Western Conference players in play
David Thorpe examines every NBA roster—who’s really available?
BY DAVID THORPE
Check out David Thorpe’s Eastern Conference breakdown here.
The West is a mess, or it’s a masterpiece—depends how much you love parity. About a dozen games separate the top 12 teams. It’s so close that a Devonte’ Graham here or there could give a team the edge to ascend.
Older win-now teams like the Suns and Warriors find themselves in a pickle: They’ve invested a mint in their rosters, and—injuries noted—they’re still stuck in the mid-standings muck. They may have to part with top players, prized youth, or fan favorites to solidify their playoff hopes. The Grizzlies, a younger win-now team, might look to replace some youthful inexperience with veteran savvy to get their edge. The win-now Clippers—with a surplus of said veterans—could be the ideal reservoir.
Sellers such as the Jazz could be game-changers in this parity-laden league. To my mind, they have eight players who could be on new teams next week. And what if the Thunder decide to get involved—aside from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the injured Chet Holmgren, is anyone a sure bet?
The point is, the Western Conference is likely to change shape—and soon. By this time next week, we could be looking at an entirely different landscape.
Tim Hardaway (Veteran player)
Reggie Bullock (Veteran player)
Dwight Powell (Veteran player)
Both Hardaway and Bullock have been disappointing, but another team might feel like its system would help either or both become better shooters.
Powell could fit into a package involving one of these guys or could draw interest as a second-unit upgrade.
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