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Which Teams Should Buy Ahead of the Deadline?

2019-2020 NBA trade buyers

The Feb. 4 NBA trade deadline is rapidly approaching. Several players are already being talked about in rumors, with trade season unofficially beginning on Dec. 14.

Every team looks to get better before the trade deadline. However, they all have different assets and different needs.

Which teams should looking at acquiring bigger assets before the deadline?

Phoenix Suns

After a good start, Phoenix has fallen back in the standings. Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre have led the offense as the team’s primary weapons, with newcomer Ricky Rubio as the facilitator. Even with DeAndre Ayton finally back from suspension, the Suns should look to acquire talent ahead of the deadline.

2019-2020 NBA trade buyers
Kelly Oubre. Photo credited to AP.

Booker, Oubre and Ayton are the team’s future going forward, but Phoenix shouldn’t be complacent. They can still become buyers if they bundle some of the assets they have.

Tyler Johnson’s $19 million expiring salary is one the Suns would like to get rid of. Dario Saric and Aron Baynes are also expiring deals Phoenix could use. Frank Kaminsky’s roughly $10 million two-year deal could also be included.

Phoenix should look to target a scoring forward that can stretch the floor next to Ayton at center. While it may be difficult to match the contracts, Kevin Love could be a target for the Suns.

While he wouldn’t help the team much defensively, Love still has plenty of game left in him. A veteran talent on a young Suns team would move them up the standings towards a potential playoff appearance.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Similarly to Phoenix, Minnesota is low in the standings at 13th place in the West. Despite Andrew Wiggins averaging nearly 25 points per game, and Karl Anthony-Towns having another excellent season, the T-Wolves are still struggling. With moveable contracts, Minnesota should become buyers this trade season.

Minnesota is in one of the better positions in the league from the perspective of acquiring a bigger asset. Jeff Teague’s $19 million expiring contract would be included in any deal, and Robert Covington is another excellent asset they have on a modest deal until 2022. Gorgui Dieng’s $16 million deal could be moved, but given his incredibly low value, they are probably stuck with it going forward.

The likely target of a big trade would be Golden State’s D’Angelo Russell. Russell would give the Timberwolves a great scoring option at the guard position, and in return, the Warriors would receive more depth with Covington for a run next season when Klay Thompson and Steph Curry are back healthy.

While Minnesota has a couple promising young players in Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver, they should look to make a move before deadline and put themselves in a more competitive position.

Miami Heat

Behind the play of Jimmy Butler, the Miami Heat have taken a step up in the Eastern Conference. While currently third in the standings, they may not be done forming their roster. Miami should look at packaging assets and acquiring another star before the deadline.

2019-2020 NBA trade buyers
Bam Adebayo. Photo credited to AP.

The Heat have a great collection of talent, particularly young players like center Bam Adebayo and rookies Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro. Still, Miami should look to be buyers in a trade.

The Heat can package the $19 million expiring contract of Goran Dragic, who is still a productive point guard. They also have the contracts of Dion Waiters and James Johnson that expire in two years.

Miami should set their sights on Jrue Holiday, the star New Orleans guard who the Pelicans are open to hearing offers for. Holiday would be a far better option than someone like Chris Paul, who also has been connected to the Heat in rumors.

It would take a lot, and perhaps dealing a coveted asset like one of the rookie guards, but acquiring Holiday would give Miami one of the league’s best backcourts, and make them instant contenders.

 

Featured image credited to AP.

Stats credited to basketball-reference.com.

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