Scouting the NBA: Week Twelve — Scouting for the Upcoming Trade Deadline

Published: January 15, 2013

So the trade deadline is nearly a month away and with names like Rudy Gay, Pau Gasol and Josh Smith floating around Twitter-sphere like crazy I figured it’d be best to theme this with a trade like theme. This weeks opponents may all be looking to move pieces and so we’ll try to take a look at what players might be best to target for Dell Demps.

Also we’ll take a look at how the Hornets match up this week and whether they can reboot their win streak after imploding against a very talented New York Knicks team.

Game 38: Tuesday January 15 @ Philadelphia 76ers — Fox Sports New Orleans, 6pm CST

  • Trade Target: Evan Turner

After starting out the season at a red-hot pace forward Evan Turner of the Philadelphia 76ers has cooled off signifcantly reverting back to his old ways. Seeing an increased need for scoring, the 76ers have relied on Turner and point-guard Jrue Holiday to carry much of the load this season.

General Manager of the New Orleans Hornets, Dell Demps, ought to look into the forward if he can pry him away cheaply. Would the Hornets consider giving up a first-round choice? Might that be unwise considering New Orleans is currently one of the worst teams in the league?

New Orleans needs to consider all options for a small-forward if Al-Farouq Aminu continues his shooting woes. Perhaps Evan Turner may fit the bill with ball-distributor Greivis Vasquez and scorer Eric Gordon.

  • Most Intriguing Matchup and Prediction: Jrue Holiday vs. Greivis Vasquez

Both of these point-guards are having career seasons and this comes as no surprise for some as they are in their 4th (Holiday) and 3rd years (Vasquez) in the league. While Vasquez is a signficantly weak defender by league standards his offense has made him a viable candidate for most-improved player in the league.

Conversely Holiday is also offering up his candidacy with high regard. The Cal guard has posted intimidating numbers; an 18. 4 PER, a 40% assist rate on 17.7 TOV rate all on 18.7 points-per game and 8.8 assists. He’s really been carrying his team of late.

Prediction: Sixers by 4

Game 39: Wednesday January 16th @ Boston Celtics — Fox Sports New Orleans, 7pm CST

  • Trade Target: Jared Sullinger

Want to get rid of Austin Rivers? Well perhaps GM Dell Demps might stick his head in on a “blockbuster trade” that the Celtics were rumored to be getting together. While nothing has materialized to date expect the Celtics to be fairly active this year at the deadline. Boston GM Danny Ainge seems to be targeting Demarcus Cousins. New Orleans could look to get some assets from either team by offering up some picks and maybe the “potential” of Austin Rivers. Maybe the Celtics might be willing to part ways with some assets if the father gets his son.

  • Most Intriguing Matchup and Prediction: Austin Rivers towel waving vs. Doc Rivers coaching ability

When ESPN pulled their coverage of the Celtics/Hornets game it was for a reason. Austin Rivers stinks, real bad. That stench has many disheartened at what would have been an exciting game. While we all want Rivers to improve it’ll take longer than this season and so we shall watch with utter comtempt at how towel waving really impacts the game and whether Doc get a tec.

Prediction: Hornets (and towel waving) win by 6

Game 40: Saturday January 19th vs. Golden State Warriors — Fox Sports New Orleans, 7pm CST

  • Trade Target: None

The Warriors are having a fantastic season one that has surprised many outside of Oakland. While they are considerably deep Golden State would be unlikely to send away many of their assets unless they would be receiving a superstar (or quasi-superstar– Rudy Gay) in return.

  • Most Intriguing Matchup and Prediction: Klay Thompson vs. Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon hasn’t had the comeback that he would’ve liked. He’s had a low field goal percentage (something Rivers can relate to) but he has been getting to the line and hitting the freebies (something Rivers cannot relate to). Gordon might be matched up with Curry on defense but regardless I’d like to see these two score a bunch of baskets because their scoring styles are fun to watch.

Prediction: Warriors by 12

Game 41: Monday January 21st vs. Sacramento Kings — No TV Coverage (get your ass to the Arena people), 7pm CST

  • Trade Target: DeMarcus Cousins

With the Sacramento Kings in hot relocation talks an oversight has been made about Demarcus Cousins and the outfall that has persisted over the past year. Coaches and management for the Kings has been downright awful since Cousins was drafted and nobody other than Kings beat writers may be able to know why.

If New Orleans is willing to part with some assets (unprotected first?) perhaps they could get their hands on the basket-case from Kentucky. The question is would they want to? Aside from whether he’d fit into the environment the Hornets would have little need for the center in the short term. They have much more pressing needs at the small-forward and point-guard positions.

As well Cousins will be looking for an extension soon because his rookie contract runs out soon. This is a cautionary assets that Kings management is probably still figuring out how to deal with.

  • Most Intriguing Matchup and Prediction: Marcus Thornton vs. Austin Rivers

The Hornets have always seemed to do poorly in the two-guard department. It’s weird that one of our only good shooting-guards in the history of the franchise is now our commentator. Thornton once again returns against the team that sent him packing for poor attitude and lackluster defense.

I wonder whether Hornets management would pack up Buckets’ things and ship them back to New Orleans in exchange for Rivers?

Okay, enough Rivers bashing. MT will be coming off the bench and so too will Rivers. While Mason will see most of the time I’d love to see how these two go head to head.

Prediction: Hornets by 3

Motif of the Week

mo·tif/mōˈtēf/ Noun: A distinctive feature or dominant idea in an artistic or literary composition.

— Dealing —

Phones are phun

No kids we aren’t talking about prohibited substances, drugs are bad mkay. We are talking about trades, stocks, markets and NBA players. Over the next four weeks expect General Manager Dell Demps to purchase a new BlackBerry and some sticky-tape to place that bad boy right against his ear.

Or maybe he could get one of those cool blue-tooth motorbike helmets that Shia LaBeouf wore in Wall Street Money Never Sleeps?

Okay maybe not…

Last Sentence: Off the record is never a good time to admit that Austin Rivers is tired


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