Many news stories and rumors are circulating in the NBA, with the trade deadline less than a week away and NBA All-Star Weekend on the horizon. Here’s what is happening this week in the news from around the league.
Anunoby Awaits Trade From Raptors
Interest in O.G. Anunoby is at an all-time high, with the New York Knicks offering three first-round picks in exchange for the Toronto Raptors forward. The Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans are also reportedly targeting Anunoby, who has already expressed his desire to move on from the Raptors soon.
Ahead of the February 9 trade deadline, Masai Ujiri and the Raptors are one of the teams to follow in the second half of the season. The Grizzlies and Pelicans both have a substantial selection of young players and draft picks that could be offered in a trade for Anunoby, as neither Southwest Division rival wants to see the other acquire the former 2017 first-round pick. This season, he’s averaging 16.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game and is shooting 45.7% from the field.
Nets May Be Stuck With Simmons
The Nets’ Ben Simmons experiment is likely to continue in Brooklyn longer than many believe it should, as they sit as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference standings. However, since Kevin Durant’s knee injury, Brooklyn has won just three of their last nine games.
In his seven games since Durant’s been out, Simmons has averaged six points, 5.9 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game. Unfortunately, he also has two games where he didn’t score any points when the team needed his offense the most.
Simmons’ market value is at an all-time low due to his poor performance this season and low confidence on offense. Although he’s been solid on the defensive end, coach Jacques Vaughn has benched him late in games due to his lack of aggressiveness.
The 6′,10″ point guard is having his worst season as a pro, averaging 7.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 6.4 assists. As a result, the Nets are currently exploring their options to trade him before the February 9 deadline. However, his low market value might save him from being traded, and he and his $35-million salary could remain with Brooklyn for the remainder of the season.
NBA All-Star Reserves Named
On Thursday, the NBA announced the 14 reserves for the 2023 All-Star Game, joining the player pool for Team LeBron and Team Giannis. All 30 NBA coaches cast their votes for two guards, three frontcourt players, and two others at any position in each conference.
For the Western Conference, the reserves are Paul George (LA Clippers), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder), Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz), Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies), and Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies).
For the Eastern Conference, the reserves are Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks), Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), and Julius Randle (New York Knicks).
Last week, team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo were announced alongside the starters for the February 19 All-Star Game. The team captains will hold the NBA All-Star Draft right before the game, where they will pick from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference.