NBA Trade Rumors: Top Reports Surrounding 2017 All-Star WeekendFebruary 18, 2017
Turmoil has dominated storylines as the February 23 cutoff deal date approaches. What’s the latest on Chicago Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler? Why should we pay more attention to Derrick Rose than Carmelo Anthony in the upcoming days?
The NBA trade deadline could either propel or plummet a team’s chances at the postseason. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors remain the favorites to meet in the NBA Finals. However, a move or two could place another squad in the mix for an upset.
We'll take a brief intermission from All-Star Weekend action to break down some of the juiciest trade reports around the league. Is your team a buyer or seller? Will any big names find new destinations?
Chicago’s Centerpiece Wants to Stay
The Bulls haven’t exactly been on the same page lately. Almost two weeks ago, head coach Fred Hoiberg removed Butler from the starting lineup for a game against the Miami Heat. The Bulls’ best roster asset has been linked to the Boston Celtics in recent trade talks, per the Chicago Tribune reporter K.C. Johnson.
However, sources close to the two-time All-Star revealed his unwavering loyalty to the team that drafted him No. 30 overall in 2011, per ESPN NBA writer Seerat Sochi:
A better question might be this: Should Butler want the Bulls to trade him? A source close to Butler said the swingman doesn't want that outcome. He is grounded in Chicago, according to the source, and would loathe to leave with unfinished business. Superman, of course, is nothing if not loyal. And Butler feels a degree of loyalty to the franchise that entrusted a first-round pick to a relatively unknown prospect.
Allowing Butler to walk for anything less than another two-way All-Star player would set the Bulls backward to the Tim Floyd-coached teams between the 1998-2002 seasons. The decision to build a roster around 35-year-old Dwyane Wade and a Rajon Rondo experiment that’s blown up in flames wouldn’t be an ideal plan for the future.
If Butler wants to stay, it’s foolish to push him out. At this point, he’s more valuable than Hoiberg, who’s failed to establish an identity for his roster.
Derrick Rose’s Future in New York in Doubt?
While we’re watching team president Phil Jackson play mind games with Anthony, there’s a higher probability in trading Rose. Remember, the Knicks’ star forward has a no-trade clause that he intends to enforce, per USA Today’s Steve Popper:
This year, Jackson has dragged Anthony through the coals with cryptic tweets and harsh public opinion, which isn’t the smartest move considering the player holds contract leverage. Knicks brass will need to find another way to acquire assets without a clear-cut plan to deal their best player.
Well, there’s Rose in a contract year, who’s looking to cash in while the NBA freely passes out bloated salaries to players with an ounce of talent. The 28-year-old point guard can still help a team in need of a push at the 5-spot. He’s shooting 46 percent from the field, which is better than his MVP year during the 2010-11 season.
According to ESPN writer Ian Begley’s league sources, multiple teams could vie for what’s left in Rose’s tank. He averages 17.7 points and 4.5 assists per game, which may help several teams attempting to sneak into the playoffs or add another layer to a competitive roster.
The Knicks could potentially unload Rose, who’s playing at his best for a while and acquire developing assets for the team’s future. At 23-34, with Anthony not budging on his no-trade clause, New York should begin thinking long term as opposed to winning an NBA title in the current year.
Detroit Ditching Reggie Jackson?
Although head coach Stan Van Gundy denied a report about a potential trade that would send point guard Reggie Jackson to the Minnesota Timberwolves, per Detroit Free Press reporter Vince Ellis, ESPN reporter Marc Stein’s sources brought up another rumored deal:
On the surface, the transaction doesn’t make sense for the Pistons. Jackson signed an $80 million contract, per Spotrac, which runs through the 2019-20 season. After battling back from knee and thumb injuries, he’s struggled on both ends of the court while shooting 42 percent. However, Detroit can’t resort to knee-jerk reactions to improve their playoff outlook.
Currently, the Pistons hold the No. 8 spot in the East, which mirrors their placement from the previous year. Based on the lineup changes, Detroit's problem won’t be solved with new bodies. Van Gundy should work on pushing the right buttons with the team in place instead of trading a point guard, who’s still second on the team in scoring and typically plays solid defense. The potential target, guard D.J. Augustin, provides instant offense, but he’s a sixth man at best.
On the other side, the Orlando Magic already traded forward Serge Ibaka and would certainly welcome Jackson to the fold under head coach Frank Vogel, who prefers a more methodical approach on offense. The trade advantage swings favorable for the Magic over a seemingly desperate Pistons team seeking offense.
Stats provided by Basketball-Reference or NBA.com unless otherwise noted.