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Thursday, June 1, 2023

A Look Ahead to the Second Half of the 2020-21 NBA Season: Trade Rumors and More

NBA Trade Rumors & Deadline
Kristaps Porzingis has been the speculation of many trade rumors but could he be the biggest name to move before the March 25 trade deadline. JASON SZENES/EPA

The NBA All-Star game has already come and gone, and just as you’d expect from a squad named Team Lebron, they dominated. Going out on a limb and saying that’s the entire plot of the new Space Jam movie. The team that James is on without the Looney Tunes though has hit a speed bump of late with Anthony Davis expected to be out for a month or more. Ever since he re-aggravated an achilles injury back around Valentine’s Day, the Lakers have lost seven of ten are down to third in the Western Conference after holding the top spot for most of the season.

The Utah Jazz have taken full advantage and look like the best team in the league. Phoenix is experiencing a renaissance and the Chris Paul trade is looking like the best thing that franchise has done it nearly a decade as he’s been able to gel the Valley’s young roster. James has responded by saying he will not rest the second half of the season. No load management to be found in LA and they’re going to need LeBron to be even better to maintain positioning until AD gets back. This is more of what we could expect from the second half of the NBA season.

Likely Trade Scenarios: Trade Deadline March 25

The Brooklyn Nets are just an embarrassment of riches and are looking like they are going to sleep walk their way to the Finals. They just added Blake Griffin after the Detroit Pistons bought out his contract. Say what you will about Griffin’s trajectory and him not playing to even his 2019 level because of injuries. To have one of the best players of the last decade as essentially a reserve player is absolutely ridiculous depth. The Spurs and LaMarcus Aldridge also parted ways and Portland are the frontrunners to reunite with one of their best players in franchise history.

If all that wasn’t enough, P.J. Tucker isn’t expected to return with the Rockets and he could be a great fit in Brooklyn. The versatile forward has already played extensively with former Houston great now Net James Harden and would be an upgrade to their defensive scheme. Let’s move away from the prospect of the rich getting richer and Boston could be a formidable trade partner since they have more cap room because they didn’t sign every premiere free agent talent and their mother. Besides they are going to need to upgrade if they are going to keep pace with the Nets, Bucks and Sixers who they are all currently trailing.

Speaking of the Eastern Conference leading 76ers, they seem to be the front runners for landing the greatest Toronto Raptor ever. Rumors are swirling that the Raptors are ready to trade Kyle Lowry to focus on their young core led by Pascal Siakam. Toronto isn’t bad just like Lowry isn’t as he’s still averaging 18 points a game but they are currently sitting under .500 and just out of the playoff picture.

Best to get younger assets now to get back to championship contention even if it is difficult parting ways with the player that has helped change the culture and outlook of what used to be a laughing stock north of the border. While it’d be weird to see anything else but a dinosaur on his jersey, moving back to Lowry’s hometown in Philly seems like the next best option.

Now let’s move out to the midwest where the Oklahoma City should be continuing their obvious rebuild after they traded Paul in the offseason. Two names that are shockingly still a part of the Thunder are Al Horford and George Hill. Horford is being his usual self by quietly putting together a solid season averaging 14 points per game and nearly seven rebounds. He’d be a great addition to any team especially reuniting with Boston or even adding a veteran presence for the Dallas Mavericks. Hill on the other hand could go to a better contender with his potency behind the arc and superb ball handling. Golden State or the Mavs again could be potential suitors.

Speaking of the Mavs again, the biggest trade rumor of the season is coming out of Dallas. It is little secret that Kristaps Porzingis’ name has been swirling around because the team isn’t performing up to expectations when KP joined was traded from New York to join Luka Doncic. Mavs owner Mark Cuban said that there was no reason to panic and they are going to be patient with Porzingis. Especially since he is still recovering from a knee injury and many of the Dallas team have been affected by the coronavirus. While it looks like Dallas will hold on to the big man for now, Chicago and Golden State are seen as the most likely potential destinations if he was traded. Click here for more on the latest on all the trades that can change the trajectory of the second half.

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