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NBA Trade Rumors: Teams Likely to Be Active at Deadline

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2015

Jan 21, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) argues a call from the court during the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. The Nets won 103-100. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

The upcoming NBA trade deadline might not feature too many blockbuster trades, but there will be plenty of teams ready to improve either this season or for the future.

Between squads that have exceeded expectations to this point and don't need help to those that are simply hoping to play to their potential, a lot of organizations are satisfied with their current rosters.

Of course, this doesn't mean the next two weeks are going to be quiet. There will be plenty of organizations looking to do anything to get better between now and the Feb. 19 deadline. Fans should expect a lot of action from these squads.

Toronto Raptors

Apr 27, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) and guard DeMar DeRozan (10) react during the second half in game four of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs  against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. The Raptors defeated th
USA TODAY Sports

While the Toronto Raptors might not have a roster filled with household names, the start to the season has been simply incredible, as they sit in second place in the Eastern Conference. Still, there are always ways to improve, especially with the next three teams likely to come on strong in the second half of the year.

For this reason, the Raptors are apparently looking to upgrade in the form of low-post help, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:

The Raptors are one of several teams sniffing around for a roster upgrade, specifically at the power forward spot. A few names continue to surface around league sources when talking about Toronto, the biggest being Indiana’s David West, the next is Chicago’s Taj Gibson, then Denver’s Kenneth Faried and then there is a long list of B and C tier names that Toronto might consider at the deadline if all else fails.

Toronto ranks 22nd in the league with 100.9 points allowed per game, so adding a defensive-minded forward like Kenneth Faried would certainly make sense. Any of the above options would also likely be upgrades over the inconsistent Amir Johnson. 

Despite these arguments, the players themselves don't feel the need to upgrade. Patrick Patterson recently gave his thoughts on the current roster, via Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun:

We all have faith in each and every single one of these individuals on the basketball floor, so I feel like we do have the pieces. We have the veteran (leadership), we have the role players, we have the all-stars, we have everything we need to be an elite team. So it’s just all about the will, all about the want, all about doing it. We have everything we need to be successful.

Fortunately, the players don't have final say over any trades. It really comes down to the front office deciding whether an upgrade is needed to not only make the playoffs but win once the postseason comes around.

There will certainly be teams willing to make a deal; the question is whether it's worth mortgaging the future to make a run now.

Denver Nuggets

Feb 4, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Denver Nuggets guard forward Arron Afflalo (10) controls the ball during the first quarter against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't that long ago the Denver Nuggets were a top contender in the Western Conference. However, they are now well under .500 and far from a playoff spot.

This usually means it's time to start rebuilding.

Even with the lack of success, the Nuggets do have some pieces opposing teams would love for the second half of the season, but they are not going to give them away for nothing. Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post provided a look at the most notable target:

The Nuggets are holding firm to seeking a first-round pick from teams wanting to trade for shooting guard Arron Afflalo, according to NBA sources.

There have been no takers, although interest remains high for Afflalo’s services. Teams don’t want to relinquish a first-rounder for a player that might walk on them at the end of the season.

Dempsey identifies the Charlotte Hornets as a possible destination for Arron Afflalo, although plenty of teams would be interested in a guard who averages about 15 points per game every year. Meanwhile, Wilson Chandler is also a possibility to be moved in the coming weeks.

In reality, it doesn't seem like anyone on the roster is safe as the organization tries to stock up on draft picks for the future, especially after dealing Timofey Mozgov last month.

Still, Jimmy Spencer of Fox Sports argues one player should remain no matter what:

Jimmy Spencer @JimmySpencerUN

It would be a huge mistake for the #Nuggets to trade Ty Lawson. At $25 million for the next two seasons, that's a good deal for his talent.

Like anyone else on the squad, it all comes down to value. If opposing organizations are willing to give up what the Nuggets want, there should really be no surprises this month.

Brooklyn Nets

Although the Brooklyn Nets can remain competitive for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, it doesn't seem like this is a team that can really contend for a title. This makes a deadline fire sale a definite possibility.

Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio reported the Nets are willing to deal any of their veteran players before the deadline:

It's no secret the Nets would happily unload center Brook Lopez, guard Deron Williams or swingman Joe Johnson—or all three.

They supposedly spoke to the Kings about Williams more than a month ago, but those talks have died—or at least, been put on hold. There were also reported discussions of a possible Johnson-Lance Stephenson swap with the Hornets. Now, most of the chatter involves Lopez and the Nuggets.

Even though the Nuggets were previously identified as sellers, Brook Lopez would represent a quality piece the organization would be able to build around. Considering he is still just 26 years old, there are many good years ahead for the center.

Meanwhile, Dan Woike of the Orange County Register adds that the Los Angeles Clippers would be interested in acquiring Kevin Garnett—but only after a buyout:

Dan Woike @DanWoikeSports

Obvious, but #Clippers would be interested in Stoudemire or Garnett if they became available on buyout market regardless of Griffin status

The Nets clearly have a lot of pieces that would interest teams around the league, most of which are doing nothing but costing too much money in their current spots. Although there was a lot of hype for this team a few years ago, it seems likely the core will be broken up before too long.

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