The 2020 NBA trade deadline approaches. A number of formerly highly-touted young guns could use a new beginning to jump-start their promising careers.
Be wary be wary, the 6th of February. That day, at 3 p.m. ET, marks the 2020 NBA trade deadline. It looms just around the corner. Of course, no one knows if this year will come with major pieces changing places or all smoke and no fire. Either way, fervor for deals billows and the rumor mill churns at full bore.
Why? Because trades are the best. They generate excitement for fan bases and reshuffle a franchise’s possibilities. They also offer new opportunities to the players caught in the wake. Perhaps the biggest breaks go to young guys who, for sundry reasons, haven’t quite hit their stride.
For fledgling players, so much of how their career unfolds depends on the situation. Not landing on either the right roster or in the right system to fully enhance their skills can turn promising prospects into pumpkins. Development arcs — with the exceptions of generational talents — can be very delicate and precarious.
For this party of five, it might be high time to ship them to new teams that believe they possess the key to unlock their promise. Or their current team opens up the currently-blocked path in front of them.
5. Mo money, mo problems
Sure, not many players can claim they have a Sheck Wes song named after them. But that song is objectively terrible and the same can be said about Mo Bamba’s career so far.
I’d argue that Bamba didn’t land with the right team in Orlando. Nikola Vucevic soaks up a ton of touches and just signed a huge extension. Bamba profiles as an archetypical rim-protecting roll man, who (at least in theory) can stretch the defense from beyond the arc.
He should be holding down the paint and developing somewhere but he hasn’t played 20 minutes in a game since the day before Thanksgiving. Even when Vucevic missed time with a high ankle sprain, Bamba split center minutes with Khem Birch.
2020 1st Round Pick
2020 2nd Round Pick
Jerry West is a master talent evaluator and finding an underutilized or underdeveloped gem. With Bamba, he could give the Clippers the only thing they truly lack: a rim protector.