Buying or Selling 2023 NBA Trade Deadline Buzz | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

Buying or Selling 2023 NBA Trade Deadline Buzz

0 out of 5

    D’Angelo RussellJordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

    We’re just a few weeks away from this season’s NBA trade deadline, which means it’s time for the rumor mill to start churning in overdrive.

    Recent reporting from around the internet suggests it’s doing just that.

    There isn’t a ton of rumors about superstars, but solid, needle-moving role players like Jae Crowder, Gordon Hayward, a handful of Utah Jazz players and others could be on the move.

    Of course, these reports don’t often (maybe even rarely) translate to actual trades, so it can be helpful to play the tried-and-true “buy or sell” game with each individual rumor.

    And that’s exactly what we’re going to do below with some that have surfaced in the last few days.

Rui Hachimura on the Way out of Washington?

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    Rui Hachimura

    Rui HachimuraStephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

    Last week, The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Josh Robbins reported that “The Washington Wizards have begun trade discussions with multiple teams centered on fourth-year forward Rui Hachimura.”

    A few days later, after dropping 30 points on the Orlando Magic, Hachimura responded to the rumors.

    “I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player,” Hachimura told reporters. “And I want to be somewhere that loves me—likes my game, you know? I just want to be somewhere that trusts, believes in me.”

    That’s a pretty transparent quote, and it’s obviously not a denial of the rumor. Washington having three combo forwards on rookie contracts means there’s a bit of a logjam to clear too.

    All three of Hachimura, Corey Kispert and Deni Avdija are playing over 20 minutes per game, but Hachimura is the oldest of that trio. And if the front office thinks there’s more upside for the latter two, seeing what it can get for the soon-to-be-25-year-old Hachimura makes sense.

    For his career, box plus/minus pegs Hachimura as a below-replacement-level player (ditto for this season, individually), but a 6’8″ player who can post up, theoretically defend multiple positions and hit threes (as evidenced by his 44.7 three-point percentage in 2021-22) should hold some intrigue around the league.

    Verdict: Buy that Washington is at least looking for a Hachimura trade

Jae Crowder Saga Finally Ending?

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    Jae Crowder

    Jae CrowderAndrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Jae Crowder holdout/trade demand remains one of the strangest in recent memory.

    When the now-32-year-old Crowder found out he’d lost his starting job to the younger—and, at this point, better—Cameron Johnson, he demanded out. And he’s refused to play ever since, even after the Phoenix Suns’ roster was rocked by injuries.

    Recent reports on the situation, including one with quotes from Crowder himself, don’t really clear up his perspective either.

    Fortunately, the trade deadline provides a fairly likely end date to this entire saga. Crowder has made it clear that he’s not coming back, and Phoenix should be motivated to get anything in exchange for him before his contract expires at the end of this season.

    And despite the fact that Crowder was essentially demoted by the Suns, he can still be a useful combo forward (including for Phoenix, but alas). A couple veteran teams appear to agree with that proposal.

    According to veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein, “The Bucks and Heat are also among the teams that remain interested in Phoenix’s Jae Crowder…”

    He could certainly bolster the rotations of both of those teams, assuming it doesn’t take too long for him to get back up to speed. And considering what he’s done to his own trade value over the last several months, the final price of this trade shouldn’t be too high.

    Verdict: Buy

Utah Jazz Ready to Lean into the Rebuild?

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    Walker Kessler and Lauri Markkanen

    Walker Kessler and Lauri MarkkanenMelissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

    Elsewhere in Stein’s column, we read that “There’s a ‘rising belief’ around the NBA that the Jazz will be open to listening on any players on their roster besides Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler at the trade deadline.”

    That stance would make a lot of sense for the Utah Jazz, who are 14-22 since a 10-3 start that had them in first place in the West.

    The middle of the conference being down means the sub-500 Jazz could hang around the play-in mix the rest of the way, but leaning even further into a rebuild, shipping off win-now players like Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson and focusing on the young guys makes more sense.

    This draft class is loaded, and the closer the Jazz can get to the top pick, the better for the long term.

    Keeping Kessler and Markkanen makes sense too. They’re 21 and 25, respectively, and they’re second and first on the team in Dunks & Threes’ catch-all metric, estimated plus-minus.

    Using all the draft capital from the Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert trades, as well as whatever else comes from deals from the veterans who are still around, is the smartest path forward.

    Verdict: Buy

Minnesota Shipping out D’Angelo Russell?

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    D'Angelo Russell

    D’Angelo RussellJordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

    In an episode of Jake Fischer’s Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast earlier this month, the Yahoo Sports reporter noted that Minnesota Timberwolves point guard D’Angelo Russell is in the rumor mill and that his name has been “involved in trade talks since the summer” (h/t HoopsHype).

    Then, just over a week later, SKOR North’s Darren Wolfson mentioned the Miami Heat as a team that “has some interest in D’Angelo Russell” on his podcast, The Scoop with Doogie (h/t HoopsHype).

    Of course, there’s a big difference between outside organizations expressing interest in Russell and the Timberwolves actually moving him. Kyle Lowry being 10 years older than Russell would seem to make a deal even less likely. Ditto for the fact that Lowry is shooting worse and scoring less than Minnesota’s current starting 1.

    Still, there are intangible benefits to veteran leadership and experience, and the Timberwolves have been worse with Russell on the floor this season. Depending on what else might be included in a potential Lowry-Russell deal, it’s not a ridiculous idea.

    Another factor Minnesota has to consider is that Lowry is under contract for $29.7 million in 2023-24. Will he still be able to help a team make a playoff push in his age-37 season?

    The safer bet with any trade rumor is that nothing happens, and that feels especially true with all the confounding factors here.

    Verdict: Buy that teams might be interested, but sell that a deal happens

Charlotte looking to move Gordon Hayward

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    Gordon Hayward

    Gordon HaywardKent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

    Gordon Hayward has only appeared in 22 games this season. He’s averaging 13.5 points and posting well-below average marks in field-goal percentage, three-point percentage and effective field-goal percentage.

    He’ll be 33 years old in March and is still owed $31.5 million in 2023-24.

    So, while the Charlotte Hornets may be “prepared to take calls on Gordon Hayward,” according to Stein, it’s hard to imagine many teams placing them.

    That is, unless the other team is asking Charlotte to attach a pick to take on the rest of Hayward’s deal. And in that case, the Hornets should probably hang up. It’s time for Charlotte to prioritize future picks and young players in a rebuild around LaMelo Ball and hopefully Victor Wembanyama.

    Verdict: Buy that the Hornets would like to move Hayward, but sell that they’ll be able to

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