The NBA trade deadline for the current season is on February 23, one week after the NBA All-Star Weekend to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina.
While teams doing well in both the Eastern and Western conferences are more or less sure that their roster are already intact as they head to the second half of the NBA 2016-17 season, teams bringing the rear are trying to move some players in order to enhance their respective rosters and earn a better chance of making it to the playoffs.
Thus far, three top NBA players have made it to the trade rumor mills including point guard Goran Dragic of the Miami Heat, point guard Brandon Knight of the Phoenix Suns, and small forward Paul George of the Indiana Pacers.
However, the Pacers management has already denied the rumors that they are putting their star player on the trading block.
That’s in addition to the fact that the Pacers are pretty much in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference and have a good chance of making it to the playoffs this time around.
In fact, they have beaten a number of 0.500 teams of late including the Charlotte Hornets and on December 30, the Chicago Bulls.
Reports have it that the Indiana Pacers are not even interested in discussing Paul George so the rumor about him being traded is purely a rumor.
Makes plenty of sense
However, Goran Dragic and Brandon Knight being in the trade rumor mills make plenty of sense.
As it is, the Miami Heat is not vying for a title this season after losing Dwyane Wade and some other key players. They may find more value trading away a 30-year old Dragic for valuable assets now than risking diminishing his trade value by holding on to him, reports Forbes.
Sacramento has had an interest in trading for Dragic earlier in the year, offering up Rudy Gay but stopping short of meeting the Heat’s demands for Darren Collison.
While Dragic to the Kings doesn’t make much sense, it makes sense for the Minnesota Timberwolves who could offer the Heat valuable assets including draft picks and/or Ricky Rubio in return.
Despite Dragic’s hefty contract, Minnesota would be a great fit as his leadership, court vision, and acumen would help with the development of their young stars and perhaps lead to a playoff push next season or after.
Minnesota has been reported to be a team that has been keeping an eye on Dragic.
Aside from the Timberwolves, the New York Knicks is another team looking to get the services of Dragic.
The Kings eyeing Knight
Meanwhile, the Sacramento Kings are interested, once again in a trade for the Phoenix Suns guard and they are looking at getting point guard Brandon Knight.
But Sacramento is not the only team interested in Knight. The most appealing trade option, on paper, seems to be the Philadelphia 76ers offering Nerlens Noel to Phoenix for Knight, should the two teams discuss those options.
According to rumors, the Kings are the only team talking about a Knight trade, but it’s hard to imagine the Sixers and Suns not having a talk before the trade deadline as they match up wonderfully for a trade.
The Sixers are running out of time to make a trade, and they absolutely need to make a trade this season. The team has three big men in Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, and Nerlens Noel that they cannot effectively be on the same roster, notes Fansided.
All indications point to Nerlens Noel being the piece that the Sixers trade after he has alienated himself from the team by criticizing the current situation he is in. The problem is that he hasn’t played many minutes this season, so teams aren’t quite sure what he can be after his recent surgery on his knee.
While there have been minimal reported trade rumors regarding the Sixers so far, there have been rumors about other players around the league, and there’s potential for the Sixers to fit in.