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Another report it’s going to be a slow trading deadline

Feb 17, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

For the second year in a row, the trading deadline is shaping up to be more bust than boom.

We’ve been passing along reports that as the Thursday (Feb. 20) trade deadline approaches the seas remain calm, and not in a “before the storm” kind of way. The latest is from Ken Berger at in his diary from All-Star weekend.

Trade talk at All-Star weekend has been “as slow as it’s been in a long time,” said one executive who has not received a single phone call. A lot of teams have made it known which players they are open to moving, but the problem is finding trade partners. Very few teams are willing to part with premium draft picks or take on future salary, which are the two key drivers for trades.

Berger touches on the two key issues dampening trade talks. One is the fact there are far more sellers than buyers right now — most teams that fancy themselves contenders (or close to it) are happy with their roster, or want to make tweaks (adding bench depth, for example). Outside of a possible Pau Gasol trade (and I wouldn’t call that likely as he has not been healthy) there are not likely to be any name players moved.

Also, teams are hording draft picks, and most of the sellers want prospects or draft picks back for their players. Teams know this draft is deep and GMs seem to like the next few (not as much, but they seem good). Plus, under the new CBA, rookie contracts are even more valuable because you get a potentially quality player at a reasonable price.

All of which is to say, don’t get your hopes up for a lot of big deals. We at PBT would love to see a crazy trade deadline Thursday as well — we love trades — but I just wouldn’t bet on it.

  1. spursareold - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Beyond the first 8-9 picks, this draft won’t be as deep as people think. If you’re a NCAA freshman, and you see yourself slipping to late lottery or even out of the lottery, you’re going to pull your name out. That’ll thin things out before June.

    If you have a pick at 15 or later, and someone offers you a piece you need this year for that pick, you should probably take it.

    • jcmeyer10 - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      I agree. When there is too much hype around a draft before a handful of picks even play a single NCAA game there will probably be some changes to how deep the draft is by the time it actually happens.

    • 1historian - Feb 17, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      Agreed – good point. In addition – most if not all of the top 10 projected (right now) picks are freshmen, and they are risky.

    • muhangis - Feb 17, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      Um yeah draft guru, why don’t you actually study the players. I personally have looked into the profile of so many top college players in the country, and it is a VERY deep and talented draft. With CERTAINTY — There are guys who are going to get picked in the expiring 2nd rd. who will turn out to be better than many of the lottery picks of last years draft. You’ll see…

      Perhaps take your head out of your @ss, and stop misinforming people with a blind comment. Take time to study the pool, or yours is an IGNORANT statement.

  2. 00maltliquor - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Well then these sucka azz GMs better remember this before they start handing out multi-year contracts and eight figure salaries to any half decent C that can walk and chew gum at the same time, as well as non-franchise players getting franchise player money.

  3. therealhtj - Feb 17, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    Not having moved Pau Gasol when the Bynum deal presented itself is only the 3rd worst front office move by the Lakers this season. Holding on to him if the Phx deal is still remotely on the table would only compound the issue.

    • Professor Fate - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      Dealing Gasol for Bynum would only have allowed the Lakers to shed salary before the end of this year. Since they aren’t going anywhere anyway, what’s the advantage to that over waiting until the end of year when Gasol’s contract ends? In the meantime he helps sell tickets at Staples, something he couldn’t do if he was gone.

      Phoenix is waiting to see if Gasol is healthy before they commit to a deal. That’s out of the Lakers’ hands.

      • therealhtj - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        The advantage, as even most NBA writers have merely glanced over, are the looming repeater penalties. Being in the tax 4 out of 5 years will trigger them.

        Now the Lakers will likely be out of the tax next season, and possibly the one following. However, once the team is in position to sign someone of stature, they’ll gladly go into the luxury tax to build a contender. The repeater tax is a mutha, and all the Time Warner money in the world doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. Being out of the tax this season will allow the Lakers to spend as much as is allowed until the current CBA is opted out of. After the 17-18 season and subsequent lockout, it may be a whole new ball o’ wax.

        Getting out of the tax this season, one that’s clearly a throwaway, should be a priority. Based on the mind boggling overpay to Kobe and letting Nash hit the floor again, there’s clearly a different rationale spearheading the Lakers Front Office.

      • illegalblues - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        luxury tax, dogg. luxury tax.

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