The NBA Trade Deadline is less than two weeks away, and as the All-Star break approaches, rumors are flying about which players may be moved as teams try to improve their rosters or flip veterans for future assets. Check out the latest NBA trade news & rumors below.
Lakers expected to trade veterans
The Los Angeles Lakers currently hold the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft, and need to keep that position in this year's draft lottery. If they land a top three pick, they will get to keep their selection. If it falls outside the top three, their pick goes to the Philadelphia 76ers, causing many to believe they'll tank down the stretch of the season. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders says that the Lakers are considering that and may trade some of their veteran players.
The Lakers have a lot riding on this year’s lottery and they clearly aren’t going to make the playoffs in the Western Conference. They currently sit at 18-37, which is the second-worst record in the West. Trading off veterans like Nick Young, Lou Williams, Luol Deng or Jose Calderon would give the young core more playing time, allow the Lakers to acquire more picks and young prospects, and increase the likelihood that they’ll keep two very important first-rounders going forward.
Despite head coach Luke Walton’s negative comments about tanking, executives believe the Lakers will strongly consider this route. If they do, other teams will certainly be calling about L.A.’s veterans.
76ers receiving interest in both Okafor & Noel
The Sixers have been shopping both Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel since the start of the offseason, with the thinking that they would trade one and keep the other. However, general manager Bryan Colangelo said they have received a lot of interest for both players.
"We've got three talented bigs," Colangelo said Thursday on 97.5 The Fanatic. "They all feel that they deserve to be looked at as a potential starter and be paid as a starter. The phones have been ringing. There has been a lot of conversations. There's been some activity. Quite a bit actually in recent weeks. It's not something that's just come up in recent weeks because it's something we've been looking to address since I got here.
"I've always said that I'm looking to make a good deal for this organization. Not a bad deal. At some point, something's got to give and we probably have to move in a different direction."
Okafor is averaging 11.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, while Noel is averaging 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds.
Nuggets to be active at deadline
Another team who is expected to be active at the trade deadline is the Denver Nuggets, according to Kennedy, due to the wide array of assets they have that will allow them to get a deal done:
The Nuggets have a ton of young players in Jokic, Emmanuel Mudiay, Jamal Murray, Jusuf Nurkic, Juan Hernangomez, Malik Beasley and Gary Harris. They have all of their first-round picks going forward as well as the Memphis Grizzlies’ 2017 first-rounder (Top 5 protected). And if a trade partner is interested in acquiring more experienced players, Denver also has veterans such as Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Will Barton, Darrell Arthur, Jameer Nelson and Mike Miller. These vets could also help when it comes to making salaries match in a potential deal.
Speaking of which, the Nuggets have just $77,174,506 on the books for this season. That means they have cap space to absorb a contract in a deal. It also gives them even more incentive to make a trade since they’re under the NBA’s $84.7 million salary floor.
Rival executives believe Denver’s front office wants to be active at the deadline and they certainly have the pieces to make a move, so they’re a team to keep an eye on.
The Nuggets are currently eighth in the Western Conference with a 23-29 record.Back to the NBA Newsfeed