Trades With Potential to Happen at NBA Trade Deadline
Written by Chad Flannery on February 22, 2017
Photo Credit: CSN Chicago
1. Jimmy Butler is finally traded to Boston
Rumors of the Chicago Bulls trading their young superstar to the Celtics have been floating around since last year’s deadline. While the Celtics currently hold the second-best record in the east, only behind the Cavaliers, the amount of young talent and draft picks they have is insane. On the other hand, Chicago is towards the back of the pack. As of now, they hold the seventh seed in the East but only by one game. Chicago needs to get what they can out of Butler before his value depletes. As much as the Bulls executives say they do not want it to happen, they need to do what is best for the franchise. If a deal happens, expect the Celtics to send a combination of young players, such as Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart, along with a few draft picks, in exchange for Butler and possibly a draft pick.
2. Paul George is shipped to the Lakers
This one is interesting. Paul George has openly expressed his desire to stay in Indiana if the team can do one thing: contend for an NBA championship. However, this is something that is unlikely. Even though the Pacers are only a few years removed from back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances, it seems like they are slowly on the decline. They currently sit in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference standings and may look at their roster and realize they must do the dreaded thing that all sports teams hate: rebuild. The Pacers are putting the full-court-press on finding key pieces to trade for to better their team, but with the deadline approaching, they may just ship out George. But where would he go? George has also publicly admitted having interest to sign with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 when he becomes a free agent; therefore, it is a possibility. The Pacers would rather get something out of him then just let George walk. If a blockbuster deal happens, expect the Lakers to send a young player or two along with draft picks in exchange for George and a possible draft pick as well.
3. Jahlil Okafor heads to the Trailblazers
This one is the most realistic of them all. While this trade may not involve a star player, it involves an offensive big man with a lot of potential. Okafor has simply gotten lost in Philadelphia’s logjam of a front court, leaving him expendable. The third overall pick in 2015 may not demand to much in return, given the limited amount of playing time he has been given. Okafor has been linked to Indiana, Chicago, New Orleans and Portland. Chicago doesn’t seem to be too far into talks for Okafor, New Orleans has removed themselves since acquiring Demarcus Cousins from Sacramento and Portland’s talks with Philadelphia have stalled over a disagreement in who would be involved in the trade. However, expect the talks with the Trailblazers to be reassessed. If a deal happens with the Trailblazers, expect the Sixers to receive a rotational player and possibly a draft pick in return.