The NBA trade deadline has become a spectacle in recent years, and Thursday’s deadline is sure to be no different.
A lot of players could change jerseys. Big-name players like Tobias Harris and Harrison Barnes already have been traded, and many others could be on the move before 3 p.m. ET.
Here are five players to keep an eye on Thursday:
5. Markelle Fultz, PG, Philadelphia 76ers
The 2017 No. 1 overall pick has struggled to stay on the court, and some believe his short career in Philly will end Thursday afternoon. The Washington product has had an interesting start to his NBA career, completely altering his jump shot and dealing with multiple shoulder problems. But at just 20 years old, Fultz likely will generate continued interest on the trade market. Keep an eye on a point guard-starved team, such as the Orlando Magic or Phoenix Suns, to make a run at Fultz.
4. Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando Magic
Orlando’s crowded front court might be slightly thinner by the time the deadline hits. The 2019 first-time All-Star is in the midst of the best season of his career and will be seeking a massive contract when he hits unrestricted free agency this summer. With an excess of young big men, the Magic likely won’t want to spend the money it’ll take to retain Vucevic, especially after signing Aaron Gordon last summer. Expect Orlando to look for young guards or draft picks in return for the talented big man. The Charlotte Hornets or Los Angeles Lakers potentially could make a run at the 28-year-old.
3. Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors
Lowry has been a staple in Toronto’s offense for years, but the run could come to an end Thursday. The Raptors (39-16) currently sit in second place in the Eastern Conference standings and are in win-now mode with no guarantee Kawhi Leonard re-signs this offseason. Toronto already has reportedly offered Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas to the Memphis Grizzlies for Mike Conley and Marc Gasol with no luck. A trade isn’t imminent, but be on the lookout for a Woj Bomb.
2. Mike Conley/Marc Gasol, PG/PF, Memphis Grizzlies
Conley and Gasol have been the cornerstones of the Grizzlies franchise for many years. It’s only right to include them here together potentially for the final time. Memphis looks like it’s about to enter a full rebuild mode around Jaren Jackson Jr. and has been discussing trades for its two stars. Teams like the Raptors and Washington Wizards reportedly have asked about both Conley and Gasol, but it’s more than likely the longtime duo will break up. The Utah Jazz, among other teams, reportedly have interest in the talented point guard. The Charlotte Hornets reportedly are in “serious talks” for Gasol, so keep an eye on that throughout the day.
1. Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans Pelicans
At this point, it’s a matter of when Davis will be traded, not if. The six-time All-Star publicly requested a trade almost two weeks ago and has been connected to the Los Angeles Lakers ever since. Magic Johnson and the Lakers have made the Pelicans mammoth offers, but it appears New Orleans might wait until the offseason to move the talented big man. It’s unlikely Davis will be moved by the deadline, but if the Pelicans call the Lakers back, who knows what will happen?
Thumbnail photo via Steve Dykes/USA TODAY Sports Images