Things are heating up as we are only one day away from the NBA’s Feb. 7 trade deadline. Late Tuesday night, the Philadelphia Sixers Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for rookie Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and four draft picks, including two first-rounders. The acquisition of Harris puts the Sixers squarely in the conversation for most talented team in the Eastern Conference. Will this be the move that kick-starts an active 24 hours?by acquiring
As the deadlines creeps closer by the minute, expect more organizations to up the urgency. Plenty of teams will be vying to either bolster their rosters for the playoffs or create cap space in hopes of attracting one of the prized free agents this offseason.
There are some teams this year that simply need to make a trade, for one of various reasons. Here are five teams that need to make one or more deals before tomorrow’s deadline:
1. Charlotte Hornets
Things have become pretty stagnant in Charlotte in 2019.
The Hornets currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and don’t appear to be making strides coming off an 8-9 record in January. In 2016, Charlotte re-signed Nicolas Batum to a 5-year, $120 million deal and he’s appeared to regress a bit each season since. Expect the Hornets to be very active in moving that contract and looking to add a piece that can convince Kemba Walker to re-sign this summer. With multiple big-market franchises possessing max salary cap space this summer, Charlotte, back in action on Wednesday vs. Dallas (8:30 p.m. ET — watch on fuboTV), must act fast to entice Walker.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
This one isn’t much of a shocker. The Lakers have been a disaster since LeBron’s Christmas Day injury against the Golden State Warriors. Even among all the Anthony Davis hoopla, one of the concerns about the team going into the season was 3-point shooting, and they have been justified. The Lakers rank 29th in the NBA in 3-point percentage at 33.4. L.A. reportedly acquired Reggie Bullock a second-round draft pick from the Pistons for Svi Mykhailiuk in a deal that should help address those 3-point woes.
Still, everyone’s attention will be on whether the Lakers can secure a deal for Davis before the clock strikes zero. As of Wednesday morning, the New Orleans Pelicans were still not making counteroffers to Los Angeles’ latest offering, and the pressure will only continue to mount. With L.A. offering almost all of its young players, along with draft picks, it will be interesting to see if it can conjure up a package that New Orleans cannot refuse.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
While the 76ers on Wednesday in a move that will certainly help this season, this selection has more to do with the bizarre conditions surrounding Markelle Fultz. The first pick of the 2017 draft has had a nightmarish stint with the Sixers a year-and-a-half in, having played only 33 games thus far. He has been hampered by shoulder and wrist injuries since he entered the league and at this point, he probably needs a change of scenery to get his career back on track. The Sixers need to sure up their shooting and after their acquisition of Harris they may be one move away from being considered the definitive favorite in the Eastern Conference.
4. Toronto Raptors
This selection might be a surprise to some. The Raptors currently sit 1.5 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the lead in the East and many would think that is comfortable footing. The problem is they have lost three of their four games against the Bucks this season, and Milwaukee has been the clearest contender in the East thus far.
Toronto needs to fortify its depth and add another versatile player than can play both sides of the ball. The Raptors aren’t far off from where they’d like to be, but a 3-and-D-type player is just what they need to increase their chances of earning the No. 1 seed.
5. Washington Wizards
Since the offseason, it had been rumored that the Wizards were looking to split up guards John Wall and Bradley Beal amidst growing dysfunction. The Wizards are currently 22-31 and sitting in 10th in a top-heavy Eastern Conference, with no signs of change. Last week, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis declared that he would not split up their core of Beal, Wall and Otto Porter Jr. with expectations of making the playoffs this season. With Wall with a ruptured Achilles, Washington needs to try out a different configuration of players.
With the market for Beal still there, It’s time for Washington to make a move.
Teams have until Thursday 3 p.m ET to make their moves. With all of the speculation this year, it could be a tumultuous final 24 hours as teams bolster their rosters for the playoffs. Is there a blockbuster deal on the horizon? Stay tuned.