We’re six days away from one of the most dramatic events on the NBA timeline, but, unfortunately, talks are staler than usual. That’s probably because of the wacky season we’re witnessing as the Bulls stand atop the East and Ja Morant’s Grizzlies scale the Western Conference standings.
But with the Nets stumbling and the Lakers straight up stinking, is there movement to be had? Let’s start with the obvious questions.
Will Ben Simmons be traded at the deadline?
I know, we’re all ready for this story to end. But considering the asking price was high enough for the ailing Kings to drop out of conversations weeks ahead of the deadline, Sixers GM Daryl Morey doesn’t seem desperate to trade his team’s star. Each game he misses, Simmons is adding to the more than $19 million in fines he’s already paid. Despite Joel Embiid’s monstrous season, it’d take a blockbuster to get Philly to say yes.
Verdict: The Sixers likely look the same in a week as they do now — which is a pretty good team, but not a likely winner. Their +2000 odds to win the championship ($100 → $2000) are a decent longshot.
Will Russell Westbrook be traded at the deadline?
John Wall and Westbrook have already been traded for each other once, and there’s the potential for it to happen again. LA would reportedly need to lose a 2027 first-round pick to make it happen. Wall hasn’t played all year, though, making this a very risky trade for the Lakers.
Verdict: L.A. is likely stuck with the consequences of their own decisions here. Still, it’s hard to count out a LeBron James team at +1600 odds ($100 → $1,600).
Will CJ McCollum be traded at the deadline?
It has to be time to move on, right? McCollum’s played nine really good years in Portland, but the Damian Lillard backcourt pairing has only gotten them so far. With Lillard sidelined for the foreseeable future, this seems like the ideal time to part ways. New Orleans, armored with a trade exception and first-round assets to move, is a rumored landing spot.
Verdict: McCollum might actually get traded, though it’s unlikely he lands with a contender, and Portland’s assuredly out of the race. No odds necessary here.
The NBA trade deadline probably won’t shift futures odds drastically unless a surprise Ben Simmons swap emerges. Most of the league’s top talents are committed to playing the season out where they started. As a result, both the Lakers’ and Sixers’ odds are probably as favorable as they’ll ever be to the bettor as the market factors potential — but unlikely — trades.