The NBA trade deadline on Feb. 6 is fast approaching. While ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski has said that "there aren't many front-line, significant players" on the market, there are some back-line, mildly significant players very much so on the trade block.
Here are a few of those rumors from around the league:
• Some NBA executives are under the impression that the Dallas Mavericks are the Memphis Grizzlies' backup option in their season-long attempt to extract some value out of Andre Iguodala and his expiring, $17.2 million contract. Dallas' offer of Courtney Lee and the Warriors' second-round pick appears to be the best one on the market thus far, but the Grizzlies are continuing to shop around.
The Warriors' pick figures to be near the top of the second-round and those picks are notoriously valuable. Their proximity to the back-end of the first-round make them, effectively, first-rounders without guaranteed contracts. (Second-round contracts need not be guaranteed.) That pick is currently slated to fall 33rd overall—the first pick of the second round. (Tim McMahon, ESPN)
• Hassan Whiteside has a "50/50 chance of being traded." The big man is having a resurgent season filling in for the injured Jusuf Nurkic at center and his expiring contract could be sold at its peak value. The 30-year-old is averaging 15.6 points, 14 rebounds and a league-leading three blocks per game. Despite his effective production, two factors may see Whiteside out the door before the deadline. For one, he's making $27 million and the Blazers are currently in the luxury tax. While The Athletic's Jason Quick assures that Portland general manager Neil Olshey doesn't have an explicit mandate to get below the tax, it's something management will surely entertain.
Secondly, Nurkic is due to return soon from a broken leg he suffered last season and would eat into Whiteside's minutes. On the flip side, the severe nature of the injury might make Whiteside's depth indispensable. (Jason Quick, The Athletic)
• Damian Lillard "reaffirmed his commitment to the Blazers." Lillard has, of course, been involved in trade rumors since his nascent days as a Trail Blazer, but none of those developments have even come close to a basic negotiation. Lillard's reaffirmation here is important because of how introspective the seven-year veteran is about building a future in Portland, and how much faith he has in management to cultivate that future.
“I mean, it’s not like we are going to do something that is going to take us to the championship at this point," Lillard told The Athletic. The Blazers are currently limping along at 20-27, good for 10th in the Western Conference. "I think it’s more important for us to protect the assets we have, the guys who are going to be here and who are going to help us going forward. I don’t think it makes sense to sacrifice that just to make a desperate play. It’s been a tough season, but the season is not over. We can make something of this season as we are, but it’s not worth, you know, saying ‘OK, let’s force something and go do something that at the end of the day doesn’t make sense.'" (Jason Quick, The Athletic)
• ESPN analyst and NBA champion Kendrick Perkins wants his former team to send Gordon Hayward to Oklahoma City for Steven Adams. Boston has desperately needed a defensive big man that can operate down low and along the perimeter. Preferably, they'd acquire someone who can help stretch the floor as well. Adams fulfills the former requirement, but in the latter, he falls well short. Celtics center Enes Kanter and Adams had a "stache bros" bit when they were teammates on the Thunder and remain good friends.
Even so, he was still, let's say, skeptical about this proposal.