NBA trade deadline rumors

Mike Eshlemen

Staff Writer

 

As we come up on the midway point in the NBA season, teams are looking to move players around, via trade, to take the next step in competing for an NBA championship.

One of the biggest stories of the season has been Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, publicly asking for the team to add more playmakers. However, what feasible trade could the team make to take the next step?

Many have speculated a potential trade for Chicago Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo. With Rondo beginning to gain the reputation of a locker room distraction, the Cavaliers may be smart to steer clear of him. Outside of Rondo, the pickings appear to be slim.

One of the biggest young names currently on the market is Jahlil Okafor, the Philadelphia 76ers center. Okafor, who had a very productive rookie season for a bad 76ers team a year ago, is one of the more coveted names on the market due to his young age and offensive upside.

The emergence of Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel this season has pushed Okafor to the backburner. Okafor still has a ton of work to do on the defensive end, but he is seemingly making those strides game by game. Some possible suitors for Okafor include the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, with a few other teams in the mix.

The 76ers are rumored to be looking for a first round pick as compensation for the former #3 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Outside of smaller trades, will there be any blockbuster trades involving superstars in the works before this year’s trade deadline? It’s usually hard to tell but the Raptors made a splash by trading for the Serge Ibaka, the Magic’s power forward. Ibaka could be the missing piece the Raptors need to make some noise in the NBA playoffs and possibly contend with the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Boston Celtics currently have a ton of assets that they could be looking to trade for players to make a push in the Eastern Conference, as well. The Celtics own the Brooklyn Nets 2017 and 2018 first round pick, which is currently projected to be the #1 overall pick based on the Nets current record.

For a team with plenty of talent as it is, could the Celtics looks to package those picks and make a run at someone like Jimmy Butler from the Bulls or even Paul George from the Pacers? NBA fans should stay tuned this week as rumors and reports will pick up. The NBA trade deadline is set for Thursday, February 16th at 3 pm.