NBA teams make moves as trade deadline nears

February 7, 2020

As the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaches, it’s time to examine the trades and trade candidates that could shake up the league.  

At the time of writing, the NBA has already had a couple of major trades, the first being a four-team trade involving 12 players changing teams between the Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks. The trade tied for the second largest trade in NBA history. 

The trade saw Houston Rockets center Clint Capela sent to the Atlanta Hawks along with center Nene Hilario. The Minnesota Timberwolves received a first round draft pick, Denver’s Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez and Jarred Vanderbilt, along with Atlanta’s Evan Turner. Denver received a first round pick, Minnesota guard Shabazz Napier, forward Keita Bates-Diop, forward Noah Vonleh along with injured Houston guard Gerald Green. The Houston Rockets acquired coveted Minnesota wing Robert Covington, along with Jordan Bell and a future second round pick. 

This trade raised lots of questions about Houston’s plans. Capela occupied the majority of their minutes at center, and in his absence, veteran PJ Tucker, who stands just 6’5” will likely have to play a large proportion of his minutes at center. Houston seems to be going all in on the “small ball” basketball philosophy. 

On Wednesday night, the Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies completed the second major trade of the trade deadline. Miami agreed to send 23-year-old point forward Justise Winslow to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for 36-year-old veteran wing defender and 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala. Upon agreeing to the trade, Iguodala agreed to a two-year $30 million dollar extension with the Miami Heat. 

Miami, however, is not done after the Iguodala deal. Talks are ongoing between Miami and the Oklahoma City Thunder revolving a trade that would send Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari to the Miami Heat. 

The Heat are clearly all-in for a championship run this year. With the (presumed) acquisition of both Iguodala and Gallinari, Miami adds two three-point shooting veterans, as well as a defensive boost with Iguodala. They will join All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, as well as Miami’s plethora of veterans and elite role players. The Heat, currently 34-15, good enough for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, will look to topple the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs, however at 43-7, beating the Bucks in four of seven games seems to be a tall order for any team. 

Other names who could be on the move before the Feb. 6 deadline include Warriors Guard D’Angelo Russell. According to Microsoft News, the Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks inquired about the Warriors’ 23-year-old guard, but thus far have not “[met] the Warriors’ price point.” The Timberwolves nearly snagged Russell from the Nets in free agency, and have been desperately trying to trade for him ever since. Speculation for the Wolves’ particular interest in Russell relates to their star center Karl-Anthony Towns. It has long been rumored that Towns has been unhappy in Minnesota, and for good reason, as the Wolves currently sit at a dismal 15-35. Towns and Russell are close friends and many speculate that if the Wolves were able to acquire Russell, Towns would be less likely to demand a trade in the future. 

The trade deadline closes at 3 p.m. EST Feb. 6.

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