The media and fans love to talk about trades in the NBA. It’s a constant source of entertainment and endless speculation. The problem is, though, that because of the salary cap restrictions trades aren’t nearly as common as people think they are. That means that every year at the NBA trade deadline there are players who were heavily rumored to be on the move that don’t end up being traded. For astute sports bettors the game or two right after that happens should be particularly interesting. The lack of a trade can have a big impact on a NBA team, and it can also have an effect on the public and their perception of a team. That means that there can be nice value in these situations if you know where to look for it. Here are six factors to consider when looking at the rumored NBA trades that don’t happen at the deadline:
Were the trade rumors a distraction? – Sometimes NBA trade rumors are so ever-present that the basketball team can’t help but be distracted by them. It’s the only thing the media wants to ask about, and the only thing the fans care about. If that’s the case then it could be a relief for the team that the deadline has passed. At least the team should have some respite from the situation for a little while, and that could give them a boost on the hardwood. The downside, of course, is that the situation is likely to be an issue again after the season, so if the team is out of playoff contention then it could be a distraction all over again.
Did the player ask to be traded? – There are few things more awkward and uncomfortable than a player on a professional basketball team that asked to be traded but wasn’t. The player has to decide whether he is going to be happy and cooperative, or if he will be disruptive. Teammates have to cope with playing with a teammate who doesn’t want to play with them, and who they weren’t expecting to still be around. The media and fans will be all over the player to gauge his reaction to the situation. It is far more disruptive if the player was looking to be traded than if he was the subject of rumors because of circumstance and not because he had asked for it.
Did the team have a glaring need? – Trade rumors are at their most intense when an otherwise competitive NBA team has a glaring need in a particular area. Perhaps a strong team needs a good point guard who can run the show and distribute the ball effectively. Or maybe a small team needs a power forward or center who can be a presence inside, pulling down rebounds, blocking shots and making dunks. If those glaring needs are not filled at the deadline then that can be an issue for the team. The players can feel frustration because they don’t have the tools they need to succeed. The media can fixate on the situation, and fans can express their frustration as well. On top of that, the team has to play the rest of the way with that need still existing. This can really affect NBA odds and how gamblers play those odds.
Is the player a popular one on his team? – If the player who was heavily rumored to be traded but was a popular player with fans and teammates then the impact of not being moved is likely to be far more significant than if the player is more of a role player, or if he isn’t a well liked player. The challenge is that you can’t always tell whether the impact will be positive or negative. For the most part it will be positive as the fans are relieved the player is still theirs. If the NBA team had resigned themselves to the move, were excited about what could from it, or if the player hadn’t handled themselves with grace, though, then it might actually be a negative for the team that the player is still sticking around. That can affect play on the court.
Where is the team in the standings? – The standings of the team can have an impact on how they respond to this situation. If the hoop team is struggling then the fact a deal wasn’t made doesn’t really matter in most cases. They know that significant changes are ahead at some point, so it is just a delay of the inevitable. It may have a slightly negative effect, but the team already has plenty of issues. If the NBA team is a contender in the league, though, it depends on the needs of the team, the role of the players who were rumored to be leaving. Essentially, if the lack of a move is perceived to make them less competitive then it is likely to be negative, and vice versa. The ability or inability to compete will affect handicappers and bettors alike.
How will the public react? – As is always the case in sports betting one of the most important considerations is how the betting public will react to what happened – or didn’t happen in this case. If the NBA trade rumors were deemed to be helpful for a team, and the public liked what the team could have gained in the trades then they will likely be negative about the lack of a deal. That means that there could be value in betting if you think the team will react well to the lack of a deal. On the other hand, if the trades weren’t widely viewed as positive – like if the team would have been selling off players – then the public might be happy that no deal happened. That may lead them to overcompensate for the team, and the value could be in betting against them. Monitor how NBA spreads are affected by the non-trade and wager on value-based lines.