Adrian R. Huber |
Miami (USA) (EFE).- There have hardly been any movements in the NBA transfer market in January. However, the proximity of the deadline, next February 9, suggests that the last week can become crazy.
It’s easy to classify teams based on their market goals. Thus, there are sets with needs; others who are willing to listen and release players; and, finally, franchises that perhaps consider a ‘demolition’.
Among those in need are those who can improve but who are not far from the goal set. In the East there are teams like the Miami Heat or Brooklyn Nets and in the West there are the Los Angeles Clippers or Dallas Mavericks.
Strengthen yourself to maintain ambition
In Miami, the big bargaining chip is Kyle Lowry and many have called asking about his situation.
The point guard does not want to leave, but it is clear that for coach Erik Spoelstra he is not untouchable since in five of the last seven games he has not played in the last quarters.
It is not Pat Riley, president of the Heat, to shake the market on the last day, but if there is a position that urgently needs to be strengthened, it is that of backup center for Bam Adebayo.
Several names sound for that position from the Spanish Willy Hernangómez and Serge Ibaka to Jakob Poeltl or even Jae Crowder.
These players also appear related to some Celtics in the same position and who are looking for relief for Al Horford and Robert Williams.
Brooklyn is excessively dependent on the health of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but has a long list of players who are desirable for other teams in a hypothetical transfer.
Joe Harris, Seth Curry and Patty Mills are on that list and in return they would sign someone with playoff experience like the aforementioned Crowder or a Bojan Bogdanovic they could bring back six years later.
In Dallas there is an intention to continue surrounding Luka Doncic with more quality players and the name that seems most interesting to transfer is that of Dorian Finney-Smith.
For their part, the Clippers are looking for a point guard. John Wall could leave and the candidates that sound to join are Fred VanVleet and even Chris Paul, who would thus return to what was his home for six years.
No needs but attractive players
There are also teams that have their doors open if a succulent proposal for a player arrives. They are franchises like the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards in the East or the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz in the West.
Hawks executives are asked a lot about Bogdan Bogdanovic and John Collins, players who can fit perfectly into teams like the Golden State Warriors, the former, and the Utah Jazz, the latter. Even the Washington Wizards could be part of the deal by adding a potentially departing Kyle Kuzma. .
At the Wolves there is a clear point of attention: D’Angelo Russell, who has been at a high level for a month and could be adjusted to an exchange with Miami (for Lowry), Phoenix (for Paul) or Los Angeles (for Wall). He is a free agent at the end of the season, which is a plus.
Squad demolition in February?
Although it may seem frivolous, there are teams that may not wait for the summer to tear down the project if it is not working. For example, the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls may find a good draft pick more convenient than playing a play-in game.
This usually entails many departures, also of important players who can become great attractions for candidates for the ring. Without going any further, in Toronto they sound like VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr. and even Pascal Siakam.
In Chicago, it does not seem out of the question that they want to get rid of very high salaries like those of Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic or DeMar DeRozan.
That without forgetting the always desired Alex Caruso, whose defensive powers would be perfect for teams like the Nuggets or the Knicks.
With the suitcase at hand
Many of the names that are generating the most buzz are point guards, a position that is in high demand in this market and that may lead to clean man-for-man barters without juggling packs of players.
Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Alex Caruso, D’Angelo Russell, Chris Paul and even Russell Westbrook, who will be a free agent in the summer… It wouldn’t be unusual for some of them to pack their bags in the coming days.
The two Bogdanovics, Bogdan (Hawks) and Bojan (Pistons), can shore up the squad of a title contender. Along with them are other outsiders with good shooting like Kyle Kuzma, Seth Curry and Joe Harris.
In the inside game, John Collins is the most talked about but the list is long: Willy Hernangómez, Serge Ibaka, Jakob Poetl, Nikola Vucevic, Jae Crowder…
The countdown has begun and, in the coming week, the NBA offices are expected to fume with a market closing that promises to be exciting.