5 NBA Stars Who Could Be On the Move in 2014
5 NBA Stars Who Could Be On the Move in 2014
Each of the past two trade deadlines in the NBA have been boring. We all stare at our computers and refresh Twitter all day long waiting on a big deal to happen, but it doesn't happen. Last year James Harden and Rudy Gay were both traded but well before the trade deadline. This year will be different. This year we have teams actively tanking to improve their draft pick for next year meaning the teams that are trying to gobble up talent to compete with the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder can throw in some draft picks and nab a talented player, in some cases even an All-Star.
The league is split into four different categories this year: teams that can contend for a title, teams that will make the playoffs, teams that want to get a high draft pick, and teams that aren't good but might still get in the playoffs because so many other teams are actively trying to lose. The teams that can contend for a title either don't have assets they want to trade or don't have a draft pick to move. The Boston Celtics are the only team trying to tank that has an All-Star caliber player. The teams that will benefit with this year's trade deadline are the teams that are borderline playoff teams, and the teams that are playoff teams but not really contenders.
If you are a small market team like the Charlotte Bobcats and you can land a star from a team trying to cut salary or just lose games on purpose, you can make the playoffs and get more revenue. If you are a team like the Dallas Mavericks that would be content on just being in the playoffs, you could get another star player to put alongside Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis and make a push towards being a contender. I'm not sure how all this will work itself out, but I do know there are names that will be floating around and we will see some blockbuster trades made during the season.
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5. Kenneth Faried
Kenneth Faried has surprisingly been on the block at the start of this season. The Denver Nuggets appear to be worried about their ability to re-sign him at the end of his rookie deal next season. The Nuggets will be proactive in trying to move Faried before he gets further into his contract, thus decreasing his value. For a team that has some expendable assets, Faried would be a great piece to get. The fact is he has all of this season and next season on his rookie contract where he will outperform his pay. His value will not be higher than it is now, and if Denver doesn't want to give him the max-deal Faried wants they would be smart to move him quickly.
4. Zach Randolph
With the new ownership of the Memphis Grizzlies going to a more statistical-driven front office, they could look to move Randolph. In a small market the Grizzlies have to watch their spending, and if they spend a lot on one player he better be productive. Randolph is set to make $17.8 million this season and $16.5 million next year, which is fine if he's still a 20-point, 11-rebound guy. But if not then he's overpaid. Randolph could end up being a cap-casualty for the Grizzlies if they are not in, or near, the top half of the Western Conference when the trade deadline rolls around.
3. Pau Gasol
Gasol isn't going anywhere as long as there is still hope in Lakerland. With Kobe Bryant set to return sooner rather than later, the Los Angeles Lakers have playoff expectations, but if they struggle with Bryant back in the lineup it makes no sense to hold onto Gasol and his big salary. If the Lakers can dump Gasol for younger, cheaper pieces or a high draft pick, they would be stupid to keep him. I know Bryant is a winner and wants to compete, but his contract is over at the end of this year and the Lakers can rebuild on the fly if they can get a decent haul for Gasol.
2. LaMarcus Aldridge
Aldridge has been linked to trade rumors since the NBA Draft this past June. He is a hot commodity that is unlikely to re-sign with the Portland Trail Blazers. Aldridge is a very skilled big man that can play either post position, but he is better suited to playing as a face-up big. Aldridge is a Texas boy and has made it known his intent of wanting to get back to Texas with his next deal, but with the league's new collective bargaining agreement he could be persuaded to stay where he's at. That decision lies with the Trail Blazers; if they want to roll the dice they have some nice young pieces, but if they are concerned about getting left like the Cleveland Cavaliers or Toronto Raptors when LeBron James and Chris Bosh left, they need to get as much as they can now.
1. Rajon Rondo
Rondo has the brightest near-future of any of the guys mentioned. He is still young (27 years old) and he has made the last four All-Star Games. The problem with Rondo is he is still injured, but when will he be back? The Celtics made it known this summer that they were starting over, gathering as many draft picks as possible and trying to be as bad as possible this year to obtain a higher pick. Boston wants to start over, but with Rondo on board that will be hard. He is too good for the Celtics to be bad. If he is healthy he will net quite the return given his age and cost-friendly contract. Rondo is the best player on this list, and he is also the most likely to be traded.