Thursday could be a wild day in the NBA as the trade deadline is at 3 p.m. ET. While the title-favored Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t likely to do much, a big name or two could be on the move. BetOnline has a few props.
On BetOnline NBA odds, Butler is -400 to be playing his final game of the 2016-17 regular season with Chicago and +300 to be anywhere else. I’m not sure why the site is wording it like that. Butler can’t be traded the rest of the season and the Bulls aren’t releasing him. He could be dealt at the June draft. It seems like the only chance of Butler being traded Thursday would be if the Boston Celtics decide to go for it with the Cavaliers potentially vulnerable due to Kevin Love’s knee surgery.
How sweet would a Boston backcourt of All-Stars Isaiah Thomas and Butler be? Most reports have the Bulls asking for Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown (the 2016 No. 3 overall pick) and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2017 first-round pick, which could be No. 1 overall. Plus whatever salary filler. The Celtics don’t want to give up Crowder. I find it hard to believe this deal would die simply because of Crowder. Good player on a great contract, but he’s just a piece. Celtics GM Danny Ainge is fantasizing about the defensive potential of Crowder and Butler together, though.
Prediction: Butler stays.
Knicks Forward Carmelo Anthony
Melo is -350 to be a Knick for the final game of the 2016-17 season and +260 on NBA odds to be somewhere else. The Celtics have been on the periphery of an Anthony deal, but his most likely option of being dealt comes down to one team: the Clippers. Anthony has a full no-trade clause and reportedly would only waive that to go play with LeBron James in Cleveland – the Cavs won’t give up Love for him, even with Love injured – or with fellow buddy Chris Paul with the Clips.
The problem is that L.A. has very little to give up without touching its Big 3 core of Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Knicks team president Phil Jackson clearly wants Anthony gone but may have to wait until this summer’s draft. The Clippers will get some good news on Thursday: Paul is expected to return from thumb surgery a good two weeks or so ahead of time.
Prediction: Anthony stays.
Pistons Guard Reggie Jackson
Jackson is -175 on NBA picks to stay with the Pistons and +145 to head somewhere. The Pistons were 11-10 to start this season when Jackson was recovering from an injury but 16-20 since he returned. The players and Coach Stan Van Gundy prefer Ish Smith (really?) at the point guard spot over Jackson.
Van Gundy talked to the Timberwolves earlier this season about a Jackson-for-Ricky Rubio deal. The latest rumor is Jackson to Orlando, Van Gundy’s former team, for guard D.J. Augustin and swingman Jeff Green. Magic GM Rob Hennigan came from Oklahoma City, where Jackson got his start. Hennigan likes Jackson as a player, but Augustin and Green isn’t much of an offer.
Prediction: Jackson goes.Bet On NBA Futures At SBR Forum's Top Sportsbooks