Dan Favale | Thu 08/02/2018 - 03:38 EST

NBA Trade Deadline 2018: Southeast Division Preview

NBA Trade Deadline 2018: Southeast Division Preview
Congratulations to the NBA's Southeast Division! It is the only one of the NBA's six sections completely devoid of a potential championship contender. And believe it or not, that could make for a crazy trade deadline. Will the Magic and Hawks sell, sell, sell? Will the Wizards and Heat buy, buy, buy? What in the world will the Hornets do? Let's rap about the trade-deadline motives of each squad—along with some of the potential betting implications.

Championship odds come courtesy of TopBet and are accurate leading into Thursday, Feb. 8. Please make sure to double-check these lines frequently over the coming days, as they are prone to shifting based off what happens—or, in some cases, doesn’t happen—at the trade deadline.

Every statistical rank and projection is determined by data collected from Basketball-Reference or NBA.com and are accurate leading into games scheduled for Feb. 8. Note that teams are presented in order of increasing winning percentage and not the likelihood they’ll make a splash by the 3 p.m. ET cutoff.

Atlanta Hawks (+200000)


  • Offensive Rating Rank: 23
  • Defensive Rating Rank: 24
  • Net Rating Rank: 25
  • Win-Loss Pace: 26-56
  • Buyers or Sellers: Sellers
  • Biggest Need: Someone to defend bigger wings

Try finding someone on the Atlanta Hawks that isn’t up for grabs. We dare you.

Rookie John Collins is probably off limits. Throw sophomore Taurean Prince in there with him. But everyone else is fair game. 

That’s no accident. The Hawks are chasing the best lottery odds in the business, not wins. And while they will enter Thursday night tied with the Dallas Mavericks for the NBA’s worst record, they could use a loss-loaded cushion that only comes with shedding win-now.

It’ll be genuinely surprising if at least one of Marco Belinelli, Ersan Ilyasova and Dewayne Dedmon isn’t shipped out to another team. Heck, we’d hazard at least two of those guys should be moved. 

Even if nothing ultimately happens, you can bet rival buyers will be calling the Hawks. They have the ability to absorb unwanted salary and no real incentive not to. They’re not on an expeditious timeline, and they can leverage the five first-round picks they control over the next two drafts—including their own—into more aggressive offers from squads looking to rent out cap space.

Regardless of what happens, your impression of the Hawks shouldn’t change too much. Head coach Mike Budenholzer will ensure they work their butts off no matter who is on the roster. You’ll want to steer clear of the occasional line that has them pegged as a favorite or slight underdog, but otherwise, treat them as you should have already been—as that opportunistic single-game dark hose against large spreads.

Orlando Magic (+200000)


  • Offensive Rating Rank: 19
  • Defensive Rating Rank: 27
  • Net Rating Rank: 26
  • Win-Loss Pace: 26-56
  • Buyers or Sellers: Sellers
  • Biggest Need: Picks and cost-controlled prospects

Pretty much everyone on the Orlando Magic’s roster is available, not unlike the Hawks’ situation. Some will have restricted-free-agent-to-be Aaron Gordon off the table, but with a huge payday looming, the front office would be smart to take calls on his availability.

The dunk master’s most recent hip injury likely guarantees he’ll stay put. Plus, he’s the closest thing they have to a cornerstone. It’d be tough to stomach losing him, even though he was drafted by the previous regime. After him, there’s Jonathan Isaac. It’s too soon to bail on the rookie who has shown promise while laboring through some injuries on his own.

Beyond those two, though, the Magic will be looking to clear the decks. They probably won’t move Terrence Ross or Nikola Vucevic due to their injuries, and Bismack Biyombo’s contract is too huge to lop off, but guys like Elfrid Payton, Jonathon Simmons, Mario Hezonja, Evan Fournier and Marreese Speights could, and should, be on the move.

Orlando needs to do something. Anything. Its lottery odds would give them the third-best chance at landing the No. 1 overall pick if the shindig was held today. That’s not enough. Not given their post-Dwight Howard draft-day history. They’re nothing plays now, and that won’t change after the trade deadline—even though they should make sure their roster does. 

