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So Your Team Made No Trades Before the Deadline…

The NBA Trade Deadline has come and gone for 2020 and a few NBA Finals contenders made no trades before the 3:00 PM ET deadline. Those teams included the likes of the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Bucks are perched up on top of the Eastern Conference looking down at the second seeded Raptors and third seeded Celtics. For the Lakers, they remain atop the Western Conference. Certainly each team could have made a deal to better their chances, but they did not and that does not mean it is the end of the world. Just because your team did not make any trades does not mean they are less of a contender, because a storm is coming, and that storm is the buyout market.

Potential Candidates for the Buyout Market

Tristan Thompson, Center for the Cleveland Cavaliers

Currently on the last year of his deal, it was rumored heavily that the Cleveland big man would be on the trade market. But Thompson was not moved before the deadline and the Cavaliers acquired another center, Andre Drummond, hoping for him to be the big man of the future for ‘The Land’. Because of the Cavaliers’ latest acquisition, it is hard to believe that Thompson will be suiting up for Cleveland for much longer making him a prime candidate for a buyout option.

Teams such as the Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, and Miami Heat are all rumored to be in on acquiring Tristan Thompson if he is bought out. But for now, we will have to wait and see on the veteran big man’s future destination.

Evan Turner, Guard/Forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves

Evan Turner was a piece in the massive 4-team deal that occurred earlier this week. He ended up in Minnesota after all the news broke. But after the recent acquisition of D’Angelo Russell, it is rumored that Turner will be another candidate for a buyout.

Should Turner end up getting bought out, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat would be interested in signing the veteran wingman. Both Miami and Boston have been interested in bolstering their depth. Turner can be a valuable asset adding depth off the bench as a playmaker or as a secondary ball-handler.

Isaiah Thomas, Point Guard for the Los Angeles Clippers

Recent news dropped saying that Isaiah Thomas will be bought out following the three team deal between the Knicks, Wizards, and Clippers. The market here might be slim for the once prolific scorer. However, one team immediately comes to mind when it comes to signing Isaiah Thomas, and that is the Boston Celtics. Currently as they are situated, the Boston Celtics backup Point Guard is Brad Wanamaker, and he has been a playable guard, but that position could be upgraded. Sure Thomas has his downfalls, but IT is averaging 12.2 points per game and shooting 41.3% from behind the arc, both better than what Wanamaker has supplied.

Other Potential Candidates Include:

Free Agent Candidates Include:

Teams That Made No Trades at the Deadline

Milwaukee Bucks

Led by MVP favorite Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks are currently the number one seed in the East. Sitting at 43-7 and winning games by a record breaking 12.4 points per game. So did they have to make a trade at the deadline? No. What the Bucks have been doing is currently working. Building a 3-and-D team around their superstar has maximized the team’s potential.

With all that being said, would it have been nice to see the Bucks trade for a player like Robert Covington? Yes. But the package that was sent for Covington seemed a little hefty. On top of all that, it is probably best to not break up what has been working. There were some rumors around Eric Bledsoe, but in the end, I think the Bucks did the best thing possible by not changing what they have built.

Potential Free Agents/Buyout Players for the Milwaukee Bucks

  • Allen Crabbe, Guard/Forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Langston Galloway, Guard/Forward for the Detroit Pistons
  • Marvin Williams, Forward for the Charlotte Hornets

As I stated previously, the Bucks do not have to change much in order to remain as a NBA Finals contender. However, adding more 3-and-D players cannot hurt. Adding either Crabbe or Galloway could add even more depth at the wing. But the big name I would target here is Marvin Williams. Standing at 6’8″ Williams could play either at the Small Forward or Power Forward and space the floor for Giannis. Pair his floor spacing ability with his length on defense, the Bucks could be able to defend some of the bigger teams in the conference without sacrificing offensive play.

Los Angeles Lakers

Missing out on Marcus Morris was a loss by itself. Combine that with Morris going to the two seeded Clippers makes this loss feel a little worse for the Lakers. However, the Lakers are still at the top of the conference and have two top five MVP candidates in their starting lineup. And like I said with the Bucks, sometimes no trades is the best move, especially for the Lakers as this team was rebuilt this summer.

The problem with the Lakers is guard play and guard depth. Face the facts, Rajon Rondo, Danny Green, and Avery Bradley are not what they once were, so adding another playmaker into the guard rotation could be beneficial for this Lakers team.

Potential Free Agents/Buyout Players for the Los Angeles Lakers

  • Isaiah Thomas, Point Guard for the Los Angeles Clippers
  • Jamal Crawford, Guard (Free Agent)
  • Darren Collison, Point Guard (Free Agent)

All signs point to the Lakers signing Darren Collison. Which makes sense for the style of play the Lakers have played thus far this season. Spreading the floor around LeBron James is a key piece on what makes them successful. But what happens when James is off the floor? Adding Collison adds another playmaker into the mix for an already dangerous Lakers team.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors sit at the two seed with a record of 37-14. Consider that Toronto has dealt with a slew of injuries this season, that record is impressive. Because of these injuries, some of the young pieces have had a platform to perform. These young pieces have shown out and that only adds to the depth of the Raptors. Similar to the Lakers and the Bucks, I did not feel there was a move to be made for the Raptors. They are deep at each position with length, scoring, and athleticism.

Potential Free Agents/Buyout Players for the Toronto Raptors

  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Forward for the Charlotte Hornets
  • Marvin Williams, Forward for the Charlotte Hornets

These are the only two names that truly fit into what the Raptors have tried to built. Adding either Williams or Kidd-Gilchrist adds more depth, but most importantly, if one of the Raptors’ forwards goes done with injury, there is a veteran option that fits the mindset of defense and athleticism that can be plugged into the rotation. Like I said, the Raptors have had injury issues, so adding even more depth would make Toronto even better.

Boston Celtics

I mentioned the Celtics when talking about Isaiah Thomas already. But it truly shocked me to see that the Boston Celtics were not interested in making any deal. Whether it would have been for another big man or a backup Point Guard, the Celtics could have improved either.

Sure the Celtics have been impressive this year. A record of 35-15 and the three seed truly shows the dominance that Boston has shown. All that does not matter though if the Celtics make another exit before the NBA Finals. As the team is constructed, Boston could have been even better if a move was made. But the buyout market can truly make or break the Celtics’ Finals’ chances.

Potential Free Agents/Buyout Players for the Boston Celtics

  • Evan Turner, Guard/Forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Isaiah Thomas, Point Guard for the Los Angeles Clippers
  • Tristan Thompson, Center for the Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Bismack Biyombo, Center for the Charlotte Hornets

Adding either Turner or Thomas would address the backup point guard situation. As I said previous, Wanamaker has been a serviceable backup Point Guard. But adding Turner or Thomas can bolster the bench play. Isaiah coming off the bench as a backup point guard would bolster the scoring of the second unit and space the floor. Turner would add switch-ability and another playmaker for the Celtics.

Daniel Theis has been above average as the Boston Celtics’ center this season. But adding another Center into the rotation with a little bit more size would allow the Celtics to defend opposing big men even better. Either Bismack Biyombo or Tristan Thompson would increase paint presence. The rotation of Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter has been above average but it could improve with the addition of a Center in the buyout market.

In Conclusion….

Do not fret if you are a fan of one of these four teams. For one, you are rooting for one of the best teams in the NBA this year. But seriously, no trades made is not the end of the world. Sure they can be a way to better your chances to win the NBA Finals, but so can the buyout market and signing free agents. This year’s buyout market will be huge, so be on the lookout for these four teams to make a move on some of the players mentioned.


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