WIll the Celtics move Rondo before the deadline?
Evan: Absolutely not. While the flood of rumors indicate that Rondo is as available as ever, the price tag for him has not gone down. Remember the only time Danny Ainge has even been close to dealing Rondo was for Chris Paul. Ric Bucher went as far as to say it would take Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes to get Rondo. The deal with Sacramento was never close, considering that the Kings can’t trade a first round pick until 2018 at the earliest. I do however, think he will be traded in the offseason if the Celtics are not able to bring in a star to play along side him.
Andy: I doubt any team is willing to match Danny AInge’s asking price (reportedly 2 firsts and talent), so I think he’s a Celtic for now and as well as far into the future. The Celtics know that having a pass-first elite point guard will help attract other top tier talent and therefore it makes sense to make him a building block going forward. Rondo isn’t going anywhere.
Winston: Danny Ainge isn’t too different from Dr. Evil. He wants to trade Rajon Rondo for the NBA equivalent of 100…BILLION..dollars. I think it is in the Celtics best interest to make this trade. Rondo is currently the biggest sell high prospect in the league, so if the Celtics receive high value, they have to do it. They probably won’t though.
Which team needs to make a deal the most?
Evan: The Golden State Warriors. Currently they are fighting for one of the last playoff spots in the West, so they are greatly underachieving after the pre season championship hype. When everyone is healthy they have been very good, but their bench play has been pretty terrible. If they can add a veteran bench leader, they can turn it around and finish in the top half of the west, if not their owner could be paying the luxury tax for a first round exit.
Andy: There are two teams for me that really need to make a move. The first is the Houston Rockets. They have the elite level talent at the top with Howard and Harden as well as the second tier talent that is needed with Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones. What Houston needs is a major upgrade at point guard. They have the trade chips in Lin and Asik to get something done. Can I also add that it’s ludicrous how mishandled this Omer Asik situation is. Seriously Rockets, trade him or play him, he’s too valuable. The other team that could really use a boost are the Golden State Warriors. This is a team with way too much talent to not make the playoffs and they are on the verge of not making it. Harrison Barnes is their obvious trade chip, but they could make a big splash is they are willing to move Klay Thompson as well.
Winston: The Clippers. This team is almost completely devoid of backup big men. If DeAndre Jordan isn’t having a “good” free throw day, who do you throw in there to replace him in crunch time? Byron Mullens? Antawn Jamison? Matt Barnes in the 4 spot? None of that will work, especially if they get matched up with a bruising team in the playoffs like the Grizzlies or the Spurs.
Should the Raptors keep Kyle Lowry or trade him?
Evan: Keep him. Despite his great play Lowry’s value is not as high as it should have been. With the attitude problems K-Lo brings with him everywhere he goes he is hardly a target for a team with championship aspirations, meaning he might not bring much in return. The Raptors are young enough that they could benefit from playoff experience and with the state of the East they might even get out of the first round this year.
Andy: I think they should keep him. Lowry has the ability to win games by himself and to carry a team for short stretches. As they are a top 4 seed in the East, it makes sense to roll the dice this season and keep Lowry.
Winston: I’m a proponent of keeping really good players. Call me crazy, but there is nothing wrong with having a very talented (All-Star snubbed) point guard running the helm. Toronto is having a dream season and the city is abuzz for the first time since Vinsanity. A good young core of Demar DeRozan and Lowry is a solid building block for the future up north.
Who is going to be the biggest name moved at the deadline?
Evan: Harrison Barnes. Maybe he isn’t the biggest name but in the playoffs last year he showed his upside. This year he is underperforming but still has the potential to be a very good player in the future. Expect him to be dealt for bench help and then go on to make the Warriors feel very foolish for moving him.
Andy: Wow, tough to say. If i had to take a big guess I’d say Greg Monroe, but in terms of household names Jeremy Lin could easily be moved by tomorrow afternoon. Furthermore I could see Asik, Marion, Kenneth Faried, and Jeff Green. I don’t expect any blockbusters, but a lot of trades for rotational talent are possible.
Winston: I think the Pau Gasol nightmare finally ends. I’m pretty sure Pau Gasol bought land and started a life on the trading block given how long he has been on there the past few years. There are a lot of teams out there that can use the services of Mr. Gasol. The Lakers show their commitment to the tank and put this charade out of its misery.
Which player will traded will be the biggest surprise?
Evan: Paul Millsap. Millsap is balling this year (even making his first all star game) but he has seen his Atlanta Hawks crumble around him. WIth ATL falling below .500 for the first time since early in the year they will be in sell mode (Jeff Teague has also been mentioned as a trade possibility) and end up dealing their best player.
Andy: Avery Bradley. He is a restricted free agent this offseason and one of the toughest defenders in the NBA at the wing positions. I think a team like the Warriors or Suns could come in and make Ainge an offer he can’t refuse.
Winston: Tim Hardaway Jr. I can already hear Jim Dolan panic dialing his insane little fingers away trying to dump the Knicks’ best asset other than Carmelo for pennies on the dollar. Oh, he had a career high last night? He was a late first round pick that is on his rookie deal and doesn’t cost any money? Perfect trade bait in Dolan’s eyes.