I waited until the wee hours of this morning to write and release this NBA Trade Deadline update, thinking that somebody like Woj or Sam Amick would drop a bomb and force me to re-write the piece.
Alas, no such news would hit as of 4-5 a.m. ET and so this is what we’re rolling with to set the table today.
You’ll want to follow our Rotoworld crew on Twitter to get the fastest information, and our player news page is where we’ll dump everything as the news hits. I’ll circle up with you guys as the dust starts to settle this afternoon.
You can find Ryan Knaus’ weekly piece here and for Mike Gallagher you can bang it here, as both guys have a bunch of takes on the deadline from yesterday and the day before, respectively. I’m going to hit on yesterday’s new developments in this space, so check out my Trade Deadline primer to get the leftover scraps from Tuesday and the week before.
For my takes on contenders’ needs at the deadline you can head over here and here are the Twitter handles for the entire crew:
DON’T MESS WITH THE GORAN
The Goran Dragic situation figures to dominate the news today, and it’s pretty great how nobody has stopped to ask why the Suns haven’t declared their desire to give him an offer he can’t refuse. After all, if they want him so bad it should be that easy. After all, haven’t they expressed their desire to move Isaiah Thomas to clear things up? Or should we believe that Dragic is unwilling to play next to a good player in Eric Bledsoe, too. LeBron James can eat his heart out with all that Super Friends stuff.
Sarcasm aside, this is a classic situation of the player and the team aligning their goals to get the return both parties want a la Melo and Masai. Dragic wants a trade to a preferred party and the Suns want two teams to bid against each other. I thought it was both revealing and smart that Dragic's camp released a story about not wanting a fifth year, in essence shooing away other teams not on his list by taking away their only asset – more money.
The leaking has been pretty messy here and none of it really adds up because of the competing agendas, and that’s before you get to the laughable idea that these parties are all of a sudden figuring all this stuff out this week. Plugged in Nate Jones tweeted yesterday that he has heard Dragic would be heading to the Lakers for the last two months and I've heard similar talk, but mostly that the Suns didn't expect to pay both Dragic and Bledsoe -- regardless of how many pieces you've read to the contrary.
The operative question is whether or not the Suns can get anybody to bite on a semi-reasonable deal, and again it will only take two teams to bid against each other to make it happen. I’d put the Lakers, Knicks, Heat and Rockets in a four-team race for Dragic right now, and if they all balk then you could see Isaiah Thomas head out to the Lakers or the Pistons. If the Pistons are involved, look for Greg Monroe to be moved in a slightly shocking deal.
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ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
Late last night ESPN reported that the Wolves and Nets are engaging in serious talks to swap Kevin Garnett and Thaddeus Young. Of course, this would send the Internet buzzing and boost the Wolves’ ticket sales, while bringing in the inimitable veteran presence the younger players in Minny could certainly learn from. For the Nets, Young would help them make something out of a lost season as they try to get something (anything) out of a first-round playoff loss.
Young has been on a month-long heater for the Wolves and it’s possible the move to Brooklyn would be a lateral one, even if Young will probably cool off wherever he plays at least a little bit . The Nets are deathly thin in their frontcourt and they’re not exactly teeming with talent.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN SIGH
The Nuggets are apparently shopping everybody but Brian Shaw and Ty Lawson added another tire to the fire by not showing up to practice yesterday. He was in Vegas and this of course comes after his arrest for suspicion of DUI, and he’s joined the rest of the crew in trade rumors. Chris ‘take it with a grain of salt’ Broussard says that the Nuggets are trying to move Lawson and that Shaw wants old pupil George Hill, and I’ll believe that when I see it, but I’m not going to pretend there’s no chance Lawson gets dealt.
Arron Afflalo is basically gone and last night Woj took Portland’s position as favorite and threw it up in the air by mentioning something game-changing came in to Denver last night. I can’t help but think the Kings are trying to work a big deal here, as a) they definitely want Afflalo and b) they just added George Karl and c) both teams are desperate enough to make a blockbuster happen.
If I saw Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo traded for Darren Collison, Ben McLemore, Jason Thompson, Derrick Williams and a future Kings first-rounder I wouldn’t be insanely shocked, nor would I be shocked if Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee got traded for the same group (minus a future pick) with Collison swapped out for Ramon Sessions.
Sacramento might be the one place Afflalo could work out in terms of retaining fantasy value, but otherwise he’s probably going to take a hit.
DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU
The Thunder isn’t exactly enamored with Reggie Jackson. And he’s not exactly enamored with them. So when he demanded a trade via his agent yesterday, his odds of being traded shot pretty high. Apparently he already turned down a four-year, $48 million deal according to Sam Amick, which I couldn’t remember when I first heard it yesterday but I would later recall – along with thinking how crazy it was that the Thunder made that offer and that Jackson rejected it.
There are all sorts of risks to making a deal for Jackson, but I can’t see the Thunder letting that situation percolate in their locker room. If Jackson is sitting on your wire he’s a must-stash player given his upside in the right situation.
The Heat are willing to trade anybody not named Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside. They also need a point guard like it’s nobody’s business, which works against my stash of Mario Chalmers a little bit, but in general any signal caller landing there will be in a pretty good spot. Even if Wade handles the ball a bunch, the likelihood of him playing more than 2/3 of the remaining games is pretty low.
The Wizards are interested in Ramon Sessions and could probably have him for a box of donuts. And Sessions will probably go on to be 10 times better for the Wizards than he has been for the Kings, but there’s still no fantasy value there.
Jamal Crawford is the only trade bait the Clippers have and they’re both duplicative at the shooting guard position and in need of a sizable stopper on the perimeter. They will need some dominoes to fall their way in order to make a sensible deal.
The Bucks might have some interest in Enes Kanter according to USA Today and Basketball Insiders. Even if he doesn’t get traded I’m not moving off my early round evaluation on Rudy Gobert, including some first round upside if he starts playing 32-35 mpg following a Kanter trade.
Staying in Milwaukee, it seems like teams are intrigued by Brandon Knight. At the same time the Bucks may not be sold that he’s a long-term fit at the point guard position, with some reports having the team looking at other point guards to play him next to. Knight is a restricted free agent this summer and his popcorn numbers certainly make him a candidate to be overpaid this summer.
Larry Sanders is on the verge of being bought out for pennies on the dollar and multiple reports say he’s unlikely to play this season, though the Mavs have expressed some extremely cautious interest. Owners can watch this from afar.