Final 2014 Trade Deadline Predictions for Every NBA Team

D.J. Foster@@fosterdjContributor IFebruary 19, 2014

Final 2014 Trade Deadline Predictions for Every NBA Team

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    After months of anticipation and speculation, the NBA trade deadline is finally here.

    February 20 will serve as the last day teams can negotiate trades, so all the posturing and politicking will no longer serve a purpose. It's either deal or don't deal.

    In a typical year, you can expect right around 10 trades to happen within 48 hours of the deadline. In 2013, there were 11 deals made. In 2012, nine trades went down.

    We'll see if that holds true again this year or if the clearly defined lines between buyers and sellers and the real threat of the repeater tax lead to more deals than we're accustomed to.

    With all that in mind, here are the final predictions for what each of the 30 NBA teams will do at the deadline.

Atlanta Hawks

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    The Atlanta Hawks have been involved in plenty of trade rumors as of late, and most have centered around point guard Jeff Teague.

    According to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, the Hawks are aggressively shopping Teague in advance of the deadline. That also might fall in line with Marc Stein's report that the New York Knicks are intrigued by him, although Teague certainly isn't the sole name on New York's wish list.

    This all comes as a bit of a surprise after the Hawks matched a four-year offer sheet worth $32 million to keep Teague in Atlanta, but perhaps he's not viewed as a good fit in head coach Mike Budenholzer's system or general manager Danny Ferry's long-term vision for the franchise.

    Many expected Teague to make the leap this year, but his shaky shooting has largely held him back. With young prospect Dennis Schroeder waiting in the wings, perhaps Atlanta is ready to move on.

    One potential stumbling block to a Teague trade, however, is his ability to reject any deal this season, per league rules for players who have their offer sheets matched.

    Combine that with Atlanta's current grip on a playoff spot, a possible lack of incentive to tank at this point (they can swap 2014 first-round picks with the Brooklyn Nets) and likely desire not to bring on substantial long-term money in any trade, and it would seem like waiting for the offseason to try to pull off a deal like the Philadelphia 76ers did with Jrue Holiday would be the better option.

    Prediction: No trade

Boston Celtics

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    The Boston Celtics are smack-dab in the middle of a rebuilding process, and there are pieces still waiting to be sold. Whether Rajon Rondo will be one of them is certainly debatable, but Celtics GM Danny Ainge has never been afraid to dangle his stars and ask for the world in return.

    Will any team step up and provide the Celtics with what they need to trade their last star? According to Sam Smith of, the most recent asking price for Rondo's services is two unprotected first-round picks, so he won't come cheap.

    With that in mind, it seems unlikely that Rondo will be dealt before the deadline, primarily because he's Ainge's ticket to recruiting and acquiring other star players. Without Rondo, that job becomes much more difficult.

    That doesn't mean it's trade Rondo or bust at the deadline, of course. The Celtics could look to move deals that could potentially cut into their 2015 cap space, like those belonging to Gerald Wallace and Jeff Green. Players on shorter contracts like Brandon Bass could be dealt as well, although the price may be a bit higher than you'd expect, even for an Ainge-operated team.

    Players like Bass will have value as expiring contracts next year and could help tremendously if a star who wants out becomes available via trade. So long as Boston doesn't jeopardize the 2015 offseason, however, Bass could bring back a better talent and a potential fit for the future right now.

    Prediction: Boston Celtics trade PF Brandon Bass, C Vitor Faverani and a 2015 first-round pick (via Los Angeles Clippers) to Houston Rockets for C Omer Asik.

Brooklyn Nets

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    The Brooklyn Nets may not have very many assets to deal in terms of draft picks or young players, but where there's a will, there's a way.

    So long as Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov remains willing to shell out massive luxury-tax payments, the Nets can find ways to upgrade.

    Brooklyn has a disabled player exception worth $5.25 million to use after losing Brook Lopez for the year, so any team wanting to shed salary might be willing to just give Brooklyn a player. The Nets and Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly discussed such a deal for Jordan Hill, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

    Alternatively, the Nets could use Jason Terry and his two-year deal to bring back a wing player. Terry might have some appeal if executives around the league believe he'll retire after this season (which would clear cap space), and that doesn't seem unlikely given how poorly he's played. 

