We’re now halfway through the NBA season, and the trade deadline is approaching faster than you can say “How come the Lakers haven’t moved yet?” In the spirit of all trades, here are five players who, while not necessarily running all the rumor mills, will hopefully be on the move by February 9.
pascal i’m sorry
This one is difficult. Even after winning two games in a row, the raptors there were still five games under the .500 mark at the start of January 11. Is this tough, injury-ridden season enough to displace Siakam, their best player? The argument for the move is the seven-year age difference between Siakam and Scottie Barnes. If the Raptors move Siakam for players and picks, they can stay competitive while fully handing over the team to Barnes and moving forward. (If you want to build around Scottie, wouldn’t it make more sense to keep AND Anunobywho is only 25?) Siakam only has one year left on his contract after this one.
Siakam would also get a monster comeback, probably something closer to the Donovan Mitchell end of the spectrum. Could Denver build something appealing around Michael Porter Jr.? Would OKC consider moving a few firsts for SGA to be a running mate? The possibilities can get chaotic with Siakam on the table, in a rewarding way for both sides of the equation. He’s a player who could rock the title race this season, while setting Toronto up for future success.
While the Bulls have gone a respectable 8–4 since a four-game losing streak in December (amid several calls for the team to blow up and questions about their chemistry), they still look likely to make a few moves before the deadline. The current group cap, which has unfortunately been lowered in part due to Lonzo Ballthe health of—seems weak. Moving Caruso could be a first step in finding players or picks for the next release, and he should be a coveted player in the market. Caruso is an ultimate glue guy who will help any competitor, and he’s kind of underpaid. He offers really good perimeter defense, he’s a solid connector on offense, and he’ll hit enough threes to make defenses pay to sag. The Warriors would be a fantastic fit. A Lakers comeback would be a lot of fun. Denver could always use another perimeter option. He would be an intriguing fit in Cleveland. Anyone could use Caruso, which means he could also score a nice little comeback for the Bulls.
After never shooting worse than 52.6 percent from the field or 34 percent on three in his career, Collins is shooting career-worst in both categories this season: 49.8 percent on field goals, 22 .9% out of three. It also seems to have been available in trades for years, yet no one has pulled the trigger. I don’t understand. Teams should be clamoring to buy low on Collins, in my opinion. Something is wrong in Atlanta, where Trae young also goes awry, and constant drama surrounds Young and trainer Nate McMillan. Collins, with his athleticism and shooting touch, could thrive with a change of scenery. He has all the tools to be a very effective player, and I wonder if playing against such used guards has zapped some of his potential. A new team more willing to showcase Collins’ talent could unlock some potential. And it’s hard to believe he’ll continue to shoot so badly. Collins may not overturn a title run this season. Since this is more of a long-term game, I’m confident he’ll succeed where he ends up next.
Please take this sniper out of Houston and join a team with other players his age. I don’t need to explain much here. Career snipers who aren’t a defensive disaster have a place on every team trying to win. Gordon is stuck with one that isn’t.
As a long-time laminated cardholder member of the Gary Harris fan club, I would like to take this moment to urge every NBA competitor to inquire about the trade for this man. Harris is a quiet veteran who can make a playoff team very happy this spring. He’s always been a tough defender, and his away shooting seemed to be recovering after a mid-career slump that was likely caused by injury. (Harris is 39.6% from three after shooting 38.4% last year.)
He also has serious playoff experience, making several runs with the Nuggets back in the day. (Denver wouldn’t have made any of its 3-1 comebacks in the bubble if it weren’t for Harris.) Harris is also on an easy-to-absorb contract in a trade, earning just $13 million this year. Although dashing, the Magic don’t need Harris as part of their rebuild. He’s someone who can legitimately shut down playoff games for good teams. He’s the kind of player everyone should be talking about at the deadline.
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