By the time the NBA trade deadline arrives at 3 pm EST on Thursday, at least a few general managers will be relaying the bad news to their owners. “Well sir, we weren’t able to land that first-round pick for our expendable, talented wing player because it turns out there were quite a few of those to go around…” From Lou Williams to Jamal Crawford, with plenty of productive options in between, there is an excess of scorers and capable defenders that far exceeds the demand in this year’s market. As if that’s not bad enough, many executives believe Golden State's dominance is the depressing the market even further. Call it the White Flag effect. Even with the Warriors’ recent struggles – three losses in their last four games after they fell to Oklahoma City on Tuesday night – it’s hard for general managers of playoff teams to part ways with precious first-rounders when the gap between them and the champs is so wide. And as one executive was quick to point out, the players on this list would have been traded already if those elusive first-round picks had already been put on the table. Tyreke Evans (Memphis; 19.5 points, five rebounds, five assists per game; $3.2 million expiring contract) The Grizzlies are widely expected to find a home for Evans, as evidenced by the fact that they sidelined him on Wednesday as a way of protecting their asset. While Philadelphia, Boston, and Denver are known to be interested, there are – according to a person with knowledge of the situation – seven teams in the running in all. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because trade talks aren’t shared publicly. Lou Williams (Clippers guard; 23.3 points, five assists per game; $7 million expiring contract) The Clippers have long expected to land a first-rounder for Williams, but it remains to be seen if the market bears that out. Tuesday's revelation that Williams and the Clippers are discussing the framework of a contract extension could compel teams to bring their best offers sooner as well. According to a person with knowledge of the talks first reported by ESPN, the possible deal would likely be for between two and three years at approximately $8.5 million annually. As of late Tuesday night, however, there was no deal done. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. Rival teams expected Williams would be sent to the highest bidder by the deadline, but the Clippers insisted that re-signing him remained a possibility.
NBA rumors: Tyreke Evans, Lou Williams headline surplus of wings available at the trade deadline
USA Today | Feb 7