    The Nets have been linked to Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jarrett Jack and Sacramento Kings guard Marcus Thornton in recent days, with Terry as the bait, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of and Wojnarowski, respectively.

    The exception route seems like a strong possibility, as it's a "use it or lose it" asset this season, but acquiring even a small contract like Hill's would cost the Nets around $17 million in tax.

    That being said, multiple deals aren't out of the question. It would certainly be a surprise if Brooklyn did nothing at this point.

    Prediction: Brooklyn Nets trade SG Jason Terry and PF Reggie Evans to Sacramento Kings for SG Marcus Thornton.

Charlotte Bobcats

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    The Charlotte Bobcats are expected to be one of the biggest buyers on the market, according to Marc Stein of, and there's plenty of reason to assume that. 

    Charlotte has one of the best trade chips in Ben Gordon's expiring deal worth $13.2 million, as well as plenty of draft picks to offer up.

    With the playoffs in reach, it would be a surprise to see Charlotte pass up the chance to improve its roster and build some momentum before next year's switch back to the Hornets name.

    Here's guessing Charlotte goes big and makes a play for Lakers big man Pau Gasol. The Bobcats and Lakers have already had discussions, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, and even though the Lakers may want a great first-round pick, Charlotte may be the only team both willing and able to acquire Gasol.

    Even if it's ultimately not Gasol, Charlotte should be active at the deadline and very open to turning Gordon's expiring deal into a frontcourt piece or wing player on a long-term contract.

    Prediction: Charlotte trades SG Ben Gordon, PF Jeff Adrien, SF Jeff Taylor and a 2014 first-round pick (via Portland Trail Blazers) for PF Pau Gasol.

Chicago Bulls

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    There's a point where doing any more selling can be viewed as destructive, and it appears the Chicago Bulls have reached it.

    You would think that players like Mike Dunleavy and Kirk Hinrich would be plenty available after the Luol Deng trade, but financially, the Bulls have already accomplished their biggest goal, which was to get under the luxury tax this season. 

    Perhaps more importantly, the Bulls have played pretty well without Deng and still look the part of a very tough playoff out. Trading off more rotation players could be the last straw with head coach Tom Thibodeau, and that's not worth the risk for a little bit of cap savings or a few second-round picks.

    With that in mind, the recent report from USA Today's Sam Amick of Chicago not appearing to be willing to deal Dunleavy makes sense. It seems very likely that Chicago will wait until the offseason to make any further changes. 

    Prediction: No trade

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    The Cleveland Cavaliers have been all over the map since firing general manager Chris Grant. No one is quite sure whether the Cavs are buyers or sellers at the deadline, as Jarrett Jack, Dion Waiters and first-round picks have been mentioned both going out and coming back. 

    It seems safer to assume that Cleveland will continue its quest for a playoff spot, no matter how misguided it may seem, and so adding pieces without giving up any key rotation players might fall in line with that.

    With that said, it's always hard to tell what Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wants and is willing to give up, and the change at GM only further complicates things.

    Any trade that involves anyone except for Kyrie Irving wouldn't be all that surprising, but here's thinking the Cavs go smaller.

    Chris Haynes of reported that the Cavs are inquiring about New Orleans Pelicans D-League point guard Pierre Jackson, and that one GM says it's "inevitable" that the Pelicans make some sort of deal before next week's deadline.

    If the Cavs are looking to deal Jack or Waiters at some point, adding a cheap, young scorer off the bench like Jackson might open up a few deals down the line. Whether it's a big or small addition, Cleveland should be very active at the deadline.

    Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers trade two future second-round picks for New Orleans Pelicans guard Pierre Jackson.

Dallas Mavericks

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    As Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban likes to say, the Bank of Cuban is open at the deadline.

    After whiffing on premium free agents the last few offseasons, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Mavericks stick their nose in the trade scene and try to land a star.

