NBA fans love the smell of trade season in the morning, and the odoriferous emanations are more pungent in some cities than others. While teams like the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies can look at their teams confidently heading into the Feb. 9 trade deadline, others are looking at their roster holes like LeBron James glaring at J.R. Smith.
Therefore, varying levels of urgency are being applied to each NBA front office. We decided to take a look at the five franchises facing the most pressure heading into the 2023 trade deadline.
Bottom line: Underperformance and lack of continuity due to injuries has created a sense of urgency for a preseason title favorite that’s been undeniably mediocre.
“Hey, don’t you know that when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are on the court together … ” Blah, blah, blah. At this point, the championship-contending Clippers exist in a parallel universe with hot dog fingers and Raccacoonie. In this universe — the one that matters — they’re a .500 team with the fourth-worst offense in the NBA. Leonard and George have only played 18 games together, and they’re 11-7. Not exactly confidence-instilling.
The good news is that this roster is perfectly constructed for a trade, with mid-level salaries that can be used as filler for a larger deal or swapped for a better-fitting player at a similar cost. Nic Batum, Reggie Jackson, Robert Covington, Luke Kennard, Marcus Morris Sr. and Norman Powell all make between $10-16 million, and Jackson’s is the only contract that’s expiring at the end of this season. The Clippers also (finally) have a first-round pick to dangle in a trade, and given the current state of the team with two aging stars, that 2028 selection could look pretty juicy to a potential partner.
Point guard is the most obvious area ripe for improvement, with Jackson taking a step back this season and the Clippers sporting a minus-6.6 net rating with John Wall on the floor. Wall’s $6.4 million salary could be useful in a trade, with potential targets such as Utah Jazz vet Mike…
Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/2023-nba-trade-deadline-five-teams-including-clippers-and-warriors-facing-most-pressure-to-make-moves/
Author : Colin Ward-Henninger
Publish date : 2023-01-23 18:34:10
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