The NBA trade deadline is nearly a month away on Feb. 8, so expect the rumor mill to whirl between now and then as every team in the league tries to position itself to either contend for the postseason or prepare for the summer with an eye toward the future. Already, the Raptors sent OG Anunoby to the Knicks in exchange for a package centered on RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley. While that was a major domino to fall, it was only the beginning of what may be a very busy trade deadline. With that stated, here’s a look at the newest rumors around the league as each team prepares for Feb. 8:
The Kings have withdrawn from talks with Siakam; the Pacers and Pistons are also interested. For the longest time, the Hawks were thought to be the most aggressive suitors for Siakam, but that has changed recently. According to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, Atlanta is now perceived as a seller across the league, as the team’s priority has moved to retrieving assets and preparing for next season.
This is hardly a surprise move given that the Hawks handed up three first-round selections to acquire Murray and are 14-20 this season. According to Shams Charania, the Kings had a strong interest in Siakam and were in lengthy talks with the Raptors until late Friday night, when they chose to pull out. It’s unclear why the talks fell through, but Siakam’s impending free agency could have played a role.
According to Fischer, the Pacers and Pistons are still considered contenders. Indiana had previously expressed interest in Siakam, but Detroit’s presence is noteworthy. While the Pistons have broken their historic 28-game losing streak, it is surprising that this team is interested in attempting to get someone like Siakam rather than dealing somebody like Bojan Bogdanovic. But it’s evident that Detroit isn’t interested in bottoming out—even though they are—and is more interested in bringing in veteran talent to complement Cade Cunningham, Jared Ivey, and the rest of their young core. Dejounte Murray has been made available by the Hawks.
Only a year and a half after making Murray available in a blockbuster trade, the Hawks are apparently making him “widely available” ahead of the trade deadline, according to Fischer. Murray and Trae Young’s combination hasn’t worked out as well as the Hawks had planned, with the pair combining for a minus-2.9 net rating. The Knicks have been mentioned as a possible bidder for Murray, though there are apparently doubts about his ability to cohabit with Jalen Brunson. Even if it isn’t the Knicks, Murray will almost certainly have other suitors looking for a two-way All-Star guard on a reasonably team-friendly contract.
The Wizards will pay a steep price for Kyle Kuzma. The Wizards are once again adrift, and as the trade deadline approaches, they’re apparently eager to part ways with Kuzma, but the asking price is steep. The Wizards are looking to trade “multiple first-round picks for Kuzma,” according to Fischer, as they aim to build their draft capital. It would be remarkable if Kuzma obtained more than one first-round pick, but he could certainly obtain at least one for the Wizards.
He’s averaging a career-high 22.8 points per game while shooting 46.8% from the field. There are currently no teams mentioned as potential bidders for Kuzma, who is guaranteed $64.3 million over the next three years. The trade market for Zach LaVine has cooled. It remains to be seen whether LaVine will be dealt with before the deadline, although the list of suitors isn’t particularly long right now. The Lakers have been linked to the sharpshooting guard, but according to Fischer, the Lakers, along with numerous other clubs around the league, are hesitant to take on the remaining $180 million on his contract.
LaVine’s injury history is also likely contributing to his lack of suitors. Furthermore, the Bulls went 10-6 without him in the lineup while he was out with a foot injury. LaVine is set to return to the Bulls on Friday against the Hornets in order to begin rebuilding his trade value, but as of now, no team appears eager to sign him. Kings who are willing to trade Kevin Huerter and Harrison Barnes Sacramento is interested in acquiring Siakam, but the No. 5 team in the West could make other moves.
As they try to make a deep run in the playoffs this season, the Kings are making Barnes, Huerter, and Davion Mitchell available in trade negotiations. Perhaps those players are used to landing Siakam, but according to prior rumors, Toronto is interested in marksman Keegan Murray. The Kings, on the other hand, are not interested in trading the young forward. Several clubs may benefit from Barnes’ experienced presence, who is owed $37 million over the next two years.
He’s a high-efficiency forward who can be a beneficial influence in a young locker room or a valuable role player on a competitive club. Huerter’s efficiency and output have suffered this season, and he was recently benched in favor of Chris Duarte. Despite his shooting difficulties, Huerter may be a significant player for a lot of teams in the right context.