We are only two days away from the trade deadline and it's looking like it might be a quiet one. But we won't let that get in the way of our fun here in SBNation. Today all the NBA sites are posting their predictions both for their own teams and the rest of the league. Here are mine:
The Spurs will trade Matt Bonner and Cory Joseph + filler to the Milwaukee Bucks for Ersan Ilyasova.
The Spurs have to be the hardest team to predict. They are secretive to the point where most of us live by the mantra "if there's a rumor about it, then it won't happen." But while I was tempted to go with an out-of-the-blue multi-player trade that nets the Spurs Wilson Chandler and Amir Johnson since this is all made up anyway, I decided it best to stick with a name that has at least been tenuously linked to the Spurs.
The other three players rumored to be on the Spurs' radar were Beno Udrih, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young. Udrih would not help the team in any way, as the Spurs already have a backup point guard that can provide scoring in Mills. Evan Turner is an inefficient, ball-dominant player that doesn't defend all that well and doesn't really provide the Spurs with more length or athleticism at the wing. And while Young would be a perfect fit with the Spurs, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which they can offer the Sixers enough to convince them to pull the trigger. That leaves Ilyasova.
The Turkish forward is having a terrible season. He is shooting career lows both from the field and from three. Pretty much all his numbers are down to the point where his bad performance has stood out even on the worst team in the league. Ilyasova has asked to be traded, reportedly tired of the Bucks' roster turnover and potential rebuilding plans. The Bucks can't afford to get greedy in what they ask for him, considering he still has three more years (only $400,000 guaranteed on the last year) after this one on a contract that pays him $8 million a year. Expirings and a young player should be enough to pry Ersan from the Bucks.
As for the Spurs, they'd be gambling on Ilyasova's bad performance being the result of him sulking in a bad situation but being ready to contribute for a winner. Not unlike what happened with Boris Diaw after joining the Spurs, Ilyasova could thrive in a more stable environment where he knows exactly what's expected of him. And if he could get his game to where it was the past two seasons, the Spurs would be getting that elusive stretch four that also excels on the boards.
Of course, Ilyasova is not the type of athletic combo forward the Spurs need. He won't really help the Spurs contain the more athletic forwards out there, including Kevin Durant and Lebron James. But the Spurs need to advance in the playoffs first before facing the Thunder and especially the Heat and upgrading their big man stable could go a long way into ensuring that happens.
Other random predictions
The Wizards will trade Jan Vesely and Glen Rice Jr. for Andre Miller
It doesn't seem like Brian Shaw and Miller will make up so getting anything for him would be a win. The Wizards would have a backup point guard to spell Wall so that the offense doesn't completely sink when he is resting.
The Celtics will trade Brandon Bass to the Blazers for Thomas Robinson and Meyers Leonard.
The Blazers have just one solid backup big in Joel Freeland, so they desperately need some depth. The Celtics are rebuilding, so hanging onto Bass makes little sense. By pulling the trigger here, they'd be getting a couple of young bigs to develop next to Jared Sullinger.
The Knicks will trade Iman Shumpert and Beno Udrih to the Nuggets for Kenneth Faried and Anthony Randolph.
This trade has been rumored to be happening for a while. With all the injuries, the Nuggets need a PG right now so Beno might get the minutes he wants. Shumpert becomes a building block for them as well while they shed Ant Randolph's salary. The Knicks get a big man that can rebound.
The Pelicans will trade Eric Gordon to the Kings for Jason Thompson and Marcus Thornton.
Gordon is not the player he used to be but he might get back to that level at some point. For now, he fits well with a Kings team trying to build around DeMarcus Cousins, as he can hit the three and slash. The Pelicans get a good third big and trade Gordon's long term contract for Thornton's, which expires after next season.
The Clippers will trade Jared Dudley, Willie Green and Reggie Bullock to the Sixers for Spencer Hawes.
The Clippers desperately need a third big and Hawes is one of the best available and on an expiring deal. Reggie Bullock could develop nicely but he would fit better on a team that is not trying to win now.
The Suns will trade Emeka Okafor's expiring contract and Slava Kravtsov for Danny Granger and Chris Copeland.
The Suns want to make a playoff push, and adding Granger to see if he can go back to being an efficient scorer seems like a worthy gamble that doesn't compromise their future flexibility. The Pacers get rid of Copeland's salary for next season, which could help them retain Lance Stephenson.
The Bobcats will trade Ben Gordon's expiring contract and the Trail Blazers' pick for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen.
The Bobcats are also trying to make a playoff push and getting another scorer to help their anemic offense is what they need. Turner's skill set overlaps with Gerald Henderson's but since his contract is up after this season, they can cut ties if the experiment goes awry. The Blazers' pick is just the cost of doing business for a team looking for credibility.
Now it's your turn, people. Here is the link to the Trade Machine. Post your predictions in the comments.
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