Buying or Selling NBA Trade Deadline Rumors after Nets-Mavs Kyrie Irving Deal

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 6, 2023

Buying or Selling NBA Trade Deadline Rumors after Nets-Mavs Kyrie Irving Deal

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    Kyrie Irving
    Kyrie IrvingBrian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

    With apologies to Rui Hachimura and Kendrick Nunn, the first big domino of this year's NBA trade season fell on Sunday, when the Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets agreed on a deal that will send Kyrie Irving to Texas to join Luka Dončić.

    And, as you almost certainly already know, this trade probably won't be the only domino.

    We still have much of this week to go before Thursday's trade deadline, and Sunday's move could even accelerate the timelines of other discussions around the league.

    Reporting from the rumor mill is going to be all over the internet, which means it's time to put some stories through the tried-and-true buy-or-sell exercise.

Tim Hardaway Jr. Available?

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    Tim Hardaway Jr.
    Tim Hardaway Jr.Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

    Potential off-court issues aside, the Mavericks have emerged from this trade with a closing lineup that you can envision in the conference finals (or, dare we say, the Finals?).

    But there's probably some debate as to whether Tim Hardaway Jr. would be in that lineup. And that debate may include the idea of trading him.

    "Dallas has discussed options to move Tim Hardaway Jr., multiple people familiar with the Mavericks' approach pre-Irving said," Callie Caplan wrote for the Dallas Morning News.

    "Though he can boost the offense when in a shooting rhythm, Hardaway's contract is viewed as a long-term investment that doesn't justify his streaky high-volume production while limiting the Mavericks' future financial flexibility."

    Hardaway has long been a streaky offensive player, but lately, that streak has mostly been cold. Since the start of last season, he's averaging 13.9 points and shooting a below-average 34.3 percent from deep.

    And with Dorian Finney-Smith headed to the Brooklyn Nets as part of the Kyrie deal, Dallas is suddenly pretty thin at the forward spots. The Mavs now need versatility and perimeter defense more than they need THJ's occasionally potent outside shooting.

    The problem, of course, is that Hardaway Jr.'s inconsistency and contract (which will pay him $17.9 million next season and $16.2 million the year after) aren't exactly secrets around the league.

    So, even if Dallas wants to move him, getting a helpful player back is far from guaranteed.

    Verdict: Buy that the Mavericks are shopping THJ, but sell that a deal happens.

Kevin Durant Not Thrilled with Ben Simmons?

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    Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons
    Kevin Durant and Ben SimmonsMark Blinch/Getty Images

    The other half of Sunday's big trade may not be done dealing either.

    Based on the play of Ben Simmons this season, the Brooklyn Nets are suddenly a one-star team, and they could have a decision to make on Simmons or Kevin Durant between now and Thursday.

    "Ben Simmons has missed the last four games with left knee soreness, but sources familiar with Durant's thinking tell the Daily News the star forward has been less than enthralled with Simmons, who is averaging just 7.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and six assists per game on a max contract in Brooklyn," Kristian Winfield wrote for the New York Daily News.

    If Brooklyn is intent on keeping Durant, it might need to look around for Simmons takers, assuming there are any. And if that market is uninspiring, they should at least take calls on KD.

    A rebuild might be staring the Nets in the face, and few players could generate an instant rebuild kit filled with young players and picks as quickly as Durant.

    If Brooklyn opens the bidding, multiple teams would offer huge hauls.

    Having a generational superstar is rare, though. And while Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith aren't as talented as Irving individually, they're more reliable and likely to buy into whatever role Jacque Vaughn needs them to.

    For at least the rest of this season, the Nets should see what they have with those two in place.

    Verdict: Buy that KD might want more from Simmons, but sell that he or Simmons will get traded before Thursday.

Raptors Want Players Instead of Picks for O.G. Anunoby

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    O.G. Anunoby
    O.G. AnunobyRocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Toronto Raptors should be better than they are. They have a positive point differential, and all five starters are playing like top-100 players, but they're six games below .500.

    And that has naturally opened up much of the roster, including 25-year-old O.G. Anunoby, to trade rumors. Earlier this season, ESPN's Zach Lowe speculated that Anunoby might even go for a pick-heavy package in the same value range as this past summer's Donovan Mitchell deal.

    But that may not be what Toronto wants.

    "Multiple league insiders told The Times-Picayune that the Raptors' preference is to get back young players in any deal for Anunoby as opposed to picks," Christian Clark wrote.

    If Toronto can get multiple young players who complement Scottie Barnes, improve the team's depth and help it get its record in line with that point differential, great.

    But this report reads a bit like the Raptors' attempt to maintain some leverage in trade negotiations. If they were telling the media and other teams that a fire sale was incoming, those front offices would probably be lowballing them (if they aren't already).

    Insisting that they want to remain competitive could get some teams to up the ante. And a couple of clubs that are reportedly interested—the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans—can offer both picks and intriguing young players.

    In the end, though, the Raptors will likely take whatever deal is best, whether built around either type of asset. They're not close enough to title contention to rule out long-term plays, and if some team actually wants to offer a Mitchell-like deal, as Lowe suggested might be possible, it's hard to imagine Toronto turning it down.

    Verdict: Sell

Crowder-to-the-Bucks Dead?

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    Jae Crowder
    Jae CrowderBarry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

    From the moment he started his holdout, a Jae Crowder trade has felt like perhaps the most inevitable in the league (at least until Kyrie made his demand, of course).

    And lately, it's felt like him winding up on the Milwaukee Bucks was almost a foregone conclusion.

    But the long-rumored deal that would put him there may be in jeopardy, according to 98.7 FM Phoenix's John Gambadoro.

    John Gambadoro @Gambo987

    I would rule out that rumored Jae Crowder trade for Ibaka/Hill/Nwora with the Bucs. Not going to happen.

    It's peak "feed information to the media" for leverage season, so there's really no reason to doubt Gambadoro has been told that particular machination of a Crowder deal is off the table.

    And for the moment, maybe it actually is off the table.

    But there's truly no reason for the Phoenix Suns to keep Crowder on the roster unless he has some kind of miraculous change of heart. And everyone else in the NBA knows that.

    So, if no other team beats the offer above, don't be surprised to see Phoenix return to it.

    Getting something for Crowder now beats losing him in free agency this summer for nothing.

    Verdict: Buy that the trade isn't imminent, but sell that it's dead for good.

Clippers Done with John Wall?

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    John Wall
    John WallMelissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    John Wall has had moments this season when he looked like some version of his old self, but they've been few and far between.

    In 34 appearances, Wall has averaged 11.4 points while shooting 40.8 percent from the field and 30.3 percent from deep.

    The Los Angeles Clippers are minus-7.1 points per 100 possessions when he's on the floor, compared to plus-1.6 when he's off.

    And perhaps the final straw for Wall is the fact that the team's climb up the standings has coincided almost perfectly with Terance Mann's insertion into the starting five as the nominal point guard.

    Compared to the other options on the roster, Wall is a clear negative, so it's not all that surprising that L.A. is shopping him.

    "Multiple people across the league said the Clippers have been proactive in seeking trade partners for Wall and are considering the possibility of buying out the five-time All-Star if a trade doesn't materialize," Andrew Greif wrote for The Los Angeles Times.

    As is the case with Hardaway, the reasons Wall's current team wants to move him are the same ones that will limit his list of suitors (assuming there is one).

    Wall was one of the game's most dynamic athletes and playmakers 10 years ago, but injuries have rendered him a different player who isn't likely to impact the trade deadline or the rest of this NBA season.

    Verdict: Buy that Wall is bought out by the Clippers after the deadline.