The NBA's trade deadline is on February 19 at 3 p.m. EST. From the time you read this until the deadline passes, basketball fans will be checking any online rumor page that might have insight as to whether or not their favorite team will make a move that will help get them over the hump. If we know anything, most likely nothing significant will happen, but every once in awhile something big does go down. (Remember, the Carmelo Anthony trade happened at the deadline.)
What's been shocking is that there have been so many players that have come out and demanded a trade, stating that they would not resign with their current team in the process. Unfortunately, with
LeBron James the Cleveland Cavaliers sending out multiple first-round picks for Timofey Mozgov, the trade market is completely out of whack and some teams have been hesitant to make transactions happen. So, we've decided to rank five possible deals that could happen by the deadline from most likely to least likely. We're not trying to play the "told you so" game, more like the "if it did happen, here's who it would be" game. Here we go.
Player: Enes Kanter
Current Team: Utah Jazz
Possible Destinations: Bucks, Kings, Celtics
Most Likely: Boston Celtics
When word came out that Enes Kanter was "demanding a trade" and that he would not be re-signing with Utah, many wondered if Kanter would have many suitors. Utah has come out and said that it would take a "significant" haul to move Kanter, but would it really? Boston has 29 draft picks in the next 5 years, and doling out one for a 22-year old skilled offensive center who still has room for development seems like a smart gamble for the C's. For some perspective, Hassan Whiteside is 25 and just finally blossoming.
Player: Kevin Martin
Current Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
Possible Destinations: Bulls, Wizards, Kings, Blazers
Most Likely: Chicago Bulls
Kevin Martin is one of those players that you can totally forget plays in the NBA if he's not playing on a team that's actually any good. However, if Martin's on a team that needs a swingman, he can be a functional addition.
He's an above-average 3-point shooter and has a knack at getting to the free throw line, a team like the Bulls or the Blazers could use a boost like that. Chicago feels like a slightly better fit because of the lack of scoring and Thibodeau's wonders as a defensive wizard.
Player: Arron Afflalo
Current Team: Denver Nuggets
Possible Destinations: Kings, Blazers, Clippers
Most Likely: Portland Trail Blazers
It all depends on whose urgency wins out. The Sacramento Kings desire to be a relevant basketball team versus the Portland Trail Blazers desire to make a legitimate run at a championship. Title runs don't come around all that often, and getting a solid two-way guard like Afflalo for a first-round pick (which is what Denver's asking for) seems to make too much sense for Portland.
Player: Reggie Jackson
Current Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
Possible Destinations: Bucks, Pacers, Rockets, Celtics, Knicks, Lakers, Heat
Most Likely: ???
The King of the Summer League has made it well known that he wants to be the king of an NBA team. There are so many teams out there that make real sense for Reggie Jackson. There are the teams like the Knicks and Lakers who are in desperate need of a point guard, but they'd rather wait on signing Jackson during the off-season. Teams like the Bucks, Rockets and Heat could view Jackson as a possible asset in helping them in their playoff run in the Spring. OKC doesn't have to move Jackson, and could ride out the wave as they too contend for a
title playoff run. OKC wants more than a first-round pick, and they'd probably want a cheap point guard in return to handle some of Jackson's ball-handling duties. Will they get it? We'll find out.
Player: Goran Dragic
Current Team: Phoenix Suns
Possible Destinations: Celtics, Knicks, Magic, Kings, Heat, Lakers
Most Likely: Sacramento Kings
The most shocking news in recent days was Dragic's announcement that he was fed up with the Suns.
"I don't feel comfortable with my situation. It's just different. Standing in the corner, it's not my game. I see that we're not going the right direction. That's why I take action and try to put myself in a better position." Goran Dragic, to the Arizona Republic
While the Lakers, Heat and Knicks were all teams that Dragic stated he was interested in, the Sacramento Kings look like the best fit. With an owner (Vivek Ranadivé) willing to pay whatever it takes to upgrade the roster, a coach (George Karl) who has a history of letting point guards flourish, and a big man (Boogie Cousins) who's dying to play with someone who can make him and the team better, the Kings are the front-runners. The question will be whether the Kings are willing to send the right assets out to make it work.
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”