    Although it's probably a futile exercise at this stage, Dallas has reportedly done just that, according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger:

    The Lakers and Mavericks are trying to assemble trade offers for prospective free agent Kevin Love, but thus far the Timberwolves have given no indication they'll consider moving the All-Star forward by Thursday's deadline, league sources told

    While Love is likely unavailable, especially to Dallas, you can expect the Mavericks to at least kick the tires on teams with potentially disgruntled stars.

    It's likely a go-big-or-go-home situation, though, as Dallas will have cap space to try again this offseason and won't want to jeopardize that with a player who won't put the team in serious title contention in Dirk Nowitzki's last few seasons. 

    The Mavericks do have an interesting piece in Shawn Marion's expiring deal worth $9.3 million, but again, unless it's a huge acquisition, the Mavs will probably only harmlessly flirt at the deadline.

    Prediction: No trade

Denver Nuggets

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    Lacking the future cap flexibility or a healthy or talented enough core to compete, the Denver Nuggets are stuck in no man's land at the trade deadline. The Nuggets should be a seller, but it's going to be difficult to do given the size and length of many of the contracts on the books.  

    Opposing teams are usually pretty good at smelling blood in the water, so it's no surprise that multiple suitors are inquiring about young power forward Kenneth Faried, with the Toronto Raptors being the latest team to hop in the fray, according to Alex Kennedy of

    The Toronto Raptors have expressed interest in acquiring Denver Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried before Thursday's trade deadline, league sources told Basketball Insiders.

    Denver is listening to offers for the 24-year-old, but nothing is imminent.

    While now seems like a bad time for Denver to deal Faried given that his stock and Denver's negotiating power are both low, there's a more likely candidate to be shipped out while Denver figures out its direction this offseason.

    Andre Miller hasn't played since being suspended after a dustup with rookie head coach Brian Shaw, so getting him out of the locker room and off the books completely next season should probably be Denver's first priority. 

    This is a situation that seems like it can't be fixed, so Denver would be well-served to give Miller to one of the multiple rumored suitors, per Marc Stein of, even if nothing all that valuable comes back in return. 

    Prediction: Denver Nuggets trade PG Andre Miller to the Washington Wizards for PF Jan Vesely, PG Gary Temple and a 2015 second-round pick.

Detroit Pistons

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    The Detroit Pistons have the assets and the incentive to buy at the deadline, and that might be enough. Pistons GM Joe Dumars will need the trust of his owner in the last year of his contract to pull off some deals, but if he gets that, watch out for Detroit to make a move.

    With two expiring deals worth $8 million apiece in Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey, the Pistons could acquire the shooting help on the wing that's so desperately needed.

    Although trading Greg Monroe in advance of restricted free agency might be the best way to acquire a real impact player on the perimeter, the Pistons might not be willing to do that, according to Marc Stein of

    Sources briefed on the situation told this week that the Pistons have been telling teams with Monroe interest that the restricted free agent-to-be -- no matter what you've heard -- is not available. 

    While it seems more likely that the Pistons would use Villanueva or Stuckey in a deal, dealing Josh Smith might not be out of the picture completely if someone is actually willing to take on his deal after his poor performance this season. 

    Unless it's a trade that brings back a legitimate star, though, Detroit will likely stick with using expiring assets at the deadline.

    Prediction: Detroit Pistons trade PF Charlie Villanueva and a 2014 second-round pick to Milwaukee Bucks for SF Caron Butler.

Golden State Warriors

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    The Golden State Warriors already made one move for a bench upgrade when they acquired Jordan Crawford from the Boston Celtics, but they might not be done yet, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

    The Warriors, who emerge from the All-Star break having gone just 7-9 in their last 16 games...remain aggressive in their search to bolster their bench, league sources confirmed.

    But the team is not expected to go over the luxury tax threshold to do so.

    The Warriors have multiple trade exceptions to play with but are only about $2.3 million below the luxury-tax line. The player coming in via exception would have to be on a cheap contract.

    Despite all the rumors, it's hard to peg Golden State's biggest need aside from just general bench upgrades. If the Warriors decide to add another guard who can score, there are a few options out there.

    Unfortunately, Golden State is low on draft picks to offer, as it has no available second-round picks to trade until 2019. That might not be a huge deterrent if the Warriors want to make a straight player swap instead of taking someone into the exception, but that might not be the objective.

