NBA trade rumors are heating up at the moment as we approach the league's deadline and there are several teams whose next month could make-or-break their season. The most obvious examples of players likely to be on the move are Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, both of whom have sat out recently while their team's consider moving them on.
NBA Trade Rumors: 5 teams that need to be active prior to the deadline
In this article we will take a look at 5 teams that are desperately needing to improve in key areas ahead of the deadline and are likely to make a move in the coming weeks. All 5 are playoff contenders with some looking to complete a deep postseason run.
#1 Milwaukee Bucks
Opposition teams don't have success in the paint against the Bucks bigs, with Milwaukee still averaging the 2nd-least offensive rebounds allowed. However, they are having more success on the perimeter. The defensively-solid Milwaukee Bucks have gone missing and in their place is a system that allows the 4th-most opposition three-point attempts and is in the bottom half of NBA teams for points conceded.
While Budenholzer has been toying with different systems to make the Bucks more competitive in the offseason, this has meant that Giannis' numbers are down and their perimeter defense is weak.
Milwaukee need a 3-and-D player who can shoot and can perform to a high standard on defense. The likes of George Hill would be possible, but its questionable whether the franchise would make a return for the veteran guard. Given their current record, we can expect to see the Bucks heavily involved in NBA trade rumors in the coming weeks.
#2 Miami Heat
The Miami Heat are floundering and are one of the most mentioned sides in NBA trade rumors in the lead up to this year's deadline. Struggling through injuries and absences, the Heat are currently holding a 12-17 record. Even with Jimmy Butler's return they have looked a shadow of the side that performed valiantly in last year's NBA Finals.
With the Heat's $7m player exception, as well as a potential $5m disabled player exception for Meyers Leonard, they do have hope of bringing in some energy that can push them back toward the playoffs. While Lowry's name has been touted, his salary seems unachievable, therefore the likes of Drummond or Bjelica seem more likely to be brought down to Florida.
#3 Dallas Mavericks
After winning 5 of their last 7 matchups, the Dallas Mavericks have improved of late but still sit 10th in the West after being hyped up in a big way prior to the NBA's tip off.
Having one of the most exciting players and an MVP candidate in Luka Doncic, the Mavs have been heavily linked in NBA trade rumors and don't want to waste a season with Doncic in the ranks. Luka needs a third scorer, an efficient wing or forward. Yes, he has now linked up with Kristaps Porzingis, but the two cannot be relied upon to make the Mavericks genuine contenders in the playoffs. Certainly not with Porzingis' injury history.
The likes of J.J. Reddick and John Collins are available and the Mavs front office are expected to be active in NBA trade rumors. Dallas also need to add some defense, though could ignore this aspect and go all-out on offense, akin to the Nets' style of play.
#4 Boston Celtics
Although they are sat 4th in the NBA's East, the Boston Celtics have lost 6 of their last ten matchups and are going backwards. Out of any team on our list, they have the greatest chance of bringing in some additional talent and have been heavily linked with the usual names in NBA trade rumors.
Daniel Theis and Tristan Thompson are unfortunately not good enough to face up to the East's dominant bigs and desperately need support down low. Inevitably, Boston have been linked at center with both Andre Drummond and Vucevic in NBA Trade Rumors. As well as Thompson, Teague has flattered to deceive from the bench and is averaging only 5.5 points and 2 assists.
GM Danny Ainge has $28.5m worth of player exception funds to utilise and should look to improve in several key areas. The Celtics need a new big, they need depth behind their two stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, as well as a wing scorer.
#5 Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry has been having lights-out scoring performances for the Golden State Warriors this season but the 2-time MVP needs help on offense. The aging point guard is averaging 29.9 points a night and has a usage rate of 32.2. While both figures are highs since his unanimous NBA-MVP season in 2016 (discounting his 5 games last year), it is unlikely that the 33 year old will be able to maintain this through to the postseason, let alone during it if the Warriors qualify.
Curry hasn't had the kind of reliable scoring partner he became used to with Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, though it could prove difficult for the franchise to make a move.
The Golden State Warriors are $40m over the luxury tax limit, therefore would have to make a sideways switch for Kelly Oubre Jr., or give up their top-3 first round pick obtained from the Timberwolves. Therefore, while the Warriors have not been involved as much in NBA trade rumors, it is essential for their front office to bring in a scorer if the franchise have a realistic hope of making the playoffs.