As teams besides the Heat consider how aggressively to pursue Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, one factor they’re weighing is whether it makes more sense to preserve their assets in the hopes of landing an even more valuable star in the near future, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said this week during an appearance on NBA Today (YouTube link).
“There could be some massive talents available for trades next season. Maybe at the trade deadline, maybe next year,” Wojnarowski said. “So you have teams weighing the assets they might use to trade for Damian Lillard vs. who could be available to them that they don’t want to be out of the game for. Some younger, first team All-NBA type players who may be in that marketplace.”
While Wojnarowski didn’t name any specific players, his ESPN colleague Zach Lowe followed up on Woj’s point by directly mentioning Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and obliquely referencing Sixers center Joel Embiid as well.
“Look, not to put it too baldly, but Giannis’ recent comments have changed the landscape of the league, at least a little bit, and have had teams at least have the meeting of, ‘Wait a second, do we need to keep our powder dry if we think we have a one percent, two percent, five percent (chance to acquire him)?'” Lowe said.
“And by the way, the Bucks may not have to trade Giannis at all. They may win the title this year, everything’s fine, he signs an extension. But those comments, along with everything going on in Philly, have at least forced you to have the meeting of, ‘Do we need to keep our powder dry?'”
Here are a few more trade-related notes and rumors:
- The Mavericks, Sixers, Bucks are among the teams to watch as the Pacers seek a trade partner for sharpshooter Buddy Hield, Shams Charania of The Athletic said in an appearance on The Rally (Twitter video link). “Those are the types of teams that could definitely use a shooter like Buddy Hield,” Charania said. “And I think they’ve had a level of interest in him over the last several months.”
- With Deandre Ayton‘s name once again popping up in trade rumors, Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports cites a source who says the Mavericks made an “underwhelming” offer for the Suns center over the summer. Bourguet adds that Phoenix fielded inquiries on Ayton on draft night in June, but the offers at that time weren’t compelling, with one source even describing them as “trash.”
- While Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe acknowledges that the Malcolm Brogdon situation in Boston “feels slightly off,” he hasn’t gotten any recent indications that the Celtics are considering trading Brogdon any more than they’re considering moving any other player.