THE NBA’s trade deadline is less than a month away, and the rumours are coming in hot.
Our Rumour Mill leads on the Los Angeles Clippers’ audacious attempt to trade for one of the best young players in the league, as well as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ strategy to end their slump.
Here’s all of the chatter from around the league!
CLIPPERS ATTEMPT GRIFFIN-FOR-TOWNS… NBA COMMUNITY LAUGHS
The Clippers have struggled throughout the season — currently sitting on a 21-21 record — so they attempted one of the most ambitious trades in recent memory.
According to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders, the Clippers front office looked to trade long-time star Blake Griffin to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Karl-Anthony Towns, widely regarded as one of the best young talents in the NBA.
In order for the trade to work, the Timberwolves would have to have added multiple other players, with the Clippers then needing to waive a player in order to make room on their roster.
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The Timberwolves didn’t agree to the trade, betting on their versatile, young big-man over the oft-injured, 28-year-old Griffin.
Analysis: If Timberwolves GM Scott Layden agreed to this trade, it would have been one of the most embarrassing decisions in recent memory. There’s no way a potential superstar like Towns — who’s just 22 years old — is worth giving up for a player like Griffin. Add the fact that the Timberwolves would have had to add more players to the trade, and this was never going to happen.
IS TRADING TRISTAN THOMPSON THE ANSWER FOR THE CAVS
The Cavaliers are struggling again, and one idea being thrown around is trading long-time big-man Tristan Thompson.
That’s according to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, who reported that: “multiple NBA teams have cited Tristan Thompson as an asset Cleveland is willing to move in the right deal, such as one for the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan.”
Thompson has played a big role for the Cavaliers over the past few season, including during their 2016 NBA Championship campaign, but looks like a shell of his former self.
A potential Thompson-for-Jordan trade was back up by Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, who reported: “the Cavs would consider trading him to the Clippers as a part of a deal to bring DeAndre Jordan to Cleveland.”
Analysis: A straight Thompson-for-Jordan swap can make sense for both teams. The Cavs would get a more productive centre, on both ends — you can already see Jordan throwing down alley-oops from LeBron James — while the Clippers would get a very solid, young centre who’ll still be on contract for the next few years. You can argue that Thompson isn’t worth the current deal he’s on, but, the reality is, that’s what elite rebounders earn in the NBA now. However, if the Clippers demand that Brooklyn Nets first round pick, that should be a deal-breaker for the Cavs.
YOUNG LAKERS TRIO AVAILABLE
The Lakers are eyeing the 2018 off-season, which means they’ll need to shed some salary.
Among those players available are Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Larry Nance Jr,, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
ESPN is reporting that there’s a ‘mutual desire’ to find a deal for Clarkson, while the attempts to trade Randle and Nance Jr. is to create cap space, so the team can make a splash in free agency.
Analysis: The most likely trade to happen here is the Clarkson one, followed by Randle, then Nance Jr. It’s become clear that the first two players aren’t in the Lakers’ future, while the latter seems to be placed on the block in the off chance the team can get something of significant value. All three are promising young players, so Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka, and co. must be extremely confident that players will see Los Angeles as a viable destination to succeed.