    It's hard to tell what exactly Golden State wants and how it's going to get it, but so long as the cost is basically nothing, making a move is a low-risk endeavor. 

    Prediction: Golden State Warriors trade a future second-round pick to New Orleans Pelicans for SG Anthony Morrow.

Houston Rockets

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    The Houston Rockets look to be in pretty good shape going into the playoffs, but Omer Asik's shadow still looms over the proceedings. 

    According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Rockets might be ready to try again with an Asik deal:

    Houston would love to trade center Omer Asik, and a source said it is actively shopping Jeremy Lin as well.

    Getting Asik's big salary for next year off the books now makes sense, especially since he hasn't contributed much this year behind Dwight Howard. While keeping Asik as an insurance option for Howard isn't the worst idea, it's going to get awfully expensive to do so next year.

    The Rockets may not be able to squeeze a very valuable high first-round pick out of any team, which seemed to be the holdup when Asik was being shopped earlier this season. The emergence of Terrence Jones at the 4 has definitely bought Houston some time, but adding another reliable big man to the rotation can help the team now and the finances later. 

    Houston GM Daryl Morey doesn't often lose when he makes trades, but he might have to bite the bullet on this one and accept what should be a lesser pick.

    Prediction: Boston Celtics trade PF Brandon Bass, C Vitor Faverani and a 2015 first-round pick (via Los Angeles Clippers) to Houston Rockets for C Omer Asik.

Indiana Pacers

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    There was a lot of chatter earlier in the season about the Indiana Pacers potentially trading the expiring deal of Danny Granger, but that's died down almost completely with the emergence of Lance Stephenson and Granger's fairly seamless adaptation to a bench role.

    Indiana simply can't afford to take on future salary next year if it wants to remain under the luxury tax and re-sign Stephenson, so trading for any player on a long-term deal at the deadline is likely completely out of the question.

    What the Pacers might do instead, however, is look to create even more room under that luxury-tax line by dealing a non-contributor like Chris Copeland, who has one year remaining after this season for $3.1 million.

    It may be a little different to see one of the league's best teams "selling" at the deadline, but financial sustainability is the name of the game for small-market teams. If the Pacers can bring back an expiring or a non-guaranteed deal for Copeland and clear $3 million for next year, it might be wise to do so. 

    Prediction: Indiana Pacers trade SF Chris Copeland and a future second-round pick to Orlando Magic for PF Jason Maxiell.

Los Angeles Clippers

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    The Los Angeles Clippers are in a difficult spot. There's a pretty clear need for a capable third big man, but limited assets outside of future picks are available to acquire said player.

    While it's possible the Clippers would consider trading this year's first-round pick, Reggie Bullock, it seems unlikely given the advanced age of the wings and how well he fits with Doc Rivers' scheme. A draft pick would probably make more sense, but matching a substantial salary would be difficult.

    It's not impossible, but it would probably be tough to convince Donald Sterling to dive even deeper into the luxury tax with a trade that added salary as well.

    What might be more likely is the Clippers addressing their frontcourt need through free agency by signing a player like Ivan Johnson from China or Jason Collins. There just probably isn't enough movable assets or flexibility to get a deal done before the deadline.

    Prediction: No trade

Los Angeles Lakers

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    Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak may be stubborn, but he's not stupid.

    With so many expiring players on the roster who will almost certainly have their rights renounced at the outset of free agency, Kupchak will likely look to shop for any non-player assets he can get his hands on.

    That shouldn't be too difficult to accomplish, as multiple teams seem ready to upgrade for a small price. Second-round picks may not feel like much, but they're lottery tickets that could potentially pay off big time for the Lakers down the road. 

    If the Lakers want something more substantial, trading Pau Gasol is the best bet.

    A limited demand for Gasol due to injuries and his free-agent status, as reported by ESPN's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne, may sink the value of the first-round pick coming back, but something is certainly better than nothing. If the Lakers can get their hands on a decent young prospect on a cheap deal in the process, even better.

    The Lakers aren't used to being in this position, but they should be a very active seller at the deadline, especially if getting under the luxury tax becomes a real possibility.  

