Hello everyone! Coach Craig back at it again. This time with the second edition of my NBA Trade Deadline article. This particular one will be focused on the Eastern Conference teams. I will be looking at a player or players from each team that could be potentially traded prior to February 10th. If you missed the article about the Western Conference teams you can find it here.
Miami Heat – Caleb Martin SF or Max Strus SG
The Miami Heat sit at the top of the Eastern Conference standings despite playing without Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo for stretches of time this season. Their current roster does not have many holes so it would be no surprise if the Heat are quiet. However, they could trade off a player like Caleb Martin or Max Strus who played well when given extended playing time.
Chicago Bulls – Patrick Williams PF
Jerry Reinsdorf and company have essentially pushed in their chips for the near future. So far it has paid off for the Chicago Bulls. Injuries have really tested their depth this season, which was already lacking. Rookie Ayo Dosunmu has been a pleasant surprise. Look for the Bulls to add more depth before the trade deadline. Do not be surprised if they move on from second year player Patrick WIlliams (injured) as they push their chips even further in.
Brooklyn Nets – Cam Thomas SG, Kessler Edwards SF, or Day’Ron Sharpe C
This may be a case of trouble in paradise as James Harden is reportedly unhappy in Brooklyn. He obviously wants to win a ring and this Brooklyn Nets team has been inconsistent this season. It is highly unlikely that Harden is traded before the deadline, unless the Nets are absolutely blown away. However, they have to do something to improve this roster. Look for one or more of Cam Thomas, Kessler Edwards, and Day’Ron Sharpe to be moved for a veteran upgrade, preferably one not past their prime.
A month ago, Philadelphia's Daryl Morey called Brooklyn on James Harden. Sean Marks refused the conversation. There are three days until the Thursday trade deadline for the Sixers to try again — or wait until the summer. ESPN story with @RamonaShelburne: https://t.co/jCJXc9pLHi
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2022
Milwaukee Bucks – Jordan Nwora SF
I will start off by saying I do not expect the Milwaukee Bucks to be active before the trade deadline. However, if they wanted to add more depth, the most likely player to be traded would be second year player Jordan Nwora.
Cleveland Cavaliers – Kevin Love PF/C or Cedi Osman SF
A team that has outperformed almost all expectations this season is the Cleveland Cavaliers. They currently occupy the #3 seed in the East. This team is currently clicking on all cylinders, and does not have to make a major splash. Do not be surprised if they listen to offers for Kevin Love. He has played well recently, but if they can get out from under his massive contract, they will likely do so. Cedi Osman and Colin Sexton (injured) are two other players who could be traded, if another team is interested.
Philadelphia 76ers – Ben Simmons PG
I am sure that 99 percent of you reading this are sick of hearing about Ben Simmons, but he is the most likely Philadelphia 76ers player to be traded. However, I would not be surprised if he is not traded until the offseason as well. GM Daryl Morey appears to be holding out for the right deal and not settling for anything less.
Charlotte Hornets – PJ Washington PF/C
While the Charlotte Hornets may not be contenders, they have shown improvement this season. LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges have both taken the next step forward. They do not currently have many holes to fill on their roster. However, an upgrade at the center position may be in play as they have been closely linked to Myles Turner. He presents an upgrade over Mason Plumlee and PJ Washington. Speaking of Washington, he is the most likely player to be traded as it sounds like he outstayed his welcome in Charlotte.
Toronto Raptors – Backup Big Men: Khem Birch, Precious Achiuwa or Chris Boucher
Right on par for the course this season, the Toronto Raptors currently occupy #7 seed. You could say they are stuck in the middle, but they do not really have a reason to push their chips in this year or tear down their current roster. Raptors fans need to be patient as Toronto will have continued success soon enough. While I do not expect them to be very active before the deadline, I would not be surprised if they move one of their backup big men in Khem Birch, Precious Achiuwa, or Chris Boucher.
