Each year in the NBA there are teams that either reach a peak in their success, can’t find a way to succeed, or are on the verge of really making that jump to relevance. These teams are burdened with the decision on whether or not they should rebuild, or try to find some guys that will put them over the hump. Let’s take a look at some teams who should strongly consider holding a fire sale before the trade deadline.
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks are the most obvious team on this list. Phil Jackson put together a 2011 All-Star team, praying that maybe it will work out. Meanwhile, he’s used the Knicks cap space on players who won’t be playing at a high level by the time Porzingis is truly ready to lead a team to the playoffs. It’s time for the Knicks to do everything they can to get some younger pieces around Porzingis.
Outside of KP and Hernangomez, the Knicks have very little young talent on the roster. Barring some luck this year, they won’t have a particularly high lottery pick in the near future either. To make matters worse, they have very little free agent appeal. Which means the Knicks need to explore the trade market.
This week, the Knicks should be desperate to acquire picks and solid young talent to build this team around KP. Keeping players like Melo, Noah, and Rose will just leave the Knicks running in place until Melo’s contract expires.
There needs to be serious movement on this roster before the trade deadline, but that will be a tall task for Phil Jackson. Noah’s contract is virtually unmovable, and most teams expect Melo to stay with the Knickspast the deadline. But if they can find a deal for Melo that he would approve, the time to move him is now.
Rose, on the other hand, is seen as a potential trade target and the Knicks would be wise to move him for any asset they can get. The Timberwolves have reportedly contacted the Knicks about Rose, and if they could get Rubio in return it would be a home-run for Phil Jackson.
The Bulls are trying their best to downplay what is going on with their season, but they very well know this team is not structured to compete for a championship. They came into this season with some new faces who they thought would give them a shot at dethroning the Cavs, yet they find themselves seventh seed in the East, with a below .500 record.
With many core players on the verge of free agency within the next few years, and a coach who has little control over the locker room, the Bulls should strip their current roster and try to acquire some valuable picks and assets to help them rebuild. Especially now since they are unlikely to receive the draft pick from the Kings which is top 10 protected, following the DeMarcus Cousins trade.
With veterans such as Jimmy Butler, Dwayne Wade, Taj Gibson, Rajon Rondo, and Nikola Mirotic, the team can get some value back in a deal, but their options are limited.
Moving Rondo will be a tough task, as no team will be giving up any value for him. Trading Dwyane Wade also doesn’t seem to be a realistic option.
But if the Bulls can move Gibson and Mirotic to a playoff contender before the deadline, it may be a worthwhile move for Chicago. Trading Jimmy Butler is another potential route to explore, with a deal to the Celtics expected to loom over the next week. But if they’re going to move him, they better get a homerun offer in return for their franchise player.
Phoenix is on this list for a much different reason. This team has some serious young talent in Booker, Chriss, Len, Bledsoe, and numerous others. They will also likely have a top 3 pick in this upcoming draft. This is a team that can trade for a star. It’s unclear if he’s actually on the market or not, but imagine a backcourt of Booker and Bledsoe with Paul George on the wing. That would be a sight to see.
Look for this team to aggressively try to make a big splash before the deadline, they truly feel they are one player away from being a perennial playoff team. Reports suggest that they are willing to part ways with nearly every player except for Booker. Ryan McDonough, the Suns GM is even on record saying that the Suns are looking to package some players together to get a star in return.
If they are unable to get a star, they should at the very least consider moving veterans such as Tyson Chandler, PJ Tucker, and Brandon Knight to see what value they can get back for them. Reports suggest they will do just that.
The Suns will definitely be a team to keep an eye on this week.
Denver seems to have really found their way this season, sitting in the 8th spot in the West. This team is filled with strong young talent in Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Will Barton, and Emmanuel Mudiay. They’ve made one trade already, but it’s time for Denver to ship out players such as Faried, Gallinari, and Wilson Chandler.
There is a lot of talent within this team but they are missing a key piece to really tie it all together. Packaging some of their veterans could potentially get them a star or some picks in return. There has also been reports suggesting they could move Mudiay, with Jamal Murray and Gary Harris proving to be the guards with the most potential in the future.
Boston is reportedly interested in Gallinari, and Chandler has drawn interest from the Clippers and Thunder. These are deals the Nuggets should explore.
With the potential filled young core they have put together, the Nuggets should be strong buyers with the intention to sell at the deadline. They have the cap room to take on large contracts and getting a star with playoff experience, who can lead this team would most likely lock Denver in to the 8th spot in the West this year. A Nuggets fire sale is on the horizon.