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Five Teams That Need To Make Moves Before The 2024 NBA Trade Deadline

Los Angeles, CA - Lakers star LeBron James at the foul line during a game against the Grizzlies at Arena in Los Angeles on Friday night, Jan. 5, 2024. Memphis won, 127-113. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The NBA Trade Deadline is swiftly approaching for teams around the association. February 8th will mark the final day that teams can shake things up in a major way for the second half of the season.

Rumors have been hotter than ever in recent weeks, as teams inquire about players and draft picks on the trade block. Whether you are trading to compete for a title this season, or searching for ways to help your organization in the long term, this is a great time to evaluate your roster and find ways to do better.

The Los Angeles Clippers took a big swing earlier in the year by trading Robert Covington, Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris, and other assets to the Philadelphia 76ers in a move for James Harden. In the months since the trade, this has been a win-win for both teams.

While the recent trade between the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons involving Marvin Bagley III, Danilo Gallinari, Mike Muscala, and Isaiah Livers isn’t anything major, it could be an indication of trades to come.

With that being said, here are five teams around the NBA that need to shake things up before the deadline.

Honorable Mentions: The Sacramento Kings, Brooklyn Nets, 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, and Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 03: LeBron James #23 and Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers wait during a 110-96 Miami Heat win at Arena on January 03, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Besides LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers organization needs to be open to trading anyone else on the roster. James is still a top-10 player in the league at 39 years of age. However, he and Davis can’t do it all on their own.

After winning the first-ever In-Season Tournament, there was a sense of optimism for the season going forward. In the games following, the Lakers have fallen to a 20-21 record on the year. As it currently stands, the Lakers are 10th in the Western Conference Standings.

The Lakers have been attached to Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine for most of this season. Nonetheless, in a recent report by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, that move seems to be all but dead.

“I think there’s a zero percent chance of the Lakers trading for Zach LaVine.”

Brian Windhorst said on the Hoop Collective podcast

With that being said, it has become glaringly apparent that the team must do something. On James-led championship teams in the past, franchises have surrounded him with shooters to space the floor. As the team stands, it is lacking in that department.

Alex Caruso and Dejounte Murray have both found themselves attached to the Lakers in recent months. Moreover, Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier is a sleeper to watch out for if Los Angeles’ other options fail to materialize. Whether the Lakers can turn their team into contenders in the coming few weeks or not remains to be seen. Regardless, there has to be some effort from Rob Pelinka and the Lakers management to improve the team.

Players like D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura have the highest chance of being traded this year. If the Lakers want to compete with some contenders around the league such as the Boston Celtics, Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, and others this season, then they need to go out and make a move.

The Golden State Warriors

SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 30: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings during Round 1 Game 7 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs on April 30, 2023 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Many debates have been had this season regarding the Golden State Warriors dynasty finally being over. The team has uncharacteristically struggled this season, and issues with suspensions and regression in play have hurt the team in a big way. That being said, Stephen Curry is still playing at an all-world level.

Curry’s play simply isn’t enough to carry this team though. It seems highly unlikely that the team will trade either Klay Thompson or Draymond Green this season. Meanwhile, Andrew Wiggins has been playing arguably the worst basketball of his entire career.

The nucleus that the Warriors have relied on for years simply isn’t cutting it anymore. It would be in the best interest of all parties involved if they could trade some of their young players such as Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody as they have both issued complaints about their lack of playing time.

While the team has been hesitant to give up their youth, it’s a move that needs to happen if they hope to acquire veteran talent. If not, the team needs to rely on their young guys to help them going forward.

Two players to watch for the Warriors would be Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. Both of these players could help the team to win a championship this season.

The Toronto Raptors

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 27: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors reacts against the Chicago Bulls during the first half at the United Center on October 27, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Every move the Raptors make moving forward should be done to mold the team around Scottie Barnes. Trading away OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks for RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley was the first big domino to drop.

Now, the team still has to find a way of dealing with some of their other veterans. Siakam has been linked to a variety of different franchises around the league. However, the current frontrunner at the moment is the Indiana Pacers. If the team can trade him for a few first-round picks, that will be a win for the Raptors.

At just 22 years old, Barnes is a great piece for the Raptors to build around. He is playing at an All-Star level this season and if the team can acquire some extra draft capital or some more young talent, it will go a long way for the team.

Although the Raptors are still a bottom team in the Eastern Conference, they will be an up-and-coming team for years to come. For the time being, it’s about finding ways to maximize the trade assets that they can get back.

The Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 21: Head coach Quin Snyder of the Atlanta Hawks converses with Trae Young #11 and Dejounte Murray #5 against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter of Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at State Farm Arena on April 21, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks are going to have to face some harsh truths in these next few weeks. Putting it bluntly, this team has not done enough to cut it this season. This is the time for the Hawks to really shake things up. Even if that means trading franchise point guard Trae Young.

Don’t get it twisted, Young has played exceptionally well this season. He is having another All-Star-caliber campaign. However, it has become obvious at this point that the team needs to make a move.

The Hawks are a team that finds themselves with talent scattered all across their roster. For some reason though, the team hasn’t been able to reach that same high that brought them to the Eastern Conference Finals a few years ago.

“If I’m Trae Young, I’d get ahead of the curve. The situation I’m afraid of with Trae Young is he’ll remain there too long.”

DeMarcus Cousins said regarding Trae Young’s situation in Atlanta

The Hawks are a weird team that isn’t as bad as the Detroit Pistons, while simultaneously not being good enough to beat a team like the Sixers in the postseason. This puts them in a position where they have to make a move. After all, nothing is worse for a franchise sitting somewhere in the middle of a contender and a bottom-feeder in the league.

While trading Young would be shocking, the Hawks should at least be open to listening to any offer on the table. According to Matt Moore of Action Network, Young would be open to a move to the San Antonio Spurs, consequently pairing with Victor Wembanyama.

If the team is committed to working things out, though, acquiring some veteran talent like Dorian Finney-Smith or Royce O’Neale could bring a hard-nosed mentality into their lineup.

The Chicago Bulls

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 10: DeMar DeRozan #11 and Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls looks on during the game against the Houston Rockets on January 10, 2024 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

There is no denying that the Bulls have been playing much better as the year has gone on. However, it simply isn’t enough to justify not making a move. They have needed to make a change for years, and this is the time for the Bulls to do just that.

The Bulls are 19-23 and ninth in the Eastern Conference Standings. While Chicago may not want to strip their team down to the bolts, moving on from their veteran players would be in the best interest of the team.

While LaVine is a very solid player, the trade market for him has dried up. Meanwhile, nothing substantial has come from DeMar DeRozan trade talks. Defensive-minded guard Caruso and veteran big man Nikola Vučević are two other names that could be moved.

Historically speaking, the Bulls have not been a team that blows their roster up. Instead, they have opted to retool their team. Regardless of how the Bulls want to navigate their future, they need to shake things up.

This could be a definitive time for the Bull’s future. It is very important for them that they execute this deadline at the highest level possible.

Which teams do you think need to make a move before the trade deadline?