    Prediction: Charlotte trades SG Ben Gordon, PF Jeff Adrien, SF Jeff Taylor and a 2014 first-round pick (via Portland) for PF Pau Gasol. New Orleans Pelicans trade two future second-round picks for Jordan Hill.

Memphis Grizzlies

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    The Memphis Grizzlies certainly aren't bashful about hopping into the trade waters, and as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports, this deadline may be no different:

    The Memphis Grizzlies are discussing a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves centered on forward Chase Budinger and guard J.J. Barea, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Memphis wants to include forward Tayshaun Prince into the package and the deal could be expanded to include guard Tony Allen, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Components of a proposed deal are still fluid.

    The Grizzlies appear ready to upgrade on the wing after how poorly Tayshaun Prince has played this season, and adding shooting in the process would be killing two birds with one stone.

    You could argue that the Grizzlies could improve simply by playing backup small forward James Johnson starter's minutes, although the shooting issues would persist.

    Ultimately, it's hard to see two teams contending for the same thing (the No. 8 seed) pulling off a deal with each other. Minnesota may want some better defenders in the second unit, but Prince is toast and Allen is banged-up a lot.

    For Memphis, finding a trade for Prince may prove to be too difficult at this juncture, and Allen won't be viewed as anything but a declining asset. The Grizzlies might be better off not rocking the boat. 

    Prediction: No trade

Miami Heat

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    The Miami Heat are another team that did its trade shopping early this season.

    By dumping Joel Anthony's deal and adding Toney Douglas as backcourt insurance, the Heat seem to have made enough little tweaks for another title run.

    With Greg Oden working his way into shape, Michael Beasley providing good minutes and Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers continuing to show solid improvements, Miami's supporting cast should be ready to go.

    The health of Dwyane Wade is an obvious concern still, but Miami can't really address that with another trade. This core is locked in, and no matter how many crazy Chris Bosh rumors you hear, that's not going to happen.

    Out of all the teams in the league, Miami would probably shock me the most by making a deal. It can easily win the title as is. 

    Prediction: No trade

Milwaukee Bucks

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    Maybe I'm a tad too optimistic about the Milwaukee Bucks reading the writing on the wall (or the standings) and selling off parts, but it makes too much sense not to.

    Caron Butler coming home made for a good story at the beginning of the season, but now the right thing to do is to let him finish his career on a playoff contender, not the league's worst team. 

    As for forward Ersan Ilyasova, it sounds like he wants out, based on what he told the Journal Times:

    The thing I'm upset about is each year, each season, we go through the same thing. Last year, we make the playoffs and now we start all over again. That's really frustrating.

    Finding a team willing to take on Ilyasova's deal and toss in draft picks may be tough, as it might be easier done during the offseason when teams have cap space to play with.

    All of this, of course, depends on if Milwaukee is ready to tear it down and truly rebuild, which has never really happened before in the past. The safe bet is that Milwaukee will sell, but not anything substantial.  

    Prediction: Detroit Pistons trade PF Charlie Villanueva and a 2014 second-round pick to Milwaukee Bucks for SF Caron Butler.

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    The Minnesota Timberwolves likely can't afford to stand pat at the deadline with Kevin Love taking close stock of the situation. Keeping up appearances is important here, and Minnesota is still in spitting distance of the playoffs. Not going for it would just give Love all the more reason to look for a way out.

    While Love himself will be involved in plenty of trade rumors, Minnesota seems much more likely to try to upgrade the talent around him instead. It isn't going to give up so easily on such a transcendent talent. 

    Improving significantly might be tough to do without changing some core pieces, but finding a way to get better defensively while adding veteran players will likely be the primary goal. 

    One way or another, the Timberwolves most likely have to do something at the deadline. Even if it's a seemingly lateral move involving bench players, shaking it up and trying to find new combinations for Rick Adelman to work with seems like a good idea.

    If the Wolves really want to keep Love, though, it might be time to resort to something drastic. 

    Prediction: Minnesota trades J.J. Barea, Shabazz Muhammad, Ronny Turiaf and a 2016 first-round pick to Philadelphia 76ers for PF Thaddeus Young.

