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Deadline Watch: It’s Time to Sell

Who might look to sell at the trade deadline? Who should? Ariel Pacheco takes a look at a few teams to keep an eye on as we close in on the trade deadline.



The play-in tournament has more teams in the thick of the playoff race than ever. While that might make for more compelling games as the season winds down, the downside is that there are fewer teams willing to sell at the trade deadline.

That said, there are, for sure, teams that have no chance to even make the play-in and should look to sell. But who, exactly? Let’s take a look.

Sacramento Kings 

The Kings have quite a few interesting pieces that playoff contenders should be interested in. Harrison Barnes may be their most appealing trade candidate, as he is only 28-years-old, is under contract past this season and is having a career year. He can play either forward position while being a plus-defender and shoots the three-pointer at a nice clip.

The Kings also have a decision to make on Richaun Holmes, who is set to be a free agent this upcoming offseason. Sacramento has played significantly better when Holmes has been on the floor, but he’s due a new contract and, given his play, it’s expected to be a hefty one — will they look to cash out or keep him long-term? Either way, he should continue to contribute at a high level for whichever team he might play for after Thursday.

Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III are some other names the Kings might look to move were the right deals to come along.

Other pieces that the Kings could move for significantly smaller returns or even buyout include Cory Joseph, Nemanja Bjelica and Hassan Whiteside. If they decide to throw in the towel on the 2020-21 season, Sacramento could be one of the busiest teams at the deadline.

Orlando Magic

The Magic have seemingly been in this spot for a few years now, but things could be different this season. It is unlikely they move All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic, but the Magic have plenty of other appealing names to offer up. The Boston 0Celtics and Houston Rockets are both rumored to be interested in Aaron Gordon, who has requested a trade. Gordon has been in trade rumors for a few seasons now and this may be the year Orlando looks to move him.

The Magic are likely to trade Evan Fournier as well. Set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Fournier and his ability to shoot and score will entice plenty; expect any in need of some offensive pop to take a look at him. Terrence Ross could also be traded, but he is under contract past this season and the Magic might just hang onto him for now.

Houston Rockets

The Rockets have already begun selling off their pieces. They sent PJ Tucker to the Milwaukee Bucks last week, but they are not done just yet. Victor Oladipo will more than likely be shipped off, perhaps the New York Knicks or Miami HEAT, as he rejected an extension offer from the team prior to the season and isn’t expected to re-sign. The problem is that his value is arguably at its lowest right now, due to past injuries and his relatively poor play this season. Would a team give up a first round pick for him? Maybe, but Oladipo’s rumored interest in Miami might scare potential suitors away.

Eric Gordon is another name that could be moved, but his contract would make it quite difficult to do so. The same could be said for John Wall, who has looked solid after he missed most of the 2018-19 season and all of the 2019-20 season due to injury. Danuel House could also be on his way out, as his two-way ability and size will be something teams could use down the stretch.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors are in the midst of a nine-game losing streak. They are rapidly falling out of the playoff race and could look to acquire assets for the future. It is unclear how willing they are to sell, but if they are, they’d garner plenty of attention ahead of the deadline. Kyle Lowry would be the best name available and could bring back a significant haul, despite the fact that he’s a free agent at the end of the season. Lowry wants to retire a Raptor, so any decision with Lowry is likely to be a mutual one. 

Norman Powell is another name they could move. In the midst of a career-year, he has a player option for next season that will he will likely decline. That said, Powell could be a key piece on the bench of a team just trying to make the playoffs or seriously win a title. The Raptors are just two years removed from an NBA championship and, while either of these moves wouldn’t likely signal a full rebuild, a re-tooling of the roster is certainly in order. 

New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans have been one of the more confusing teams this season. As talented as they are, they’ve struggled constantly. Lonzo Ball’s name has been up in the air, as he’s set to hit restricted free agency where he’s expected to demand a major raise, one the Pelicans seem reluctant to pay him. The Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls, among others, could all throw their names in the hat for Ball.

