Yes, I am well aware that I have already written a post concerning the buy v sell decision that bubble teams in the NBA face every season, but with the Trade Deadline only five days away I felt now was as good a time as any to revisit the topic. There have been some changes since my last post, both in regards to teams’ competitiveness and trade rumors, so let’s look at all the periphery squads and what their best course of action is.
Detroit Pistons (22-28, 9th)
I had so much faith in this team when they paired Blake Griffin with Andre Drummond...and I had so much faith when Reggie Jackson got healthy...and I had so much faith when they fired Van Gundy and brought in Dwane Casey...but it may be time to admit that this Detroit team simply isn’t good enough. They are extremely thin at wing and their bench just does not match up with winning teams. We still have the second half of the season, but it’s clear that this isn’t the same team we saw last year, and no trade is going to immediately remedy that.
Verdict: Stay put, hope for some offseason team bonding
Miami Heat (24-26, 8th)
How ‘bout Justise Winslow? Man has been ballin’ since Goran Dragic’s injury forced the former wing into the point guard spot, but unfortunately it hasn’t really translated into team success. Honestly I don’t know why this team is below .500...they have great young starters, a deep bench, one of the best coaches in the NBA, but they seem stuck in a mediocre rut. They did make a play for Jimmy Butler which I honestly think would have been nice, and I still think they should look at acquiring somebody for when Dragic does return because they have a shot at making some noise.
Verdict: Buy low
Charlotte Hornets (25-26, 7th)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: all Charlotte needs to be focusing on right now is resigning Kemba Walker this offseason. Fail to do that, and they’re straight back to their Bobcat days.
Verdict: RESIGN KEMBA
Brooklyn Nets (28-25, 6th)
Spencer Dinwiddie went out, Caris Levert is out, but the Nets have continually improved their record. Honestly I would love to say buy now and go for it, but with all these young players and upcoming free agents it would be smart to stay put (but still try to win and test your core).
Verdict: Stay put, cash in this offseason
New Orleans Pelicans (23-29, 13th)
This comes down to when and to whom to sell Anthony Davis. Obviously he has given New Orleans an ultimatum, but for them to deal with L.A. after what happened last month...would be a disgrace to all of sports. In the end, we can see it’s all moot because of Davis’s stated intention to sign with the Lakers no matter what following next season, but we’ve seen this act before (cough cough Paul George)...
Verdict: Secure your future without Davis
Sacramento Kings (26-25, 10th)
We’ve been over this: the Kings are NOT a young superteam, but they certainly have promise. Come back this time next year and with a more developed young core they could be shaking up the Western standings.
Verdict: Stay put and develop
Los Angeles Lakers (27-25, 9th)
They can try to get Davis now and pair him with a LeBron who is exiting his prime, or they could wait a year and a half and get Davis for free (besides the exorbitant amount of money). Either way, their young core seems to be too immature to win on their own, and even with LeBron they are barely a Playoff team in the West. Maybe they go after AD now…
Verdict: Give it up for AD now
And the rest of the West either made their move already (Mavericks) or is pretty secure in their standings in the six-eight seed range (Clippers, Jazz, Rockets).