The NBA All-Star break is at hand, the trade deadline is Feb. 19th, so sports handicappers & people placing NBA picks are watching closely to see what teams make a move & who stands pat.
This time of year the rumor mill cycle is churning with playoffs teams having to make tough decisions about their immediate futures and how that can hopefully impact their team’s positively. Nevertheless, there in inherent risk in adding or subtracting players which could ruin team chemistry.
Here is one handicapper’s opinion on what various teams should consider.
The Hawks are 27th in rebounding could add another player whose sole job is to defend and work the glass. With the astonishing success Atlanta has enjoyed they might stand pat, but the slower pace of the postseason could work against them with fewer possessions and losing the battle of the boards.
The Bulls are definitely in danger of falling out of first place in the Central Division with how Cleveland is playing and Milwaukee has also crept up. Word on the street is Taj Gibson is available for another shooter, especially if it appears Mike Dunleavy’s ankle issues persist. What those following the NBA odds understand is Gibson is the Bulls best frontcourt defender and Pau Gasol is now a defensively liability.
The Warriors have an interesting predicament looking ahead, owing David Lee 15.5 million next season and have to take care of Draymond Green. Finding a trade partner for Lee could mess up a team which is first in the league in points scored and field goal percent, tops in field goal percentage defense and as sportsbooks and those posting NBA picks know, the third-best best bet in the Association.
The Suns were very close to making the postseason last year and just came up short. Phoenix is right back in the same situation this season, but is 28th in points surrendered and 20th in field goal percentage defense and has made in known Miles Plumlee is available for a more defensive-minded big man. If the Suns find the right guy probably a wise move.
The Trail Blazers have made inquires about Denver’s Wilson Chandler because of the off-year to date of Nicolas Batum. The L.A. Clippers have also dialed the Nuggets about Chandler, but Portland can offer a No. 1 draft choice, something the Clips cannot. Might be worth the risk for the Blazers.
The Raptors have made defensive improvement of late to be more worthy of sports picks. However, the season has gone long enough to understand their backcourt can be beaten off of dribble penetration which is why Toronto is among the worst teams in the league in conceding shoots within five feet of the basket. A bench guard known for defense would be a welcome fit.