Recent NBA trade rumors have mentioned some of the league’s struggling players, including Marc Gasol, Goran Dragic, and Jahlil Okafor. Gasol is unhappy in Memphis, Dragic is burning out in Miami, while Okafor is unwanted in Philadelphia, which makes their inclusion in the rumor mill unsurprising.
With one-quarter of the season over, a lot of teams are expected to assess their lineups and gear up for the upcoming trading period. In this case, it would be a surprise if any or all of the three remained with their respective teams come All-Star break.
Here are some of the latest whispers around the NBA.
Marc Gasol ‘Angry’ In Memphis? Cavaliers Potential Suitors
Gasol was reportedly “angry and frustrated” after the Grizzlies’ embarrassing 98-88 home loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night. It extended Memphis’ losing streak to eight games as the team is now 12th in the West.
Gasol, who is the team’s minutes played, scoring, rebounding, and passing leader, scored 18 points in the contest. However, he was benched by head coach David Fizdale in the whole fourth quarter even while Memphis was trying to get back against the Nets.
Here is what Gasol said during the post-game interview with Grizzlies reporter Ronald Tillery.
“I don’t like it one bit. I’m more (angry) and frustrated than I can ever show. But for the benefit of the team, I have to show good leadership and continue to do my job.”
Fansided’s King James Gospel reported that Gasol’s dissatisfaction may have been “boiling up for quite some time” even before the Nets game and it was just “let loose” that night. With the Grizzlies’ uncommon slide down the standings, the report noted that Gasol’s perceived value within the team might go down while his trade value will rise.
Gasol is currently averaging 19.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.7 blocks in 34.3 minutes per game for the Grizzlies.
The report said that the Cleveland Cavaliers could be targeting Gasol in midseason. The defending Eastern Conference champions are said to be still looking to improve their roster in preparation for another likely Finals showdown with the Golden State Warriors.
It remains to be seen, though, whether the Cavs are really interested in Gasol and what assets are they willing to give up to get the Spaniard.
Pelicans Could Pursue Goran Dragic In Midseason
Quite similar to Gasol, Dragic is his team’s leader in points, assists, and minutes played. He does not have much help in Miami, except maybe from Hassan Whiteside (when he is healthy) and Dion Waiters (when he is stable).
There are rumors saying that Dragic is being overused in head coach Erik Spoelstra’s system. All that without any promise of a better future in terms of competing deep in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Pelicans are rumored to be looking for a floor general that would help stabilize the team’s apparent offensive firepower.
Fansided’s Pelican Debrief suggested that a trade with the Miami Heat to get Dragic would bolster the Pelicans’ chances of contending for the NBA title. With a twin tower duo of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, a “true point guard” is said to be the only “missing piece” in head coach Alvin Gentry’s lineup.
Right now, the Pelicans are seventh in the West with an 11-9 record, only one game behind fourth and fifth-placed squads Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers. It means that they are in the thick of things this season as compared to the previous ones.
The report noted that New Orleans needs to improve their three-point shooting, and getting Dragic will instantly solve that problem. The Slovenian playmaker is a career 36 percent shooter from downtown and is currently shooting 41.8 percent from distance this season.
However, the report also indicated that the Heat does not appear interested in trading Dragic at the moment. It was said that a “dip in their winning percentage” in midseason could force Miami’s front office to put Dragic on the trading block.
Jahlil Okafor Becomes An Option For The Knicks?
It is no secret that Okafor has become a surplus in Philly. From being a starter to his demotion as a primary substitute to currently being a virtual practice player for the Sixers, it certainly is a plunge for the 2015 third overall pick.
Okafor’s role is not the only thing falling as his trade value is also following suit, according to Fansided’s Daily Knicks. The report said that team president Bryan Colangelo’s asking price went down from two future first-round picks to one first-rounder and a player. Just recently, it was said that Colangelo’s demand went further down to a just single second-round selection.
With this latest development, the report predicted that the New York Knicks might soon target Okafor. It continued to say that playing him alongside Kristaps Porzingis would “form one of the best young interiors in the NBA.”
Okafor will only turn 22-years-old next month and there is still a lot of untapped potential in the former Duke standout. Even though he is getting limited playing time, the report noted that he is averaging 20.0 points, 8.1 boards, and 1.5 blocks per 36 minutes in his young career.
DeAndre Jordan trade rumors continue to swirl out in Los Angeles. Blasting News reported that the Phoenix Suns is the latest team rumored to pursue the 6-foot-11 monster shot blocker.
The report said that the Suns’ current center lineup of Tyson Chandler, Alex Len, and Greg Monroe are only “short-term solutions” for the team’s big man woes. Len and Monroe are set to become unrestricted free agents next summer while Chandler has become injury-prone because of his advancing age.
There were rumors circulating about a potential DeAndre Jordan-Tristan Thompson trade between the Clippers and Cavaliers, but it remains to be a speculation at the moment. It means that Phoenix competing with the Cavs for Jordan in the upcoming trade period would not be a surprise.
[Featured Image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]