NBA Power Ranking Week 13: Identifying Goals Ahead of Trade Deadline

January 3, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) moves the ball against New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With the trade deadline under a month away, trade talks and rumors are heating up. Here’s what every team should be looking to do at the deadline.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks
    Record: 35-6
    Previous: 1

The Bucks have a great fit and don’t need to make any trades to improve. Maybe a minor acquisition would help, but no drastic moves should be in the works. 

Trade Deadline: Stand pat

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
    Record: 33-7
    Previous: 2

Outside of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers have had trouble getting consistent scoring production. J.J. Redick or Bogdan Bogdanovic would be a great addition, and Kyle Kuzma has a lot of trade value. 

Trade Deadline: Trade for a shooter

  1. Boston Celtics
    Record: 27-11
    Previous: 3

While Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter have been solid, the Celtics need to get a better center if they want to make a playoff run. Possibly trading Gordon Hayward to get Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love could be a great trade. 

Trade Deadline: Get a center

  1. Denver Nuggets
    Record: 27-12
    Previous: 5

The Nuggets may ship Juan Hernangomez or Malik Beasley to upgrade the bench, but the Nuggets shouldn’t be looking to blow up the core of this team. Denver has a good fit as it stands.

Trade Deadline: No major moves

  1. Utah Jazz
    Record: 27-12
    Previous: 6

Utah’s most significant need was to get a reliable backup point guard, and they did that by getting Jordan Clarkson. When Mike Conley comes back, this team should flourish. 

Trade Deadline: Work is done

  1. Los Angeles Clippers
    Record: 27-13
    Previous: 4

While Montrezl Harrell has been great coming off the bench, Patrick Patterson and Jamychal Green have been very inconsistent. Christian Wood of the Pistons should be a target for the Clippers as he would provide scoring when Harrell is off the floor. 

Trade Deadline: Grab an additional power forward

  1. Miami Heat
    Record: 27-12
    Previous: 7

Miami has a solid core, but if they want to make a deep run, they need to get another elite player. They have the assets, and getting Jrue Holiday would be an enormous pickup.  

Trade Deadline: Pursue Jrue Holiday

  1. Houston Rockets
    Record: 26-12
    Previous: 8

Gerald Green getting hurt was a significant loss, and Austin Rivers has been unreliable. Going out and getting some shooters will help push this team over the top.  

Trade Deadline: Bench shooters

  1. Philadelphia 76ers
    Record: 25-16
    Previous: 10

The 76ers’ lack of spacing around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid has hurt the team a lot this season. Grabbing Davis Bertans from the Wizards and moving Al Horford to the bench will significantly help this issue. 

Trade Deadline: Go for Bertans

  1. Dallas Mavericks Record: 24-15 Previous: 9

Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are great, but the Mavericks need a third star if they want to make a playoff run. Trading bad contracts in Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Courtney Lee with Jalen Brunson and second-round picks should be enough to get Andre Drummond.  

Trade Deadline: Go for Drummond

  1. Toronto Raptors
    Record: 25-14
    Previous: 11

The Raptors haven’t suffered major regression since Kawhi Leonard left, but their bench has struggled at times. Going out and getting upgrades will help a lot come playoff time. 

Trade Deadline: Upgrade the bench

  1. Indiana Pacers
    Record: 25-15
    Previous: 12

This team fits well together, and Victor Oladipo is coming back soon. Blowing up the core of this team for upgrades would be detrimental. 

Trade Deadline: Stand pat

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder
    Record: 23-17
    Previous: 13

There were rumors about the Thunder wanting to trade Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari before this team went on a hot streak and started winning games. Whether rebuilding or making a playoff push, this team shouldn’t stay put at the trade deadline.  

Trade Deadline: Make a commitment

  1. Memphis Grizzlies
    Record: 18-22
    Previous: 16

The Grizzlies have been on a nice stretch and are positioned as a playoff team. However, they likely aren’t making it out of the first round this season. Jonas Valanciunas has quietly played very well this season, and the Grizzlies should look to trade him for assets if they can.  

Trade Deadline: Shop Jonas Valanciunas

  1. Orlando Magic
    Record: 19-21
    Previous: 14

Through a season and a half, Steve Clifford still hasn’t committed to playing Mohamed Bamba. He’s going to be stuck behind Nikola Vucevic, and the Magic should try to trade him while he still has a lot of trade value. 

