BS Meter on Latest NBA Trade Buzz 1 Month Before 2022 Deadline

Greg Swartz@@GregSwartzBRCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterJanuary 11, 2022

BS Meter on Latest NBA Trade Buzz 1 Month Before 2022 Deadline

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    Trade talk is about to consume the NBA as we draw closer to the Feb. 10 deadline, with plenty of teams looking to buy from a small pool of sellers.

    It's important to sift through the rumors this time of year, separating what's true from what teams or agents wish us to believe is true. Leaks happen for a reason, and there's almost always a trail that can be followed.

    It's time to dust off the BS Meter to identify what's true, what's false, and what could be a bit of both as we enter trade season.

Lakers Interested in Myles Turner

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    While we all thought Anthony Davis was the best center for a Lakers team who only possessed Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan as its other options, it's actually been 37-year-old-he-was-a-full-time-point-guard-just-two-years-ago LeBron James at the 5 that's been the most successful thus far.

    The Lakers are 5-1 with James as the starting center with Russell Westbrook and a trio of shooters around him.

    Still, this doesn't seem sustainable throughout the season, especially with James averaging 36.8 minutes per night, his most since signing in L.A.

    One solution? A potential trade for Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner, who Shams Charania of The Athletic notes the Lakers are interested in. He also lists the Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks as potential suitors.

    Turner is a good enough floor-spacer to fit in offensively next to James and Westbrook, and he's one of the better rim protectors in the league. It's easy to see the Lakers slowing down the pace in a playoff series and letting Turner and Anthony Davis bully teams defensively.

    Wanting Turner is one thing. Having the assets to trade for him is quite another.

    Talen Horton-Tucker would have to be included in the deal, and the Lakers would also need to include either Kendrick Nunn or two players on a minimum deal to make the money work. Without a first-round pick to trade until 2027, Los Angeles could only sprinkle in a few future second-rounders and hope the Pacers bite.

    Unfortunately, all the other teams interested in Turner all have more draft picks to offer and far more salary-matching options. There's just no way the Lakers can come away with the best offer.

    Let's hope James at center keeps working.

    BS Meter: No BS that the Lakers are interested in Turner, BS that they can actually trade for him.

Cavs Not Looking to Trade Collin Sexton, Want to Re-Sign Him Instead

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    Despite being lost for the season with a torn left meniscus, Collin Sexton still projects to carry some trade value at the deadline for teams who wish to sign him to a new deal. The 23-year-old will be a restricted free agent this summer, meaning organizations that want to deal for the high-scoring shooting guard now aren't at risk of losing him anytime soon.

    With the Cavs in sixth place in the East and looking to establish themselves as a playoff team, it could be tempting to trade Sexton for a player who can help them immediately. According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, this isn't the case.

    "People have speculated whether they would trade Collin Sexton, and I don't think they're looking to do that at all. I think they want to re-sign him and bring him back," he said on Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast.

    Sexton and the Cavs failed to negotiate a long-term deal last offseason, one where Sexton was reportedly looking for a four-year, $100 million deal, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

    Cleveland should feel they can re-sign him for much less, given his injury and the success the team has had without him.

    If the Cavs keep Sexton and re-sign him to a four-year deal between $70 million and $80 million instead, this new contract could turn into a terrific bargain for a player who flirted with All-Star status a year ago. It also gives Cleveland an attractive trade piece down the road should they want to split up the pairing of him and Darius Garland.

    The Cavs would be smart not to go "all-in" this season with such a young core, and they should absolutely hold on to Sexton at the deadline.

    BS Meter: Zero BS detected. Keeping and extending Sexton this summer is the right move as long as he makes a full recovery.

Celtics Have 'No Interest' in Splitting Up Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown

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    The Boston Celtics have been one of the NBA's biggest disappointments this season, sitting at 20-21 and in 10th place in the East.

    This has certainly sparked some debate whether the time has come to split up the star pairing of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, something even the two have discussed themselves.

