quickly, a handful of the league’s teams could be very active. Whether it’s a team preparing for a stretch run to the postseason or a franchise in a rebuild, there looks to be plenty of action come trade deadline time. Here are the five NBA teams most likely to trade before the deadline passes.
ORLANDO There are only four players in the NBA right now that average at least 20 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists. If you said Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo for the first three, you’d be right. The other is a tough one. Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic averages 20.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game for the Magic. His salary ($12.8 million) expires after this season and Orlando actually has Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba waiting in the wings to replace him. The Magic is 20-27 and, while they could make the postseason in a weak Eastern Conference, it’s time for an overhaul in Orlando.
ATLANTA The Hawks are in Phase 1 of a complete rebuild. It started with the acquiring first-round draft pick Trae Young before this season. The Hawks have an impressive lineup of draft capital which includes their own first-round pick this year, a top-10 protected pick from Cleveland, and a top-five protected pick from Dallas. Add in a lottery protected pick from Oklahoma City in 2022 and two second-round picks this year and the Hawks could really build their roster.
PHILADELPHIA One would think that the Jimmy Butler trade was enough for the 76ers this year. The Sixers might disagree. Currently, fourth in the East and 7-3 in their last ten games, Philadelphia has enough resources to add to its already solid combination of Embiid, Ben Simmons, Butler, and J.J. Redick. Former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and Wilson Chandler could be expendable and there are Landry Shamet and Zhaire Smith available to make a deal work. The 76ers reportedly covet Washington’s Bradley Beal who averages 24.7 points a game and is a solid defender in the backcourt.
L.A. LAKERS It’s no secret that the Lakers would love to put Anthony Davis in the mix alongside LeBron James and company. The problem is that a trade for Davis before the deadline doesn’t make sense… for Davis. New Orleans, Davis’s current team, is the only one that can offer the star the supermax contract. Should Davis turn that deal down, he could end up in Los Angeles but not until the summer. The Lakers have the assets to pull off a deal and they would likely have to part ways with either Kyle Kuzma or Brandon Ingram as well as another young star like Lonzo Ball. The Lakers also have a number of expiring contracts that could sweeten a pre-trade deadline deal. Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Michael Beasley could all be offered up to make a deal work.
BOSTON The Lakers aren’t the only franchise looking to add Davis. The Celtics can actually offer a little more in terms of draft picks if they were able to work a trade with the Pelicans. Boston has all of its upcoming first rounders plus three more acquired in trades. The Celtics can also offer a young star like Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum to go along with those draft picks. Acquiring Davis would give Boston exactly what it needs to dominate the East.