Some seem to think that the logjams in the conferences might slow the market, but there’s always some action on deadline day.
At present, 11 of the 15 Eastern Conference teams remain alive for the playoffs. And out West, as many as 13 of the 15 teams conceivably have a case of the postseason.
This article is the first in a series of previews that will include five Players, five Teams and five Deals that might affect the 2020 NBA Trade Deadline.
NBA Trade Deadline: The Players
While there aren’t any superstars on the block this season, the NBA trade deadline could feature a few names that could tilt the fortunes of a franchise.
Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans has recently added No. 1 pick Zion Williamson to the rotation, and they’re currently 4.5 games out of the 8-seed out West. Yes, there are four teams ahead of them, but they could be coming together at the right time.
Holiday is averaging 19.7 points and 6.3 assists per game on .444 percent shooting. But with Zion’s addition to the lineup, everyone is losing touches. Holiday has a player option with $27 million for next season, but he’s an elite wing defender who could play either guard position.
Look for teams like the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat to be in the mix for him.
Danilo Gallinari, Oklahoma City
Danilo Gallinari landed in OKC as part of the massive package for Paul George last summer. Playing as a stretch-4, Gallinari posts 19.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game on .441 percent shooting. His skill set for a 6’10” player remains highly valuable throughout the league.
Gallinari is on this list because his $22.6 million deal is expiring after this season, making him a free agent. OKC holds a bevy of draft picks in the future, thanks the George deal, but Sam Presti is not likely to let an asset like ‘The Rooster’ walk.
What’s complicating matters is OKC simply that the Thunder currently hold the 7-seed and are 2.5 games out of the 4-seed. (They’re four games behind the 3-seed, but let’s not get crazy.)
Many assumed this was a rebuilding year in OKC, but they’ve exceeded expectations. And now, it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that the Thunder hold on to veterans Chris Paul and Steven Adams for a playoff push. Gallo, though, might be a different story.
The Miami Heat have reportedly expressed interest in Gallinari. Gallo would also fit perfectly in Milwaukee.
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Perhaps the most accomplished name that could be dealt by the NBA trade deadline, Kevin Love is clearly unhappy in Cleveland. That discontent though, has manifested in some poor behavior that might see teams shy away from him.
But the biggest impediment for a potential Love deal remains his contract. Love’s deal holds another $91.5 million over the next three seasons.
Love has still been solid this season. He averages 17.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game on 45.2 percent shooting and 37.9 percent from three. The 12-year vet is an NBA Champ and a five-time All-Star.
Best case scenario for both the Cavs and Love at the deadline involves finding a new home for their disgruntled forward.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on his podcast that “Cleveland is resigned right now that there is no trade for them between now and Thursday. Unless something comes out of nowhere, essentially, they will be looking in the offseason.”
Love could be a difference maker to a team at the NBA trade deadline, especially a team out West like the Portland Trailblazers.
Andre Iguodala, Memphis Grizzlies
Andre Iguodala hasn’t spent a single minute on the court for the surprising Memphis Grizzlies. When the 15-year vet and 3-time NBA Champ landed in Grind City, most assumed he was a buy-out candidate.
But Grizz GM Chris Wallace has other ideas. Iguodala’s experience and skill set is a tantalizing combination for contending teams. The Lakers, Clippers, Mavericks and Rockets, among many others, covet Iggy.
Last season for the Warriors, Iguodala averaged 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He made 50.0 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three.
The prototypical 3-and-D wing, Iggy would bolster any contending team’s roster for the playoffs.
Clint Capela, Houston Rockets
In a surprise turn, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Rockets were looking to move Clint Capela. Houston remains one of the oddest collection of lineups in the league. And without Capela on the floor in recent games, head coach Mike D’Antoni has elected to go with a lineup without anyone over 6’6″.
In his five years in the league, the 25-year-old Capela flashed vertical spacing potential and rim-protection. This season, he averages 13.9 points, 13.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. He’s an ideal pick-and-roll partner for players like James Harden.
The teams who might look to add Capela include the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks.
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