The NBA trade deadline is soon upon us and if we’ve learned anything from previous years it’s that the NBA has the craziest trade deadlines of all time. How does Kevin Durant just causally get traded during a season? That’s like if on a random Tuesday in February, you decided to just buy a house on a whim. You just come home to your partner and say “Yeah so we have a new house.” How are you supposed to react rationally to that? That’s how the NBA trade deadline feels like. You just never know who will be traded and what teams are thinking.
This year’s trade deadline probably won’t have a trade as big as the Kevin Durant trade (but it is possible and we will talk about that), but there are still going to be some big trades that can change the shape of a team. There’s been some names that have been thrown out there who will likely be moved and some who may not. All I know is you can’t predict this stuff but I’m going to try anyway and tell you all about it.
The Dejounte Murray experiment hasn’t gone all that well for the Atlanta Hawks. That isn’t necessarily Murray’s fault but it may be time to move on from him. The Atlanta Hawks are a poorly constructed team with a lot of holes and a lack of defence. I’m not necessarily sure trading Murray will help solve their problems but it seems to be the direction the Hawks are heading in.
Although Murray hasn’t been nearly as good as he was when he was with the San Antonio Spurs, he could get back to that if given the opportunity. That opportunity was not given to him in Atlanta because of Trae Young taking that spot. It seems best for both sides to move on and start a new because what the Hawks have going on right now is just not working.
There have been many rumours about Murray going to teams like the Lakers or even back to the Spurs. To be honest though, there aren’t a ton of seamless fits for Murray so I’m not entirely sure where he could end up. I think he may end up just staying in Atlanta but if he does get moved then I think a return to San Antonio could be interesting. Victor Wembenyama doesn’t really have anyone good to play with right now and Murray could help boost that team. I guess we’ll see where things go from here.
A player who will be highly sought after by a lot of teams is Lauri Markkanen. There’s been rumours for a while that Markkanen may be moved but it wasn’t clear if the Utah Jazz would pull the trigger or not. It seems now that the Jazz aren’t anywhere near being a contender or a playoff team that now might be the time to move Markkanen and go a bit younger. Markkanen has been a pretty good offensive player who can shoot threes very well and can get quite a number of rebounds as well. A seven-foot forward who is only 26 years old with a ton of offensive tools is the type of player virtually every NBA team would love to have.
Lauri Markkanen went off in the 4th quarter vs the Sixers
He had 14 PTS in the 4th and made it look easy pic.twitter.com/RebKhvpDdf
— Jazz Lead (@JazzLead) February 2, 2024
Any playoff team would love to go after Markkanen and I think the Jazz will get a ton for him so their asking price will probably be a lot. A team that can afford to give up a lot of assets because they have a boatload of them is the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder still have an absurd amount of first-round picks and some solid young players they could trade as well. Markkanen would also fit quite well on this Thunder team as they could use someone who can shoot the lights out from three. On top of that, you get many different options from getting Markkanen and I think the fit is too good for them to pass up. The Thunder are only in their first year of their contending window and I think adding Markkanen could really boost their chances of doing well in the playoffs this season. We’ll see where things go for Markkanen but I feel like if there is a bidding war, the Thunder might outbid any team.
Oh boy, we have to talk about this, don’t we…So it seems like we have got to that point in every three years or so where LeBron James’ team is not doing too well so people think he should be moved. And the Los Angeles Lakers as of late have not been very good. That is a bit interesting to see considering that they won the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament just a few months ago. The Lakers looked pretty good in that tournament but have not looked nearly as good since then. The Lakers have a ton of flaws and not a good enough supporting cast around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. We’ve seen some of their players be good in pockets but never consistently. This has had many wondering if it’s time for LeBron to move on from the Lakers and play somewhere else where he can have a legit chance at a championship. LeBron is 38 years old now and doesn’t have many more kicks at the can left.
So will LeBron actually be traded? I think he probably won’t unless the Lakers decide it’s time to move on. LeBron’s agent has already said that LeBron hasn’t asked for a trade or anything like that but this is also the NBA we’re talking about here so word of mouth means nothing. Far too many players have said they want to spend their entire career in the city they’re in and then get traded months later. I’m just not buying stuff like that anymore.
Anyway, if the Lakers did feel like it was time to move on from LeBron then I’m not sure exactly what their plan would be. Would they just try and build a team around Anthony Davis? Would this signify a full rebuild of the team? I’m not really sure. On top of that, where would you even send LeBron to? I doubt he would go to just any team and would like a say as to where he goes. In that case, the Lakers probably don’t have a ton of great options. Maybe he could go to the Knicks? That could be somewhat intriguing but I’m not sure they have a package to acquire LeBron. Maybe he could go back to Clevland but they don’t really have the assets either. The Dallas Mavericks are always an option if they want to reunite LeBron with Kyrie Irving but then also have the superstar punch of Luka Doncic. But again I’m not sure they could make that work.
LeBron James: "It's great when the Knicks are winning & you get to come in here & play competitive basketball at the highest level…Every possession means something…the Mecca of basketball…Happy to be a part of it…"pic.twitter.com/f4chxLB6rS
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) February 4, 2024
This trade seems unlikely but not impossible. It’s the NBA trade deadline after all so crazier things have happened and boy would it be fun if LeBron was on a new team after February 8th!
I’m very much ready for silly season and I hope you’re ready for the ride. It’s going to be a weird one, but hey, that’s NBA basketball baby!