Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
What pseudo-contender most needs a trade and won’t get it by Thursday’s deadline?
Steve Aschburner: Philadelphia. The Sixers sure could use a closer, a star offensive player who could get his own shots and, better still, earn trips to the foul line late in games. Evan Turner has been a boost to the starting lineup, but he’s not that guy. However, it’s hard to envision them breaking up the crew that has been so productive or tinkering with the chemistry of the ensemble. Getting center Spencer Hawes back is the next-best thing to a notable trade but a surgical move might have this team really pushing the Heat and the Bulls.
Fran Blinebury: Taking you at your word — pseudo-contender — then the biggest fake in the league was the notion that the Knicks could combine Jeremy Lin with Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony to make noise in the playoffs. In two weeks, we have gone from Linsanity to Linadequate and Linsufferable watching Melo and coach Mike D’Antoni do their dance of mistrust. The Knicks need a makeover. What they’ll likely get instead is D’Antoni’s head.
Scott Howard-Cooper: The Magic (with an emphasis on pseudo-contender, not top contender). I will stick to my belief of several weeks that they are not going to deal Dwight Howard, and there is no sense in the thinking that they will be able to make a major addition to convince Howard they can surround him with a championship roster. The second-best trade asset in Orlando is Ryan Anderson. That doesn’t generate a big return. (more…)