J.J. Redick is also available — and it would seem more likely that he will be bough out than traded. Eric Bledsoe is someone the Pelicans would probably love to move, but he has a rather expensive contract that goes beyond just this season.

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Jazz agree to trade Derrick Favors, first-round pick to Thunder



First reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Utah Jazz are trading power forward/center Derrick Favors and a first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a future second-round pick. The goal here was to help reduce their tax bill. While the six-foot-eight Georgia native does not have any notable NBA awards or honors on his basketball résumé, in the 2020-21 NBA season, Favors averaged 5.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, and a field goal percentage of 63.8 percent. The 11-year NBA veteran also recorded a free throw shooting percentage of 73.8 percent last season.

The 2020-21 Thunder finished 27-50 (.306), ranking 14th overall in the Western Conference. They could use another first-round pick. Plus, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, this trade will put Utah $13 million below the luxury tax. On November 24, 2020, Favors signed a three-year, $29.2 million contract with the Jazz. Favors is set to earn $9,720,900 next season. This is the second time in his career he has left the Jazz.

He played with them from the 2010-11 season to the 2018-19 season, before he was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans on July 7, 2019 for a 2021 second-round pick and a 2023 second-round pick. For the 2022-23 season, he has a player option of $10,183,800. The Jazz plan to also re-sign Mike Conley, so this was somewhat of a drastic move to help clear up cap space. On July 6, 2019, Conley was traded by the Memphis Grizzlies to the Jazz, in exchange for Grayson Allen, Darius Bazley, Kyle Korver, and a 2020 first-round pick.

Moreover, scoring-wise, the 33-year-old point guard has not lived up to his performances from his last few seasons on the Grizzlies, but the Jazz need all the help they can get. Jazz general manager Justin Zanik will make it a top priority to re-sign Conley here soon. Conley earned $34,504,132 in the 2020-21 season.

According to Spotrac, Conley has a cap figure of $39,344,900. Center Rudy Gobert and shooting guard Donovan Mitchell have a combined percentage of 47.61 percent of Utah’s total salary cap. On December 20, 2020, Gobert signed a five year, $205 million extension with the team. He will earn $35,344,828 next season.

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Wizards, Lakers agree to Russell Westbrook and Three-Player Trade Deal



The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed with the Washington Wizards to acquire Russell Westbrook in a three-player trade, sending Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the No. 22 pick in Thursday’s 2021 NBA Draft to the Wizards. According to ESPN, the Wizards are also giving up their 2024 and 2028 second-round picks as well. During last night’s draft, at pick No. 22, the Lakers sent Wildcats’ center Isaiah Jackson to the Pacers via the Wizards. At pick No. 15, the Wizards drafted Gonzaga’s forward Corey Kispert. In the second round, at pick No. 31, the Milwaukee Bucks traded NBA G League player Isaiah Todd to the Wizards via the Pacers.

On Thursday, Harrell decided to pursue his $9.7 million player option for next season. Yesterday, rumors surfaced across social media regarding a possible Lakers-Kings trade involving Harrell. Despite all the wrong predictions and mindless speculation over these last couple of days, this trade move could work out for both teams.

After all, Westbrook is a 9-time NBA All-Star and three-time assists leader. In his MVP season back in the 2016-17 season, over the course of 81 games, he averaged a career-high 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, 10.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. On Twitter, Westbrook tweeted, “I’m blessed to have been a part of such a stand up organization. It didn’t take long to make a home in DC, and I will forever be grateful and appreciative of my experience with the organization. Thank you!”

In the 2020-21 NBA season, Caldwell-Pope averaged 9.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game in 67 games started for the Lakers. The 28-year-old shooting guard will make $13 million next season. As for Kuzma, in 68 games played last season, he averaged 12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. Kuzma is set to earn $13 million next season. For Harrell, in 69 games played last season, he averaged 13.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. The six-foot-seven power forward/center is also a six-year player. Instead of having one or two notable super stars, the Wizards having several contributing players might work out better in their favor.

