The NBA trade deadline falls on February 23, 2017 this season, which means we’re just a month away from what is always a day laden with what can only be described as organized chaos.
Despite the fact that there are 22 teams either in or within two games back of the playoff picture as we speak, a number of franchises will fall away from the pack over the next four weeks.
Thus, it’s fair to assume there will be a fair amount of former NBA All-Stars available on the trading block.
With that in mind, here is a look at five former All-Stars could easily be moved prior to the NBA trade deadline on February 23, 2017.
Carmelo Anthony, SF – New York Knicks
Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the last two seasons, you know that New York Knicks SF Carmelo Anthony and team president Phil Jackson rarely to never see eye-to-eye, and are not incredibly huge fans of each other.
And the media in New York City constantly stirs up as much drama as possible between the two parties.
Who should be blamed for the Knicks' mess? Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson https://t.co/pTqhDIqjUs
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) January 14, 2017
The Knicks are a disappointing 20-26 thus far through 46 games, and appear to be perhaps a No. 7 or No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture at best this season.
We can argue until the cows come home over whether or not New York should finally move its leading scorer. But what isn’t up for debate is the fact that Anthony’s time in the Big Apple could easily come to its inevitable end over the next 30 days.
Although it would likely take three teams to get a deal done, Carmelo’s most likely landing spot appears to be the Cleveland Cavaliers according to Charley Rosen of FanRagSports.
Paul Millsap, PF – Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks elected to keep PF/C Al Horford at the trade deadline last year, and ultimately ended up letting him sign with the Boston Celtics after neglecting to give the veteran an offer he liked.
Whispers that are vociferous in tone suggest Atlanta’s front-office doesn’t want to lose Paul Millsap, who can opt out of his deal this summer, without getting something in return as he’s still playing at a high level.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 22, 2017
With the Cleveland Cavaliers in their conference, it’s unlikely that the Hawks will be able to make it to the NBA Finals despite their extremely solid 26-19 record thus far this season.
— FanSided NBA (@FanSidedNBA) January 23, 2017
Thus, it’s beginning to look like Millsap will end up finishing the season on a team that is one piece away from truly having a shot at winning it all like the Toronto Raptors.
Blake Griffin, PF – Los Angeles Clippers
While he’s undoubtedly one of the most dominant scorers in the NBA when he’s firing on all cylinders, Los Angeles Clippers PF Blake Griffin simply isn’t durable and has already missed 20 games this season.
ICYMI: An update on the status of Blake Griffin, who could return as early as Monday or Tuesday. https://t.co/7pEjKOb4yy
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 22, 2017
Griffin is slated to make his return on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, which is perfect timing. The Clippers now have plenty of games to showcase Griffin over the next four weeks, and he should be their leading scorer almost every night with PG Chris Paul out with an injury of his own.
With very little chance of making noise in a top-heavy Western Conference playoff picture, Clippers brass must finally make a sincere effort to move Griffin now.
NBA Trade Rumors: Blake Griffin To Celtics, Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony To Clippers Highlight Blockbuster Seven… https://t.co/MpqOPWJYJq
— Inquisitr Sports (@InquisitrSports) January 14, 2017
The aforementioned Boston Celtics and New York Knicks appear to be possible destinations for Blake.
Andrew Bogut, C – Dallas Mavericks
According to RotoWorld, Dallas Mavericks C Andrew Bogut (hamstring) is close to returning after missing Dallas’s last six games.
While the 28-year-old is no longer able to play at an All-Star level, Bogut could easily help a playoff team that lacks depth in the frontcourt as a defensive-minded sixth man.
Bogut cannot be traded back to the Golden State Warriors during the season, so teams that struggle to defend the paint like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Memphis Grizzlies, Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors make plenty of sense.
Rajon Rondo, PG – Chicago Bulls
Things haven’t gone so swimmingly for Rajon Rondo since the aforementioned Boston Celtics decided to move on from their long-time point guard back in 2014.
Stops in Dallas, Sacramento, and now Chicago haven’t worked out, and Rondo’s trade value appears to be at an all-time low.
But that doesn’t mean the Bulls will refrain from attempting to move the former Kentucky standout before the NBA trade deadline on February 23, 2017.
According to multiple sources including Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bulls are actively shopping Rajon along with SF/PF Nikola Mirotic.
Report: Bulls shopping Rajon Rondo, Nikola Mirotic as trade deadline apporaches https://t.co/t8UWCJquTI
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) January 22, 2017
In all likelihood, if Rondo’s ultimately traded, he will be a throw-in piece in a trade for another featured player.
[Featured Image by Al Bello/Getty Images]