Bulls

NBA Power Rankings: The trade request heard 'round the world could define 2019 season

Bulls

 

As NBA All-Star reserves are announced, team’s league wide are in full scramble mode following Anthony Davis’ trade request. It has long been expected that Davis would request a trade if the Pelicans weren’t seen as taking serious steps towards being championship contenders.

The Pelicans took the steps they deemed necessary to improve their roster--which included letting DeMarcus Cousins walk in free agency--and so far it has resulted in them being on the outside looking in when it comes to the postseason, sitting a full 5.5 games back of the No. 8 seed.

With Davis’ agent Rich Paul being the founder of the LeBron James-associated Klutch Sports, the theoretical Lakers trade packages have come pouring in from all angles.

With LA struggling to stay in playoff position themselves, the pressure is on for them to make a move to acquire a superstar to pair with James ahead of the February 7 trade deadline.

At one game over .500, the Lakers need James back ASAP as they gear up for a six-game road trip that includes five matchups with teams currently in the playoffs.

The Western Conference is making a big push as a whole, as the West has five teams with current win streaks of at least three games. This is compared to the East which currently has no teams with three-game win streaks, and the Knicks, who have lost 11 straight despite some solid play from their young talent.

And speaking of the Knicks, the race to the bottom is getting just as crowded as the playoff race. The Bulls, Suns, Magic, Pistons, Wizards, Grizzlies and Pelicans are all teams currently with top 10 draft lottery odds, and each has varying reasons for why (and how) they would drop further in the standings.

Orlando and Detroit are still making hard charges for the postseason due to the current No. 7 and 8 seeds having records below .500, while Memphis and New Orleans are likely to trade one or all of their franchise cornerstones to pivot in a new direction. If either franchise is to trade their star(s), there would have next to no incentive for them to collect wins throughout the rest of the season.

With roughly 30 games left for all 30 teams in the league, everyone will be looking to show signs of progress to close out the 2019 season. See how everyone from the elite, to the middle of the pack, to the bottom of the barrel rank in our latest power rankings here.