There are only nine days remaining before the NBA’s annual trade deadline extravaganza, yet this year presents a very unique set of circumstances. With the bottom half of the Eastern Conference so especially terrible, it’s really difficult to tell which teams will definitely make the eight-team dance and which talented teams not currently in the picture will make a run. Therefore, not many teams are confident whether they’re buyers or sellers.
The West is in its usual predicament. The Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks currently occupy the Nos. 6-8 spots, respectively, with the Memphis Grizzlies two games out and Denver Nuggets a little more of a longshot at five games out of the No. 8 seed.
Zach Lowe of Grantland painted a picture of just how convoluted the trade deadline is this year, given that the free-agent crop this year is super intriguing and some teams are holding their trading chips hostage for first-round draft picks.
Of the potential deadline deals, one to keep an eye on is an Anderson Varejao-Omer Asik swap. Asik has long wanted to get out of Houston since the team signed Dwight Howard, while Varejao’s skill-set may complement Howard’s better than Asik’s. In addition, Varejao’s contract expires after next season, so Rockets general manager Daryl Morey will have more flexibility to get the type of player he really covets then.
The surprising Washington Wizards are currently a playoff team, and the team reportedly covets Denver Nuggets point guard Andre Miller. The two teams are currently in a standstill, however, as the two sides cannot find a swap to equal out the salary numbers.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 11, 2014
Also mentioned in the piece is the Atlanta Hawks, poised to be a top-four seed in the East. The Hawks were reportedly in trade talks with the Boston Celtics over a proposed Jeff Green-DaMarre Carroll swap. According to Grantland, point guard Jeff Teague may be available, too.
The Brooklyn Nets could make a splash by offering up Paul Pierce or Brook Lopez in deals, though Lowe expects the contending Nets to stand pat. Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry was once coveted by a handful of teams, including the New York Knicks and Nets, but now it is more likely he’ll move in free agency over the summer.