NBA Trade Deadline Primer 2020: Looking at 30 NBA Teams and Players That May Move
The NBA trade deadline comes around earlier this season on February 7 so with just over two weeks remaining, we’re taking a look at the teams that may be active, what players could be available and what potential buyers could be looking at improving through the trade deadline.
You can also stay up-to-date on the latest NBA trade rumors via our trade rumor tracker.
The Hawks have a young roster they are excited about, featuring Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter, and John Collins. They also have a good mix of other young players and veterans they are building around.
The biggest need they had was at backup point guard, but they addressed that last week when they brought Jeff Teague back to Atlanta, along with Treveon Graham in exchange for Allen Crabbe.
Atlanta is 10-34 and 15th in the Eastern Conference, so they are obviously not where they’d like to be, but they are in a great position to have another high draft pick, so the Hawks faithful will have to remain patient because it doesn’t look like the Hawks are in win-now mode and they won’t be willing to trade the future of the franchise.
Possible trade pieces: Jabari Parker, Evan Turner
The Celtics are having a great season and are fresh off a 139-107 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Celtics could stand to add some additional depth at power forward and/or center as well as a shooter off the bench. They’ve had some injury issues with their bigs and they trot out a very small lineup with Jayson Tatum starting at power forward.
Aside from Marcus Smart and on occasion, Enes Kanter, scoring from their second unit has been a big issue for the Celtics. They haven’t been able to get much done beyond the arch either.
Hayward has been mentioned as a possible trade piece, but it’s unlikely that they move him unless they find something they absolutely cannot turn down.
Possible trade pieces: Gordon Hayward, Brad Wanamaker
Any talks of a trade of Kyrie Irving should be ignored at this point. There is no way Sean Marks will trade him especially without being able to pair him with Kevin Durant.
Joe Harris could be involved in trade scenarios considering he is in the final year of his contract. If Brooklyn fears they will be unable to sign him this Summer, and they don’t want to let him walk without receiving anything in return, they could get plenty of interest in the sharpshooter.
Possible trade pieces: Dzanan Musa, Nicolas Claxton, Joe Harris
The Hornets have officially moved on from the Kemba Walker era and they are excited about their young core. Devonte’ Graham, Terry Rozier, Miles Bridges and PJ Washington are breathing new life into the Hornets.
The Hornets are 15-30, so there is room for improvement. They could look to add some depth by trading away some of their vets that are eating into their cap space. Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams seem like the most obvious candidates if they can find buyers. Charlotte could even look to stockpile picks in exchange for those players.
Possible trade pieces: Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams
The Bulls will be one team that will be in selling mode, likely looking to move some of their veteran players.
They are just 16-29, and while they have a nice mix of cornerstone pieces with veterans, they do have some underperforming vets. Kris Dunn has also been playing out of position all season, but he has been playing well as of late, so the Bulls may hold onto him.
Possible trade pieces: Thaddeus Young, Denzel Valentine
The Cavs have a ton of needs that could be addressed through trades, but they’ll likely continue to look to build through the draft although they could still look to make a few smaller moves.
The Cavs will likely have one primary objective at the trade deadline, and that’s moving Kevin Love’s enormous contract. The Cavs would like a lottery pick in return, but Love’s salary could scare off or completely disqualify a bunch of teams.
Possible trade pieces: Kevin Love, Brandon Knight, John Henson, Matthew Dellevedova, Ante Zizic.
The Pistons have some nice pieces to build around, including Sekou Doumbaya and Christian Wood.
The Pistons love Derrick Rose, but he will be highly targeted, and once again Andre Drummond’s name will be mentioned quite a bit in trade rumors, and he has already been tied to Atlanta.
Possible trade pieces: Andre Drummond, Derrick Rose, Markieff Morris
I fully expect the Pacers to stand pat at the deadline. They’ve surprised some this year and have a 28-16 record, and Victor Oladipo has yet to make his return.
While it seems like the Pacers have some issues with fit in the frontcourt between Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner, don’t expect them to make any decisions midseason.
The Miami Heat will likely field a ton of calls regarding some of their cornucopia of young talent, but the Heat are 30-13 and seem to be seamlessly blending their current top players with some of their future.
I don’t see the Heat as buyers, but they could possibly look at moving some vets. A team that needs a vet point guard could be interested in Goran Dragic and a few other vets could be on the block as well, but don’t be surprised if they stand pat.
Possible trade pieces: Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, Justise Winslow
When you have the best record in the league (39-6), you’re obviously not looking to fix what’s not broken.
There are a few deep rotation players that could be in play, but expect things to be very calm in Milwaukee on the 7th.
Possible trade pieces: Dragan Bender, Sterling Brown
New York Knicks
While things may be quiet in Milwaukee, expect the Big Apple to be buzzing. The Knicks are likely looking to be buyers and sellers as they look to improve from their 12-32 record. They have room for improvement all over their roster, and they have very few untouchable players.
