The 2018 NBA Trade Deadline is scheduled for February 8, moved from its traditional post-All-Star-Game slot by a vote of the NBA Board of Governors last summer. In a current article, Danny Leroux of SportingNews asserts that the earlier deadline will force teams on the bubble to decide whether they’re going to be buyers or sellers with less data than they’ve had in years past.
The 50-game mark comes at a similar place both seasons (Feb. 2 or thereabouts), and the differences between then and the trade deadline are interesting. In 2016-17, only three teams were clearly out of playoff contention at that point: the Nets, Suns and Lakers. A few others like the Sixers and Magic were on their way out, but the first two weeks of February provided some meaningful clarity. Eventually, the Magic traded Serge Ibaka to the Raptors, and the Sixers traded Nerlens Noel to the Mavericks.
Leroux cites the Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans as key test cases, but the Portland Trail Blazers also reside in the middle ground of talented, near-.500, and straddling the border of improving and retooling. The deadline is still more than two months away, but based on what you’ve seen so far, do you see the Blazers more as buyers, sellers, or do you think they’ll stand pat no matter what?
Weigh in below.