On the move

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RAFFY LEDESMA

With the NBA trade deadline nearing, several teams are reportedly in the mix to make trades. Some teams hope to bolster their roster for a deep playoff run while most would like to shed players in exchange for draft picks or lessen salaries in preparation for next year’s free agent class. Here are the players that you could see move before the February 8, 2018 deadline:

1) DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)—The NBA’s leading rebounder may soon find a new home. The Clippers are barely within striking distance of a playoff berth and they will need to decide whether they are going to keep this ageing core together or start fresh with a rebuild. Jordan has a player option of $24.1 million next season and will probably demand top dollar for an extension. The league is fast-evolving and the need for conventional centers is fast drying up. There has been talk that the Cavaliers were interested in him but were unwilling to give up the Brooklyn Nets draft pick from Boston. Jordan is 29 and most teams will be unwilling to give up draft picks.

2) Nikola Mirotic (Chicago Bulls)—Mirotic will be moved sooner than later. He gave Bulls management an ultimatum. Either Bobby Portis moves or he is gone. If you recall, Portis punched Mirotic is a preseason practice which forced the latter to miss several games. Mirotic is sought after by several teams since he is the epitome of a stretch four. He is averaging 17.4 points and 7 rebounds while shooting 46.5% from the three-point line. The Utah Jazz are reportedly engaged with acquiring Mirotic but will need to give up a solid big man like Derrick Favors. The Bulls are reportedly asking for a draft pick as well.

3) Julius Randle, Larry Nance, and Jordan Clarkson (Los Angeles Lakers)—The Lakers are dangling their three youngsters in a bid to shed more salary. The Lakers are hoping to land two maximum-salaried players this summer. To do that they need to get out of the final two years of Clarkson’s deal worth $26 million. Randle, meanwhile, will be a free agent by July so the Lakers are trying to get some value for him. Once considered an untouchable, Nance is now on the trading block with the emergence of rookie Kyle Kuzma.


4) Tyreke Evans (Memphis Grizzlies)—Evans has been undergoing a revival this season averaging 19.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. With the Grizzlies unlikely to make it to the playoffs and looking to restock their line-up, they are shopping Evans for a first round draft pick. Evans, of course, is a flight risk since he will be a free agent next season. Still, many teams are interested in the athletic combo guard including the Cavaliers.

5) DeMarre Carroll (Brooklyn Nets)—Despite his injury, demand for wings like Carroll is very high and several teams have inquired about him. Carroll has a reasonable salary and provides scoring, defense, and long-range shooting. Whichever team gets him probably need a temporary boost since at 32, he is clearly on the downside of his playing career.

raffyrledesma@yahoo.com

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