With the NBA trade deadline quickly approaching on Feb. 6, the window for teams to make last-minute moves is closing. While most executives and analysts predict a fairly uneventful buildup to the deadline, The McGill Tribune sees the potential for things to get spicy this season, like they did two years ago when Blake Griffin was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Detroit Pistons. Here is the Tribune’s list of the most intriguing trade possibilities in the coming days.
At first glance, trading Joel Embiid might seem absurd. However, in light of Ben Simmons’ recent offensive explosion as a direct result of Embiid’s injury, it has become increasingly obvious that Simmons’s and Embiid’s style of play are not necessarily compatible. Because of Embiid’s inconsistent health and spotty record in the postseason, it seems ever more likely that he might be the player on the trading block in favour of building around the younger Ben Simmons.
In exchange for Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers would hope for an elite shooting small forward to compliment the drive-first, slash-and-kick style of play of Simmons; Jason Tatum, of the Boston Celtics, would fit that role perfectly. Jaylen Brown’s formidable improvement, Gordon Hayward’s full return, and Kemba Walker’s meteoric rise as the centre of the franchise make the Celtics a contender looking to make a move for a title. While the Celtics have previously described Tatum as “untouchable,”it seems possible that they would be motivated to sacrifice Tatum to complete their roster with a dominant centre like Embiid.
Currently trapped on a dysfunctional roster with the New York Knicks, Frank Ntiklinka has had a dismal offensive performance this season, averaging 31.7 per cent from three, and 37.8 per cent overall, for only 5.9 points per game. These statistics, however, distract from his actual value as a supremely athletic 6’4” guard, capable of defending multiple positions and running a pick and roll.
With an all time low trade value, it is possible that a more savvy organization in need of his defensive prowess will acquire him. Don’t be surprised to see him bought low by the Golden State Warriors or the San Antonio Spurs, who could develop his offensive skills and plug him in to a well-run system.
Small forward Bogdan Bogdanovic is an oft–overlooked player, but his recent promotion over Buddy Hield in the Sacramento Kings’ starting lineup has demonstrated that he’s a skilled, clutch player, who also led a Euroleague team on a deep playoff run. Additionally, Bogdanovic has the advantage of having an ownership-friendly contract at $17 million a year.
With his playoff repertoire, versatile playstyle, and desirable price point, it is likely that championship contenders will be looking to add him to their rosters in the coming days. The Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers seem likely destinations for Bogdanovic, as they will be looking to add depth to their benches going into the postseason.
Veteran Andre Iguodala found himself on the Memphis Grizzlies this season after an off-season trade. The Grizzlies, feeling no need to add Iguodala to their roster of young talent, came to a mutual agreement, saying they would trade him before the deadline.
A former finals MVP and elite perimeter defender, Iguodala will be highly coveted by championship contenders. This is complicated by his burgeoning veteran contract, however, which will make him inaccessible to teams close to the salary cap. The Houston Rockets may be a destination for the accomplished veteran, as their defence is lacking, and he would fit in nicely with their catch-and-shoot style of offence.