They have a ton of interest in Marcus Morris and Morris reportedly wants out of New York.
Possible trade pieces: Marcus Morris, Frank Ntilikina, Bobby Portis, Dennis Smith Jr.
The Orlando Magic are inching toward the .500 mark at 21-23, and what they need most, aside from help at several positions, is in the leadership category.
The Magic would have a much better record if they could hold onto late leads. While Markelle Fultz has played well, Nikola Vucevic hasn’t really stood out lately, and Aaron Gordon seems all too comfortable being a number two or three guy. He hasn’t quite had the leap that most expected.
Possible trade pieces: Terrence Ross, Michael Carter-Williams
Philly is not expected to be much of a buyer or seller at the deadline. They are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference, but they’ve had some injuries to deal with all season.
If anyone is available on the Philly roster, it would be a deep rotation player, but they have not been linked to many trade rumors.
Once Kawhi Leonard, and to a lesser extent, Danny Green, left last Summer, the Raptors were expected to slide to mediocrity in the Eastern Conference, but they are a contender once again with a 29-14 record, thanks to the emergence of Fred VanVleet and the excellent play of Pascal Siakam.
But that doesn’t mean they won’t be busy. Apparently, several big-name players on their roster could be on the block if a trade of the three brings in the right piece, especially since a few players are on expiring contracts and may not figure into long-term plans.
OG Anunoby hasn’t really taken the step the Raptors thought he would with a bigger role and more minutes this season, but I don’t expect the Raptors brass to give up on his potential just yet.
Possible trade pieces: Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol
The Wizards could certainly use more depth, but John Wall is getting closer to making his season debut and the Wizards have shown the ability to be a scrappy bunch.
Davis Bertans has been a great addition, Ish Smith has been big off the bench and Jordan McRaw has been a nice surprise, but they could use help up front, and with named like Kevin Love, Andre Drummond and Dewayne Dedmon being mentioned in trade rumors, Washington could look to target one of those bigs or even try to make a play for a talented four like Kyle Kuzma, although it would take a big piece to get the Lakers to bite.
Possible trade pieces: Davis Bertans, Isaiah Thomas, Ian Mahinmi
While the Mavs were very busy at this time last season as they traded for Kristaps Porzingis, they likely won’t make as big a move at this deadline, especially considering they are 27-16 and first in the Southwest Division.
Courtney Lee seems to be one of the few pieces they could move, considering he was part of the Porzingis trade and is on an expiring contract worth $12.8 million. While Tim Hardaway Jr. may get some attention, he is seeing a bit of a career resurgence as a member of Dallas’ starting group. The Mavs could look to sell high, but I don’t see him being moved unless the right deal comes around, possibly involving Robert Covington or adding a third Euro shooter in Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Possible trade pieces: Courtney Lee, Justin Jackson
The Nuggets are one of the top teams in the Western Conference, but what they do at the deadline could go a number of ways. They can easily stand pat and choose to go with the team they have, hoping the addition of Jerami Grant this season and the play of Michael Porter Jr. lately is enough to get them over the hump.
But while the Nuggets are a good team, not many would have them as a serious threat to teams like the Lakers and Clippers. The Nuggets are reportedly interested in Kevin Love, and they’d have to trade Paul Millsap in order to try to match salaries. There have also been reports that Gary Harris could be available.
Possible trade pieces: Paul Millsap, Gary Harris
Golden State Warriors
Ever since the Warriors traded for D’Angelo Russell, it looked like he would only be making a brief stop in Oakland, but with the injuries they’ve faced this season, they’ll likely be holding onto Russell through the deadline.
The Warriors have had several players they’ve been able to showcase with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson sidelined with injuries, but with Curry expected to make his return in March, the Warriors have some roster flexibility. Alec Burks has been the name that has been mentioned most, and he might be a sell-high type of player after he’s averaged nearly 17 points per game this season. They could also be moving on from a few vets since they seem to like where things are going with younger players, including Ky Bowman and Damion Lee.
Possible trade pieces: Alec Burks, Jordan Poole, Glenn Robinson III, Willie Cauley-Stein
While Russell Westbrook hasn’t been the most ideal fit next to James Harden, the chances are slim that Daryl Morey would be able to orchestrate a trade by the deadline that would put the Rockets in a better position. Westbrook and Harden also seem to have a solid relationship, and I doubt Morey would be able to get Harden to sign off on trading Westbrook after just half a season.
Of the rest of the players the Rockets have that may be expendable, a few of the players have options to veto trades, but Clint Capela will likely be a name that gets tossed around, and there will be no shortage of interest. If the Rockets can find a player that fits and gives them a better chance in the playoffs, they could make Capela available.
Possible trade pieces: Clint Capela, Nene, Danuel House, Tyson Chandler, Thabo Sefolosha
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have not shied away from making trades at the deadline, but I can’t see them making a major splash. Doc Rivers uses a 10-man rotation so it would be unlikely for any of their main rotation players to be traded unless they see a way to improve. They have been linked as buyers for the services of either Derrick Rose or Thadeus Young.
