The NBA’s trade deadline is fast approaching — in fact, it’s only four days away — and that only means one thing: last minute blockbuster deals.
Other than free agency, the trade deadline is one of the only other opportunities us fans get to see All-Star talent switching teams, sometimes against their own wishes (cough cough Blake Griffin).
Multiple big names have been rumored to be up on the trade market as of late, and with various teams trying to add that final piece to contend for a title, there’s bound to be at least one major move before February 8th rolls around. Here are five blockbuster deals that could go down within the next four days.
5. Denver Nuggets Trade For A Veteran Point Guard
The Denver Nuggets have been one of the biggest risers this season, with improved play from Denver’s young core of Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, and Jamal Murray leading the Nuggets to a 28-25 record, and their first chance to make a playoffs appearance since 2013.
According to Sam Amick of USA TODAY, the Nuggets are in the market for a veteran point guard to return Will Barton to his natural sixth man role and give some leadership to this young squad.
“…But Denver will likely make a move of its own before the Feb. 8 trade deadline, as the Nuggets are known to be shopping for a veteran point guard who could allow Will Barton to return to his super sixth man role. According to two people with knowledge of the situation, they have serious interest in the Indiana Pacers’ Darren Collison (12.8 points, 5.3 assists per game as a starter) but have, thus far, been rebuffed. Collison, whose Pacers (28-23) are fighting to hold onto a playoff spot, has a team option worth $10 million on his deal for next season.”
Other than Collison, the Nuggets are also pursuing George Hill from the Kings, who has been linked with the Cleveland Cavaliers as well.
“The Nuggets were in the running for Sacramento Kings point guard George Hill in free agency last summer before the Millsap deal (three years, $90 million) took them out, and it’s worth wondering if he might also be an option for Denver now that the deal which would have sent Hill to Cleveland has stalled.”
4. Portland Enter The DeAndre Jordan Sweepstakes
Even though it seems like DeAndre Jordan to Cleveland has been the most talked about move that hasn’t actually even happened yet this season, other teams are potentially in the running for the All-Star big man.
One of those teams includes the Portland Trail Blazers, who reportedly have been in discussions with the Clippers about sending Jordan their way, although a formal offer was never made, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
“The Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers have discussed a trade involving L.A. center DeAndre Jordan but a formal offer was never made, according to NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
“The Clippers have been seeking a first-round draft pick, financial flexibility and young players in return for Jordan, according to the executives.”
Portland, who currently sit sixth in the West, already have a young center in the form of Jusuf Nurkic, but that doesn’t mean they can’t upgrade at the position to make a late surge in the standings this season.
3. Los Angeles Trade Away Their Young Core
A lot has been said about what the Lakers plan to do with their young core of Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Larry Nance Jr. At least two of the trio will be demanding a huge pay rise when their rookie deals end, and with the Lakers wanting to pursue two max free agents this coming offseason, they just don’t have the cap room to resign their young stars as well as nab a Paul George or LeBron James.
That’s why it may be in their best interest to dump some of these guys and save a little bit more cap space heading into the offseason. They don’t necessarily need to give them up for nothing, but trading away Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle for another young prospect who’s available, such as Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic, may their task a little easier heading into the summer.
2. The Cavs Close Out On DeAndre (And Lou)
The relationship between the Cavs and Clippers this season has been like a middle school relationship. They almost go all the way, but just as things look like they’re about to get serious, they shy away from each other.
Cleveland has been rumored to be pursuing DeAndre Jordan all season now, and with the recent trading away of Blake Griffin to Detroit, it seems as though the Clips are preparing for a fire sale, which the Cavs could clean up at.
Utilizing the pick acquired from the Celtics, the Cavs could send Brooklyn’s first-rounder to L.A. along with Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert, plus a couple of younger guys as an incentive, to nab not only Jordan, but All-Star snub Lou Williams, who has been having a stellar year.
1. The Celtics Boost Their Finals Hopes
After signing free agent Greg Monroe to a one-year deal, the Celtics look primed and ready to take the Eastern Conference crown from the Cavs. But if Cleveland happen to make one major move before the deadline, Boston will have to match them if they hope to keep up.
With the recent announcement that Memphis was looking to offload Tyreke Evans after a resurgent year, the Celtics could strengthen their bench even more with the addition of the 2010 Rookie of the Year. Not only that though, they could even manage to steal Marc Gasol from the Grizzlies if they offer the assets.
Using the Lakers first-round pick the year, as well as throwing in Marcus Smart, and Terry Rosier, whose stock has risen dramatically after his first two starts of his career, the C’s could manage to not only grab a Sixth Man of the Year candidate in Evans, but also grab former All-Star Gasol to pair with Al Horford in the frontcourt.