The NBA trade deadline is approaching fast and teams in the West are still stuck in their annual gridlock.
The 10th seed, New Orleans, is only five games out of the third seed, Dallas. To put that into perspective, the third to 10th gap in the Eastern Conference is current 14.5 games. Not as many teams have a genuine chance to accomplish much as it is in the East; the consensus is that it will be tough to knock Denver and the Lakers out of the top of the standings.
I also published an Eastern Conference edition, which you can view here.
San Antonio Spurs
Richard Jefferson has yet to pan out for the Spurs, but it’s probably just their system and other teams are known to be interested in him. The framework of the Spurs is so strong (Duncan, Parker, Ginobili), that any trade they make is unlikely to have negative consequences.
They also have plenty of expiring contracts in Matt Bonner, Michael Finley, etc., to offer. An interesting proposition would be to add a young power forward to back Tim Duncan up, who has shown he has to take occasional days off. Brandon Bass has been said to be expendable and would complement the team perfectly.
Odds of a trade happening: 5-2
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers have tons of young talent and could live without too much of it. Jerryd Bayless, who has tons of talent, but may not get as much as a spotlight in Portland as he would anywhere else, is in demand.
They also could package some draft picks to give up, as they have some to give away. They need a veteran presence, perhaps a utility big man would go a long way, but don’t expect them to go all out for one, they’re pretty happy with their team as it is and don’t want to endanger the future of Greg Oden when he comes back next year.
Brendan Haywood has been noted as being an ideal fit for the franchise and if they really want to push for a deal, he would be at the top of their list.
Odds of a trade happening: 4-1
The Denver Nuggets are now solidified as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, but they have continued to explore options—they aren’t perfectly satisfied with anything other than usurping the Lakers for first place.
They have a solid lineup, Chauncey Billups is the ideal leader for their team, and Carmelo Anthony puts up big stats on a consistent basis. They have mentioned they are interested in adding another big man to their rotation and Samuel Dalembert is obviously available. Dalembert is a good defender, and would complement the talents of Chris Andersen.
Odds of a trade happening: 3-1
The Mavericks are openly pondering a trade involving Josh Howard, and the Toronto Raptors, and Miami Heat have been reported as the front-runners in the sweepstakes for him.
Although the Kidd-Harris trade has been generally seen as a win for New Jersey, Jason Kidd has been instrumental in the success of the Mavericks this year and the Mavericks need a post-up center or forward to give him an outlet.
They should consider trying to pick up one of the big-man options available this year and if the Raptors fall into a haze, trading Howard and a package for Bosh would finalize their roster and make them among favourites to win it all.
Odds of trade happening: 3-2
Playoff Teams Unlikely to Make Trades
Los Angeles Lakers
They already have a roster that wins, and won’t want to alter the atmosphere by making a trade. Chris Bosh—Andrew Bynum rumours have been going around, but there are no guarantees that Bosh would resign with Los Angeles. Plus, the Lakers realize that Kobe will only be able to play at a high level for two or more years and Bynum represents their distant future.
They have a young, talented team like Portland, but don’t have any glaring needs and are very happy with the chemistry they currently have.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have a few great great commodities they are looking to trade before the deadline notably big men Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman. Camby is a great defender and can score as well and Kaman is great all around too.
They would be looking to acquire draft picks (granted, they never do much with them) to get their team younger, or pick up a solid young point guard to let Baron Davis (an exemplary role model) mentor.
Chance a significant deal occurs: 2-1
The Kings are pretty happy with their roster and have been a modest surprise this season, but they will be looking to trade pieces such as Andres Nocini, a career backup that certainly has some talent. It has been said that Kevin Martin isn't compatible with Tyreke Evans, so if they support that view, Martin will probably go as well, to a team that needs a secondary scorer.
Chance a significant deal occurs: 3-1
The San Francisco Bay-area team has really transformed their team the last couple years, but more deals could be in the works, as they simply haven't been performing up to par. Monta Ellis has been included in trade talks and Andris Biedrins could be on the move as well.
Plus, Corey Maggette has been portrayed as having a negative, disinterested attitude, which could prompt the team parting ways with him.
Chance a significant deal occurs: 5-2
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