BLOGTABLE: Which player may be quietly available?
NBA.com Global on Feb 07, 2019 08:22 AM
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 20: Nikola Mirotic #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans handles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on March 20, 2018 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
There's lots of trade buzz around NBA stars, but name a player who might be available – or at least attainable – in an under-the-radar deal that no one’s talking about.
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Steve Aschburner: When my head hit the pillow Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time), Tobias Harris was a name I was thinking of here. So much for that -- he’s off to Philadelphia in a significant early deal. So now I’m thinking about New Orleans’ Nikola Mirotic and Utah’s Derrick Favors. The former because of the tumult and uncertainty with the Pelicans, along with Mirotic’s plug-in potential who could help almost any contender. The latter because of his reduced role with the Jazz, strong per-36 contributions and a contract that is deal-friendly
Shaun Powell: The Pistons may not find a better time to dump Blake Griffin and his mammoth contract then now. He's having a fine season, he's an All-Star and the Pistons are going nowhere special. Otherwise, as he declines, they'll be stuck with him or will need to package an asset to trade him.
John Schuhmann: I don't know if there's anything that no one is talking about. But, given the Sixers' lack of depth at the wings in the wake of their trade with the Clippers, they have to be shopping Markelle Fultz (and a Fultz-Lou Williams swap would have made that trade even more spicy). I imagine that Philadelphia's target list with Fultz' $8.3 million deal (with another two years before he becomes a restricted free agent) would look something like 1. Terrence Ross, 2. Alec Burks, 3. Garrett Temple, 4. Wayne Ellington, 5. Wesley Johnson. Nikola Mirotic also has to be on the move, given the Pelicans need to get something for him before his contract expires and every other team's need for more shooting.
Sekou Smith: Nikola Vucevic shouldn't have his first All-Star Game ruined by trade chatter. So I hate to throw the Orlando Magic big man's name out there in this space ... but I'm doing it anyway. Time and again we of players who might be available at the deadline who can put a certain team "over the top" as it pursues a higher playoff seed or true contender status. Vucevic is the player capable of doing that for many teams. He's having a superb season on a team that clearly has other plans for his spot in the future (Mo Bamba). Park Vucevic in the front court rotation in Boston (where you'll need help to deal with Joel Embiid and perhaps DeMarcus Cousins down the road) and Celtics coach Brad Stevens might sleep better down the stretch of the season. And with all of the hype surrounding this trade deadline, you figure Celtics boss Danny Ainge will have an itch to scratch (not to mention Orlando being a potential home for Terry Rozier as a starter).