The 2019/20 NBA regular season is only eight days old, but a handful of potential contenders may be starting to think about how to fill the obvious holes on their rosters, says ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
For instance, Windhorst believes that the Celtics will be keeping an eye on the trade market this season in search of a possible upgrade at the center spot. Boston was always expected to be thin up front after losing centers Al Horford and Aron Baynes, but missed games from Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis in the early going have exacerbated the issue.
Windhorst identifies Steven Adams and Clint Capela as two centers the Celtics might have on their radar, though he cautions that the Thunder have told teams they view Adams as part of their future. As for the Rockets, they expect to be a contender and may not want to move their starting center, but executives are still watching Capela — Windhorst notes that the Rockets explored moving the big man early in the 2019 offseason, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they do so again.
Here’s more from Windhorst:
- Windhorst believes the Sixers would like to add a shooter — not a star, but someone who can reliably knock down three-pointers and space the floor. While Philadelphia may ultimately turn to the buyout market, the club has several extra second-round picks available if a trade target emerges.
- The Trail Blazers could use a scoring forward, according to Windhorst, who thinks the Thunder‘s Danilo Gallinari is a more realistic target than Kevin Love. Gallinari’s expiring contract would make more sense, given Portland’s long-term cap outlook.
- Rival executives view Kyle Kuzma and Danny Green as the Lakers‘ best trade assets, but both players will be important contributors in Los Angeles. With few other viable trade candidates, the Lakers may ultimately have to rely on the buyout market if they want to acquire a ball-handler and/or a wing defender, writes Windhorst.
- Windhorst wonders if the Nuggets might try to find a small forward capable of slowing down stars like Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James in the postseason. Torrey Craig is Denver’s best option for now, but if the team seeks an upgrade, Andre Iguodala could be a target. Using Mason Plumlee‘s $14MM expiring salary, the Nuggets might be able to put together an offer that appeals to the Grizzlies, says Windhorst.