The trade deadline is only hours away, and while there haven’t been too many guys moved, the rumor mill is going wild. Here are three done or rumored trades that could really have a big impact.
Tobias Harris to the Pistons
The first and really only big trade deadline deal came a few days ago when the Magic sent Tobias Harris to the Pistons for Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings. On the surface it looks like a win for both teams. The Magic probably sense that signing Harris to a mini-max deal paying him $16 million per season was a mistake, and bringing in the expiring contract of Jennings and Ilyasova’s deal which is expendable after this season was probably the best they were going to do. It also frees up a lot of playing time for Orlando’s promising young players Aaron Gordon and Mario Hezonja.
On the flip side the Pistons surely won this deal, because while Ilyasova is a solid stretch four, Harris brings a lot more to the table other than shooting. He should slightly improve the Pistons on defense at the four, and playing power forward has always been an area that Harris has done well at. Harris is by far the better passer, rebounder and play makers compared to Ilyasova, and while it’s not a huge upgrade, it might be enough to make the Pistons viable again like they were at the beginning of the season, as well as push them potentially into the playoffs. The Pistons are coming out of the All Star Break at 27-25-2 against the NBA odds, so this Harris deal will likely only improve upon that.
Will The Celtics Land A Star?
The Celtics have been linked to almost every big name player currently on the trading block right now. Whether or not they are willing to pay the price, or if some of these teams are willing to lower theirs, remains to be seen, but if they do make a move, it will probably be the biggest move made by deadline time later Thursday afternoon.
The Celtics have been linked to the Hawks’ Al Horford and Dwight Howard recently, but both players have the ability to become free agents this summer, so a two or three month rental should not cost an arm and a leg, and it’s wise foe Danny Ainge to hold out for the prices to drop. Boston is already a solid team with an amazing future, and they aren’t going to handicap that by making a trade for this season However, if for some reason they can land a big name superstar, they will immediately become one of the favorites in the East along with the Cavaliers and Raptors. Boston’s Offensive and Defensive Ratings are both very good this season, and while they could stand at the deadline, if they bring in a big name player, their ATS value will likely shoot through the roof.
Will The Top Teams Make A Move?
As I see it right now, there are four teams in the NBA that can win the championship. The Warriors, Spurs, Thunder and Cavs all have stood at the deadline without making any moves so far, but will one of them break rank and bring in another player? The Cavs are the most obvious choice to bring in some extra depth, and there have been rumors of an Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov trade to the Kings for Kosta Koufos and Ben McLemore. That would be a winning offensive move for sure, but it might hurt the Cavs defense more than anticipated.
The three Western Conference teams have shown little interest in making a move, but that doesn’t mean that won’t change over the next few hours. While the West teams don’t have a lot of room for a deal, if they can find some, bringing in some added depth for the championship run is never a bad idea if you truly have a shot at winning.