5 Players Who Are As Good As Gone Before the NBA Trade Deadline

Illustration for article titled 5 Players Who Are As Good As Gone Before the NBA Trade Deadline
Photo: Andy Lyons (Getty Images)

Do you know what today is?

Yes, I know it’s Thursday and your child support is due, but more importantly, today is the NBA trade deadlinethe magical day in which teams throughout Adam Silver’s lucrative kingdom make a last-ditch effort to either acquire assets or strengthen their rosters before Kyrie and them win a championship the post-season.

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So with Woj Appreciation Day officially in full swing, here are five players who have better odds of breathing underwater than waking up in the same zip code tomorrow morning.

Lonzo Ball

Lonzo, who has the unfortunate distinction of having the name “LaVar Ball” branded on his birth certificate for eternity, also has the distinction of being viewed as incongruent with his team’s long-term plans even though he’s been playing at a high level all season. So why get rid of him? Probably because he hasn’t quite gelled with the best player on his team: superstar in the making Zion Williamson.

Within NBA circles, this is known as The John Collins Effect.

Thankfully, the former No. 2 draft pick has plenty of other suitors who would love nothing more than to hold his hand in public and buy him a Birkin bag or seventeen. And while the Bulls might immediately come to mind, the Clippers have been making googly eyes at the UCLA product all year. Especially with Kawhi Leonard reportedly banging the table for the team to address its one glaring weakness: a playmaking, ball-distributing point guard.

Do the Clippers have the assets to get a deal done? Absolutely. But if they want a true floor general, it’s gonna come at the cost of veteran pieces since they’re fresh out of draft picks.

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Kyle Lowry

That boy gone, y’all.

At 35 years old, the greatest Raptor who ever lived has officially entered the twilight of his career. And since he doesn’t have that Tom Brady or LeBron James extended warranty, his best opportunity to contribute to a contender is right the fuck now. The problem is he’s not playing on one at the moment. So while his stock is still high, the Raptors need to pull the trigger on a deal ASAP.

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Lowry isn’t stupid either; he threw up the peace sign at cameras last night while leaving the floor. And Toronto’s unofficial mayor, Mr. Aubrey Drake Graham, hit him up during his post-game press conference—presumably to bid farewell.

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The Heat, Lakers, and 76ers are working the phones as we speak to get a deal done, so expect the news to arrive any minute now.

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Aaron Gordon

It’s time, y’all.

For the past seven seasons, Gordon has done absolutely nothing but remain a productive, consummate professional despite having his name in trade rumors every damn year. So with my beloved Orlando Magic (15-29) bottoming out due to a rash of injuries, it’s finally time for Gordon and Orlando to part ways. And by formally requesting a trade, the 26-year-old seems to agree.

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“There’s been times where I just expressed my frustration to management,” he admitted to reporters. “And the frustration with the losses, the injuries, the way we’ve been playing, how we’ve been playing and how many losses have accumulated over the years. So it’s just my frustration kind of boiling over, I would say.”

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Portland, Golden State, and Denver are reportedly in the mix, but word on the street is that Boston is willing to part with Marcus Smart and draft picks to get a deal done so expect this one to be announced any second now.

Kelly Oubre Jr.

Calling Oubre’s season thus far a disappointment would be a gross understatement. This dude is trash, and the Warriors can’t get rid of this one-year rental soon enough. So as soon as someone offers a lint roller or the last Vanilla Wafer from the box, expect the Warriors to leap with joy at his departure.

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Victor Oladipo

Despite the fact that he’s putting up 21 points, five dimes and nearly five boards a game, it’s clear that Oladipo isn’t the same player since rupturing his quad in 2019. As such, teams aren’t exactly eager to offer him a big contract this summer as a free agent, which means that the former All-NBA pick could be had for pennies on the dollar for any team ready and willing to pull the trigger. But even in his lesser state, he’s still a solid contributor even though his efficiency has tanked.

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The Knicks are dying for a big name, but expect Golden State to jump all over this just to rid themselves of Kelly Oubre and sell Oladipo on playing with Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, and Draymond Green next season on the cheap.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.

DISCUSSION

alwayslurkingout
AlwaysLurkingOut

I hate, hate, hate trade deadlines. They stress me out so much. Like why do they have to upset me in the middle of the season like this? It’s bad enough when I lose players at the end of the year as it is. The Raptors have already traded Norman Powell today, and so now I really have to stop living in denial about Kyle and just hope that he ends up at the Lakers so I can still love and appreciate him.  Manifest that for me please, Jay.