Only a few weeks remain until NBA teams have to have their rosters set for a playoff push. There hasn’t been much action yet. Last week, the Detroit Pistons made a deal with the Washington Wizards to acquire Marvin Bagley. But that was a trade between two teams that aren’t going anywhere.
The Pistons and Wizards have a combined 11 wins between them. Barring a miraculous turnaround, players from both teams will need to buy tickets if they want to attend playoff games. But there are a few names on the market that will draw interest. The question is, what teams will be willing to make a deal to try and get the final piece of the equation to win a championship?
The Eastern Conference race is viewed as a slugfest between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics. However, both teams have already made splashy moves in the offseason and will likely only make minor moves to improve. The Western Conference, however, is full of young, unproven teams that may be worried about their chemistry being negatively impacted.
The next few weeks will have a major impact on who will bring home the championship at the end of the season. Recent sports updates show that making some changes in the middle of the season can lead to good results down the road.
Will Anyone Take Zach LaVine?
The Chicago Bulls are trying to make the numbers work to get Zach LaVine a job elsewhere. But the Bulls have two issues when trying to move him: injuries and money. LaVine has only played in 18 games this season due to injury.
This is LaVine’s seventh season in Chicago, and he has only played in 65 or more games in a season twice. When LaVine does play, however, there is no denying that he can bring a strong amount of scoring to whatever team takes him on. LaVine averages 20.5 points per game in his career and shoots 38.4 percent from the perimeter.
Chicago may have to eat a significant portion of his salary to move LaVine. LaVine is currently on a five-year, $251 million contract. The Lakers have expressed interest in him coming out west, but the money could be a significant barrier to a trade.
Siakam Has Plenty of Suitors
Kawhi Leonard was the face of the Toronto Raptors’ 2019 championship team. But Pascal Siakam was right behind Leonard in importance. It was thought that Siakam would also be a long-time face of the franchise after Leonard went to Los Angeles, but that’s not how things have worked out. The Raptors have slipped down the standings and, with a 15-25 record, aren’t going anywhere fast.
Toronto has decided to put Siakam out for a trade, and the Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, and Atlanta Hawks have all expressed interest in a deal. Siakam is 29 years old and is averaging 22.2 points per game. He would be a good fit for any contender who needs scoring and experience.
Siakam is on an expiring contract, which may scare off some teams who hoped to bring him in during free agency, according to current sports news.
Murray Ready to Depart Atlanta
Dejounte Murray earned his first All-Star appearance during the 2021-22 season with the San Antonio Spurs. Murray caught the eye of the Atlanta Hawks, who made a deal to pair him with Hawks star guard Trae Young. But things haven’t worked out well for Murray during his two seasons in Atlanta.
Murray and Young haven’t gelled quite like the team hoped they would. Murray is averaging 20.8 points and 4.8 assists per game, but the chemistry with Young isn’t there. When it comes to trade options, Murray has said that he is willing to go back to San Antonio. The Brooklyn Nets and Lakers have also expressed interest in acquiring him.
Escape From Detroit
The Pistons may not be done with making deals. Although Detroit has said it is interested in keeping Bojan Bogdanović, it is hard to imagine they will be able to do so. The Pistons are struggling to stay respectable, and Bogdanović will bring back plenty on the market with his versatility.
Bogdanović is averaging over 20 points per game and shooting nearly 40 percent from the 3-point line. With his outside shooting, many contenders would love to add him. In Detroit, Bogdanović has also been asked to help carry the offense. Moving to a new location may allow him to take that off his plate.
Kuzma May Be on the Move Again
Kyle Kuzma has slowly evolved from a solid player in the starting rotation to a budding star. Kuzma spent his first four seasons with the Lakers before playing two seasons with the Washington Wizards. Kuzma is averaging a team-high 21.2 points per game this season.
Kuzma also has a contract that decreases salary over the next few years, so would be appealing from a financial perspective. There are several teams who would be interested in grabbing Kuzma. The Wizards are in the middle of another rebuild and may be willing to move on from Kuzma to bring back several players and draft picks who could help them down the road.
Suns Seeking Answers
The Phoenix Suns haven’t found their new era quite as successful as they hoped they could be. Phoenix is in eighth place in the Western Conference and hasn’t looked like a championship team. Kevin Durant is being asked to carry a heavy burden.
Bradley Beal and Devon Booker have also missed a lot of time due to injuries. Phoenix’s only problem is they don’t have a lot of pieces to make deals to bring in new players. The Suns will have to be creative in order to add more players, according to the latest NBA news.
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