With the NBA Trade deadline approaching, teams are undoubtedly looking at their roster and contemplating possible moves both for this year and possibly more importantly for the future. For those teams making the playoffs or hoping to make the playoffs, the right move or two might push them in the right direction, while those completely out of it are looking towards next year.
With so many teams in the East in the playoff mix this year, most of the trade rumors involve teams from the Eastern Conference. The Western Conference on the other hand, might end up seeing most of their changes occur in the offseason, once free agency officially begins.
Will the Celtics Get Their Superstar?
For awhile now, the Celtics have been linked with almost every possible trade involving a big man as the popular consensus has been that Boston is in need of that one big name to bring them over the top in the Eastern Conference. Whether it was Demarcus Cousins or Kevin Love, the Celtics were apparently after them.
Since it seems for now, at least, the Cavs will keep Kevin Love (David Blatt obviously sacrificed instead) and Demarcus Cousins still in Sacramento after the whole will they or won’t they with George Karl, the Celtics might have to wait till free agency to get their big man.
Unless of course, those other rumors about Dwight Howard and the Rockets come to fruition. Before rumblings began about the Celtics being interested in Howard, I wondered what Dwight might look like with the Celtics given his apparent discontentment with Harden and the Rockets.
Like the Kings, it seems the Rockets would prefer to keep Dwight around, at least for now. Which in the end, might end up working best for the Celtics as David Lee didn’t exactly end up contributing much after they acquired him for the Warriors.
Will the Hawks Help the Knicks?
Not too long ago, I wrote about how it seemed the Knicks were finally on the right track, heading towards a possible fight for the last spot in the playoffs. Fast forward a month or so later, and the Knicks have since fired their head coach Derek Fisher, thanks to the Knicks losing nine out of their last ten games.
While definitely a shock to most, given the talent of the team, it was definitely understandable. With rookie sensation, Kristaps Porzingis, to go along with Carmelo Anthony and other quality players such as Robin Lopez and Aaron Afflalo, there really is no reason for the Knicks not to be in the playoff hunt.
Though Carmelo Anthony has had to miss a few games due to lingering injuries, the Knicks are talented enough to at least compete for the last playoff spot in the East with the likes of the Pistons and the Hornets. Of course, most people still think they need a quality point guard to truly compete, so in comes Jeff Teague and the Atlanta Hawks.
Since it appears the Hawks are looking to move Teague since Schroder is a younger and cheaper version of Teague, the Knicks are definitely towards the top of the list of those interested. With a new coach and hopefully an all-star point guard, New York might actually end up an enticing place for one of the biggest free agents this summer, Kevin Durant.
Durant and Griffin: Offseason Rumors Heat Up
With Blake Griffin out with both an injury and suspension (due to his altercation with a staff member), rumors have begun about the Clippers possibly trading Blake Griffin this offseason. If that ends up being the case because the Clippers aren’t able to compete with the top teams in the West in the playoffs, it seems the Celtics once again will be one of the teams most interested.
Since Griffin will become a free agent after next season, it might make sense to try get something for him before he possibly decides to move on himself. Whether Durant stays in OKC this offseason, might also have an impact on where Griffin ends up as Blake is from Oklahoma so returning home might be end up being enticing for him.
And speaking of KD, no rumor has caused as much controversy as the one that has Durant heading to the Warriors should he decide to leave OKC this summer. It almost seems preposterous for that to even be a real possibility, but it seems some want us to believe it is indeed a likely scenario.
As a fan of Durant from his days at Texas, I can’t see Durant choosing to leave OKC to join a team that wouldn’t really need him should Golden State win another championship this year. I think he likes a challenge so unless OKC fails to compete in the playoffs, I think he remains in OKC since the only other team I thought he might leave for, his hometown Washington Wizards, have completely blown their chance to show that they could be a team to compete for a title this year.