With the home stretch of the 2019-20 season approaching, a more important stretch for teams around the Association is already upon us.
The 2020 NBA Trade Deadline is less than a week away, meaning teams league-wide have been pulled into the key decision of their season — whether the latter half of the campaign will bring a realistic enough shot at contending to warrant loading up over the next six days, or whether it’s time to shift into asset management mode and focus on the future.
With the Feb. 6 deadline fast approaching, let’s take another look at the names churning through the NBA’s unending rumour mill:
Timberwolves ‘dangled’ Andrew Wiggins in exchange for D’Angelo Russell
The Wolves’ hunt to bring D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota to play with his close friend, Karl-Anthony Towns, is well-established. The Timberwolves are intent on keeping Towns happy lest he start imagining himself under the bright lights of a bigger market, while the Warriors are in no rush to part with Russell while the team trudges through its extended injury situation.
With the Warriors unmotivated to deal Russell, it appears the Wolves are getting more desperate to try to swing a possible trade. According to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, that extended to offering up Canadian Andrew Wiggins.
“Minnesota has dangled Andrew Wiggins, who is on a similar contract as Russell and fills a greater positional need,” Slater wrote. “But from a Warriors’ perspective, that’s still a questionable talent-for-talent swap. Most around the league view Russell as better than Wiggins. It’s a move only a panicked front office would make.
“But the Warriors aren’t in a panic about Russell. Unless the Wolves unload the vault — something like Robert Covington and Josh Okogie plus a basket of appealing, unprotected picks — it’s wiser for the Warriors to wait until past this deadline on Russell and perhaps well beyond.”
Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday emerging as the top name on the market
While there’s no shortage of situations to monitor around the Association, New Orleans’ Jrue Holiday has risen above the pack as the top potential target for contenders looking for an upgrade. His current contract situation adds to his appeal, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
“Among several marquee available players, such as Cleveland’s Kevin Love and Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Holiday is the one under a contract through next season and able to fit a team’s short- and long-term salary structure,” Charania wrote. “He’s the two-way player capable of upgrading a contending team.”
While Charania added that Holiday made clear to the team recently that he’d like to remain in New Orleans, that doesn’t mean interest from other clubs will subside.
“Denver and Miami are among interested teams in Holiday and several others are expected to emerge, according to sources. Multiple teams told The Athletic that the Pelicans are listening to trade calls for anyone on the roster, but their asking price remains high on Holiday,” Charania wrote.
“For New Orleans, No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson is back, 34 games remain to see how this core of Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Holiday performs, and the Pelicans are five games out of the eighth seed in the West. Still, before next Thursday the calls will continue on Holiday.”
Kuzma, Bogdanovic’s names came up in Kings-Lakers negotiations
“Contenders should be going hard after (Bogdan) Bogdanovic,” argues The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor. And it appears some have already tried to snag the 27-year-old.
Per O’Connor, Sacramento made a play for the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma recently, offering up Nemanja Bjelica and a draft pick.
“Los Angeles countered by asking for Bogdanovic, according to multiple league sources,” wrote O’Connor. “Sacramento refused.”
While the Kings appear to be in no rush to part ways with Bogdanovic, the club’s financial situation could wind up necessitating a move.
“(Buddy) Hield and Harrison Barnes just got paid, and De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III are due new contracts in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Unless the Kings decide it’s in their best interest to commit roughly $75 million to Fox, Hield, and Bogdanovic starting in 2021, trading one of Hield or Bogdanovic for a larger wing or a big man would make sense,” O’Connor wrote.