Possible trade pieces: Maurice Harkless, Jerome Robinson
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are the top team in the Western Conference with a 34-9 record, so they could stand pat at the deadline, but word is they are among several suitors for the services of Derrick Rose.
Rob Pelinka will likely be busy fielding calls about the availability of Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma looked like a future all-star last season but just has not found a consistent role with the team this year.
Possible trade pieces: Kyle Kuzma, Troy Daniels, Quinn Cook
The Memphis Grizzlies have been a surprise to many this season. Before their recent loss, they had gone on a winning streak and currently are just hanging onto eighth place in the West.
The Grizzlies like their young core, but could move one of their vets in hopes of increasing their playoff chances. Andre Iguodala could also be traded after sitting out all season thus far.
Possible trade pieces: Jae Crowder, Solomon Hill, Kyle Anderson, Andre Iguodala
The Timberwolves have already made one trade in moving veteran guard Jeff Teague for Allen Crabbe. Karl-Anthony Town has been mentioned in rumors, but I can’t see him going anywhere.
One player that is receiving a ton of interest is Robert Covington, with several top teams interested in his services. He has high trade value and could be the type of piece that gets the Wolves their coveted point guard. They’ve expressed interest in the Warriors’ Russell, but the Warriors have said they’d like to keep him.
Possible trade pieces: Robert Covington, Noah Vonleh
New Orleans Pelicans
With Zion Williamson making his debut tonight, the Pelicans brass will have a better idea of what he adds to the current group and what they need to address, possibly through the trade deadline.
One name that could draw significant interest is that of guard Jrue Holiday, however, his salary could be a barrier to entry for many teams. If the Pelicans want to see more from Jaxson Hayes and are happy having him and Jahlil Okafor flanking Williamson, the Pelicans could look to deal Derrick Favors, who they acquired over the offseason.
Possible trade pieces: Jrue Holiday, Derrick Favors, E’Twaun Moore, Josh Hart
Oklahoma City Thunder
You can’t mention the Thunder and the trade deadline without mentioning Chris Paul. His name will likely be included in several rumors. There have been rumors saying the Thunder are open to trading him and other reports saying they will look to at least keep him through the season. It could go either way, but they’ll have to find a partner willing to take on his salary in order for it to become a possibility.
Any other trades the Thunder make will likely be cost-cutting measures.
Possible trade pieces: Chris Paul, Steven Adams, Danio Gallinari, Andre Roberson
The Phoenix Suns are doing much better than expected this season. The addition of Ricky Rubio along with the coaching of Monty Williams have been a big part of that, and the Suns would love to continue building on that.
Of all of their additions, not all of them have made a positive impact. Dario Saric is starting at power forward and he is averaging just 9.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. If the Suns can find a way to move the huge expiring salary of Tyler Johnson and get something in return, that would be a win for the ballclub.
Possible trade pieces: Dario Saric, Tyler Johnson, Frank Kaminsky, Cheick Diallo
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers need some help if they want to get back into contention, and they’ve already begun trading, as they sent Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver to the Kings in exchange for Trevor Ariza and other pieces. Not only did the trade save them over $12 million, but they also get a playoff-tested Ariza in return.
While he’s played well for the Blazers, Portland could look to trade Hassan Whiteside since he is on an expiring $27 million contract.
Possible trade pieces: Hassan Whiteside, Skal Labissiere, Mario Hezonja
The Kings have already been busy, acquiring Bazemore and Tolliver, but other moves could be on the horizon. Dewayne Dedmon has already said publicly that he wants out, and the Kings were unable to extend the contract of Bogdan Bogdanovic over the summer. The team has also made it obvious through team marketing that Buddy Hield is their future.
Possible trade pieces: Dewayne Dedmon, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Yogi Ferrell, Harry Giles
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are on the outside looking in for the first time in a while and are in danger of having their playoff streak snapped. They have been mentioned in several trade rumors regarding LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan, but DeRozan has played well lately and Aldridge has added a new wrinkle to his offense with three-point shooting, so the Spurs may choose to just roll with the pair. They’ll have to deal with DeRozan’s impending player option this Summer since he has not been signed to an extension.
DeMarre Carroll signed a pretty rich contract over the summer and he looked like a great fit for the Spurs, but he’s averaging just nine minutes per game and is collecting a ton of DNP-CDs. Why he hasn’t been able to sniff the floor has been a mystery in San Antonio, but this signals trouble and Carroll could be on his way out with a trade.
Possible trade pieces: LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, DeMarre Carroll, Marco Belinelli, Bryn Forbes
Utah’s starting group seems like a lock to all remain past the trade deadline, but the Jazz could really use some help in their second unit. Despite having Emmanuel Mudiay, Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles, the bench has left a lot to be desired. Ed Davis, who has struggled mightily, seems like one of few candidates that could be moved at the deadline.
Possible trade pieces: Ed Davis, Georges Niang