NBA Rumors: Analyzing Hottest Trade Buzz Entering 2020 Deadline Day

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma in action during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Los Angeles, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

The NBA trade deadline has already sparked some movement. In a four-team, 12-player transaction, the Houston Rockets landed forward Robert Covington, and Clint Capela will go to the Atlanta Hawks. The Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves helped facilitate the operation.

Andre Iguodala didn't seem to have any intention to play for the Memphis Grizzlies. He missed all 51 of the team's games. The organization accepted a deal that will send him to the Miami Heat, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

With hours left before the 3 p.m. ET cutoff point, several clubs remain in talks to acquire and unload talent or future draft picks.

The phones are on fire as contending teams look for the final pieces to complete a solid roster and other squads look toward the future. We'll highlight the hottest trade rumors and break down the aspects of each potential deal.


Miami Heat Pursuing Danilo Gallinari After Acquiring Andre Iguodala

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The Heat managed to pry Iguodala from the Grizzlies, but team president Pat Riley isn't done in his quest to bolster the roster. He'll reportedly target Gallinari, per Wojnarowski:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Miami, Memphis and Oklahoma City are working on an elaborate three-team deal that would land the Heat both Andre Iguodala and Danilo Gallinari, league sources tell ESPN. Talks are ongoing and could extend into Thursday, sources said.

In his 12th season, Gallinari is shooting 41 percent from the field—that's three percent higher than his career average. Riley's interest makes sense. The Heat's lead scorer, Jimmy Butler, isn't much of a three-point shooter, knocking down just 28 triples in 44 games.

With Gallinari, Miami could stretch the floor at the 4 and boost its scoring. The 6'10" forward averages the second-most points (19.2) on the Oklahoma City Thunder's roster.

Because the Thunder are seventh in the Western Conference standings, general manager Sam Presti may resist offers for the 31-year-old, who is a key part of Oklahoma City's 30-20 squad.

With Miami sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, expect Riley to remain aggressive in his push to acquire an offensive asset before Thursday's deadline.


New York Knicks Targeting Kyle Kuzma, Landry Shamet in Separate Deals 

Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

The New York Knicks' communications with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers involve Marcus Morris Sr.

Both teams want the ninth-year forward as an addition to their title-contending rosters. They'll have to give up young talent to facilitate a trade, though, per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times

Brad Turner @BA_Turner

Lakers/Clippers in trade conversations about Knicks' Marcus Morris, sources. NY interested in Kyle Kuzma; would need Danny Green's contract to make work. NY would want to move Green to another team. Clippers willing to part with Mo Harkless, but like Landry Shamet, who NY wants.

Although Kuzma's numbers are down from the 2018-19 season, the Lakers would likely ask for more than Morris to execute a trade. Remember, Los Angeles held on to the third-year forward and sent a package of draft picks and young assets in Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis. 

As the lasting piece of the Lakers' youth movement, general manager Rob Pelinka shouldn't send Kuzma to the Knicks for Morris' expiring contract as the main component in a deal. If the two clubs swap assets, expect another team to join the transaction or New York to beef up its end of the bargain. 

The Clippers aren't enthusiastic about moving Landry Shamet, so the Knicks may have to move on to a new target at guard.

Regardless, after the Knicks fired team president Steve Mills Tuesday, Morris seems like he's on his way out, per Newsday's Steve Popper. The Knicks beat reporter also mentions the team's unwavering interest in guard D'Angelo Russell, making Golden State a potential landing spot for Morris.


Los Angeles Lakers Seeking Guard Help, Interested in Spencer Dinwiddie, Dennis Schroder

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

When asked if the Lakers were "one piece away" from contending for an NBA title, LeBron James said "we have enough right now." The front office thinks the backcourt needs more support, though.

According to ESPN's Zach Lowe (h/t Alex Kennedy of USA Today's HoopsHype), the Lakers inquired about a pair of guards—one of them primarily the sixth man for his current team: 

Alex Kennedy @AlexKennedyNBA

The Lakers have made some calls to ask about the availability of Spencer Dinwiddie and Dennis Schroder, according to Zach Lowe on this ESPN deadline special.

Clearly, the Lakers want someone who can initiate the offense but also score when James goes to the bench. Schroder and Dinwiddie average 19.1 and 21 points, respectively. The latter would provide position versatility with the size (6'5", 215 lbs) to play either guard position or slide to the 3 in small-ball lineups. 

Lakers guard Rajon Rondo plays with great court vision, but he struggles to score on demand, averaging 7.6 points per contest this season. The coaching staff hasn't trusted Quinn Cook or Alex Caruso with big minutes. They're both averaging fewer than 19 minutes per outing.

Don't expect the Lakers to land Schroder unless they're willing to part with premium assets. The Thunder want a big return for the seventh-year guard, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin:

Dave McMenamin @mcten

The Lakers inquired about Dennis Schröder as they look to fortify the PG position leading up to the trade deadline, sources told ESPN. The conversation did not go very far, as OKC -- currently the No. 7 seed in the West -- were not looking to move him without a hefty return.

As a key part of the Brooklyn Nets' rotation, averaging 30.9 minutes per game with 35 starts, Dinwiddie is a tough target as well. The Lakers will likely receive a similar response in their inquiry for him.

Expect Los Angeles to expand its search to acquire help.


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