As the poet Kenny Rogers once wrote, you’ve got to know when to hold ‘em and, maybe more importantly, know when to fold ‘em. While much of the focus at the NBA’s Trade Deadline rightfully goes towards the contending teams that are improving their championship cases, it’s just as important to note which teams have decided to pack it in and attempt a rebuild. With the standings in both conferences more wide open than many years in recent memory, those types of squads aren’t as prevalent in 2019-20; yet, there are still more than a few GMs who should strongly consider selling parts in the next week.
Here are three teams who need to dump assets at by February 6.
I’m not dead-set that the Pistons have to rid themselves of Andre Drummond’s contract in the next week - as Drummond’s expiring deal next season will still be worth a lot as teams fantasize about the free agent class of 2021 - however, I do feel strongly about Derrick Rose. There is no reason for Detroit to not try and take advantage of the veteran’s bounce-back campaign. Rose is averaging 18.9 points and 6.0 assists in just under 27 minutes per game, all while doing so on a very team-friendly contract. With the 31-year-old’s immense injury history, the Pistons are in an obvious position to sell-high on an asset that’s been very inconsistent in the recent past.
Despite the fact that Washington has rarely had enough healthy bodies in 2019-20 to fill out its bench, I can’t imagine a world where the team doesn’t part ways with Davis Bertans in the immediate future for some sort of draft capital. I mean, we’re basically talking about found money at this point. The Wizards struck gold in the offseason, taking on the expiring contract of the 27-year-old Latvian for almost nothing and, with many potential buyers, they might even get a bidding war for the services of the pending UFA. It’s honestly a win-win scenario. Bertans takes his stretch-four act to a contender, while Rui Hachimura will return from his groin issue after the All-Star break with all the opportunity he can handle.
Does the NBA season even count if Alec Burks doesn’t get traded at some point? The Warriors are all about shifting the focus to next season and if they can get a future asset for Burks, you’d better believe they’ll jump at the chance. To his credit, the former lottery pick has taken full advantage of his opportunity to shine to a bigger role in 2019-20, averaging a career-high 15.8 points per game and shooting a respectable 36.0% from 3-point range. It’s unclear how much a team would value Burks’ skill-set, but he’d fill an obvious need for any squad looking to bolster its outside shooting at the deadline. Philadelphia, perhaps?