New Orleans Pelicans

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    The New Orleans Pelicans have held a consistent spot in the rumor mill this season. That's what typically happens when teams have logjams in the backcourt, bad contracts to dump and a clear need for help at a certain position.

    The Pelicans have long been rumored to be in the market for a big man to play next to Anthony Davis, including this report from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo!, but finding one who comes cheap might be tough. While Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans could both be dangled, their deals may be too damaging to bring back a solid player.

    One option the Pelicans could explore is to use their disabled player exception worth $4.1 million that will be issued for Ryan Anderson's injury, according to Marc Stein of

    New Orleans will have to clear a roster spot first, so trading a guy buried on the depth chart like Anthony Morrow to a team with an exception would make sense.

    From there, the Pelicans would have a few options, but Lakers forward Jordan Hill might be the best big on the market making under $4 million. While the Pelicans might want slightly more size, Hill is a killer rebounder and a good energy guy with Bird rights to re-sign going forward.  

    It will take some maneuvering, but the Pelicans seem primed to try to balance out the roster a little more effectively.  

    Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers trade two future second-round picks for New Orleans Pelicans guard Pierre Jackson. Golden State Warriors trade a future second-round pick for Anthony Morrow. Lakers trade PF Jordan Hill for two future second-round picks.

New York Knicks

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    The New York Knicks are always involved in plenty of trade rumors, but very few ever come to fruition.

    Part of that has to do with all the media coverage and all the potential sources, but a lot of it stems from the team having unrealistic goals, like trading for Rajon Rondo, per Marc Stein of 

    With players like Rondo and Kyle Lowry likely off the market and the Knicks lacking future draft picks to deal, upgrading at point guard is probably more of a wish than a plan at this point. Making any significant deals that forfeit future assets might be foolish anyway with Carmelo Anthony's status up in the air going forward.

    While most assume Anthony will stay in New York, it's not yet known for what price and what stipulations will follow. Here's what Anthony recently told reporters about his pending free agency, as transcribed by Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

    Carmelo Anthony says he is willing to accept less money to re-sign with the Knicks if it helps the team attract big-name free agents, according to published reports.

    'Without a doubt,' Anthony said Friday while in New Orleans for All-Star Weekend. 'Any opportunity I have to build that up in New York, I'd do it. I told people all the time, always say, 'If it takes me taking a pay cut, I'll be the first one on [Knicks owner] Mr. [James] Dolan's steps saying take my money and let's build something strong over here.'"

    The Knicks aren't catching the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers this season anyhow, so saving the assets for when the picture becomes more clear makes sense.

    If there's an easy upgrade out there, the Knicks could make it, but nothing is easy when you lack movable assets. It seems more likely the Knicks will swing big, miss and ultimately wait for the offseason for any major acquisitions.

    Predictions: No trade

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    The Oklahoma City Thunder are reportedly looking for an additional shooter on the wing, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. While there are plenty of big-name shooters on the trade market, it seems out of character for OKC to make a huge acquisition at this point.

    The first reason for that is the luxury tax, which Oklahoma City will almost certainly want to stay out of. The next is the lack of big salaries and non-core assets that can be traded, although the Thunder do have exceptions to use.

    The biggest factor, though, is that Oklahoma City has the league's best record, even with star point guard Russell Westbrook out of the lineup for most of the season. He's by far the big addition OKC is going to get, as adding a shooter or two-way wing seems like more of a luxury than a need.

    Jeremy Lamb's continued development might be enough to keep the Thunder from making a move as well. Like the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. OKC has the makeup of a team that stays put at the deadline.

    Prediction: No trade

Orlando Magic

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    The plan for the Orlando Magic appears to be to maintain cap space for the 2015 offseason, and it's highly doubtful they'll veer from that strategy now.

    That doesn't mean the Magic will necessarily be inactive at the deadline, but it certainly limits the options for a deal. Here's Sam Amick of USA Today with more:

    The Magic have been focused on talks involving vets like Jameer Nelson & Glen Davis, but not getting anywhere just yet.

