NBA trade season has been open for business for over a month now, yet there has been quite a bit of calm before the trade deadline storm. Only three trades have been made in the best month and none have been of the impact variety. In fact, two were done primarily for salary cutting reasons (Jeff Teague, Kent Bazemore) for the teams involved rather than trying to upgrade talent.
Things are going to change on that front in the next two weeks however as buyers get more aggressive ahead of the deadline on Feb. 6. There will be more demand than supply this year thanks to the wide-open title race with as many as 10-12 teams thinking internally that they have at least a shot of reaching the NBA Finals in their respective conferences. The sense of urgency will be higher for some teams (Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, Sixers) than others but a lot of the dealing will come down to assets. Do any teams have the kind of capital to match the Celtics' three projected first-round picks for 2020? What kind of offer may the Celtics need to make in the next two weeks to make a meaningful upgrade? Let's take stock of what the C's will have to contend within the East, and check in on what elite West squads have to offer as well.
THE DRAFT CUPBOARD IS FULL
They are dealing from a great position of strength here. The Celtics own Milwaukee’s first-round pick, which was sent to Phoenix last season in the Eric Bledsoe deal but the Bucks made up for that by getting a first-round pick for Malcolm Brogdon from the Pacers this summer. That is projected to land at No. 20 right now. Combine that with some promising young extra depth at the bottom of the roster that is expendable (Pat Connaughton, Sterling Brown, DJ Wilson) and Milwaukee has the capital to make a meaningful upgrade if they want. Whether or not they decide to do anything after a 36-6 start remains to be seen.
Status of first-rounders: Own Indiana (No. 20) for 2020, does not have 2022 pick
Excess or lost picks? Own Pacers second-round picks in 2021 and 2025. Does not have any second-round picks in 2020
Status quo here when it comes to picks. The Raptors were rumored to be potential sellers before the