WITH the exception of Eric Bledsoe there haven’t been any real noteworthy trades so far this season. In fact, most of the trade buzz seems to be quite as teams are still trying to work out their identities. There are SOME names who have been linked to trade rumours, however (see cover photo) and there is still noise around the league regarding player movement.
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Three’s A Crowd In The Lakers Frontcourt
SOMETHING’S gotta give in LA. Julius Randle, Larry Nance and Kyle Kuzma all look like full-time starters at power forward and it seems like one of them will inevitably part with the Lakers. They could still keep all three, but it would benefit the young talents if they freed up more minutes by dealing one of the three elsewhere. With Kuzma shining in his rookie campaign, it’s unlikely that he will be the one who exits and Larry Nance is currently starting at PF for the team, meaning Randle is likely to be the one on the outs. If I was a team that needed help in the frontcourt (I’m looking at you Milwaukee and Memphis) then I would happily snap up the versatile former lottery pick.
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The DJ Dilemma Continues
PHOENIX, Washinton, Cleveland, Milwaukee. Where will Deandre Jordan land? It’s clear that the Clippers All-Star won’t be on the team much longer with his name constantly mentioned in trade rumours ever since Los Angeles started their free fall down the standings. There is a chance that he will remain in LA, but given their injury woes and their tumble out of the playoff race, Jordan could find himself in another uniform any day now. My guess is that Phoenix makes a play for him in the off-season, but if I was a betting man seeing him dealt before the trade deadline is more likely than not.
Finding Okafor A Way Out Of Philly
THIS is getting ridiculous, can we please free Jah! The talented third-year big man is rotting away on the end of the Sixers bench with no sign of a reprieve in the near future. He may seem to be useless in today’s modern league, but I still think he has a lot to offer teams and can prove to be a valuable asset for a contender (yes Boston, I am referring to you). If he finally gets bought out or traded then Okafor can still live up to the promise that he showed in his rookie season.
FOR all the L’s that Memphis keep stacking up, it’s unlikely that Marc Gasol and/or Mike Conley will be moved as a result. At 8-16, the Grizzlies seem destined for mediocrity before they experience any type of success and David Fizdale has already copped his share of the blame. Even if they contonue to struggle it doesn’t make a ton of sense for them to deal either of their All-Star calibre guys, unless they can acquire a slew of picks or young talent in exchange.
Other Bits And Pieces
AS mentioned above, there aren’t many trade stories to report on so far in the NBA season. Some names that have been floated as potential trade bait throughout the season though inlcude the Magic’s Mario Hezonja, Raptors big man Jonas Valancunis and Luol Deng of the Los Angeles Lakers. Hezonja and Orlando failed to lock down an extension before the deadline meaning if a deal can’t be locked in he will likely leave as a free agent. There isn’t a huge market for Valancunis or Deng right now, making their trade value relatively low, however, one or both of them could be included in a salary dump deal.
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