The 2017 trade deadline is only a few days away, and the NBA trade rumors continue to run rampant. It only seems fitting to accompany said rumors with a few bold predictions before the big day.
As we saw on Sunday night, blockbuster deals can happen before the NBA trade deadline. When DeMarcus Cousins was dealt to the New Orleans Pelicans, it essentially confirmed that anything is possible.
The NBA trade rumors have been flying fast and furious over the last month or so. We’ve seen several big names mentioned as being on the trade block, but it’s anyone’s guess who could actually be on the move between now and Feb. 23.
Heck, Cousins was said to no longer be available according to Sacramento brass (via Adrian Wojnarowski)–we saw how that worked out.
So I’m guessing people wouldn’t get too upset if I start predicting LeBron James gets moved this season, right? Okay, so I wouldn’t dare go that bold. However, there have been some big names mentioned in NBA trade rumors who could theoretically be shipped out.
That’s why I’m here to boldly predict that some of those players find themselves new NBA homes on Thursday. That is what makes the trade deadline so amusing isn’t it–the speculation?
With that in mind, here are my five “bold” predictions for the 2017 NBA Trade Deadline. The first couple might seem somewhat reasonable, but trust me when I say that it gets pretty interesting as you work your way down the list.
For the last month, the 76ers have been pushing hard to trade center Jahlil Okafor. Unfortunately, as you probably know, they’ve been unable to find a deal that fit their fancy. Now, they could end up missing the opportunity altogether.
Of the four teams rumored to be most interested in a deal, three of them have already acquired a center. The Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans and Denver Nuggets have all made moves to add big men, leaving only the Chicago Bulls as potential trade partners.
Unfortunately for Philly, I don’t see the Bulls making that move right now. They’ve got bigger fish to fry, and adding a troubled, one-dimenional youngster like Okafor isn’t going to help.
With the team’s currently instability, Chicago needs someone who can come in and settle things down. The former No. 3 overall pick doesn’t fit the bill.
A week or two ago, it seemed almost inevitable that Okafor would be traded. However, with potential landing spots dropping off the radar, it’s starting to look like he could be staying with the 76ers for now.
Unless a new trade partner emerges or Philadelphia lowers its asking price, Okafor isn’t getting dealt. That’ll leave the 76ers with too many young, talented centers heading into the offseason.
This would just be perfect, wouldn’t it? The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.
In this scenario, the Warriors convince the Mavericks to part ways with one of their top offensive talents in Seth Curry. He then comes to the Bay Area, where he’s reunited with his brother Stephen Curry. It’s the stuff that fairytales are made of.
The Mavericks appear to be set for the time being at the guard spots. Although they could still use the sharpshooting abilities of Curry, they wouldn’t mind unloading him if it meant adding some other assets. The Warriors can offer a bit, so it makes sense–in my opinion.
Plus, it’s not like Dallas has much to lose in terms of playoff positioning.
Meanwhile, Golden State wouldn’t mind adding some more offense off the bench. The younger Curry fits the three-point focus of this roster, and is certainly capable of making an impact on the second unit.
I can only imagine playing alongside each other would be a desirable situation for both Curry brothers.
The Warriors could send a package of a young player and an expiring contract to help ease Dallas’ pain. I would say they could throw in a pick to sweeten the deal, but they don’t have much apart from first-round picks–parting with one of those doesn’t seem necessary here.
I know it’s not the boldest of predictions, but it would be an interesting storyline nonetheless.
Since the 2016 NBA Draft, the Celtics and Bulls have been rumored to have mutual interest in a Jimmy Butler trade. A deal surprisingly still hasn’t come to fruition, but I’m boldly predicting it finally will before the 2017 trade deadline.
We all know it makes sense.
Chicago needs to make some serious changes at this point. The team is drowning in turmoil, and desperately needs to head in a different direction. Especially with how uncertain the team brass has seemed about Butler’s future, sending him packing makes sense.
As for the Celtics, they’re still looking for that true superstar. They’ve got almost all of the pieces in place to be a contender, but adding that final one would give them a real shot at knocking off the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East.
Plus, they have an abundance of assets with which to make a trade happen.
So why not just go out on a limb and say it finally gets done? The Bulls need to shake things up, and the Celtics have the ammunition to make an offer worth Chicago’s time.
Between their bevy of draft picks, numerous expiring contracts and rights to overseas prospects, Boston seems prepared to get the wheels spinning on this deal.
I’m not talking about Carmelo Anthony‘s roots as in where he grew up–he’s originally from New York. No, instead I’m talking about a return trip to the Mile High City to reunite with the Denver Nuggets.
It seems crazy that this would even be an option. And yet, the Nuggets are expected to be one of the most active teams on the 2017 NBA Trade Deadline. So why does would it be out of the question for them to make a move for Carmelo?
Obviously he has history with the team. Anthony spent his first eight NBA seasons with the Nuggets, but never fulfilled his destiny to bring a title to the franchise.
With the recent interest in superstars pulling a LeBron and returning to their original teams, this seems like a rather intriguing option.
At this moment, it appears Denver would be willing to part with several pieces. Wilson Chandler and Emmanuel Mudiay are both rumored to be available. Packaging those two with some other role players and potentially picks would make it work from a financial standpoint.
That also fits the Knicks’ interest in preparing for a rebuild.
I don’t think Anthony would waive his no-trade clause for many teams. However, if it meant reuniting with the Nuggets, I’m guessing he’d at least consider it.
Sunday night’s jaw-dropping deal proved anything can happen at the NBA Trade Deadline. If the Pelicans can steal Cousins away from the Kings like that, the Lakers can convince the Pacers to part ways with Paul George.
For years now, the Lakers have been looking for a new superstar and heir to Kobe Bryant‘s throne. I’m guessing they’ve made dozens of inquiries, and have tried (without success) to secure a successor during free agency.
Nothing has worked up to this point, and it doesn’t appear any of their young prospects are ready to fill the void either.
So why not put together a blockbuster trade for one of the NBA’s best all-around players? I can assure you George would be the superstar capable of lifting this team back to contender status.
Unfortunately, it would also take a significant package of assets to make this deal happen. It would likely involve at least one of the Lakers’ top young talents, one of their big contracts and some other assets (players and picks).
Considering general manager Mitch Kupchak has already stated his reluctance to part with some pieces, discussions would likely be difficult.
It seems insane, but insane is not off limits in the NBA. The Lakers get their true superstar in George, and the Pacers officially start looking towards the future despite being in the middle of the playoff race. Remember, these are supposed to be “bold” predictions.