    "I think we can play together," Brown said via ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "We have played together well for the majority of our career and things like that. The last year or so hasn't gone as expected, but I think a lot of the adversity that we're kind of going through now is going to help us grow and get better in the future."

    If Boston were to make either available, Tatum or Brown would instantly become the biggest prize on the market and fetch a significant return, one that could hypothetically complement the incumbent star better.

    According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Celtics "indicated to rival teams that they want to build around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown—and have no interest to split up the two All-Star forwards right now, sources said."

    While the pair may be headed for an eventual breakup, there's simply no reason to make a move yet.

    Brown is under contract until the conclusion of the 2023-24 campaign. Tatum is in the first season of a five-year extension.

    Boston has a net rating of plus-1.3 this season but is beating opponents by 5.1 points per 100 possessions with Tatum and Brown on the floor in 561 minutes together.

    The duo is working, even if the rest of the roster certainly has its flaws.

    BS Meter: No BS here. A breakup may eventually come, but it shouldn't be this season.

76ers Are 'Comfortable' Not Trading Ben Simmons Before Deadline

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    After surviving this far as a member of the 76ers roster, could Simmons really stay in Philly past the deadline?

    The Sixers have won seven games in a row behind a healthy and thriving Joel Embiid and now sit in fifth place in the East. Without Simmons, this can still be a really good team that could win a playoff series. It's hard to imagine Philly advancing any further, however, unless Simmons comes back (highly unlikely) or is traded for another star or some high-quality rotation pieces.

    According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the 76ers seem OK holding on to Simmons at the deadline:

    "The Sixers are in a position where if they can't find the trade they're looking for, where they return an All-Star caliber player for Ben Simmons, they're comfortable not trading Ben Simmons before that deadline, keeping him on the roster ... and hoping he can come back and play for them this year."

    All-Star or bust has been the card Daryl Morey continues to play, and only time will tell if it's the right one or not. The problem with this approach is the lack of All-Star players on the trade market, especially in non-post positions where Philly already deploys Embiid and Tobias Harris.

    Domantas Sabonis is a two-time All-Star and could be available, but he doesn't look like a perfect fit next to Embiid even if Harris was moved. Damian Lillard has battled an abdominal injury all season and Bradley Beal chatter has been quiet.

    Given Embiid's injury history, it would be a shame to waste what's become another All-Star season from one of the NBA's premier big men. Holding on to Simmons—knowing he likely won't play for the team again— sends a dangerous message to the rest of the guys in the locker room that help isn't coming for a playoff run.

    Keeping the asking price high for a while was the right move, but Philly should absolutely not be "comfortable" with any situation that involves keeping Simmons until next season.

    BS Meter: Pure BS. The 76ers may want an All-Star, but there's nothing comfortable about keeping Simmons past the deadline for anyone.

Bradley Beal 'Not Mentioned at All' in Trade Talks

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    Remember the days where Bradley Beal couldn't stay out of trade rumors? Like Blockbuster Video or that KB Toys you always begged your parents to go into at the mall, those rumors are now closed for business.

    As ESPN's Brian Windhorst mentioned on The Hoop Collective Podcast, "I have heard nothing on Bradley Beal in the trade market. His name hasn’t been mentioned at all."

    A 10-3 start to the season certainly helped cool any potential trade talk for Beal, although the Wizards' poor play since should have at least opened up some lines of communication for the star shooting guard.

    Since Nov. 16, Washington is just 10-17 overall and has a net rating of minus-5.6, the seventh-worst in the NBA over that span. With Beal having the option to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason and potentially leave the Wizards for nothing, it's odd there hasn't been at least a little chatter.

    This is especially true for a team like the Philadelphia 76ers, who would likely crave a perimeter talent like Beal to flip Ben Simmons and draft picks for.

    If the Wizards aren't even having conversations, it could be that Beal has pledged his intent to sign an extension this summer. If this is the case, and Washington is happy paying him roughly $235 million over five years, then it makes sense that his name hasn't been mentioned at all.

    BS Meter: No BS if the Wizards feel confident Beal will re-sign this summer.