One must have heard people say: "It's a guard's league now." The NBA isn't inclined towards traditional big men like it used to. With shooters who can space the floor and guards who have impressive playmaking skills, the tall and muscular bigs have a new role in the game. However, it won't matter how many deep threes a guard can make if there isn't a strong center to box out the opposition and get rebounds and blocks. In this regard, recent NBA trade rumors have linked centers with many teams in the competition.
The trajectory of a traditional NBA big man's career has evolved in recent times. They are no longer the top scorers for their teams. Although we are increasingly seeing teams adapt to the concept of 'small ball,' a center still has a key role in a team's lineup. So, without further ado, let's take a look at five teams that need a center this off-season.
NBA Trade Rumors: Golden State Warriors in need of a center to compete for the NBA title
The Golden State Warriors, after making five consecutive NBA Finals appearances from 2015 to 2019, finished the 2019-20 season in last place in the Western Conference.
If you've been a fan of the Warriors anytime in the past decade, you must have noticed their lack of fixed centers. With the supreme backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson finally healthy again, many analysts and pundits predict a 'redemption season' for the Warriors.
However, that predicted redemption may not be possible if the Warriors do not draft or trade for a center. Their front office has been the most interested in a big man ever since DeMarcus Cousins was signed by the LA Lakers.
NBA Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers need centers if Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee don't re-sign
During the Lakers' run to the title last season, Howard's role against Denver Nugget's center Nikola Jokic was very effective and caught the attention of many teams. As a result, many front office personnel and coaches have reportedly shown interest in the services of the 34-year-old center.
After the recent dinner of LeBron James with his friend and former teammate Tristan Thompson, many NBA trade rumors surfaced about the Lakers' possible pursuit of centers. If the duo of McGee and Howard decide against signing again with the reigning NBA champions, the LA Lakers would need a bonafide big man in their lineup next year.
NBA Trade Rumors: Houston Rockets' small-ball lineup may not continue next season
After numerous failed attempts to reach the NBA Finals, the Houston Rockets might be finally retiring their small-ball lineup.
Following the resignations of long-time head coach Mike D'Antoni and GM Daryl Morey from their respective roles at the Houston Rockets franchise, many anticipate significant changes in the Rockets roster as a host of NBA trade rumors surround the franchise.
Mike D'Antoni, in the middle of the season, traded Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks and was fully dedicated to the idea of 'small ball.' However, new head coach Stephen Sila is certainly looking in a new direction after multiple failures in the postseason.
NBA Trade Rumors: Montrezl Harrell's uncertain future could mean that that the LA Clippers may add a big man to its roster
The LA Clippers' sixth man, Montrezl Harrell, posted the best season of his career and won the 'Sixth Man of the Year' Award in 2020.
After his recent success, many anticipate that he could depart from Los Angeles and possibly seek a role as a starter in another team. If that happens, the LA Clippers might find themselves looking for another big man.
Although the Clippers have Ivica Zubac and Joakim Noah, they aren't quite what the Clippers need to make a run to the NBA Finals.
Noah is 35 years old and comes off the bench, while Zubac is yet to develop his skillset and often fails against some of the best big men in the league.
NBA Trade Rumors: Toronto Raptors would require a center if free agents Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka leave
The Toronto Raptors are a defensive-minded team, and it should come as no surprise that they value their big men.
However, two of their centers, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, are free agents and could depart from the Canadian team in the off-season. Considering the same, the Raptors front office is reportedly desperately looking for centers.
They have a 23-year-old Dewan Hernandez, who averages just over four minutes per game, two rebounds and zero blocks. So, it's safe to say that he isn't what the team needs to reach another NBA Finals.