The NBA trade deadline is less than 24 hours away, and this one already has been a little crazy. DeMarcus Cousins is a Pelican, Lou Williams joined the Rockets, and the Nets somehow found a first-round pick. But what comes next? Here’s a look at the potential trade candidates being discussed and how likely they are to be dealt. All likelihoods are on a 1-5 scale with “1” meaning “not happening, forget about it,” and “5” being “that dude might as well get his luggage out.” Here’s the basic conversation when you ask people around the league if Larry Bird will deal Paul George. “So is he available?” “No, there’s no way that Bird moves him.” “OK, thanks.” “... Unless he does.” “Wait, you just said
DeMarcus Cousins greets Kings fans after beating the Pelicans on Feb. 12, 2017 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. The blockbuster trade that sent All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans has dominated NBA discussion over the last two days. What it means for a Pelicans team that now boasts two of the NBA’s very best big men, in Cousins and All-Star MVP Anthony Davis. What it means for a Kings organization that comes away from the trade looking like a laughing stock (especially after general manager Vlade Divac claimed Monday afternoon that he’d received a “better offer” for Cousins two days earlier) and that now moves into a total rebuild. And what it means for Cousins himself, who now draws a line under seven years characterized by rampant and wide-ranging dysfunction, and begins to move into the next phase of his career, still in search of his first playoff appearance.
The trade market for centers heading into the trade deadline isn’t good — there’s a glut of them on the market. If a team wanted a guy to play the five, they could acquire Brook Lopez, Tyson Chandler, Greg Monroe, and some others who are available. Also, the low price the Pelicans paid for DeMarcus Cousins — the best center in the game — has driven down the price. Which is why the Sixers have had little success moving Jahlil Okafor. They came close with Portland, but the Blazers instead traded Mason Plumlee and a 2018 second round pick to the Denver Nuggets for Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first round pick. With Portland off the table, the market seems barren for Okafor. So the Sixers may think about