As the all-star break approaches, so does the NBA trade deadline.
March 25, the date that will make, break, shake or be a huge mistake for a lot of fans and teams.
For all that does or does not come at the trade deadline, there is never any shortage of drama as organizations begin to act upon months and months of watching the on-court product and sifting through the direction of the team through contracts, performance, asset management, and overall assessment of the organization, and league as a whole.
‘Talk That Talk Radio’ presents … another week of NBA coverage.
What the hell were the Lakers thinking?
The Los Angeles Lakers tested fate by playing star forward Anthony Davis against the Denver Nuggets after he sat out games while battling with achilles soreness.
Like he has done for his entire career, Davis caught the ball on the elbow and went to make his patented move of jab-stepping to the right before taking a dribble left and floating the ball towards the basket; except he didn’t go far after the initial first step.
In fact, he limped straight to the locker room.
If there were fans at Staples Center, the eerie sound of a low “ooh” would have chilled across the arena.
The reaction and initial look from Davis was one many have seen in the professional sports landscape over time. He grabbed at the back of his lower leg, the achilles. The immediate limp to the locker room was telling.
Fortunately, for Davis and the Lakers, the injury was officially diagnosed as a strain rather than the infamous “rupture.” Davis is expected to be out until after the NBA all-star break, which lasts from March 5-10.
While that was really positive news after what looked like a franchise and career-altering play, why the hell was Davis playing in the first place?
Davis isn’t injury-prone, but availability hasn’t always been his strongest suit dating back to his New Orleans days.
It was a foolish decision to let him play after he had sat out a few games and clearly was not 100 percent after experiencing achilles soreness.
Davis is not a role player. He is not a fringe-roster guy.
The Lakers have LeBron James and can win without Davis.
Sure, it’s appreciated to “play through the pain” and set an example, but that is how franchises crumble and watch the future go dark right in front of their own eyes.
Had Davis ruptured his achilles, he probably wouldn't suit up for another game until the 2022-23 season. There is an entire warehouse of dark possibilities that could be played from that scenario, and the Lakers were very lucky to not have taken a look inside of that reality.
Trades in the NBA are a different animal. The amount of lunacy that follows from fans and media feeds to the fire of why trades are so addicting, even mock-trades.
The NBA trade deadline is March 25, but there have been rumblings of movement working behind the scenes that may spill over long before then.
Some big names that might be hitting the road over the next month? Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, Lonzo Ball, Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, etc.
The biggest fish in the pond being Bradley Beal. Beal is averaging 33 points per game in Washington and has been nothing short of amazing the last two years for the Wizards, but, not to beat a dead horse, a trade really would benefit both sides here.
Beal’s loyalty to wanting to win in Washington is admirable, but it would benefit the team more in the long run if they parted ways with Beal and used the acquired assets from a trade to build towards the future.
The team is 8-17 and even if they scratched and clawed their way to a potential playoff opportunity, is it worth it?
It’d be a hell-of-a story, not just for Beal, but for often criticized guard Russell Westbrook and the rest of the young Wizards.
Houston’s former all-star Victor Oladipo has played well since arriving to H-town, but there doesn’t seem to be a real push from either side to keep Oladipo long-term.
The massive James Harden-trade answered the question of whether or not Houston planned on rebuilding. It was very telling they settled for exclusively draft picks rather than players in the return.
Expect Oladipo to be a consolation prize for teams who strike out on Beal in late March.
Former star big men Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond are both expected to be moved, as well. The issue here is finding either of them a home on their current price tags as the price does not match the production.
Griffin has gathered a bunch of DNP’s and clearly has regressed physically, while Drummond has turned into an inefficient version of his past self.
No matter, the NBA trade deadline is sure to bring a surprise move or two.