    The Magic are likely in position to maintain a high asking price for both Nelson and Davis, as clearing cap space a year early doesn't seem like the objective. So long as Orlando holds out for first-round picks, Davis and Nelson don't seem like they're going anywhere.

    With that in mind, Orlando may go the opposite route and take on salary for next year in order to gain a few assets in the process. Since Orlando doesn't have much of a shot at acquiring a star this offseason anyway, that strategy could fit the overall plan perfectly.

    Prediction: Indiana Pacers trade SF Chris Copeland and a future second-round pick to Orlando Magic for PF Jason Maxiell.

Philadelphia 76ers

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    The Philadelphia 76ers seem like the most obvious seller out there, as there's no misconceptions about the overall plan and direction within the organization.

    The 76ers are rebuilding and looking to add future assets, and it's hard to imagine that Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner are part of the future in Philly.

    All three players should be on the trade market, and first-round draft picks should be the primary asking price, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer:

    The 76ers' focus in the days leading up to Thursday's NBA trade deadline is acquiring draft picks, according to an Eastern Conference executive. ... They are reportedly interested in getting first-rounders, preferably lottery picks.

    With Turner heading for restricted free agency and Hawes hitting the open market, this might be the last chance for the Sixers to get value in return for both players.

    Young is a little trickier, but he may be growing weary of playing for such an awful team. Moving him before the trade demands come and things get nasty might be the right decision. 

    While it seems unlikely all three players will be dealt, you'd expect at least one to change addresses at the deadline. There's plenty of incentive here to sell.

    Prediction: Minnesota Timberwolves trade J.J. Barea, Shabazz Muhammad, Ronny Turiaf and a 2016 first-round pick to Philadelphia 76ers for PF Thaddeus Young. Phoenix Suns trade Emeka Okafor and a 2014 first-round pick (via Indiana) for C Spencer Hawes and SF Evan Turner.

Phoenix Suns

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    The Phoenix Suns have one of the very best trade assets to float on the market in Emeka Okafor's expiring deal worth $14.4 million. This isn't just your average expiring deal, though, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports explains:

    Once Phoenix reached the midway point of its season with Okafor still sidelined with a neck injury, an insurance policy began to take over payment on 80 percent of the remaining $14.4 million on his 2013-14 contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Whoever deals for Okafor before the trade deadline will receive an insurance payout of $5.7 million – roughly $141,000 per game.

    That's a massive amount of savings for any team, which should appeal to most owners—particularly the ones with losing teams on the floor.

    While it's highly doubtful the Suns would trade one of their better first-round picks, a choice destined for the end of the first round along with Okafor seems like a fair price for players who could help in a playoff push.

    Even if a pick isn't attached, the Suns should be able to swap Okafor for talent at the deadline, so long as Suns owner Robert Sarver doesn't want to keep the savings for himself.

    With the playoffs on tap, the Suns should be a definite buyer at the deadline, particularly if a solid center becomes available. 

    Prediction: Phoenix Suns trade Emeka Okafor and a 2014 first-round pick (via Indiana) for C Spencer Hawes and SF Evan Turner.

Portland Trail Blazers

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    The Portland Trail Blazers have been one of the league's biggest surprises this season, and it's hard to imagine that general manager Neil Olshey will mess with the chemistry the team has built. 

    With rookie guard C.J. McCollum playing extremely well now, the Blazers don't have very many needs at all, save for maybe one more frontcourt piece.

    That being said, the need probably isn't big enough to justify trading off any assets. If Portland does do something, it will almost certainly be very small. The starting lineup is one of the best in the league, and the talent off the bench is young and cheap. 

    Olshey is a mover and a shaker, but he's maintained the perfect balance of making small tweaks and keeping the core intact. It feels safe to assume the Blazers will ride out this magical run and stay away from any trades at the deadline.

    Prediction: No trade

Sacramento Kings

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    The Sacramento Kings have been very aggressive on the trade market over the last year, but reality should be setting in that this is a lost season. 

    That doesn't mean the Kings will stop reshaping their core, but the time-sensitive nature of the trade deadline likely won't apply much here.

