As the calendar year drifts from 2023 to 2024, NBA trade rumors are going to heat up. This year’s NBA trade deadline falls on Thursday, February 8th. That normally heralds a barrage of news and multiple deals. But Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the media member at the heart of trade flurries, is predicting that this year will be more modest than most deadlines. Speaking via social media, Wojnarowski cites a lack of sellers due to the popularity of the NBA Play-In Tournament, plus a weak draft class in 2024 leaving weak incentive to buy in.
Lots of buyers, few sellers. Part of that is the Play-In tournament, which has kept more teams trying to reach the postseason instead of dropping down into the lottery. Also, this isn’t considered a strong draft class at the very top, so there’s even less motivation to trade a postseason berth vs a few extra ping-pong balls in the lottery. There will be trades. There will be sellers. But the asking price is going to be high from the really bad teams to move off assets --- so that slows down the marketplace a little.
The Portland Trail Blazers might have assets to trade this winter, but they’ll already own their own lottery pick, plus they have one incoming from the Golden State Warriors, Top 4 protected. Being highly leveraged in this, and future, drafts already, Portland may wait until future seasons to try and improve their position.