Blake Griffin
The Los Angeles Clippers have denied rumours of putting Blake Griffin on the trading block. Reuters/Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

As the Feb. 18 trade deadline draws near, NBA rivals are rushing to find the right pieces who would be able to help their team's needs, whether it be for a playoff run or future plans. But despite the strong chatter from around the league about possible trade moves, some of the heavily mentioned are players not primed to change teams before the deadline.

The trade deadline is primed to feature a blockbuster deal, but three of the most mentioned names in the rumour mill are unlikely to get traded, with their respective teams looking to gamble for a win now rather than think about their future.

Here are the top three players who would most likely stay with their clubs after the deadline.

1 | Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

Griffin has constantly been rumoured to be on the trading block after his involvement in an incident with a team personnel that left him with a broken hand. Ever since, NBA teams like the Denver Nuggets and Orlando Magic have been calling the Clippers and offering deals that would snatch them the All-Star forward, but the Clippers remain set to keep hold of Griffin.

"I've told you we're not trading Blake, but I guess everyone else wants to keep doing that. So we'll let them do that," Rivers said, reports ESPN. "It is what it is. Nothing we can do about it, honestly. It frustrates you when you know nothing's going on, but what can you do?"

Griffin is too valuable for the Clippers to get traded off, especially as the franchise gets closer to hoisting their first ever NBA championship banner. It is hard to imagine the Clippers would be better without the 26-year-old forward, although the team has managed to win 19 of their last 23 games without Griffin.

2 | Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks have made Horford available to other teams, simply because the All-Star center is playing in the final year of his five-year $60 million deal. However, there are reports that the Hawks’ asking price for Horford, along with Jeff Teague, are “borderline ridiculous” as reported by Chris Mannix of CSNNE, which means it would be unlikely for Atlanta to receive suitors for their big man.

Moreover, the Hawks, like the Clippers, are in a win-now mode. They are currently fourth in the East with a 31-24 record and are poised to have another push in the postseason, so keeping Horford despite his pending free agency seems to be the ideal move for Atlanta.

In fact, keeping Horford right now is the best move for the Hawks, with backup Tiago Splitter set for a season-ending hip surgery, tweets Chris Vilvamore of AJC.

3 | Hassan Whiteside, Miami Heat

Whiteside is probably the most mentioned name in the rumor mill, primarily because of his impending free agency. The shot-blocking centre has made a name for himself this season, getting the attention of other NBA teams with his solid outings for the Heat. However, there is a certain guarantee that Whiteside would not be donning a new jersey after the deadline.

What is worth noting is that the Heat are in a complicated situation with Whiteside, who is expected to chase max contracts once he hits free agency this summer. It makes trading Whiteside the ideal move since there is no guarantee on the Heat’s part they will be able to retain the big man in July, considering his looming Early Bird exception and Miami’s objective of retaining a free-agency-bound Dwyane Wade.

But according to Bob Marks of The Vertical, keeping Whiteside is the best option for the Heat if the team believes they have a chance for a postseason run. The Heat are fifth in the East (29-24) and have a serious chance of making the playoffs, where Whiteside’s play would come in handy.

“Even with his early Bird restrictions looming in the offseason, keeping Whiteside is Miami’s best chance during the playoffs. With Whiteside signed to a minimum contract, it will be hard to get equal value back in a trade,” Marks wrote. “Teams are also leery to take on Whiteside, knowing they will inherit the same contract issues Miami could face this summer.”

It is unlikely any of these teams will move their key players, but anything can happen before the deadline.