By: Justin Louis
As the first half of the NBA Season comes to a close, some teams are performing at their peak, while others are desperately looking to add another asset in their quest for the championship or to make the playoffs. On February 23rd, the NBA Trade Deadline will take place as teams look to upgrade viving for that playoff spot. Griffin Root (‘17) says “The NBA trade deadline forces teams to assess their roster and make lineup decisions by a certain date. This makes them analyze what they need short term and long term.”
In the midst of all this drama happening in the NBA, the process of “tanking” for some teams are beginning. “Tanking” is a term used in the NBA when a team purposely lose games in order to get the number one pick in upcoming draft. Only Eight teams from both the Western Conference and Eastern Conference can compete in the playoffs for the championship. There are a couple of teams in the NBA that are considered by the media as “championship material” while others are called “contenders.”
The elite teams are The Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets. According to ESPN News, Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers has gone on record to say what his team needs more. “We need a f***ing playmaker. I’m not saying you can just go find one, like you can go outside and see trees. I didn’t say that.” With that being said, management of the Cavaliers have traded away Chris Andersen for cash and a second round pick. As the deadline fast approaches, look out for the Cavs to add another piece in order to repeat as NBA Champs.
The Houston Rockets have been soaring, thanks to their lead man, James Harden. With the trade deadline a couple of days away, the Rockets have just aquired Lou Williams from the Los Angeles Lakers for shooting guard Corey Brewer according to ESPN News. Williams is a deadly shooter that adds great depth to the Rockets. With the Playoffs right around the corner, the Rockets seem to be all in as they look to go deep in the playoffs and win the championship.
Playoff contenders are teams looking to get into the playoffs, fighting for that 7th or 8th spot. Teams such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, New Orleans Pelicans, and Denver Nuggets are contenders. The New York Knicks have been under the media’s eye for quite some time. All the noise surrounding the Knicks have been about Carmelo and Phil Jackson not getting along, and the incident with Charles Oakley and owner James Dolan. Oakley was banned for life by James Dolan for an altercation that happened during a Knicks game. Currently they’re four games out of the 8th seed with their record being 23 - 34. The Knicks are desperately trying to get out of this dark cloud that’s hanging above their franchise.
The talk around the league is that Westbrook will win MVP. Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder has been averaging a triple double almost every game. As great as this is, the Thunder are currently seeded in 7th spot, but the media wonders how long Westbrook can keep this up? Westbrook needs helps so that someone can take the load off of him every night. According to Legion Hoops, OKC have their eye on shooting guard, Wilson Chandler of the Denver Nuggets. Will OKC make a trade to get him in order to take off some pressure from Westbrook?
“Demarcus Cousins has been traded to the New Orleans Pelicans!” according to Espn News. As soon as the all star game was done, Cousins was traded from the Sacramento Kings to the Pelicans. Cousins will now team up with Anthony Davis, as the two look to carry the Pelicans into the playoffs. The move came to a surprise by the media as the Kings made it clear that they weren’t trading him. With this opportunity, Cousins now has a chance to make the playoffs for the very first time.
As you can see, the NBA Trade Deadline is a pivotal moment in the NBA. Many teams use this platform as a way to boost their chances into the playoffs in order to win the championship. Find out on February 23 if your favorite NBA team makes a trade to increase their chances of winning the big won.