With the NBA’s trade deadline fast approaching on February 18, the rumor mill is again exploding with all kinds of trade rumors. Some teams are looking for extra talent to get over the hump and compete with elite teams like the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs while others are stacking assets for a run next season. Some deadlines are full of blockbuster trades while others barely register a whisper. Here are some of the teams that are rumored to be looking to move some assets before the deadline:
1) Boston Celtics—Since the era of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Celtics have smartly loaded up on assets and they are arguably the “richest” team in terms of young talent and future draft picks. On their roster, they have various trade assets including aging big man David Lee, guard Avery Bradley, and swingman Evan Turner. Reportedly, they are eyeing a trade for Atlanta Hawks big man Al Horford despite their loaded frontline. Horford is a free agent next season and the Hawks would rather get something than nothing by trading him. The Celtics are currently 3rd in the Eastern Conference and are poised to make a leap into the NBA elite by acquiring one or two top notch talent.
2) Atlanta Hawks—The Hawks are not shopping any single player but they are definitely listening to all the offers. They realize that they have reached the peak with their current core and need to make moves to contend. It has been reported that point guard Jeff Teague is generating a lot of interest and even back-up guard Dennis Schroder. A lot of teams are also interested in Kyle Korver for his ability to shoot from way deep. The Hawks still have a week to think about this but they are in a good position to load up and rebuild.
3) Phoenix Suns—The Suns have been a disaster and their season officially ended when star guard Eric Bledsoe went down last December. The team has been desperate to unload big man Markieff Morris whose relationship with management and teammates have soured since his brother Marcus was traded to the Detroit Pistons. Morris used to have the makings of an All-Star due to his versatility, able to play forward and center, and ability to shoot the three. The Toronto Raptors are looking to get the embattled big man whose altercation with teammate Archie Goodwin during a timeout has gone viral. Morris’ time in the Suns is done and it is only a matter of where he will land.
4) Houston Rockets—The Rockets were built to contend but the results have been so far disappointing. The team is reportedly shopping big man Dwight Howard who is still a legitimate force in the league, but injuries have slowed him down and he is no longer capable of the day-in, day-out excellence that defines superstars. Howard will be tough to shop given his injury history and his potential to command a max contract. The Rockets are currently in 8th place in the powerhouse Western Conference and have no chance at all of going deep into the playoffs. They need to make moves now rather than later to salvage their season.
5) Los Angeles Clippers—Like Atlanta, the Clippers realize they have reached their full potential given their current line-up. Rumors are rife that superstar forward Blake Griffin will be traded after an altercation with team staff, which caused a broken hand and prolonged his injury status. The Clips have gone 18-4 since they lost Blake and management is realizing that they can survive without the forward. The team will probably only let go of Griffin if they don’t make the NBA Finals.