OT: Five players that will be moved at this year’s NBA trade deadline

Raptors shooting guard Fred VanVleet brings the ball up the court during a game. Photo courtesy of Alex Goodlett/Getty Images.


Overtime, or “OT,” is an opinion column series where the Collegian takes national sports headlines and gives them a Butler-centric angle.

With the NBA trade deadline being Feb. 9 at 3 p.m., general managers will be glued to their phones trying to cook up deals before the clock strikes three. Buyers will look to add their final pieces for the stretch run, sellers will trade away key players in hopes for future assets and the NBA will have a completely different outlook when the deadline passes. We have already seen one blockbuster with Kyrie Irving being traded to Dallas, but there should be plenty of other trades to transpire. In this article, we will look at five impact players that are becoming increasingly likely to be traded at this year’s deadline as well as some potential suitors for these players. 

1. Fred VanVleet, SG, Toronto Raptors

Perfect Fit: Los Angeles Lakers

Other Potential Suitors: LAC, PHX, DAL

With the Raptors being on the outside of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, there could be a potential fire sale in Toronto. One of the names that continues to surface in trade rumors is Fred VanVleet. VanVleet is the second-leading scorer for the Raptors this season and is known for his 3-point shooting. He is currently averaging 19.7 points per game, 6.5 assists per game and is shooting 34.4% from three. VanVleet was an All-Star last season and was an NBA champion back in 2019. One team that would be a great fit for VanVleet would be the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are 26th out of 30 teams in three-point percentage and struggle to score without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. VanVleet could be the piece the Lakers are missing in their hopes to compete for the Western Conference. 

Senior pharmacy student Andrew DeMinico believes that VanVleet would not help the Lakers in all aspects of the game, but would still be a welcomed addition.

“I think VanVleet does not solve the Lakers’ defensive weaknesses,” DeMinico said. “He definitely adds the solid three-point shooter that they currently do not have. He also would be a great fit as the consistent third scorer behind LeBron and Anthony Davis that we don’t have at the moment.”


2. O.G. Anunoby, F, Toronto Raptors

Photo courtesy of Adam Hunger/Getty Images.

Perfect Fit: New York Knicks

Other Potential Suitors: NO, LAC, DAL

Fred VanVleet isn’t the only player on the trade block for the Raptors, as rumors have surfaced of O.G. Anunoby being traded at the deadline as well. Anunoby has the reputation of being one of the best three and D guys in the NBA, shooting 36.6% from three-point range and being tied for the league lead in steals per game, with 2.1 steals per game. According to Michael Grange of SportsNet, the Knicks are  “widely believed” to be preparing an offer of three first-round draft picks for Anunoby. The Knicks can kill two birds with one stone in this trade, as they are ranked 24th out of 30 teams in three-point percentage and have struggled to stop star players on other teams defensively. As for the Raptors, they need a huge return, as Anunoby is just 25 years old and is on a team-friendly deal for four more years. 

Sophomore sports media major Drew Whalen, a fan of the Knicks, does not want to give up the future for Anunoby.

“Personally I do not think it’s worth it,” Whalen said. “One, maybe two first-round picks, but three first-round picks is too much for Anunoby”. 

A guy like Anunoby can be the piece the Knicks need to become serious contenders in the Eastern Conference.


3. Nikola Vucevic, C, Chicago Bulls

Photo courtesy of Michael Reaves/Getty Images.

Perfect Fit: Phoenix Suns

Other Potential Suitors: MEM, NYK, LAC

The Chicago Bulls came into the season with high expectations after finishing 46-36 last season and earning the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. This year has been a different story headlined by injuries and underperformance, likely making them sellers at the deadline. One of the names that keeps coming up in trade rumors is Nikola Vucevic, who is set to hit free agency in July. Vucevic is having a solid second season, averaging 17.8 points per game, 11.2 rebounds per game and is shooting 35.9% from 3

Junior strategic communication major and Chicago Bulls fan Jack Voriseck wants to see the 33-year-old center in a Bulls uniform for the rest of the season. 

“Seeing any of them go, especially Vucevic, would be a very unfortunate circumstance,” Voriseck said. “I’ll trust the management of the team and all you can do is hope they make the best decision.” 

The Suns seem to make perfect sense as a landing spot, as Vucevic would provide the Suns with another scoring option in the paint to go along with DeAndre Ayton. A veteran presence with plenty of talent on the offensive side could be what the Suns need to get back at the top of the west.


4. John Collins, F, Atlanta Hawks

Photo courtesy of Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

Perfect Fit: Miami Heat

Other potential Suitors: IND, MEM, DAL

If there is one guy on this list that will 1000% get traded by the deadline, John Collins is that guy. In 2021, Collins signed a five-year $125 million dollar contract with the Hawks, keeping him locked up until 2026. However, with consistent regression every year from Collins and $76 million dollars due over the next three seasons, the Hawks will look to dump some salary and send him off somewhere else. Despite his regression, he is still a good player, putting up 13.2 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game on 51% shooting from the floor. The Heat would make perfect sense for John Collins as they are looking for someone to play the four in Miami. He would also add solid interior defense and create a dynamic duo with Bam Adebayo. It would be tough moving him to a division rival, but there’s no denying that the fit is there.


5. Myles Turner, C, Indiana Pacers

Photo courtesy of Andy Lyons/Getty Images.

Perfect Fit: Golden State Warriors

Other potential suitors: MIA, LAL, LAC

Figured for this last one we would stay in Indiana and talk about a guy whose name has surfaced in rumors for years. Despite signing a two-year $60 million contract extension recently, it might make the most sense for the Pacers to trade him now since he is having the best season of his career. Turner is averaging a career-high in points, rebounds and three-point percentage. A team that could use a big man with scoring ability is the Golden State Warriors. With the Warriors lacking scoring from the center position, a player like Turner would give them a legitimate threat to score in the paint and spread the floor for Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole.

The NBA deadline should be full of blockbuster trades that will impact the outlook of both conferences. And who knows, sometimes teams find their last missing puzzle piece needed to pursue an NBA championship. With the deadline right around the corner, make sure to keep your Twitter notifications on for what could be an absolute frenzy ahead of the 3 p.m. deadline





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