Pelicans, Pistons, Kings Among Likely Buyers On Trade Market

The Pelicans, Pistons, and Kings have been among the most active teams calling around in search of potential upgrades to their respective rosters, league executives tell ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. As Windhorst notes, those three clubs are expected to be among the NBA’s buyers leading up to this season’s trade deadline.

New Orleans and Detroit are both in win-now mode, and have shown a willingness in recent years to move first-round picks for immediate upgrades. Anthony Davis‘ uncertain future will motivate the Pelicans to be one of the most aggressive teams on this season’s trade market, and Pistons owner Tom Gores badly wants to see his team back in the postseason, as Windhorst explains.

As for the Kings, this is the second time this week that Windhorst has talked about them being potential buyers. Sacramento, which has traded away its 2019 first-round pick and has no incentive to tank, has exceeded expectations this year and is currently in the hunt for a playoff spot. Plus, the Kings are the only NBA team currently under the cap, and their $11MM in room could open up additional trade opportunities.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Cavaliers remain the NBA’s most noteworthy seller on the trade market, according to Windhorst. Even after moving Kyle Korver and George Hill, Cleveland may continue to be active — J.R. Smith is a prime trade candidate, and even Rodney Hood and Alec Burks could be on the block, Windhorst adds.

Although Hood and Burks are both in contract years, there would be some complications if the Cavs want to move either of them. Hood doesn’t become trade-eligible until January 15 and has the ability to veto any deal, while Burks can’t be aggregated with any other players until January 29.

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14 thoughts on “Pelicans, Pistons, Kings Among Likely Buyers On Trade Market

  1. Rodney Hood is absolutely terrible. I can’t believe he’s still in the league. People are drooling over his potential, and are soon to wake up that he will never reach that high level of performance. It seems like he coasts out there all the time.

    • Hood is a mystery for sure. Although he could help a contending team off the bench. Not as a player in your first string nor a player you’d count on at the end of close games in a playoff race. However, he does still have the ability to help a team as a rotational player.

      Burks is another story. I hope the Cavs keep him.

  2. I for one would love to see the Kings take a step up. I’m not particularly a Vlade fan or a fan of the owners, but I like their coach and think he’s done well in his career. He was on the doorstep in Memphis and has done a great job with the Kings. Not having a first-round pick next year makes total sense with the desire to go for it now and not tank as they usually do. Vlade almost blew it by tanking this year and saying let’s play the young guys exclusively. Coach said no way, we’re going for it, winning as much as possible. I hope they can achieve success.

    • Nebraska Tim

      Agreed on the Kings. Plus, they’re super fun to watch. I really didn’t expect them to be anything but hot garbage this year, but they’ve been a great surprise while playing some very appealing basketball.

  3. Baseballfan06

    Hey Luke, as you can tell by my name my number one sport is baseball but I really enjoy your work as a basketball writer. I am 17 years old and do a little bit of baseball writing myself, I was wondering if you had any advice for someone like me. I am really passionate about sports and I admire your work and interaction in the comment sections.

    • We love Luke. Seems like he’s working 24/7. Does write a lot here keeps us informed does great research and is an excellent writer. He’s a good resource for advice if there ever was one.

    • Luke Adams

      It’s hard to provide foolproof tips for how to break into sportswriting specifically, since everyone’s path is different, but in terms of writing in general, I’d say: Write as much as you can, and go back and read your writing out loud.

      When I was younger, I spent a lot of my free time writing for personal blogs and self-run sites and it really helped me develop a sense of how to structure not just stories, but individual paragraphs or sentences. Re-reading everything you write, especially out loud, helps a lot with that too — sentences that seemed fine when you wrote them will often sound awkward and clunky out loud. The more you do it, the more you’ll figure out how to avoid that clunkiness.

  4. Hopefully, the absence of a tanking opportunity is not the only reason the Kings are looking are trying to win. Their roster has plenty of young talent. They have a coach that actually gets how to turn this young undisciplined group into an NBA team. Vlade needs to let the coach do the coaching (as long as they’re winning), and work with him to fill gaps in the rotation for the stretch run. The piece collection for its own sake “phase” is coming to an end. You’d think Vlade would be happy about it.

    • x%sure

      But Bagley is only averaging 24 minutes per game! He must be out there for at least 30! Winning must be sacrificed for the tender feelings of our #2 pick! Heed illustrious GM2B Brandon Williams who is wise and knows best. And tell Vlade I need my practice pass back.

      • Vlade’s the guy who went out of this way to get the guy (Bjelica) causing all the problems by hitting 46% of his 3 pt shots. Trade Bjelica or tell him to stop making so many 3’s.

        Meanwhile, Bagley is developing fine (better than that actually) with his PT right where is right now. He’s the clear star of the second unit, and gets time with the starters as well. Vlade should consider that if this 19 year old is still upright come April (few bigs are in the rookie season), the playoff minutes he might get are likely to be more valuable then another 5 minutes a night right now. He’ll likely be starting by then and Vlade will complain that the coach is burning out his young star.

        • x%sure

          I was being sarcastic, but I like that I drew out some good points. Playoffs would be amazing for them.

          • I knew you were being sarcastic, I was as well. Vlade’s probably happy, he just seems miserable since they’ve started winning.

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