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NBA Trade Watch: Nets and Bucks Make a Deal, Clippers Open For Business

David Yapkowitz breaks down the latest in trade rumors as we head toward the deadline.

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The NBA Trade Deadline is almost here. Trade chatter has inevitably heated up this week with a few deals already being consummated. Here at Basketball Insiders, we’ll be bringing you a day by day update on all the latest trade news and rumors leading up to the Feb. 8 deadline. Spencer Davies kicked off the week with a batch of trade news and rumors, and here’s our second installment of the week.

Brooklyn Nets Trade Tyler Zeller to Milwaukee Bucks for Rashad Vaughn

There have already been a couple of deals made in advance of Thursday’s deadline, and another one happened yesterday. The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks are swapping players, with the Bucks also sending the Nets their 2018 second-round pick provided that the pick falls in the 31-47 range.

Zeller has been a solid player for the Nets this season. He’s put up 7.0 points per game and 4.6 rebounds. The Bucks had been mentioned in trade rumors as looking to acquire frontcourt help and Zeller might be their man as they gear up for the playoffs. He’s a decent defensive player, and he has a little bit of range on the offensive end.

On the Nets’ side of things, they’re continuing to do the best thing for the team at this point, stockpiling cheap, young talent. The value of draft picks, including second-rounders, has increased over the past few years. The Nets essentially get a free chance at adding another young player to their team. Acquiring Vaughn was also a good move. He’s never been able to crack the rotation in Milwaukee, and a fresh start might be all he needs. He’s got the potential to be a decent 3&D guy and he’ll fit in with the Nets’ youth movement.

Los Angeles Clippers Open For Business

Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Los Angeles Clippers have been active in trade talks. They kicked off all the trades last week when they moved franchise cornerstone Blake Griffin, who had just signed a max deal in the offseason, to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, and Boban Marjanovic.

Two names who have been mentioned as possibly being available are DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams. With two of the team’s best players reportedly being available, it appears as if the Clippers might be inching closer to the reset button. Williams, in particular, has had a career season. He’s one of the front-runners for the Sixth Man of the Year award, and he had a legit case for being an All-Star. He’d definitely help some teams looking to add some extra firepower for a playoff run.

Jordan is one of the best rim protectors in the league and has been a steady presence on the offensive end. What makes possibly acquiring Jordan interesting is his contract situation. Jordan can opt out of his contract at the end of the season and become a free agent. It might be a risky move for any team interested in trading for him considering that he could just end up being a half-season rental.

Cleveland Cavaliers Looking to Make a Move

Per Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks of ESPN, the Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to pull something off amid an inconsistent and disappointing season. Part of the problem with the Cavaliers is their lack of anything of real value that they’d be okay with giving up.

There is one item of value that the Cavaliers possess, something that could certainly entice a few teams in giving up something of value. That item is the 2018 Brooklyn pick, which is sure to be a lottery pick. But as both Wojnarowski and Marks indicated, the Cavaliers have, to this point, been reluctant to include the pick in a potential deal due to the uncertainty surrounding LeBron James’ future. Should James leave as a free agent, that pick is going to be mighty helpful in a rebuilding effort.

Derrick Favors Remains on the Market

Derrick Favors is the longest-tenured member of the Utah Jazz, and he’s also the player who’s most available according to Zach Lowe of ESPN. After being hurt for a majority of last season, Favors has bounced back this year to the tune of 12.3 points per game on a career-high 54.8 percent shooting from the field, and 7.2 rebounds. He’d be a great addition to any playoff team looking to make a push.

One of the potential roadblocks, however, is the same situation with Jordan and the Clippers. Favors is set to become a free agent this summer, and so any team looking to acquire him may do so at their own risk. According to Lowe, Utah’s asking price for Favors is likely a good player on a similar sized, long-term contract due to Utah not being a hot free agent destination, as well as a draft pick. Many teams might not be willing to hand over a draft pick that easily for a potential rental.

Other Trade News

Also per Zach Lowe, the Golden State Warriors are looking to add to their bench. They’ve received inconsistent play from the second unit so far, but the reality for them is they have very little in terms of trade chips to make a move.

According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the Denver Nuggets are seeking backup point guard help and have had talks with the Indiana Pacers about Darren Collison. It was just announced that Collison will miss the next couple of weeks with a knee injury so it’s unclear if the interest is still there. Mark Stein of the New York Times reported that they’ve also inquired about Marcus Smart from the Boston Celtics. Lowe reports that they’ve also talked with Pacers about Cory Joseph.

David Yapkowitz has been a staff writer for Basketball Insiders since 2017. Based in Los Angeles, he focuses on the Pacific Division as well as the NBA at large.

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