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NBA AM: Guys Who Won’t Be Traded

With the trade deadline one week away there will be plenty of speculation, but these guys are likely staying put.

Lang Greene



Guys Who Are Unlikely to be Dealt at the Trade Deadline

The NBA trade deadline is set for February 18 at 3:00 p.m. EST so expect plenty of chatter to dominate the airwaves over the next week. While there will likely be numerous transactions as the clock dwindles, here are some players who are unlikely to be changing zip codes.

Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

Griffin was on pace, statistically, to have a career season before a partially torn quadriceps put him on the shelf. As he was set to make a return from that injury, Griffin broke his hand after a scuffle with a team equipment manager. This put him back on the shelf for another six weeks. The Clippers then issued a four-game suspension on top of that once he is indeed eligible to return. While the Clippers have managed to hold their position in the top half of the Western Conference, there have been more than a few rumbles regarding the team’s disappointment in Griffin and his maturity. This led to trade rumors starting to leak, implying the Clippers would be willing to listen to offers for the former All-Star.

But according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, it isn’t likely that the Clippers will seriously entertain offers for Griffin over the next week. He stated that if a deal were to take place, it would happen over the summer months.

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers

The relationship between Love and the Cavaliers got off to a rocky start but has shown much more consistent glimpses of cohesion this season. Despite a coaching change and battling early injuries, the Cavaliers currently sit at the top of the Eastern Conference standings heading into the All-Star break.

At one point, Love’s name was mentioned in potential trade talks, but the desire of Cleveland’s front office to listen to overtures for the talented forward has significantly waned.

Brook Lopez & Thaddeus Young, Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn has all of the characteristics of a team that should be very active leading up to the trade deadline. The team has an interim coach and numerous long-term financial obligations while being out of the playoff picture and over the salary cap. These are the common traits of a squad that will potentially blow things up and start a massive rebuilding project.

However, according to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, the Nets aren’t interested in trading two of their best players in Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young, both of whom could return strong assets.

Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls

When the season started, the Chicago Bulls’ frontcourt was filled with a wealth of healthy talent, essentially creating a logjam. Between Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah and rookie Bobby Portis, there were many questions about how rookie head coach Fred Hoiberg would manage the rotation. Many speculated that Gibson would eventually be the odd man out.

But with Noah lost for the season and Mirotic out until after the All-Star break, the Bulls now find themselves thin at a position once considered a significant strength. Chicago will limp into the All-Star break fighting for their playoff lives and Gibson logging 30-plus minutes each night due to the recent rash of injuries – making it unlikely that he’s dealt.

Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets

Sound familiar? Howard can opt out of his current deal at season’s end in order to become an unrestricted free agent. Anytime a player can opt out, their current franchise runs the risk of losing the asset for nothing in free agency. Even though Howard has declined and is past his prime, the guy is still an elite talent at the center position.

Rumors of Houston exploring the market for Howard started to creep up as we near the deadline. However, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey pretty much closed the door on the speculation, stating Howard is still part of the team’s long-term goals.

“We’re just focused on this season,” Morey said according to Brian Smith of the Houston Chronicle. “So is Dwight. If we as a team and he as a player play(s) like we know he’s capable and has been this year and was last year, all that stuff takes care of itself. There’s no way we make the conference finals last year without Dwight and there’s no way we are making the solid playoff push this year without Dwight.”


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Looking For A Few Great Voices!

From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

Basketball Insiders



From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

We are considering adding new voices for the 2020-21 NBA Season, and what we are looking for is very specific.

Here are the criteria:
– A body of professional work that reflects an understanding of the NBA and basketball.
– Must live within 30 minutes of an NBA team.
– Must be willing to write two to three times per week on various topics as assigned.
– Must write in AP style and meet assigned deadlines.
– Be willing to appear in Podcasts and Video projects as needed and scheduled.
– Have a strong understanding of social media and its role in audience development.
– Be willing to work in a demanding virtual team environment.

Some things to know and consider:
– We are not hiring full-time people. If you are seeking a full-time gig, this is not that.
– This will be a low or non-compensation role initially. We need to understand your value and fit.
– We have a long track record of creating opportunities for those that excel in our program.
– This will be a lengthy interview and evaluation process. We take this very seriously, so should you.
– If you are not committed to being great, this is not the right situation for you.

If you are interested, please follow these specific instructions, Drop us an e-mail with:

Your Name:

The NBA Market You Live Near:

And Why We Should Consider You:

We do not need your resume, but a few links to work you have done under the above information would be helpful.

Please send all of this to:


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#17 – Aleksej Pokusevski – Oklahoma City Thunder

David Yapkowitz



With the 17th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Aleksej Pokusevski from Serbia. The Thunder completed a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire the pick.

Pokusevski is a long term project, but one that has has an intriguing skillset. A 7-footer with good speed and quickness, Pokusevski plays like a wing and can pass like a guard. But, to truly thrive at the next level, Pokusevski will need to put on some serious weight.

Again, he’s a project. But Pokusevski’s ceiling is sky-high. And, with a rebuild ahead of them, the Thunder have more than enough time to work with him and ensure he reaches it.

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Mock Drafts

2020 NBA Mock Draft – The Final 60-Pick Mock

What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Steve Kyler



What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Here is a final look at the 2020 Draft, and how it may play out in this final 60-pick Mock Draft of the 20202 NBA Draft process:


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