Names to Watch at the NBA Trade Deadline
The NBA’s Feb. 10 trade deadline is approaching quickly. As the playoff race heats up, there are a number of teams looking for roster upgrades, while others will likely be sellers as they trend toward the draft lottery.
Here’s a look at three of the better players who could be on the move before the deadline.
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
The Pacers have had a forgettable season thus far. Coming into the year, they were playoff hopefuls, with a solid mix of veterans and youth.
They currently sit at 15-29, which is 13th in the Eastern Conference. While they still have the talent to make a comeback and try to reach the play-in tournament, there have been plenty of rumors of them cleaning house and possibly starting a rebuild.
This is where Myles Turner comes into the equation. The fit between Turner and Domantas Sabonis has always been iffy, and Turner seems to be the odd man out.
While Indiana could look to deal Sabonis instead — or both of them — to get a better return, it seems more likely they will keep Sabonis.
Turner profiles as a stretch-five that is among the best shot blockers in the league, and he currently leads the league in blocks per game by a wide margin. Any team looking for an upgrade at center is sure to call Indiana.
Possible Landing Spots: Hornets, Warriors, Mavericks
De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings
Fox has been one of the league's best point guards since his rookie year. While he may not get the attention he deserves because he plays in Sacramento, he is not only one of the fastest players in the game but also a strong finisher, defender and playmaker.
The Kings have wasted his young career so far, though. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2006, by far the longest drought in the NBA. They may decide they need a change, especially if they can get a good package in return to make a run for the play-in tournament.
While Fox may be the most talented player on the team, he and Buddy Hield seem likely to depart from Sacramento soon enough. Keep an eye on the Kings as a seller this trade deadline.
Possible Landing Spots: Knicks, Pacers, 76ers
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
This one is a given, as Simmons hasn’t been on the court since the Sixers’ loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of last year’s playoffs.
He will likely hold out until he is traded, and Philadelphia still hasn’t found a deal it liked to this point.
Simmons would bring a huge improvement to any team defensively, as he has been on the All-Defensive first team twice already, at just age 25. While the major weakness is his shooting and perimeter offense, he brings just about everything to the table.
The Sixers likely won’t trade him unless they get a star back, as they need to contend for titles in Joel Embiid’s prime. If they can find a team that’s willing to depart with a lot of talent to bring in a young star, though, Simmons could finally find a new team by the deadline.
Possible Landing Spots: Kings, Timberwolves, Pistons
Daniel Mader is a second-year student majoring in digital/print journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.