Trade Deadline: Shop Mohamed Bamba 

  1. Brooklyn Nets
    Record: 18-20
    Previous: 15

The Brooklyn Nets are playing for next season. A big roster move wouldn’t make a lot of sense for this team. 

Trade Deadline: Stand pat

  1. San Antonio Spurs
    Record: 17-21
    Previous: 17

The Spurs are not built to make it out of the first round. DeMar DeRozan has a lot of trade value, and the Spurs should explore their trade options.

Trade Deadline: Explore DeRozan trade

  1. New Orleans Pelicans
    Record: 15-26
    Previous: 23

While the Pelicans have been on a solid stretch of games, they are still working towards the future. Getting more assets out of Jrue Holiday and J.J. Redick would be a smart move for the franchise.   

Trade Deadline: Shop Jrue Holiday and J.J. Redick

  1. Phoenix Suns
    Record: 16-23
    Previous: 24

With Deandre Ayton suspended, Aron Baynes and Frank Kaminsky well outperformed their previous value. With the Suns far from being contenders, they should be looking to trade those two for assets. 

Trade Deadline: Shop Kaminsky/Baynes

  1. Portland Trail Blazers
    Record: 17-24
    Previous: 18

The Trail Blazers have been wildly disappointing, but they have enough talent on their roster to be able to make the playoffs. Getting Kevin Love would help a lot as the Trail Blazers have need a big man who can shoot.  

Trade Deadline: Go for Kevin Love

  1. Charlotte Hornets
    Record: 15-28
    Previous: 20

The Hornets aren’t as bad as they could have been, but they aren’t contenders, either. Trading Nicolas Batum and his horrendous contract that goes through next season will give Charlotte some flexibility.

Trade Deadline: Trade Batum

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves
    Record: 15-24
    Previous: 19

Jimmy Butler wanting out really hurt the Timberwolves’ plans, and it’s time for the Timberwolves to blow up their roster. No one should be untouchable; not even Karl-Anthony Towns

Trade Deadline: Blow it up

  1. Chicago Bulls
    Record: 14-27
    Previous: 21

Kris Dunn has turned into an elite defender on the final year of his rookie deal. Chicago should look to trade him for whatever assets they can get as he should be a hot commodity. 

Trade Deadline: Shop Kris Dunn

24.Sacramento Kings
Record: 15-25
Previous: 25

At this point, the Kings need to try to make the playoffs; they haven’t been there since the 2005-06 season. Kyle Kuzma is available, and the Kings should try to get him if they can to help get to the playoffs.    

Trade Deadline: Pursue Kyle Kuzma

  1. Detroit Pistons
    Record: 14-27
    Previous: 22

A full team blow-up is in the works in Detroit. The team has said everyone except rookie Sekou Doumbouya is available, and the Pistons should get as many future assets as they can get at the trade deadline.  

Trade Deadline: Embrace a rebuild

  1. Washington Wizards
    Record: 13-26
    Previous: 26

There are several teams rumored to be interested in Davis Bertans and the Wizards are in need of assets. They should listen to all offers and get as much as they can for him.   

Trade Deadline: Get as much as possible for Bertans

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers
    Record: 12-28
    Previous: 27

Kevin Love is unhappy and wants out. This team is going nowhere soon with this core. Time to move on from Love and Thompson. 

Trade Deadline: Trade Love and Thompson

  1. New York Knicks
    Record: 11-29
    Previous: 28

Marcus Morris, Sr. has played well on a one-year deal, and the Knicks should try to trade him. Teams like the Clippers and 76ers should be interested in getting him. 

Trade Deadline: Shop Marcus Morris, Sr.

  1. Golden State Warriors
    Record: 9-32
    Previous: 29

The Warriors are playing for the lottery this season, and it doesn’t seem like D’Angelo Russell is part of their long-term plans. Trading him for assets may be the right move for this franchise. 

Trade Deadline: Explore D-Lo trades

  1. Atlanta Hawks
    Record: 8-32
    Previous: 30

When John Collins got suspended, Jabari Parker flourished and proved his worth. He has a $6.5 million player option next season, but he’s likely to decline that. The Hawks should trade him to a contender if they can. 

Trade Deadline: Shop Jabari Parker

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