The 2024 NBA trade deadline is now less than two days away, and the rumor mill is on fire. The rampant talks between teams haven’t translated into many actual deals thus far, but that will almost certainly change between now and 3 p.m. ET on Thursday. As time continues to tick away, here’s a look at the latest buzz around the league.
Bucks interested in Wiggins, but deal would be complicated
Every indication is that the Bucks are desperately trying to make a trade, but doing so will be easier said than done. First and foremost, the Jrue Holiday and Damian Lillard trades in recent years have required nearly all of their draft capital. All they have available to move are two second-round picks. When you look at their roster and salary situation, they don’t have many intriguing young players and would have to include Bobby Portis to chase any big fish.
On that note, they’re interested in Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, according to Jake Fischer. The Warriors, and head coach Steve Kerr in particular, are fond of Portis because of his toughness and shooting ability. Those same traits, though, and their lack of frontcourt depth, are why the Bucks are reluctant to deal Portis.
It seems that other deals may be easier for the Bucks to pull off at this point, but their pursuit of Wiggins indicates that they’re looking at any and every option to improve their porous perimeter defense. While new head coach Doc Rivers should help improve their play on that side of the ball, he can only do so much with their current roster.
76ers targeting Hield, Bogdanovic
The Philadelphia 76ers were dealt a huge blow earlier this month when reigning MVP Joel Embiid was diagnosed with a torn meniscus that required surgery. It’s unclear when the big man will be back, but even with a murky future, the Sixers continue operating as buyers, per Fischer.
Two players they’re targeting are Indiana Pacers shooting guard Buddy Hield and Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic. Both veterans are strong outside shooters who would improve the Sixers’ spacing and give them additional offensive firepower, with or without Embiid on the floor.
Furthermore, they have convenient contracts that would make a deal easy to complete and keep long-term money off the Sixers’ books. Hield is at $18.5 million and in the final year of his deal, while Bogdanovic is making $20 million and has just $2 million guaranteed for next season.
Celtics looking to improve on the margins
The Boston Celtics are 38-12, which is the best record in the league and good for a five-game lead atop the Eastern Conference. They are also the betting favorites to win the title (+280 per Caesars Sportsbook) and heavy favorites to come out of the East (+120).
Even so, they’re looking for ways to upgrade their roster. While they have the best starting lineup around, their bench can be very inconsistent. As a result, they’re looking to make some moves around the margins, per Fischer, likely by using their $6.25 million trade exception.
Some names on their list are Toronto Raptors forward Otto Porter Jr. and Brooklyn Nets guard Lonnie Walker. The former has championship experience and would give them another big wing with defensive chops, while the latter has been filling it up off the bench this season and would give them another scoring option in the backcourt.