|Undefeated Mirage Gives Way to Reality of Flawed Patriots Team in OT Loss to Broncos||Gronkowski Avoids Major Injury||Connelly’s Top Ten: Harper Drop, Officials Desperate to be Liked, Run Out Clock||There’s Hope for a Hanley Trade|
I had a good time last week writing the ‘Rondo trade destinations’ Power Rankings, so I figured I’d keep that ball rolling this week. Before the trade deadline passes, let’s take a look at who’s available, team needs, and what to expect on March 15th for every NBA team.
1) Miami (30-9) – This team is so frustratingly good. They don’t have much to trade, and they don’t really need anything, but I suppose they could always upgrade Joel Anthony’s spot in the starting lineup.
2) Chicago Bulls (33-9) – The Bulls are another one of those teams without any real obvious holes. However, if Rip Hamilton can’t get healthy I could see them going after a shooting guard … Ray Allen?
3) Oklahoma City Thunder (31-9) – As good as the Thunder are, their roster is pretty unbalanced. Serge Ibaka’s offensive game is improving, but they have always lacked a post scorer. That said, I doubt they make an identity-changing move with the success they’re having this year.
4) San Antonio Spurs (26-13) – Well, the Spurs have done it. They held their own while Manu Ginobili was sidelined, and surprise, surprise, they’re pretty good. I do think that they’ll target a big man if the opportunity comes their way, though.
5) Los Angeles Clippers (23-15) – The Clippers haven’t been the same team since Chauncey Billups went down. They are missing some sort of veteran presence. I’d be somewhat surprised if they didn’t make some kind of minor deal that would bring in a little championship experience.
7) Memphis Grizzlies (23-15) – Like the Spurs, the Grizzlies have kept themselves right in the thick of things without their star player: Zach Randolph, who appears be on his way back soon. The one thing the Grizzlies don’t do well is shoot the three, so look for them to add a shooter at the deadline.
8) Los Angeles Lakers (24-16) – The “Pau Gasol to the Rockets” rumor has legs. I think it will get done eventually.
9) Philadelphia 76ers (24-17) – The 76ers could use some help in the frontcourt. Spencer Hawes is still hurt, and Elton Brand is very hit or miss. Moving Evan Turner into that starting lineup makes that team very interesting, though.
10) Indiana Pacers (23-14) – The Pacers are another one of those teams that could really use a guy like Ray Allen.
12) Dallas Mavericks (23-19) – Dallas needs something. The problem is that they also really don’t want to add any salary because they think they have a legitimate shot at landing Deron Williams in the off-season.
13) Atlanta Hawks (23-17) – I have been saying this for a long time, but the Hawks really need to reset. It’s over – this team isn’t a contender. It starts with Josh Smith. He’s had a huge year, he’s very valuable … and it’s time to trade him.
14) Boston Celtics (21-18) – The Celtics are in a very – if not the most – interesting situation. I don’t think they’ll trade Rondo, but it wouldn’t shock me. It seems as though Allen would be the first to go, which makes a lot of sense. This team isn’t a contender. I keep saying this because I don’t think that idea has sunk into the minds of a lot of fans. We aren’t winning the title, which means our best move it to build towards the future. If the Celtics can get a first round pick for Allen, you absolutely have to do that.
15) Houston Rockets (21-19) – Losers of five straight games, I’m willing to bet Houston makes some sort of move at the deadline. And like I said in my Lakers comments, I’m willing to bet it’s for Pau Gasol.
16) Minnesota Timberwolves (21-20) – Reports out of Minnesota are now saying Ricky Rubio has a torn ACL. What a shame. He has been in the top five of my ‘must watch players’ list since the beginning of the season. If the Timberwolves still want to chase the eighth seed in the West, they may need to go shopping for a guard.
18) Portland Trailblazers (19-21) – I love teams like Portland at the deadline. They have a lot of talent to move and they are desperate to move it. Jamal Crawford will be gone, and Gerald Wallace could be gone. Those are two names that can really help someone.
20) Phoenix Suns (18-21) – Wait for it … Trade Steve Nash.
21) Milwaukee Bucks (16-24) – Much like the Blazers, the Bucks also have a lot of really nice, really available talent. I’ll take Andrew Bogut and Ersan Ilyasova on my team any day … the only problem is you will also have to take Stephan Jackson.
22) Cleveland Cavaliers (15-23) – They have a few moveable pieces, but I’d say Ramon Sessions is a lock to be moved at this point.
23) Golden State Warriors (15-21) – I can’t help but feel like Monta Ellis is always available.
24) Sacramento Kings (14-26) – If I were giving out trade-deadline superlatives, JJ Hickson would get “most likely to be traded.” And don’t tell anyone, but Tyreke Evans can be had for the right offer.
25) New Jersey Nets (14-27) – This is going to be an interesting deadline for teams like the Nets and Magic. They should both be looking for players to make their stars happy. The pressure is on.
26) Detroit Pistons (14-26) – I’m sure everyone is available and I’m sure no one wants them.
27) Toronto Raptors (13-26) – The Raptors have been passively shopping Jose Calderon for about three years now. And you know what? I kind of like him.
28) Washington Wizards (9-29) – Reports out of Washington are saying that you can have ANYONE on the Wizards roster aside from John Wall, as long as you take Andray Blatche with you. How awesome is that?
29) New Orleans Hornets (9-31) – I don’t know if you heard this, but apparently Chris Kaman is very, very available. HOWEVER, if the Hornets do not trade him, they would really like to re-sign him. This is great.