Charlotte Hornets (+50000)


  • Offensive Rating Rank: 15
  • Defensive Rating Rank: 14
  • Net Rating Rank: 18
  • Win-Loss Pace: 36-46
  • Buyers or Sellers: Should-be sellers, but could-be buyers
  • Biggest Need: Picks, cost-controlled prospects and cap relief

The Charlotte Hornets are battling against their sellers designation. They have already traded for center Willy Hernangomez from the New York Knicks and continue to show zero inclination to move franchise cornerstone Kemba Walker.

This is, to put it kindly, a massive mistake. The Hornets have no cap flexibility moving forward. They’ll have to worry about paying the luxury tax as early as next season. They’ll definitely need to worry about paying it after re-signing Walker in 2019.

That, of course, presumes he will want to stick around. He might not. The Hornets don’t have a clear path toward substantially upgrading this roster until the summer of 2020 at the absolute earliest. And even if he waits out the next couple years, this franchise has yet to show the capacity to make proactive moves the culminate in them getting over the hump.

Keep a close watch on the Hornets. You’ll want to avoid them at the sportsbooks at all costs if they do nothing. Should they give into moving Walker or, against all odds, nab an impact acquisition, you’ll want to rejigger the scope on single-game wagers. 

Miami Heat (+7500)


  • Offensive Rating Rank: 24
  • Defensive Rating Rank: 8
  • Net Rating Rank: 20
  • Win-Loss Pace: 43-39
  • Buyers or Sellers: Default buyers
  • Biggest Need: Playmaking, floor-spacing wing

Ideally, the Miami Heat would be sellers. But they have too many market-level and above-market contracts and not enough sweeteners to stage a roster-wide purge. They’re married to their current core, for better or worse.

That means they’ll need to seek out upgrades in advance of the playoffs. Though they’ll be more active on the buyout market after the deadline, look for them to gauge Justise Winslow’s value. The right team might be willing to accept his rookie-scale deal, which runs through next season, and a form of salary filler while sending back a playmaking wing in return.

If the Heat can strike a deal for someone like Avery Bradley or Tyreke Evans, they’ll instantly become a favorite to land a top-four seed in the East. If they do nothing, though, you’ll want to limit the amount of money you’re investing in their futures and individual games. They’re too streaky to be reliable options on a nightly basis, and their championship odds are hardly lucrative enough to justify the overt risk you’re taking by investing in them. 

Washington Wizards (+5000)


  • Offensive Rating Rank: 10
  • Defensive Rating Rank: 13
  • Net Rating Rank: 9
  • Win-Loss Pace: 47-35
  • Buyers or Sellers: Buyers
  • Biggest Need: Playmaking wing and, if possible, luxury-taxt relief

Let’s call it now: There’s nothing the Washington Wizards can feasibly do at the trade deadline to make their championship odds worth your time.

Here they are, one of the longer title shots, and they’re laying a piddling +5000. This line, mind you, comes while John Wall is out for six to eight weeks following a knee debridement. 

Should the Wizards broker a trade—say, for DeAndre Jordan or Tyreke Evans—you’ll only see your potential return diminish. That’s not a good spot for a mediocre team to be in. Shoot, they’re technically not even guaranteed a playoff spot. They’ll most likely get in, but their ebbing shot profile and puddle-deep bench doesn’t espouse the same cachet it did last season, when they looked like a possible threat to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ reign.