    Aaron Gray and Jimmer Fredette are the only expiring contracts (outside of point guard Isaiah Thomas) to be dealt, and it doesn't seem like there's a big market for either player.

    All that being said, it does appear that Sacramento is on the cusp of getting something done. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, that might be a trade with the Brooklyn Nets:

    As the NBA trade deadline approaches on Thursday, the Kings are in a state of upheaval. Sacramento's talks with Brooklyn on a deal to acquire guard Jason Terry and forward Reggie Evans for Kings guard Marcus Thornton have progressed to a serious stage, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Hoping Terry retires and his contract comes off the books next year isn't a bad bet, and the risk is low since Thornton has failed to be a consistent contributor.

    Depending on Thomas' injury status, the Kings may be in the market for a solution at point guard as well, particularly if the team wants to protect against Thomas leaving in free agency this offseason.

    Sacramento doesn't necessarily need to trade right now, but there's plenty of work to be done. It should be active at the deadline.

    Prediction: Brooklyn Nets trade SG Jason Terry and PF Reggie Evans to Sacramento Kings for SG Marcus Thornton.

San Antonio Spurs

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    The San Antonio Spurs have gone longer than any other team in the league without trading, and it wouldn't be much of a shock to see that streak continue.

    The Spurs do have some expiring contracts to trade, but this is a team that typically shies away from rocking the boat during the middle of a season. Learning San Antonio's system takes more than just 30 games, and the Spurs don't have very many needs when you consider they have virtually the same team that nearly won a championship last year.

    San Antonio has survived injuries just fine this season, so even small stopgap solutions are probably unlikely. The Spurs value continuity more than anything else, and midseason deals usually don't lend well to that.

    It's never a bad idea to bet on the Spurs keeping things as is.

    Predictions: No trade

Toronto Raptors

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    At one point, the Toronto Raptors looked certain to be one of the biggest sellers at the deadline.

    Instead, they ripped off a bunch of wins after trading Rudy Gay, which effectively put a pause on the rebuilding process.

    Now it seems that Raptors GM Masai Ujiri is looking to keep the positive momentum going by holding on to guys like Kyle Lowry and seeing what happens in the offseason.

    If anything, Toronto may go the other route and become a buyer. That said, Toronto will likely still want to build through the draft, so the only realistic options are probably young players still on controllable deals, like Kenneth Faried is.

    It's always hard to get a read on Ujiri, but it seems like Toronto will likely re-evaluate after this season plays out instead of acting on this season's success. There's just too much risk involved to act either way right now.

    Prediction: No trade

Utah Jazz

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    The Utah Jazz are clearly going through a youth movement, and rarely does that involve more trading once it has already started. Utah has five young players to make up its core, so now it's more about time and patience than making lots of deals.

    Utah is going to continue to build through the draft first and foremost, so taking on any long-term salary or acquiring any non-rookie-scale players is probably out of the question.

    The Jazz probably don't want to decrease lottery balls if they can help it, and without any real attractive players to sell, it seems more likely that they'll just ride out the rest of this season and prepare to re-sign Gordon Hayward while adding another top-five pick in the draft.

    That's not a bad plan at all, so Jazz management shouldn't feel remorse about skipping out on the deadline. This is a team with a bright future as is, and it's hard to imagine any trade of non-core members that would move the needle whatsoever.

    Prediction: No trade

Washington Wizards

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    The Washington Wizards have the traits of a buying team.

    GM Ernie Grunfeld likely needs a playoff appearance to keep his job. There's a huge hole at backup point guard that simply has to be filled. There are expiring deals to move. The "win now" process has already been started. All of this adds up to the Wizards being active at the deadline. 

    Washington has been great with John Wall on the floor but awful without him. With few other gaping holes on the roster, not addressing this area would be a mistake in advance of what could be a decent playoff run in the shaky Eastern Conference.

    Keep an eye on the Wizards to possibly acquire another big man as well if one becomes available at the right price. Insurance behind Nene is always a good idea, and no other player on the roster has really established himself as a viable third big man. 

    Prediction: Denver Nuggets trade PG Andre Miller to the Washington Wizards for PF Jan Vesely, PG Gary Temple and a 2015 second-round pick.