The Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline is fast approaching. The lack of blockbuster deals thus far is irrelevant — a flurry of action is likely in the forecast as teams get more and more desperate to add their missing piece.
Those with no hope of a significant postseason run are getting ready to send away key players for future assets. Those franchises that feel like a championship is just beyond their reach could mortgage their future in a win-now deal.
Since trade rumors started to fly around the NBA, a few players in particular have been mentioned as possible trade candidates.
Here are five names every fan needs to know in the final few days leading up to the deadline.
Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant
Other than Ben Simmons, Grant has been the player most consistently included in hypothetical deals for the past month.
Detroit now has Cade Cunningham at the helm and is looking to send Grant packing in return for assets that can help in the future.
The former Syracuse standout is a long, athletic, versatile defender who has shown flashes of scoring ability during his time with the Pistons. All those skills are attractive to contending teams.
The hold-up in a deal for the 6-foot-8 wing is twofold: One, Grant has only recently returned the floor after a thumb injury; and two, Detroit is asking for two first-round picks or a first-rounder and a promising young player in return.
The 27-year-old wing would certainly be a significant boost to any franchise looking to make a deep postseason run, but it’s also a steep price to pay.
Grant has been linked with a litany of teams, including the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks, and Washington Wizards.
Washington Wizards guard Spencer Dinwiddie
Speaking of the Wiz, Dinwiddie is probably the most likely player on this list to be moved on or before the deadline.
Washington’s locker room appears to be completely out on their 6-5 point guard. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, Dinwiddie “looks like a shell of his former self and his teammates don’t want him there.” Yikes.
So it appears like a done deal (forgive the pun) that the former Brooklyn Nets standout gets moved.
The guard market is fairly deep at this year’s deadline, though. Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox, Dallas’s Jalen Brunson, Toronto’s Goran Dragic, Boston’s Dennis Schroder, and New York’s Kemba Walker have all been involved in rumors at one point or another.
But at his best, Dinwiddie is a legitimate starting point guard in the NBA. His size benefits him on both ends of the floor, and he’s shown a knack for scoring and playmaking.
The former Colorado Buffalo has career averages of 12.9 points and 5.1 assists. He scored more than 20 points per game in 2019-20 with the Nets before suffering a knee injury.
Dinwiddie is at worst a good backup, and the Wizards’ need to move him lowers his price. He would be a solid addition that likely wouldn’t cost anything more than salary filler and a second-round pick or two.
Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis
The Pacers admitted earlier than most teams that they were ready to blow it up. The franchise announced that Sabonis, Myles Turner, and Caris LeVert were all on the market at the beginning of December.
Turner has since suffered an injury, and LeVert simply isn’t as good of a player as Sabonis, which makes Domas Indiana’s most valuable asset.
The Pacers have been rumored to have an asking price of two first-round picks for the 25-year-old big man. Like Grant, Sabonis could be a game-changing addition for a contender but would come at a high price.
The 6-11 versatile center would bring more to the table than Detroit’s prized asset, though.
Sabonis is averaging more than 19 points and 12 rebounds this season on a team that’s going nowhere. He’s also played next to another center in Turner his entire career, so his full skillset has yet to be displayed.
But the former Gonzaga star has already proven to be a dominant low-post scorer, high-level rebounder, and has shown legitimate flashes of playmaking ability.
Putting Sabonis in the high post and letting him run the show for stretches, or at the very least be a key cog in a ball-movement offense, would go a long way toward helping turn a playoff team into a championship team.
Domas would be a good fit with the Golden State Warriors and has also been linked to Dallas, Sacramento, Washington, and New Orleans.
Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes
Barnes should be at the top of the list for every contending team. His game is similar to Grant’s, but he’s been more consistently productive (not only this year but throughout his career), and he’s shown to be comfortable playing a low-usage role.
The UNC product also has significant playoff experience and a championship ring from his time alongside Steph Curry and the Warriors.
Barnes is 6-8, 225 pounds, and a good athlete. He’s shown the ability to defend multiple positions during his nine seasons in the league.
He’s averaging more than 16 points per game with the Kings this year while shooting 40% from three, and the defensive metrics bear out his spot as the team’s best defender.
A bonafide three-and-D wing who’s willing to do whatever is asked of him and already has a ring on his finger would be the ideal get for a team with championship aspirations.
Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins
If Simmons gets moved before the deadline, it appears Atlanta and Collins will be involved in some form. More than likely, it would become a multi-team trade, but the Hawks seem to be ready to move on from a handful of players and have a desire to pair Simmons with Trae Young.
Atlanta has seemingly turned a corner over the past few weeks. The team is 7-3 in its last 10 games and is now 10th in the Eastern Conference standings — a far cry from where it was just weeks ago.
The Hawks already made one deal, sending Cam Reddish to the New York Knicks. But the team’s general manager, Travis Schlenk, made it clear no one on the roster is safe outside of Young and Clint Capela.
A blockbuster deal for Simmons makes sense at the right price. Ben and Trae would be the perfect complementary backcourt as each would cover the other’s most glaring weaknesses.
But other teams have reportedly been calling about Collins as well, like the Mavericks and Kings. He would be of significant help pushing a team over the top.
All statistics courtesy of NBA.com.