It’s Deadline Day!
After weeks of speculation, NBA teams are finally to the eleventh hour and have to make some final decisions. It can never be stated enough – the trade deadline is a fluid environment, what could be a No yesterday can turn into a Yes today, especially with the 3 pm EST deadline looming.
Here are some things worth watching:
Spurs One Of Many After Avery Bradley
The San Antonio Spurs have expressed significant interest in Clippers guard Avery Bradley. The Clippers took on Bradley as part of the Pistons Blake Griffin trade and do not see Bradley as part of the future, especially after reaching an extension yesterday with guard Lou Williams.
The Spurs, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, have been talking about a package built around swingman Danny Green and a Spurs first round pick.
Bradley is owed some $8.8 million and is an ending contract.
The Clippers have been weighing options on Bradley and are holding out for the best first-round pick based offer. At this point the Spurs seem more than motivated to make a deal, it will be up to the Clippers to ultimately say Yes or No.
The Cavaliers Trying To Find A Deal
The prevailing thought in NBA circles is the Cavaliers have the long-rumored George Hill deal with Sacramento to fall back on, but would rather make a splashier move with the Clippers around center DeAndre Jordan.
The Cavs have been trying to poach Jordan for most of the season and seem to be pushing harder today to consummate a deal.
Its believed a Cavs offer is built around Tristan Thompson and guard Iman Shumpert and the Cavaliers first-round pick.
With the Clippers reaching a deal yesterday to extend Lou Williams, the pressure to liquidate seems to have come down a little, and according to sources, the Clippers posture on moving Jordan is 100 percent about the best-returning package, not an urgency to dump a pending free agent.
The Clippers have been entertaining offers for a couple of days on Jordan, so they seem to have several things they can do. The prevailing thought in NBA circles is the Cavaliers could win the day by including the unprotected Brooklyn Nets pick, but that seems highly unlikely.
The Pelicans Are Still Very Active
One league source said yesterday the Pelicans seem open to almost anything that would cement a playoff berth that didn’t include Anthony Davis.
The Pelicans consummated one deal already this cycle sending an Omer Asik package to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for forward Nikola Mirotic. The Pelicans seem increasingly open to more change ahead of the deadline as they try and rebound from losing DeMarcus Cousins to injury.
The Pelicans are very top heavy in the salary department, and with a new deal for Cousins expected this summer, the Pelicans may have to shed some contract money to right size the payroll. Sources peg the Pelicans as the dark horse to make a bold trade at the deadline.
The challenge for all teams looking to move money is that there seems to be limited appetite around the league in taking on cap cash unless it includes significant draft inducements.
There Are Some Teams To Watch
The Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, and LA Lakers all seem open to taking on contract money that flows into next season in exchange for first-round draft picks.
The Mavericks have several ending contracts and seem to be willing to move all of them if it yields a decent first-round draft asset.
The Pacers have been dangling Al Jefferson’s contract in a similar fashion, hoping to cash in his $9.76 million deal into a pick. Jefferson’s contract next season is only partially guaranteed for $4 million making him disposable for a team looking to shed dollars.
The Pacers look to be among the leaders in projected cap space next season and seem open to renting some of that space to get more options in the draft.
The LA Lakers seemed poised all season to dump cap money this week, but have changed course pretty dramatically. Word yesterday was the Lakers were dangling the ending deals of both Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brook Lopez. They were also looking for draft picks or players on rookie scale deals and seemed open to taking on contracts that expire in 2019.
In the hours leading up to the deadline, the price to move money may come down, making one of these situations more likely than not to trigger a deal.
Nets Could Move Two Today
The Brooklyn Nets have been shopping the market pretty hard looking at deals for both forward DeMarre Carroll and his $14.8 million deal as well as guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The prevailing thought around the Nets is they’d move both if it included a first-round pick. The problem in moving Carroll is he is owed $15.4 million next season. Taking on that kind of money and ponying up a pick seems less likely, despite how well Carroll has played this season.
For Dinwiddie, his deal is much easier to make work, and he is just 24-years old and maybe the front-runner for the Most Improved Player award.
The 2018 NBA Trade Deadline is at 3 pm EST. The NBA requires all trades to be submitted by 3 pm. However, there is a clearing process that includes a “Trade Call” with the league office before a deal is final; meaning there can be deals that trickle out shortly after 3 pm.
We will track all the deals that get done, all the rumors that filter out and ultimately grade the moves teams make, so stay tuned.
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