Last season, in 65 games played in his only season spent on the Wizards, Westbrook averaged 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 11.7 assists. The 32-year-old point guard finished the 2020-21 season with 38 triple-doubles, ranking first in the league and second highest in his own playing career. Westbrook also surpassed Oscar Robertson last season for the most all-time assists; Robertson accumulated 181 triple-doubles in 14 seasons. Now, the two-time NBA scoring champion has 184 career triple-doubles, the most all-time for any player. Furthermore, this is Westbrook’s fourth team in his NBA career.

He is the fifth former MVP in league history to play on four different teams over the course of four seasons or less, adding to the existent list of Bob McAdoo, Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Derrick Rose. Moreover, on December 2, 2020, Westbrook was traded by the Houston Rockets to the Wizards for John Wall and a 2023 first-round draft pick. He is set to earn $44.2 million in the upcoming season. His player option for the 2022-23 season is $47 million. This trade deal will not be official until August 6th.

Per Bovada’s NBA Futures odds, the Lakers now have +300 odds of winning their eighteenth championship in the 2021-22 season. This is a move from 4/1 odds before the trade, leaping the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors, and they now have the second best odds behind the Brooklyn Nets (+250). Westbrook also has the best odds of leading the league in assists next season, with first place odds showing EVEN. He is ahead of James Harden (+150), Trae Young (+450), and Luka Doncic (+600). With +6600 odds, he also ranks 19th in the NBA for next season’s MVP odds, trailing Lakers’ teammates such as James (+1200) and Davis (+2800).

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Russell Westbrook joins L.A. Lakers in One of the biggest trades in NBA History



(Image courtesy of AP)

In one of the biggest NBA Draft trades ever, Los Angeles Lakers acquired the services of Washington Wizards’ former MVP, Russell Westbrook, last night!

As a result of the trade, the Lakers can now boast a holy trinity of attacking talent in Westbrook, Anthony Davis, and, of course, Lebron James, unlike anything seen in recent memory. Assuming this new contingent clicks into gear, it might just be the most frighteningly talented trio to play together in NBA history, rivaling the Bulls triple horn of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman, or that great Lakers team of the late 80s with Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

In exchange for their star man, the Wizards received three players and what was the No 22 overall pick in last night’s NBA Draft. The former Lakers tasked with replacing Westbrook in Washington will be Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Montrezl Harrell.

Washington then spent the Lakers No.22 pick on Kentucky’s Isaiah Jackson, but immediately traded him on to the Indiana Pacers in a deal that saw the Wizards acquire pick No.31 and point guard Aaron Holiday. Wizards then used pick No.33 to draft Isaiah Todd to bolster their ranks at power forward.


(Image courtesy of AP)

The effervescent Westbrook had another great year in 2020-21, averaging 22.2 points, 11.7 assists, and 11.5 rebounds per game in his first season with the Wizards.

In joining the Lakers star cast, which already boasts the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Westbrook, a 9x NBA All-Star & 2016-17 MVP, will now be hoping to end his NBA championship drought.

Westbrook has since taken to social media to thank the WashingtonWizards franchise for a great year spent in the capital, tweeting:

“Thank you DC! You welcomed my family and I with open arms from day one,” he wrote. “Everyone from the front office, to the training staff, the coaches, my teammates, and the fans. I’m grateful y’all took a chance on me and supported me every step of the way.”

“I’m blessed to have been a part of such a stand up organization. It didn’t take long to make a home in DC, and I will forever be grateful and appreciative of my experience with the organization. Thank you!”

With a legendary point guard now fixed among the ranks, 2020 NBA Championship winners the Lakers have all the talent required to wrestle back the title from the freshly-crowned Milwaukee Bucks.

So, get yourselves ready for an influx of NBA betting lines on Antetokounmpo, Holiday, and Middleton vs. LeBron, Davis, and Westbrook for next year’s championship games!

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