We've already past Christmas and now that the holiday season is coming to an end, it's been clear that some teams must make some moves right now if they don't want to fall behind in the race for a playoff spot.
Either because they haven't been able to click the right way or because it's clear that they're not going to compete this season, there are a handful of players that should be moved sooner rather than later.
So, let's save all the small talk and go right to what's important here, as we discuss the six most important stories of the week:
Rockets Could Trade Russell Westbrook
The Houston Rockets took a major gamble when they traded for Russell Westbrook's massive contract, and while some people thought it would be the dawn of a new era in the Western Conference, it's clear that they're not actually intimidating right now.
So, according to The Ringer's Ryen Russillo, Daryl Morey and the Rockets could actually be open to testing the trade market for Westbrook following their embarrassing loss against the bottom-of-the-conference Golden State Warriors last Wednesday.
The 5 Best Trade Packages For Andre Drummond
The Detroit Pistons find themselves again in a tough position. They're supposed to compete for a playoff spot and have arguably a better roster than a couple of playoff teams in the Eastern Conference. However, they're sliding in the standings yet again.
It's clear that Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin just don't get along in the hardwood. The spacing is terrible, and they can't get the job done together. That's why we think the Kings, Celtics, Hornets, Blazers, or even Mavericks would be a better fit and could offer some nice assets in return.
Knicks Could Target Karl-Anthony Towns
The New York Knicks are by far the biggest loser of this past offseason. They struck out on every big fish in the market and wound up signing three power forwards, just to fire their coach a couple of months into the season and struggle once again.
However, a source close to Marc Berman of the New York Post thinks the team is in a prime position to trade for a disgruntled All-Star, with New Jersey product Karl-Anthony Towns at the top of their wishlist. With the Timberwolves also struggling, everything's possible right now.
Kawhi Leonard Is LeBron James' True Kryptonite
This one may not exactly be a trade rumor but a story that's been around the league since their Christmas encounter. Kawhi Leonard is playing like the best player in Los Angeles right now and also, he's completely outplayed LeBron James so far.
During their duels, Leonard is averaging 32.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.5 steals per game in 34.7 MINS with 55.3% FG, 50% 3PT, 94.4% FT shooting splits and the Clippers are 2-0 vs. the Lakers, while LeBron is averaging 20.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 1.5 steals per game in37.4 MINS with 37.2% FG, 17.6% 3PT, 75% FT shooting splits. Also, Leonard has beat LeBron 5 straight times in the regular season and is 8-3 overall.
Clippers Could Land Another Piece Before February Deadline
The Los Angeles Clippers have looked like the team to beat when they have all their pieces on the court, but they've yet to take a leap in the Western Conference standings because of Kawhi Leonard's load management, so perhaps they need more help.
So, as per Robby Kalland of Uproxx's report, the Clippers could be in the mix for another two-way star before the February deadline, as there have been several rumors that claim Jrue Holiday could be on the move rather sooner than later.
Lakers Could Land 3rd Star Only If They Trade Kyle Kuzma
The Los Angeles Lakers were running and gunning to start the season but they've hit a slight bump lately, losing 4 straight games. Also, LeBron James has reportedly aggravated his groin injury and could be forced to missing some time to heal.
Hence, Rob Mahoney of The Ringer claims Rob Pelinka may look to trade Kyle Kuzma to bring a third star or an 'impact player who will be available on the trade market", with Anthony Davis also struggling with injuries. The Lakers were reluctant to part ways with Kuzma in the summer, but he's failed to live up to the expectations this season.