Welcome to the first edition of The Hoops Market. This weekly column will be a report on the basketball “stock market”. I will talk about values going up, going down, and then taking a look into the options market, where I predict some values that could see significant rises or drops in the upcoming weeks. Values can be players, teams, front office members, coaches, or anything basketball-related.
This week we had the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, and while rumors swirled around the week for many players, however, they did not get traded before the deadline. Some of them will be bought out within the next couple of days, if they haven’t already, and the rest will finish the season with their respective teams before hitting free agency. This article will be centered around that, as well as many of the parties involved.
Chicago Bulls: Trending Up
A few hours before the 3 PM EST deadline, the Chicago Bulls acquired Nikola Vucevic from the Orlando Magic, for Otto Porter Jr, Wendell Carter Jr, and 2 top 4 protected first-round picks in 2021 and 2023. The Bulls also received Al Faruq-Aminu in this trade. The Bulls were already trying to contend for a playoff spot this season, and this move helped those out a lot. Nikola made his second all-star team this season, a recognition he deserved. He is top 20 in points per game, rebounds per game, and player efficiency rating this season. However, his personal success has yet to turn into team success this season.
The Magic sit near the bottom of the standings this season with a 15-29 record, which is the 4th worst in the NBA. The Bulls are the 10th seed with a 19-24 record, but we can expect that to skyrocket with the addition of a second all-star. I would say this stock will go to the moon, but with the Bulls other all-star Zach Lavine hitting unrestricted free agency this upcoming offseason, This move should convince him to sign a long term deal to remain in Chicago, but if the Bulls do poorly this offseason, he may explore other options.
De’aaron Fox: Trending Up
Last night, Fox put on a show with 44 points and 7 assists, leading the Kings to a 141-119 victory over the Warriors. With this massive game, Fox is beginning to see much more recognition from analysts as well as more casual fans. Fox was one of the many players who deserved an all-star season this year, and despite not getting nominated, he is certainly showing he deserved it. The Kings hope will secure a play-in. However, it will be an uphill battle for them, as they sit 2 games behind the 10th seeded Warriors.
Vaccines: Trending Up
As of March 24th, many players on the New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers, and Miami Heat have received a dose of the COVID vaccine. Reports came out this week that many Lakers players will get the vaccine. LeBron James is a huge name across the world, and the surgeon general has asked that he get the vaccine when available for just that reason. Lebron has the opportunity to lead by example, and he should do just that. Vaccines are an important step in reopening the world, as well as basketball. One small step for a man, one large step for mankind.
Kyle Lowry: Trending Down
The name Kyle Lowry got thrown around in trade talks through the week, but Lowry did not get traded. While there were many contenders in the bidding, it seems as though the price that the Raptors were looking for was too high for teams like the Heat, Lakers, and 76ers. Lowry was an all-star last year, but as he ages his trade value has tanked. Teams have chosen not to give up young players with high potential, for an older player like Lowry who does not have much potential. While he may be able to increase a team’s title chances in the next 1-2 seasons, making a trade for him may hurt teams in the long run.
The Options market
My prediction: Aaron Gordon: To the moon!
Aaron Gordon has had the opportunity to play good foreign centers with the Magic and will have the chance to do so again with the Nuggets. Jokic is an amazing playmaking, and now that he gets to play with an amazing lob threat like Gordon, both Jokic and Gordon will have the chances to be one of the best frontcourts in the NBA.