There’s only a couple more weeks until the 2023 NBA trade deadline on Feb. 9, so of course there’s been no shortage or rumors to keep our minds churning. We’ve already had one trade, as the Los Angeles Lakers Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks on Monday, but it surely won’t be the last deal as we inch closer to one of the busiest days on the league’s calendar.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the latest rumors:
Wizards are adamant in not trading Kyle Kuzma
Washington already pulled off a trade that netted them three second-round picks and Kendrick Nunn in exchange for 2019 lottery pick Rui Hachimura, who was sent to the Lakers. While some might think that signals a potential rebuild on the horizon for the Wizards, the team has reportedly told others around the league that Kyle Kuzma will not be made available in a trade prior to Feb. 9, per Yahoo Sports. Kuzma has drawn interest from the Suns and Hawks due to his outstanding play this season (he’s averaging 21.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and four assists). Kuzma has already made it known that he plans on declining his player option to test unrestricted free agency waters this summer. If Kuzma signs elsewhere this summer the Wizards risk losing him for nothing, so trading him now may be worth it if they don’t think he can be retained in the offseason.
Lakers not done?
L.A. doesn’t appear to be done making deals, and while Hachimura provides some much needed wing depth and 3-point shooting, the Lakers are looking for more. One package the Lakers could shop around is a lottery-protected first-round pick and Patrick Beverley in exchange for either frontcourt help or additional wing depth, per The Athletic. The Lakers don’t have much to offer other teams with their lack of trade assets, so it’s unclear who they could realistically get with that deal. However, Beverley could still be a boost off the bench of a number of contending teams looking to upgrade their defense. If that package alone doesn’t get L.A. the player it wants, adding additional assets isn’t off the table for them, per thre report.
Pistons still looking for unprotected first-round pick for Bogdanovic
Bojan Bogdanovic is a player several contending teams would like, but Detroit has been adamant that any deal is going to come at a high price. The Lakers have been a team consistently linked to Bogdanovic, per The Athletic, but the Pistons are asking for an unprotected first-round pick in exchange for the 21-points-a-night forward. However, as stated above in the tidbit about Beverley, the Lakers are currently only shopping a lottery-protected first-round pick. Both teams are playing hardball right now, and there’s no shortage of teams interested in Bogdanovic that could be willing to give the Pistons what they’re asking for, but it may not come until minutes before the trade deadline.
Raptors have been offered three first-round picks for OG Anunoby
Toronto is a team stuck between a rock and a hard place at the midway point of the season. The Raptors are 21-27, good for 11th in the East, just two games back of the final play-in spot. They’re not down bad enough that warrants them going full-on tank mode, but they’re also not good enough right now that would make them a contender in the East. Several teams find themselves in this position every season, and the trade deadline determines what direction the franchise ultimately chooses. The Raptors have a wealth of talent on their roster that would net them a significant amount of assets, and apparently they’ve already been offered one deal that would see them getting multiple future first-round picks.
The Toronto Star reports that one team has offered the Raptors three first-round picks in exchange for OG Anunoby, a haul similar to what the Spurs got for Dejounte Murray. That type of draft capital would give the Raptors flexibility to either build around Scottie Barnes through the next couple drafts while tanking, or if that isn’t their style, could be packaged together to swing for a big star. We’ll have to wait and see if Toronto is willing to part ways with any members of its core (Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam could also be shipped out for bountiful returns), and what the Raptors get in return because what they do could swing the NBA landscape for the rest of the season.