NBA Teams That Will Look to Make Roster Moves After The Trade Deadline
Championship odds are taken from TopBet and are accurate as of games played on Monday, Feb. 12. Please make sure you’re poring over these lines before deciding or placing a wager, as the top contenders will experience dips and swings in the weeks after the trade deadline.
Boston Celtics (+1500)
The Boston Celtics needed to acquire another self-sufficient scorer at the trade deadline. They failed. They were linked to Tyreke Evans, but the Memphis Grizzlies never ended up moving him. They definitely missed the boat on Rodney Hood, who ended up with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Though they have already signed Greg Monroe after his buyout with the Phoenix Suns, the Celtics may not be done. They’ll need to clear a roster spot, but if another shot creator becomes available at this stage of the season, they need him. They rank 29th in points scored per 100 possessions since Christmas Day.
Cleveland Cavaliers (+600)
The Cleveland Cavaliers could technically be done after overhauling, like, roughly half of their roster at the trade deadline. But their frontcourt rotation remains shaky. Kevin Love is out for another six weeks or so, and short of making LeBron James a full-time 4, the idea of playing Larry Nance Jr. and Tristan Thompson at the same time doesn’t sit right.
Expect for them to surf the market in search of another big man—someone who can play alongside both Love and Thompson, and in a pinch, Thompson. If Nerlens Noel and the Dallas Mavericks part ways via a buyout, we might as well pencil him in for a trip to Cleveland.
Golden State Warriors (-200)
Believe it or not, the Golden State Warriors need shooting. Their bench ranks dead last in three-pointers made per 100 possessions, and their starting lineup only includes three above-board shooters in Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
But a few issues spring to mind, the first of which is playing time. Guys that get bought out typically want to go somewhere they’ll end up playing with some semblance of consistency. The Warriors cannot offer that, not even with head coach Steve Kerr routinely emptying their bench. Marco Belinelli chose the Philadelphia 76ers over them, while Joe Johnson rolled with the Houston Rockets over them.
That brings us to the second issue: availability. Belinelli and Johnson may end up being the two best shooters who hit the buyout market, and they’re already off the board.
Minnesota Timberwolves (+6000)
Let’s face it: Derrick Rose is probably headed for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He used to play for head coach Tom Thibodeau, and they can talk themselves into housing another ball-handler.
Except, the Timberwolves need a playmaker who can shoot. Rose isn’t that. And they don’t need a backup point guard otherwise. Tyus Jones has been that good. They can, and should, instead hold out to see how the market for sweet-shooting wings develops over the next couple weeks.
New Orleans Pelicans (+75000)
The New Orleans Pelicans opened a pair of roster spots with the Nikola Mirotic trade. They’ve yet to permanently fill them. They signed Emeka Okafor to a series of 10-day contracts, so he could stick with them long term. Even if he does, they’ll still have room for one more addition—preferably a wing.
Those types of players don’t just become available this late into the season. The Pelicans know this. They’ve taken a long-shot flier on Rashad Vaughn, who they acquired at the trade deadline for Dante Cunningham from the Brooklyn Nets, because of it.
Much like the Timberwolves and Warriors, though, count on the Pelicans to scour the available ranks for any and all wings who might become available. One name to watch here, for what it’s worth: Michael Beasley, who is now immaterial to the should-be tanking New York Knicks after Kristaps Porzingis’ injury.
Oklahoma City Thunder (+2500)
After failing to acquire an Andre Roberson replacement at the trade deadline, the Oklahoma City Thunder have to hope a defensive specialist who can guard bigger wings becomes available on the buyout market. That is, needless to say, a tall order.
Luckily for the Thunder, they’re not totally screwed. Veteran pest Tony Allen is available. He’s undersized compared to Roberson, but he’s made a living off guarding players much bigger and stronger than him. While he’s lost some of his verve at 36 and battled injuries for much of this season, he’s the best option on the market unless a surprise free agent emerges.
San Antonio Spurs (+3500)
Of all the teams on this list, the San Antonio Spurs are the least likely to make a move. Ironically enough, though, they also have the most motivation to do so.
Kawhi Leonard continues to sit on the sidelines with a quad injury and has no timetable for his return. LaMarcus Aldridge, meanwhile, is now laboring through a sore right knee. Even if Aldridge doesn’t miss more than a beat, the Spurs could use an offensive punch to safeguard them against a season-long absence from Leonard.
This sounds crazy, because it kind of is, but would they consider taking a flier on Beasley if the Knicks buy him out? Probably not. Or maybe they would. We’ll have to wait and see.
Toronto Raptors (+2000)
As one of the two or three deepest teams in the NBA, the Toronto Raptors don’t need to do much, if anything. But they are a little light on wings if they don’t plan to play the recently acquired Malachi Richardson.
One name, of course, sticks out above the rest: Vince Carter. The Sacramento Kings are headed nowhere, and they would surely grant a buyout if the asked. At 41, he could seek to play for a more likely championship participant, like the Warriors. But he has history with the Raptors, and they need someone who can provide some spot-up shooting and offer the occasional defensive stop.
Carter, even at his age, fits this bill.
Washington Wizards (+5000)
Snaring another playmaker has to be atop the Washington Wizards’ list of post-deadline priorities. Neither Tim Frazier nor Tomas Satoransky is equipped to run their own units without Bradley Beal and John Wall—the latter of whom will miss the next six weeks or so after undergoing a knee debridement.
Players like Derrick Rose and Ty Lawson have been floated as potential solutions. And if they’re first willing to sign a series of 10-day contracts, that’s great. But the Wizards should try waiting out the buyout market until the March 1 deadline to see whether Isaiah Thomas and the Los Angeles Lakers opt for a mutual parting of the ways.
Houston Rockets (+400)
General manager Daryl Morey is never done tweaking the Rockets’ roster, so they have to be on this list. But he’s already made two early moves with the addition of Johnson and big man Brandan Wright.
With no roster spots and a dearth of available talent, the Rockets could be done for the year. At the same time, should someone like Isaiah Thomas or perhaps even Jarrett Jack become available, Houston is a tad shallow in the floor-general department behind Chris Paul and James Harden.
Category : Sports Betting News
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