Last season’s trade deadline was a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing — it was a very slow trade deadline, the bigger deals having already happened.
This season seems to be more active and with some bigger names — Pau Gasol could be moved, as potentially could guys like Greg Monroe. Names like Brandon Bass and Arron Afflalo seem more likely to be traded in the next 10 days, before the Feb. 20 deadline hits.
However, the big draft this summer could dampen moves at the trade deadline now, something Minnesota’s decision maker Flip Saunders told the Pioneer Press.
Saunders said there is a reluctance to deal around the league because of the perception that this year’s draft class is strong….
“Either everyone wants to keep their picks or if you want to trade players, people are trying to get your pick and people aren’t as apt to do something like that — not only this year, but next year, too,” Saunders said. “I think it might be a good draft the next couple of years…..
“When you look, I think a lot of time teams make trades to satisfy fans, to make them look like they are really trying to do something to make their team better. And I think sometimes teams make trades to make it look to their owners like they are working. If you want to make a trade to make yourself significantly better right now, then those have to be blockbuster-type trades,” Saunders continued, “and I don’t think there are a lot of teams that are leaning toward doing something like that.”
We saw a little of this already this year — Phoenix was talking with the Lakers about acquiring Pau Gasol but the Lakers were reportedly demanding one of the Suns top picks in this draft (Phoenix has four first rounders this draft, the Lakers wanted one of the top two). Phoenix walked away from the table.
We’ve already seen one All-Star change hands this season with Luol Deng going to Cleveland. Like last season, that could be the biggest move we see.
There will be more small deals this season, like we said there seem some very likely candidates to be moved off rebuilding teams. But with teams hoarding picks, this may not be a blockbuster deadline, either.