More 2023 NBA Trade Deadline week notes, this time featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, and Houston Rockets.
Cleveland Cavaliers & Los Angeles Clippers
Despite the Cavs & Clippers being top defensive teams this year, I still wonder how far they can actually go with their current rosters. Cleveland’s Jarrett Allen & Evan Mobley are great down low, but I wouldn’t say anyone has established themselves as that nightly wing stopper. The Clippers might be in a worse scenario than the Cavs if they don’t make any moves. I just can’t see Ivica Zubac going the whole year being their only real rim protection/Kawhi Leonard not having any reliable defensive help on the perimeter in the playoffs. Terance Mann has stepped up nicely this season, but he could possibly get traded.
New York Knicks
Not many people are, but I’m still high on New York’s Cam Reddish & Obi Toppin. Even if they don’t turn out to be starters, I have a hard time believing the two can’t help a team’s bench. Also I personally believe that there is still plenty of potential (both offensively & defensively) to be unlocked for the former lottery picks. I’d imagine their value isn’t that high at the moment based on DNP’s/MPG, so why not take the chance?
Houston’s Eric Gordon, KJ Martin, and Jae’Sean Tate are role players with energy that can change games. They would fit perfectly on playoff teams if traded, as I’ve always been a fan of Gordon’s offense, Martin’s athleticism, and Tate’s versatility. Also if I’m teams looking to deal, I’d ask the Rockets if they’d be willing to discuss younger players like TyTy Washington, Josh Christopher, and Usman Garuba, the three have shown some nice flashes recently.