Hello everyone! Coach Craig here and this is my debut article. With the NBA Trade Deadline looming I will be looking at a player or players from each NBA team that could be potentially traded prior to February 10th. I will be splitting this article into two separate editions: one for the Western Conference and one for the Eastern Conference. This particular one will be focused on the Western Conference teams.
Phoenix Suns – JaVale McGee C
Off to a blazing start to the 2021-22 season, the Phoenix Suns look to repeat as legitimate title contenders. They have very few holes on their current roster. However, they have a surplus of big men due to the pleasant emergence of Bismack Biyombo. This could make a player like JaVale McGee expendable and net the Suns some potential draft pick compensation.
Golden State Warriors – James Wiseman C or Jonathan Kuminga PF
The Warriors have had a nice return to form this season. I cannot express how nice it is to see Klay Thompson back on the court after back to back years of season-ending injuries. While he may not be the same player as he once was, he rounds out a strong starting five. The one true weakness the Warriors have is rim protection. Perhaps JaVale McGee, mentioned above, could be the answer (though a Warriors-Suns trade seems unlikely). However, if the Warriors want to make a statement, one or both of James Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga could be on the move.
Memphis Grizzlies – Backup Big Men: Xavier Tillman, Killian Tillie or Brandon Clarke
One of the biggest surprises so far this season has been the success of the young Memphis Grizzlies team led by Ja Morant. However, it is important to keep in mind they have played one of the easiest schedules to date. With a strong young core, it is unlikely Memphis makes a big splash around the trade deadline. Perhaps an upgrade over Dillion Brooks could benefit this team, but it might not be worth risking future assets to do so. I would not be shocked to see one of their backup big men in Xavier Tillman, Killian Tillie or Brandon Clarke moved if the right offer is on the table.
Utah Jazz – Jared Butler SG
The solid and steady Jazz find themselves in a similar position to previous years. They have a strong core but are still lacking that extra piece to put the team over the top. The loss of Joe Ingles will be a major test to the depth of this team. Look for the Jazz to add one or more role players either at the trade deadline or post player buyouts. If they do make a trade, expect a young player like Jared Butler to be on the move.
Dallas Mavericks – Any Center: Dwight Powell, Moses Brown or Boban Marjanovic
One could ask if the Dallas Mavericks are contenders or pretenders at this point in time. They are a team that seems to be overachieving so far this season. Jalen Brunson has taken a nice step forward, and we have a good idea of what to expect from Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis when healthy. The Mavericks have a true need for outside shooting with Tim Hardaway Jr. being out indefinitely and a clear lack of depth at the wing positions. They have a surplus of big men in Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, Moses Brown, and Boban Marjanovic. Look for one of these players to be moved for a competent 3 and D player at the deadline.
Denver Nuggets – Guard Depth: Monte Morris, Facundo Campazzo or Bones Hyland
The Nuggets are in an enviable position as their team has played well this season, and they will have a key contributor in Jamal Murray returning sooner rather than later. If there is one weakness for this Nuggets team, it probably is outside shooting (especially from their wings). Look for them to offload one of their surplus guards (with the return of Murray): Facundo Campazzo, Monte Morris or Bones Hyland for a prototypical 3 and D wing player.
Minnesota Timberwolves – Malik Beasley SG
If only the Timberwolves could stay healthy. This team has a good amount of potential when they are playing at full strength. However, they are at least a piece or two away from being true contenders. Depending on how the next week plays out, the Timberwolves could turn into either buyers or sellers. If they become sellers, do not be surprised when Malik Beasley gets traded.
Los Angeles Lakers – Russell Westbrook PG
I will start off by saying that the Lakers have been a major disappointment for many this year. Losing Anthony Davis earlier in the season for a period of time has not helped by any means. The Lakers need quality role players, preferably ones not past their prime. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they do not have a lot of assets to make a trade happen. The biggest rumor is Russell Westbrook could be on the move once again. However, I am not sure what team(s) would want to trade for Westbrook at this point in time and what the Lakers could possibly net in return.
Los Angeles Clippers – Nic Batum SF or Marcus Morris PF
While the Clippers are on the borderline of playoff contention, it’s no secret they have been playing without their two best players in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. I would not be shocked if the Clippers are sellers by trade deadline and look to move some of their veteran players. Marcus Morris and Nic Batum seem the two most likely options, but Reggie Jackson, Eric Bledsoe, and Serge Ibaka could also garner some interest as well.
Portland Trail Blazers – Robert Covington PF
There have been plenty of rumors about a potential Damian Lillard trade all season long, but it is hard to see one coming to fruition prior to the trade deadline. Lillard had been dealing with an abdominal issue most of the season, which required surgery. It is hard to see a true contender investing the necessary assets to acquire him at this point in time. So, I will highlight Robert Covington as the most likely Trial Blazer to be moved. He is a 3 and D player who has the ability to play multiple positions and would serve as a great depth piece for a contender.
New Orleans Pelicans – Garrett Temple SF
At first glance the Pelicans have a solid young core. It would be hard to see them moving on from Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Devonte Graham and Zion Williamson (injured). However, Josh Hart would likely garner interest from multiple teams. Jonas Valanciunas could be on the move once again for the right offer, but the asking price might be too rich. Look for veteran Garrett Temple to be the most likely Pelican on the move. While he is not flashy by any means, he still is a solid role player.
San Antonio Spurs – Doug McDermott PF
It would be safe to assume that the Spurs want to hold onto their young core players in Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Keldon Johnson, and Jakob Poeltl. This team is not competing this year, so it would be wise to offload some veteran players like Doug McDermott and Thaddeus Young. Both players could be potential depth options for a contender.
Sacramento Kings – Buddy Hield SG or Marvin Bagley PF
While the Kings front office is one of the worst in professional sports, it is hard to see them trading away either Tyrese Haliburton or De’Aaron Fox, both of whom have been mentioned in trade rumors. The two most likely players to be moved are former first round picks Marvin Bagley and Buddy Hield. Both players could offer potential scoring off the bench for a contender.
Oklahoma City Thunder – Keinrich Williams SF
It is no secret that the Thunder are rebuilding for the long run and have continued to stockpile future draft picks. While they do not have any big name players to trade away, they could still look to move players like Keinrich Williams, Derrick Favors or Mike Muscala. The compensation will likely be minimal, but it is still better than nothing!
Houston Rockets – Eric Gordon SG
The biggest no-brainer in this entire article might be the Houston Rockets moving on from 3 point specialist Eric Gordon. He could fill a key role for a contending team, however his lofty contract could still present a problem. Look for the Rockets to take on another contract in any potential trade. Daniel Theis could also be moved as he presents a quality depth big man. Rumors are still swirling around Christian Wood, but that seems less likely to happen.
The #Rockets have 4 more games until the NBA trade deadline. Please put Eric Gordon in bubble wrap and preserve this man until then.
— Roosh (@RooshWilliams) February 2, 2022
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 on the lookout for the Eastern Conference edition of this article in the coming days.