NBA Trade Deadline: Top 10 Players Who Could Be On The Move
NBA Trade Deadline: 10 Players Who Could Be Dealt
The NBA trade deadline is approaching on February 21, so there are plenty of rumors around and there will continue to be a lot of trade chatter over the next 10 days.
For a lot of teams, this time of year is a reality check. For those that have no realistic chance to make the playoffs, parting with some expensive veterans is usually a prudent move.
On the other side, teams that are looking to bolster a playoff run may be aggressive in looking to add players that can make a difference. But it’s safe to say these contending teams, with front offices that are certainly competent, will not break up a mix of players that is working well together simply to add a big name.
For many teams, trading a player between now and next Thursday may come down to finances. The luxury tax threshold is slated to become more punitive starting next season, making it more difficult for teams without a deep-pocketed owner to keep multiple star players with big contracts. Players that are slated to become free agents and may simply be too expensive to retain are the most likely trade bait, but that is not anything new.
It remains to be seen if we will see any big names moved this year, but as always the rumors and innuendo will be worth watching to see what players are mentioned and which teams are active in trade talks as we go along over the next week-plus.
With all of that in mind, here are 10 players I think could have a new address soon.
10. Jimmer Fredette, G, Sacramento Kings
Fredette entered the NBA with some fanfare after an excellent college career, but he has not been a significant contributor for the Kings through his first two seasons. He is effectively buried in Sacramento’s backcourt situation, but has had some productive games when given a chance to play a lot. Fredette is best used in a specialized role as an outside shooter off the bench, but any interested team would be buying low on a player the Kings seem to have little use for.
9. Michael Beasley, F, Phoenix Suns
Beasley has obviously been an underachiever thus far in his NBA career, and his up-and-down performance has continued with the Suns this season. He has alternated good games (27 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on January 30) with bad (2-for-11 from the floor against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday), so if the Suns want to trade him it comes down to a question of timing over the next 10 days or so. Beasley is in the first year of a three-year deal he signed with Phoenix last summer, but the $12.25 million he is owed over the next two seasons would not seem to be a significant roadblock to a trade if a team is interested.
8. Shawn Marion, F, Dallas Mavericks
With the Mavericks struggling this season, they may seriously look to part with some of their more expensive veterans. The 34-year old Marion fits that bill, since he is making $8.4 million this season and has a player option for next season worth just over $9 million. Marion has already said he will not report if he isn’t traded to a contending team, but his salary is likely to limit interest in him anyway. That said, he has produced solidly this season (11.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game), so a contending team or two may show interest.
7. Andrea Bargnani, F, Toronto Raptors
Bargnani recently returned to action after missing two months with an elbow injury, which looks like excellent timing for the Raptors. General manager Bryan Colangelo has acknowledged he is shopping Bargnani, but the main roadblock to a deal looks to be his salary, as he is making $10 million this season and is also due to make $22.25 million over the next two seasons. A recent rumor attached the Chicago Bulls to Bargnani with forward Carlos Boozer going to Toronto, but it would be somewhat surprising to see that come to fruition. But the Raptors seem ready to move on from the No. 1 overall pick in 2006, and they may be willing to do whatever it takes to unload him.
6. Al Jefferson, F, Utah Jazz
Jefferson is in the final year of his contract, and since the Jazz have plenty of frontcourt depth there is likely to be plenty of rumors surrounding him as the trade deadline nears. A recent rumor attached the San Antonio Spurs to Jefferson, but that was quickly dismissed. Exactly how much Utah wants to trade him is a big question, and what they can get in a deal may be limited by his contract status. But if Jefferson is moved, don’t be surprised to see him be a difference maker on his new team.
5. Kris Humphries, F, Brooklyn Nets
Humphries has at best an inconsistent role in Brooklyn's rotation right now , as he regularly fails to even see double-digit minutes in games as Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche get more playing time. A trade may be good for both sides, and perhaps allow the Nets to add a much-needed three-point shooter. Humphries averaged 13.8 points and 11.0 rebounds per game for the Nets last season, so all he may need is a chance at consistent minutes to become a productive player again.
4. Luke Ridnour, G, Minnesota Timberwolves
With Ricky Rubio rounding his way back into form as he comes back from his torn left ACL, the Timberwolves find themselves with a surplus of point guards. Ridnour is making $4 million this season and is slated to make $4.3 million next season, so his contract is fairly friendly, particularly compared to teammate J.J. Barea. Recent rumors have mentioned the Utah Jazz as a potential trade partner for Minnesota if they are serious about moving Ridnour, but any team that needs a point guard may have some level of interest.
3. Ben Gordon, G, Charlotte Bobcats
Gordon is averaging 12.9 points per game while shooting over 40 percent from three-point range this season, and at age 29 he does not fit with the youth elsewhere on the Bobcats’ roster. The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly interested in Gordon, and rumors suggest the two teams have had talks about a trade that would send forward Kris Humphries to Charlotte. In any case, the Nets may find themselves among multiple teams with interest in Gordon, and it would be a fairly big surprise if is not playing elsewhere soon.
2. Josh Smith, F, Atlanta Hawks
Smith is slated to become a free agent this summer, which may lead to years of trade deadline rumors finally coming to fruition. Atlanta general manager Danny Ferry would certainly look to get a significant return for him, and any doubt about his willingness to re-sign with whoever acquires him may limit the market further. Another big consideration is the 15% trade kicker in Smith’s $13.2 million salary this season, which an acquiring team would have to pay. "Smoove" may be the most talented player moved near the trade deadline this year, despite fairly one-sided reports regarding teams having interest in him and some doubt about Atlanta's actual interest in trading him.
1. J.J. Redick, G, Orlando Magic
Redick is slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, and he returned to action Sunday after missing a couple games with a shoulder issue. To this point in the season, in 47 games played, Redick is averaging a career-high 15.5 points and 4.5 assists per game while making just over 40 percent of his three-pointers. The Magic are certainly glad he is healthy and has a chance to bolster his trade value, assuming they are actively looking to move him. Multiple teams have been reported to have some interest in Redick, and those rumors may heat up again now that he is back on the floor.