The NBA doesn't resume its game action until Thursday. That also happens to be the date of the annual trade deadline.
As you can imagination, the rumor mill will be running wild for the next couple of days as front offices of all 30 teams discuss potential deals. Some of the rumors will have substance to them, and others will be completely false.
So let's analyze some buzz that's currently circulating around Blake Griffin, Jeff Teague and the Toronto Raptors' power forward situation.
It's rare to see one of the NBA's biggest stars playing on a top-four seed in trade rumors, but that's what we're seeing with Griffin now. Presumably, it's because Griffin's Los Angeles Clippers have gone 18-5 ever since he was sidelined with a quad injury.
According to Basketball Insiders' Tommy Beer, ESPN's Chris Broussard reported a very interesting trade rumor regarding the All-Star:
Tommy Beer @TommyBeer
Broussard on ESPN: "The Clippers called the Nuggets and offered Blake Griffin & Lance Stephenson for Jokic, Will Barton, Gallanari & Faried"2/15/2016, 3:09:20 PM
However, the Orange County Register's Dan Wolke later gave a conflicting report.
Dan Woike @DanWoikeSports
Clippers sources continue to say they don't have interest in trading Blake Griffin.2/15/2016, 9:01:59 PM
It seems highly unlikely that the Clippers did call about that first rumor. Los Angeles would be getting a cupboard full of solid young assets, while the Denver Nuggets would be getting (probably) a two-year rental of Griffin and wasting those seasons by surrounding him with very few impact players. It's just too lopsided a deal, and the Los Angeles front office should know that.
The Clippers would be wise to keep Griffin. Despite what their recent success may indicate, they're still a more formidable team with a higher ceiling when the athletic power forward is in the lineup.
Los Angeles needs to be thinking about minor tweaks to close the gap with the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, not blockbusters.
Teague has massively disappointed in 2015-16 after a breakout All-Star campaign last season. The 27-year-old point guard's numbers have taken a dip across the board, and the 31-24 Atlanta Hawks have followed suit.
According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst, two teams have shown interest in buying low on Teague: the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks.
The report said the Magic are willing to offer Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris, so they could be pieces in a potential deal. However, what does this say about Orlando's faith in second-year floor general Elfrid Payton?
The 21-year-old's jumper is still a huge concern, but he's a competitor who shines in several other areas. Trading for Teague would create some problems for the Magic.
As for the Knicks, that fit makes more sense. Carmelo Anthony tends to take a lot of the ball-handling responsibilities, but he doesn't have a viable secondary option or setup man at the moment. Teague is a year away from averaging 7.0 assists in just 30.5 minutes per game and could ease Anthony's load.
Even overachievers sometimes look to improve themselves at the trade deadline. The 35-17 Raptors are a close second in the Eastern Conference, but they see their power forward slot as a clear position of weakness that can be improved with some reinforcements.
Per Stein, Toronto has its eyes on a few players around the league, including Thaddeus Young of the Brooklyn Nets, Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Pelicans, Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets and Markieff Morris of the Phoenix Suns.
Of all those options, Young and Anderson seem like the best fits. Young has the athleticism to defend all sorts of frontcourt players, plus he has a respectable mid-range jumper and rebounds well.
Anderson is a deadly three-point shooter who can give Jonas Valanciunas room to work inside and also mesh well with the drive-and-kick abilities of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.
Faried, on the other hand, is worthless on offense away from the hoop and could be a bad fit next to Valanciunas. Morris is a character risk, at least based on all the issues he's had in Phoenix.
It's good that the Raptors are looking to improve. They will, however, have to be careful not to make any moves that upset the team's chemistry.
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