20 NBA Players Currently on the Trading Block
20 NBA Players Currently on the Trading Block
It’s still early in the NBA season, but it’s never too early for trade rumors to start swirling about. Teams with championship aspirations are looking to make minor tweaks that can aid them in their journey. Teams that are off to a dismal start are looking for that piece of the puzzle that might turn their season around. Some teams are just looking to dump salaries and others are contemplating trading their All-Star caliber players. Sometimes, it’s not even the team that puts a player on the trading block, but the player himself!
Keep in mind that most of these rumors are just that, rumors. If there was truth to every rumor then players would be traded every day. Most NBA general managers are hesitant to make a deal this early in the season, but it has happened before. Most mid-season trades happen closer to the trade deadline in February, but some teams might have to make a move soon if they want to compete for a playoff spot. In some cases, teams might have to make a trade in order to appease a certain player or players. Chemistry is extremely important when putting together a winning basketball team, and if the chemistry isn’t right a trade might be the only way to fix things.
Trades are a part of the business, so you can bet that players will be switching teams this season. Here are 20 players that could be on the move before the trade deadline.
Gordon Hayward wanted a contract extension this past summer, but couldn’t reach an agreement with the Utah Jazz. He was reportedly asking for a contract similar to the one Paul George signed, $90 million over five years with a player option. That’s a lot of money to commit to someone who isn’t even your franchise player. The Jazz will have major cap space next season and will be in the market for free agents. I can’t imagine them using most of their cap space on Hayward. Since the Jazz are playing so poorly anyway, it would behoove them to get something for Hayward while they still can.
With Dwyane Wade’s lingering knee issues, the Miami Heat are looking for backcourt help. Joel Anthony is the name being mentioned the most in trade rumors, but it’s unlikely the Heat can swing a one-for-one deal. Anthony just isn’t highly sought after, so the Heat would have to sweeten the deal if they want to get the backcourt help they desire.
Evan Turner is off to a hot start this season, averaging career highs in scoring, rebounds, steals and minutes played. The Philadelphia 76ers are still shopping him however, despite how well he’s played. They are building for the future and don’t seem interested in investing in Turner. Turner could be the last missing piece for a team hoping to make a championship run.
Kris Humphries has been getting more playing time lately, but is it for the right reason? Perhaps the Boston Celtics are showcasing Humphries in order to boost his trade value. If that’s the case, it’s working to perfection because Humphries has played well as of late. He is also in the last year of his contract, which helps his trade value even more.
Ben Gordon can score with the best of them. Otherwise, don’t expect much out of the veteran guard. He is in the last year of his contract so this is the time to move him if you are the Charlotte Bobcats. Gordon can help a team that needs some firepower off the bench. With the injury to Derrick Rose, perhaps a return to Chicago is in order.
Matt Bonner has reportedly been on the trading block for quite some time now, but he has remained with the San Antonio Spurs for the past seven seasons. Bonner is in the last year of his contract so if he were to get traded, it would be now. He would most likely be packaged with Nando de Colo, who has only played in six games this season.
Jameer Nelson is a proven leader who still has a lot to offer. With the Orlando Magic going nowhere and Nelson’s contract virtually coming off the books (team option), he might be on his way out of Orlando. He is easier to trade than Aaron Afflalo who still has three years remaining on his contract.
The Chicago Bulls have fallen under tough times and another year without Derrick Rose could mean the end of the Bulls as we know it. The Bulls had championship aspirations, but will once again be spectators in June. A trade seems likely, and Luol Deng is the most realistic option. Deng would help any team immensely, not to mention he is in the last year of his contract. The Bulls could try to get draft picks or a young prospect in exchange for Deng.
Carmelo Anthony wanted the bright lights of New York City. Well those lights have lost most of their shine and it looks as if Anthony is destined for a departure. New York Knicks owner James Dolan has already said he is not fielding any offers for Anthony; if he leaves New York it will be through free agency. Dolan isn’t the most reliable owner so don't believe anything he says. Who knows what he will do if the Knicks are 15 games below .500 come February. Whether Anthony is traded before the deadline or he signs with another team in the offseason, this will most likely be his last year in New York.
The rumor in Cleveland is that Dion Waters is on the trading block. That’s quite surprising, seeing how he was the 4th pick in the draft just two years ago. It was reported that he got into an argument with Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson at a meeting, but is that enough of a reason to trade the young up-and-comer? He is garnering a lot of attention from teams who are desperate for guard help.
Denver Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw finally got some sense and put Kenneth Faried back in the starting lineup. The Nuggets have a crowded front court so it makes sense they would be looking to trade someone, just not Faried. Early this season there was speculation that Faried was being shopped, but those rumors have seemed to die down over the past few days.
It seems like every year the Boston Celtics are involved in trade talks, and this year is no different. Rajon Rondo hasn’t played this season, yet his name has surfaced in trade rumors. Rondo is the only player remaining from the championship team, so it would behoove the Celtics to keep him around. Rookie head coach Brad Stevens could use all the help he can get.
A week ago it seemed like Iman Shumpert was as good as gone. Now J.R. Smith is back on the bench and Shumpert is back at his natural position, shooting guard. Shumpert is the best prospect the New York Knicks have so they aren’t going to trade him unless they get an offer they can’t resist. If he does get traded it will be because he is part of a package deal with Amar’e Stoudemire.
Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan
Take your pick, Rudy Gay or DeMar DeRozan. The word out of the Toronto Raptors front office is that anyone is available except for young big man Jonas Valanciunas. The two names that keep popping up are Gay and DeRozan, although it’s unlikely Gay gets traded because of the $36 million he is owed over the next two seasons. DeRozan’s contract isn’t friendly either -- $38 million over the next four seasons -- but he is a promising young player who has shown steady improvement throughout his career.
Charlie Villanueva's tenure with the Detroit Pistons has been forgettable. He averaged only 15 minutes per game last season and has only played in one game so far this season. He is in the last year of his contract, so teams who lack front court depth could take a gamble on him.
The Sacramento Kings' Backcourt
The Sacramento Kings are loaded in the backcourt. Head coach Mike Malone recently inserted rookie Ben McLemore into the starting lineup alongside Greivis Vasquez, while Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton have been coming off the bench. Jimmer Fredette, the former 10th overall pick, has only played in four games this season. Somebody has to go. It’s not clear who it will be, though Fredette seems like the obvious choice.
The writing is on the wall for Derrick Williams. The former 2nd overall pick is averaging five points per game this season while playing a career low 15 minutes per game. There is no question that he has potential, but the Minnesota Timberwolves apparently don’t want to wait to find out. He is still on his rookie contract, so a playoff bound team could snag him for cheap.
The New York Knicks are suffocating under the salary cap, thanks in part to the contract they generously bestowed upon Amar’e Stoudemire in 2010. Regarded as one of the worst contracts in NBA history, the Knicks have been trying to trade Stoudemire for years but have been unsuccessful thus far. This might be the year they finally convince another team to take on his hefty contract.
Danny Granger used to be the franchise player for the Indiana Pacers. Injuries have hobbled Granger over the past few seasons, and the emergence of Paul George has pretty much spelled his departure. He is set to return from a calf injury in the next few weeks, and if he stays healthy he could help another team tremendously. He is also in the last year of his contract, so trading for him is not a huge risk.
Things have been disastrous for Omer Asik ever since Dwight Howard came to town. He demanded a trade in the offseason, and it took the Houston Rockets' top brass to convince him to stay. Head coach Kevin McHale experimented with starting Asik and Howard at the same time, but that clearly didn’t work. He’s hardly played over the last five games; it’s only a matter of time before the Rockets and Asik part ways.