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Away Score Home Money Line
Monday 05 February
FT Blazers 91 - 111 Detroit Pistons +120 -141 Odds
FT Washington Wizards 111 - 102 Indiana Pacers -149 +130 Odds
FT Orlando Magic 111 - 109 Miami Heat +325 -455 Odds
FT Utah Jazz 133 - 109 Pelicans -110 -110 Odds
FT Charlotte Hornets 104 - 121 Denver Nuggets +160 -179 Odds
FT Chicago Bulls 98 - 104 Sacramento Kings +110 -130 Odds
FT Dallas Mavericks 101 - 104 L.A. Clippers +220 -263 Odds
Tuesday 06 February
FT Cleveland Cavaliers 98 - 116 Orlando Magic -303 +250 Odds
FT Boston Celtics 91 - 111 Toronto Raptors +175 -208 Odds
FT Memphis Grizzlies 82 - 108 Atlanta Hawks +130 -149 Odds
FT Houston Rockets 123 - 113 Brooklyn Nets -769 +520 Odds
FT Milwaukee Bucks 103 - 89 New York Knicks +100 -120 Odds
FT Washington Wizards 102 - 115 Philadelphia 76ers +240 -278 Odds
FT Thunder 125 - 105 Warriors +400 -588 Odds
FT Phoenix Suns 93 - 112 L.A. Lakers +275 -345 Odds
Wednesday 07 February
FT Brooklyn Nets 106 - 115 Detroit Pistons +375 -556 Odds
FT Houston Rockets 109 - 101 Miami Heat -200 +170 Odds
AOT Wolves 138 - 140 Cleveland Cavaliers -164 +145 Odds
FT Utah Jazz 92 - 88 Memphis Grizzlies -278 +240 Odds
Ppd Indiana Pacers 20:00 Pelicans +145 -164 Odds
FT San Antonio Spurs 129 - 81 Phoenix Suns -588 +400 Odds
Thursday 08 February
FT Atlanta Hawks 98 - 100 Orlando Magic -125 +105 Odds
FT New York Knicks 88 - 113 Toronto Raptors +800 -1429 Odds
AOT Boston Celtics 110 - 104 Washington Wizards -130 +110 Odds
AOT Charlotte Hornets 103 - 109 Blazers +130 -149 Odds
FT Dallas Mavericks 103 - 121 Warriors +800 -1429 Odds
FT Thunder 81 - 106 L.A. Lakers +100 -120 Odds
Friday 09 February
FT Pelicans 82 - 100 Philadelphia 76ers +210 -250 Odds
FT L.A. Clippers 108 - 95 Detroit Pistons +145 -164 Odds
FT Cleveland Cavaliers 123 - 107 Atlanta Hawks -130 +110 Odds
FT Indiana Pacers 97 - 91 Boston Celtics +150 -169 Odds
FT Denver Nuggets 104 - 130 Houston Rockets +325 -455 Odds
FT Milwaukee Bucks 85 - 91 Miami Heat +100 -120 Odds
FT Charlotte Hornets 94 - 106 Utah Jazz +210 -250 Odds
FT Wolves 113 - 114 Chicago Bulls -345 +275 Odds
FT Blazers 118 - 100 Sacramento Kings -208 +175 Odds
Saturday 10 February
AOT Pelicans 138 - 128 Brooklyn Nets -135 +115 Odds
FT Milwaukee Bucks 111 - 104 Orlando Magic -208 +175 Odds
FT L.A. Clippers 98 - 112 Philadelphia 76ers +180 -169 Odds
FT Washington Wizards 101 - 90 Chicago Bulls -233 +190 Odds
FT L.A. Lakers 123 - 130 Dallas Mavericks +145 -164 Odds
FT San Antonio Spurs 105 - 122 Warriors +500 -714 Odds
FT Denver Nuggets 123 - 113 Phoenix Suns -323 +260 Odds
Sunday 11 February
Toronto Raptors 13:00 Charlotte Hornets -149 +130 Odds
Detroit Pistons 15:30 Atlanta Hawks -161 +140 Odds
Cleveland Cavaliers 15:30 Boston Celtics +170 -200 Odds
New York Knicks 17:00 Indiana Pacers
Dallas Mavericks 19:00 Houston Rockets Odds
Sacramento Kings 19:00 Wolves +750 -1250 Odds
Memphis Grizzlies 19:00 Thunder
Utah Jazz 21:00 Blazers

Category : Sports Betting News

Tag : atlanta hawks , basketball , charlotte hornets , miami heat , nba , washington wizards

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