So far this season, we’ve seen five trades go down, with the most impactful being the Utah Jazz acquiring Jordan Clarkson from the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Portland Trail Blazers landing Trevor Ariza, who has acclimated wonderfully to his new team. Some of the other moves that have gone down include the Dallas Mavericks trading for Willie Cauley-Stein and the Atlanta Hawks bringing Jeff Teague back to play a reserve role behind Trae Young, though neither player has done much for their new club quite yet.
Now, as we enter the home stretch before the Feb. 6 trade deadline, there’s a chance we see the action pick up at least a bit.
Below, HoopsHype ranks the five players who have popped up the most in rumors on the site’s Trade page over the past week.
5. D’ANGELO RUSSELL
Scuttle has picked up recently on D’Angelo Russell’s trade prospects, but that doesn’t mean a move is imminent. Rather, we know where it’s possible he could end up over the summer, once the Golden State Warriors have Steph Curry and Klay Thompson back at full health and many believe they’ll look to move their third All-Star guard.
According to reports, the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to be the likeliest landing spot for Russell, due to the fact that they have a massive need at ball-handler and know that Russell is close with their best player, Karl-Anthony Towns.
Here’s what The Athletic’s Anthony Slater has reported on the matter:
“Part of the motivation for Minnesota’s Russell chase, quite clearly, is his relationship with Towns. They are close friends. Towns was part of the contingent that pitched Russell hard this summer. The Wolves know that acquiring Russell not only gets Towns his preferred pick-and-roll partner but also buys them time and faith. The Warriors are aware of this dynamic. It automatically bumps up Russell’s market value in conversations with the Wolves. Minnesota has dangled Andrew Wiggins, who is on a similar contract as Russell and fills a greater positional need.”
Andrew Wiggins for Russell might not be the perfect like-for-like swap talent-wise, but it could a good starting point for the two teams. We’ll see where this goes over the offseason.
4. MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST
The Charlotte Hornets sit at 16-33 as we approach the trade deadline, five games out of the East’s final playoff spot with little chance of actually making that push to get over the hump. So it’s only natural they’re considered prime candidates to ship out some veterans over the next week.
One such player is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who is an able perimeter defender and on the final year of his contract, two factors that could make him appealing to contenders.
And apparently, one team has taken notice, as it was reported this week that Dallas has kicked the tires on a potential deal for Kidd-Gilchrist:
The 26-year-old defensive specialist might be a savvy pickup for Dallas, as his point-stopping prowess would mesh nicely with fellow wing Dorian Finney-Smith, and his low-usage style of play wouldn’t take away scoring looks from the team’s stars, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
3. DEWAYNE DEDMON
Sacramento Kings big man Dewayne Dedmon has already seen himself removed from his team’s rotation, requested a trade, fined, gotten added back into the rotation and reconciled with Sacramento, all within the past month.
Pretty busy stretch for a player averaging just north of six points per game for his career, but such is the way things work in the modern NBA.
Regardless, according to the most recent reports on Dedmon’s trade candidacy, Atlanta has their eye on the big man, who enjoyed his two best career seasons as a member of the Hawks.
Dedmon’s rim-protecting, floor-spacing chops would fit nicely with what Atlanta needs at the 5-spot, and his veteran leadership could help promising power forward John Collins.
2. MARCUS MORRIS
Although a lot of the reports coming out of New York state that Marcus Morris’ preference would be to stay as a Knick for the long haul, that hasn’t stymied the reported interest out of contenders around the league.
In particular, there has been a lot of steam that the Los Angeles Clippers are hoping the Knicks change their mind on keeping Morris through the trade deadline so they can swoop in and add to their frontcourt.
Morris is having a fantastic campaign for New York, arguably his best since reaching the NBA, averaging over 19 points per game and knocking down a career-best 43.8 percent of his outside chances. That, plus his defensive versatility and overall toughness, would make him a fantastic addition to any contender.
But it looks like both Morris and the Knicks are set on sticking it out and agreeing to a long-term contract this summer. We’ll see if that changes.
1. ANDRE DRUMMOND
As we enter the week of the trade deadline, Andre Drummond’s market continues to be at an apparent standstill, according to reports from all over the place.
And as long as the Detroit Pistons don’t lower their expectations on a potential return – they want expiring money and an asset, either in the form of a first-round draft pick or a high-upside, young player – that’s not likely to change, because Drummond, for as productive as he is, doesn’t make much sense as a trade target right now. The All-Star center is on the final year of his deal and wants to get paid on his next contract, so whoever trades for him is committing to not just half a season of Drummond, but at least four or five years of him, at max or near-max money.
Why lose assets on a trade for the double-double machine when you’re also going to lose a ton of flexibility after acquiring him? Especially when they can just sign him this offseason when he hits unrestricted free agency? It just wouldn’t be smart roster-building to trade for Drummond right now – at least not at that price.
Just in case Detroit does lower their asking price, the team that has been connected with him most in recent reports are the New York Knicks, who are desperate for All-Star-level production wherever they can get it.
You can follow Frank Urbina on Twitter: @FrankUrbina_.
Basketball, Business, NBA, Top, Andre Drummond, D'Angelo Russell, Dewayne Dedmon, Marcus Morris, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings