Weekend Warm-Up: One Key Game Per Night

Jason Lake

Thursday, February 23, 2017 2:20 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 2:20 PM UTC

The action has been fast and furious leading up to Thursday’s NBA trading deadline. Which teams will make the best basketball picks this weekend? Depends who’s playing.

And they said it was going to be a quiet trading deadline. NBA players are already switching uniforms, and there will no doubt be several more trades between now and the time you read this. Thursday’s deadline was 3 p.m. Eastern; some of the players involved won’t be able to suit up for their teams right away, so make sure to factor that in before you make your NBA picks this weekend.

Friday: San Antonio At L.A. Clippers (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

The Spurs (43-13 SU, 31-24-1 ATS) are an island of stability in an ocean of chaos. And they should be back at full capacity with Pau Gasol (+3.3 BPM) making his return from a broken hand. Meanwhile, the Clippers (35-21 SU, 29-27 ATS) are on a surprise 4-0 SU and ATS winning streak after putting Luc Mbah a Moute (+0.6 BPM) back in the starting lineup ahead of Ray Felton (-0.4 BPM). Rumor has it the Clips will add some more talent before the deadline, too. And Chris Paul might be back from his thumb surgery.

Saturday: Chicago At Cavaliers (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

The Cavaliers (39-16 SU, 26-27-2 ATS) are also expected to be buyers at the deadline, and they could use some help after Kevin Love (+1.6 BPM) went under the knife -- he'll miss about another month. But they don’t need as much help as the Bulls (28-29 SU and ATS). They’re on the cusp of missing the playoffs, so they’ll have to decide whether to stand pat, add some more talent around Jimmy Butler (+6.4 BPM) or trade him elsewhere. Chicago’s NBA odds will adjust accordingly.

Sunday: New Orleans At Oklahoma City (7 p.m. ET, NBA TV)

The earth moved on Monday when the Pelicans (23-34 SU, 28-29 ATS) took the Sacramento Kings behind the woodshed in their deal for DeMarcus Cousins (+7.1 BPM). Will the Pels make a push for the last playoff spot in the West? Sunday’s game against the Thunder (32-25 SU, 31-25-1 ATS) will tell us a lot about their short-term future. Don’t be surprised if OKC goes out an adds another piece, too, although it probably won’t be a dramatic trade – maybe some extra help on the wing.

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