3 teams who should risk it all to acquire a superstar at the NBA trade deadline
The NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching, and teams are running out of time to make something happen. Sure, they can always punt to the summer, but some clubs want to make a move now. It’s understandable, too. After all, championship windows are fleeting and don’t come by very often, so if you see an opportunity, sometimes you have to grab it.
Here is a list of three NBA teams who should be willing to go all in to acquire a superstar at the Thursday deadline:
3. Portland Trail Blazers
This one might sound a bit odd, but hear me out.
The Blazers are a good basketball team. Just like last year, they could very well finish with a top-four seed in the Western Conference, and they have one of the most dynamic backcourts in the game in the form of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
But, also like last NBA season, they simply do not have enough to reach that next level.
That’s why Portland should be in the market for a star player, and unlike a lot of other contending teams, the Blazers do have some pieces to get a deal done.
With guys like Zach Collins, Gary Trent Jr. and Anfernee Simons, Portland has a nice stable of interesting young talent that could intrigue rival ballclubs in trade talks.
Now, the problem with the Blazers could be getting a star player to re-sign, as Portland is not exactly a huge market, but the Blazers really are one star away from being a legitimate threat in the West.
Perhaps the potential of winning titles will entice another star to re-up with the Blazers long term?
This is a really solid basketball team, but right now, its ceiling is probably the second round of the NBA Playoffs. Heck, last year, Portland was swept by by the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round.
The Blazers need more.
2. Houston Rockets
James Harden may be having a historic season, but it is still just barely keeping the Rockets above water in the Western Conference. Sure, Chris Paul is now back from a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for over a month, but when it comes to competing with the Golden State Warriors, Daryl Morey is outgunned and he knows it.
That’s why Morey should pull out all of the stops to try and acquire a star player before the deadline expires.
Let’s face it: the Rockets don’t exactly have a big window with his current group. Harden is only 28 years old, but Paul is 33, and fellow key players like Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker are also in their 30s.
So, basically, Houston needs to win now, because in another year or two, it might just be too old to truly contend.
The problem for the Rockets is that they don’t exactly have a whole lot of assets.
Still, Morey has pulled rabbits out of hats before, so we shouldn’t put the possibility of him doing it again past him. He knows Houston needs more to seriously contend with the Warriors, so expect him to at least attempt to act accordingly.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
You knew this one was coming.
The Lakers are not exactly having the season they hoped for, as they find themselves out of the top eight in the Western Conference in early February.
Of course, LeBron James’ groin injury that kept him sidelined for a month certainly has something to do with that, but Los Angeles has not exactly look like a world-beater even with James in the lineup.
We all know who the Lakers’ top target is: Anthony Davis, and Magic Johnson and Co. have engaged the Pelicans in talks for the superstar, who can become a free agent after next season.
Magic is reportedly willing to sell the farm for Davis, offering Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and other pieces to New Orleans for the big man, but the Pelicans don’t seem to be all that intrigued at the moment.
Of course, New Orleans absolutely does not have to trade Davis before Thursday’s deadline, as he is under team control through the end of next season, and it actually makes more sense for the Pels to wait until the summer to gather more offers before dealing away their franchise player.
However, the Lakers want to get this done as soon as possible to avoid teams like the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks getting in the mix during the offseason.
LeBron is 34 years old with a ton of mileage, so it’s not like Los Angeles is going to have a long championship window. The Lakers know they need to get something accomplished soon, and acquiring Davis would go a long way in helping achieve that goal.
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