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 selling assets before the deadline?
San Antonio Spurs
One surprising storyline of the NBA season so far has been San Antonio’s struggles. Currently out of the playoff picture, the Spurs should be sellers this trade season.
San Antonio has a solid young core, despite needing more time to develop. Veterans DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, while both still productive players, have not translated their skills into wins for the Spurs this season.
DeRozan has a player option after this season, while Aldridge’s deal expires in 2021. It is time for San Antonio to look to the future, and deal these All-Star players, though it could be difficult.
Making these moves would likely close the door on this year’s postseason for the Spurs, but it is in the best interest of the team to start collecting more young talent.
New York Knicks
As expected, the Knicks are one of the NBA’s worst teams yet again this season. The team recently fired head coach David Fizdale, signaling the disarray the franchise is in. While the future looks bleak for the Knicks, they could put themselves in a better position going forward by becoming sellers before the deadline.
Over the summer, the team signed multiple players at the same position, including Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Taj Gibson and Bobby Portis. All of these players are on two-year deals, setting the Knicks up to be players in 2021 free agency.
These power forwards, particularly Morris and Randle, could be attractive for teams looking to make a playoff push. Acquiring more young assets to pair with RJ Barrett in exchange for one or more of their free agent signings would be the best move for the Knicks.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City began its rebuild this summer after Paul George requested a trade. He and Russell Westbrook were dealt for massive hauls of future first round draft picks. The Thunder have the potential to set themselves up for ever further success by trading players before the deadline, building around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
While Chris Paul’s massive contract will be hard to move, OKC can move other assets. Center Steven Adams is one player the Thunder could trade for expiring deals and a pick or young asset.
Though slated to earn $50 million over the next two years, Adams can be an attractive big man for a team looking for frontcourt depth.
Danilo Gallinari will also be an attractive piece for a contender. An effective wing scorer on an expiring contract, Gallinari would also give OKC a positive return in a trade.
Featured image credited to AP.
Stats credited to basketball-reference.com.