Boston Celtics – Dennis Schroder PG or Al Horford PF/C
Arguably the most underwhelming team so far this season has been the Boston Celtics. They have battled through injuries and inconsistent play and currently hold the #8 seed in the East. While they have a bunch of talented players, this team has not meshed well under first year head coach Ime Udoka. Look for the Celtics to shake things up at the trade deadline, whether it is a couple of smaller deals or one big one. It is hard to see them moving on from Jaysom Tatum or Jaylen Brown unless they are blown away. Based on the rumors and his recent lack of playing time, it is safe to assume that Dennis Schroder will be traded before the deadline. Al Horford and Marcus Smart could also be on the move.
Washington Wizards – Montrezl Harrell C
When I say Washington Wizards, the first name that comes to mind is Bradley Beal. He has been the subject of many trade rumors; however, it is likely they will try to retain him long-term. It also helps that he has not expressed any desire to be traded. The Wizards currently have three decent options at the center position in Thomas Bryant, Daniel Gafford, and Montrezl Harrell. Rui Hachimura can also slide over and play some small-ball center as well. This leads me to believe that Harrell will likely be traded when a contender comes calling.
New York Knicks – Kemba Walker PG
A surprise playoff team last year, the New York Knicks have looked lost at times this season. Julius Randle has regressed, and key free agents Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier have been hit or miss at best. Do not be surprised if they try to rock the boat and trade off a handful of veteran players before the deadline. Kemba Walker is the most likely to be traded, as he could help a contender in a part time role.
Atlanta Hawks – Bogdan Bogdanovic SG
It was just one short year ago that the Atlanta Hawks made a run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Now they are barely hanging onto the #10 seed in the East. The Hawks’ young core has never truly gotten better and we have already seen them move on from Cam Reddish. Will they move another young player like John Collins or Kevin Huerter? Veterans like Bogdan Bogdanovic or Clint Capela could potentially be on the move as well. The emergence of Onyeka Okongwu could allow Capela to be expendable. My money would be on Bogdanovic being on the move if the Hawks decide to sell.
Indiana Pacers – Myles Turner C
Always stuck in the middle, the Indiana Pacers are looking to retool once again. Myles Turner has requested a trade, so he is the most likely player to be traded. There are also rumors swirling about Caris LeVert and Domantas Sabonis potentially being on the move as well. Sabonis will likely require a massive return. LeVert on the other hand is more expendable, as he does not fully fit into the team’s future plans. Justin Holiday could also be available as a potential 3-and-D bench player for a contender.
Update: Since this was written, Caris LeVert has been traded to Cleveland:
The Cavs are sending a package to the Pacers that includes Ricky Rubio’s expiring contract and a lottery-protected 2022 and first-round pick and two second round picks, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/CxLM9S5wvr
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2022
Detroit Pistons – Jerami Grant PF or Kelly Olynyk C
This is not your father’s “bad boy” Pistons team. In fact, the Detroit Pistons have only had one winning season since 2008. The light at the end of the tunnel may be further than initially expected too. We’ve seen some of their young core in Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, and Isaiah Stewart have flashes. However, this team is still multiple players away from even being a playoff team. Jerami Grant is the most likely player to be traded, but he wants to go somewhere where he is still a primary option. Kelly Olynyk should garner some interest as a skilled big man with previous playoff experience. Look for the Pistons to move anyone not named Cunningham, Bey, or Stewart to help fuel their rebuild.
Orlando Magic – Gary Harris SG or Terrence Ross SG
While the Orlando Magic have one of the worst records in the NBA, they have also been able to accumulate young talent and future draft picks. Cole Anthony, Franz Wagner, and Jalen Suggs have the chance to make a solid young core. Wendell Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba will likely stick around for another year unless the Magic are blown away with an offer. This leaves two players in Gary Harris and Terrence Ross as the most likely to be moved. Harris offers a contender a prototypical 3 and D bench player. Ross could offer some scoring off the bench for a contender.
In conclusion, the NBA Trade Deadline is always a very exciting time of year. There have been quite a few rumors about big name players potentially on the move. Let me know who you would like to see your favorite NBA Team add or trade away this year! Also be sure to check out my Western Conference article.