With the NBA trade deadline looming (February 20th), I take a look at the top Western Conference team’s needs.
Oklahoma City Thunder (43-12): Stretch PF, 3pt SG
It’s hard to say that the best team in the NBA needs to get better, but there is always room for improvement. With Russell Westbrook set to return any day now and Kevin Durant on his MVP pace, the Thunder’s only real need may be floor spacers. A PF and SG who can stretch the court off the bench would make this team tough to stop on the offensive end.
San Antonio Spurs (38-15): Health, Backup SF
The Spurs really need to get healthy. Too many key rotation players have missed games. One hole that was exposed was that this team does not have a true SF option behind Kawhi Leonard.
Houston Rockets (36-17): Strech PF, Shooters
Everyone knows that the Rockets have been in the market for a PF who can stretch the court for Dwight Howard and James Harden. Terrence Jones has filled in and done a great job, but behind him the options are limited. The Rockets could also use some shooters off the bench that they feel are better than their current group.
Los Angeles Clippers (37-18): Backup Center, Wings
There was no surprise that the Clippers were considering bringing in Andrew Bynum. Behind DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers best center option is Ryan Hollins, not exactly someone you can count on for long spurs if Jordan is hindered with fouls/injuries. The Clippers also have recently brought in the likes of Hedo Turkoglu, Sasha Vujacic, and Stephen Jackson throughout the season. Doc Rivers has been looking for wings that fit into his system and that can play off of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Portland Trailblazers (36-17): Depth
After a hot start, the Blazers have drastically cooled down. The Blazer starting lineup is set. The Blazers spent the offseason improving a terrible bench; they could be doing the same at the deadline. Outside of Mo Williams (9.0 ppg), no other bench player averages over 7 points a game. The forwards and center reserves should be top priority.
Dallas Mavericks (32-22): Shot Blocking/Rebounding Center, defensive guards
Hard to see the Mavs making any change to their starting lineup at the guard and forward positions. The only room for improvement is at the center spot, where Samuel Dalembert hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations. The Mavericks need a center who can clean up the glass and protect the inside. Also adding some capable defensive situational players off the pine would not hurt.
Phoenix Suns (30-21): Starting PF, SG/SF depth
The Suns were on the verge of getting that starting PF (Pau Gasol) that could drastically help this team. Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe have the guard spots locked up, Miles Plumlee has blossomed as their starting center, and the Morris twins and Channing Frye are great rotation pieces at the forward and center spots, the team just lacks that true starting PF to create easy baskets inside. Outside of Gerald Green and P.J. Tucker, the Suns aren’t exactly deep at the wings.
Golden State Warriors (31-22): Backup PF/C, Shooters
It’s strange to suggest a team that has the Splash Brothers would need more shooting, but this is the case. Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala haven’t exactly made it rain. Jordan Crawford has also severely cooled since being brought in. Also with Jermain O’neal and Andrew Bogut battling injuries and Maurice Speights not living up to expectations, the Warriors could use some help down low.
Memphis Grizzlies (29-23): Backup PG, Wing Shooting
Nick Calathes doesn’t exactly scream NBA point guard, not just yet at least. So it won’t come to any surprise if the Grizzlies look to upgrade that position. We’ve seen the influence Courtney Lee has had on the team with his ability to spread the court, so adding more shooting to a team that attracts so much attention inside should be the way to go. Note: Grizzlies reportedly in talks with Wolves for both J.J Barea and Chase Budinger.
Minnesota Timberwolves (25-28): Defense/shooting Wings, Backup Bigs
The Wolves could use a little bit of everything. Outside of Kevin Martin, Kevin Love, and Nikola Pekovic, the team really doesn’t have much else to offer on the offensive side. The team also struggles to defend on a nightly basis. Ronny Turiaf is really this teams only real backup threat at the big position; the team could use some extra help inside.
Tags: Dallas Mavericks Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets Los Angeles Clippers Memphis Grizzlies Minnesota TImberwolves NBA NBA Trade Deadline Oklahoma City Thunder Phoenix Suns Portland Trailblazer San Antonio Spurs