We’re about a half hour from the deadline, which means that we’re probably about 90 minutes from the final announcements of trades. The Celtics haven’t done anything yet, but Trader Danny pulled off the Isaiah Thomas trade last year with 2 minutes to go, so we’re hopeful that he’ll pull the trigger again. Around the league, there are quite a few players who were involved in a million rumors that may be moved in the next half hour.
Here are my final predictions for what happens, and I’ll be sure to let you know whether or not the trades are based off logic… or absolutely nothing at all other than my own (probably false) gut feelings.
- Dwight Howard stays. The Rockets are headed for a disaster with Dwight, because nobody wants him, Daryl Morey won’t pay him a 5 year deal starting at $31.3 million, and teams won’t see the value in pulling off a sign and trade for him that will necessitate them giving Dwight that same contract. My prediction is that Dwight stays through the deadline, then bolts somewhere else in the summer on a 4 year max deal with no compensation for the Rockets. Daryl Morey breaks down crying at the next Sloan Conference in Boston.
- Pau Gasol goes to Sacramento, then gets massively overpaid in the offseason: Rumors last night suggested that the Bulls like Ben McLemore, the Kings like Gasol, and the Kings might even be willing to decrease the protection on the Kings’ 2016 pick that the Bulls already own. If that happens, then it’s a done deal. The Bulls have had a disappointing season, but getting a pick that’s basically guaranteed to be in the 8-12 range is a huge pick-me-up, especially for a UFA. The Kings keep their pick if it’s in the top 10, but if that was changed to 7 or 8 — plus the addition of McLemore in the deal — then there’s no way that the Bulls say no.
- Horford stays, Teague goes to New York: The Hawks love Al Horford and were clearly hoping that some team would overpay for Horford in a trade. But just like with Howard, teams don’t wanna pay Horford the full 5 year deal, even if the max is slightly cheaper than Howard’s next deal. If you’re the Hawks and you can barely get any good players, why not keep one of the few great players that you’ve ever had and hope to get lucky next year? As for Teague, I have no idea what the Knicks have to offer, but I think they’re gonna sell every asset they have other than Carmelo and Porzingis. They’ll be happy to sell their future for a point guard. They’re the Knicks, after all.
- Celtics get Kevin Love: This one is totally baseless, but Danny Ainge is high on Love. My complete guess is centered around the fact that Love isn’t working in Cleveland, and we know that Danny Ainge has been high on Love forever. There would definitely be a 3 team trade involved here. Wouldn’t it make complete sense for Danny Ainge to strike a deal on the one guy who everybody assumed he had already passed on, instead of the guys that we keep hearing rumors about? That would be the most Trader Danny thing ever.