Most Likely Player to be Traded For All 30 NBA Teams
Making Sense of NBA Trade Rumors
With roughly a third of the 2013-14 NBA season now done it is clear that certain teams are going to be sitting at the top of the totem pole -- and likewise some at the bottom. Throughout the league there is simply too much star power on a select few teams -- hmm, calling out Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, amongst others -- for anyone from the bottom to truly make an impact come playoff time.
And while some people throughout the basketball world think that this dominance of top teams is a bad thing for the NBA, it certainly makes for a fun trading season.
Every year as February -- and by extension the trade deadline -- nears, it is clear that faces are going to be moving all over the place. Certain sides may only be trying to pick up bodies to fill out the remainder of the season as a top draft pick nears, some may feel they can make the unlikely jump from average to title contender and those at the top look to shore up their roster for a title run.
All of this interchanging of bodies could drive a reasonable fan to go crazy and quite understandably so. But in a case of foreshadowing this pain I have formed a list of the player most likely to be traded from each and every team throughout the NBA.
Each player chosen has a reasonable basis behind why they are likely to be traded, and many have already had rumblings of a move surface. Enjoy, and feel free to give feedback as to why you feel differently about a certain player or who you feel should have been included in the list.
Atlanta Hawks - Paul Millsap
Throughout the first part of the NBA season the Atlanta Hawks have found modest success with a 15-13 record that has them in a playoff spot. This record has the Hawks feeling they can make a few adjustments to ensure a deep playoff run, and the top area that needs addition is the position of center. Currently the team has Paul Millsap and Al Horford manning the spot on a rotating basis, but both are better suited to play power forward. In a seeming acknowledgement of this the team has been shopping Millsap around with no remorse, and it would be surprising if he didn't end up getting traded for a guy such as Omer Asik.
Boston Celtics - Jeff Green
The Boston Celtics may be in the playoff race for the Eastern Conference, but don't let that fool you as to what the team wants to do this season. The 2013-14 season was always going to be a rebuilding year, and to do that the team's roster must be reconstructed. One of the many players who appears to be expendable is forward Jeff Green, who despite averaging 16.1 points per game this year will never be a key part of the squad. The Celtics know this and appear to be floating around his name in trade talks with multiple teams in order to sell when the value is high.
Brooklyn Nets - Alan Anderson
Despite a brutal start to the current season it appears that the Brooklyn Nets are willing to stay the course and see where it takes them. In order to get back on the right track, though, they need to get better -- quickly. One good way to do this would be to get a big body down low, and with a surplus of wing players it would appear moving Alan Anderson would get this done. Recent reports have confirmed this suspicion, and the rumors make sense considering the Nets are 9-18 and need to do something to change that.
Charlotte Bobcats - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
At 14-15 on the season it appears that the Charlotte Bobcats are finally getting on the right track, and that investment in youth is paying off. This makes them an unlikely contender to make any drastic moves, and the only player on the team that any trade rumors have mentioned is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The forward is currently out with a broken hand, and after playing quite average since entering the league it would be hard to see the Bobcats getting good value out of a trade. Still, after watching the team operate under Michael Jordan it seems that anything is possible.
Chicago Bulls - Luol Deng
The Chicago Bulls appear to be lost without Derrick Rose on the floor, and their 10-16 record does not inspire any thought of a playoff run this season. Management has clearly noted this poor start, and in what seems to be a yearly occurrence Luol Deng has been placed on the trade block. For his part Deng has averaged 19.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, making him an intriguing option for many teams. As an impending free agent it would also appear the Bulls have much to gain from getting rid of him now as they can retool for next year and beyond when Rose is expected to actually be on the floor.
Cleveland Cavaliers - Dion Waiters
Despite much anticipation, the 2013-14 season has turned into an early dud for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not only has Anthony Bennett arguably been the worst No. 1 overall pick ever, but the team is 10-17 and now star guard Dion Waiters has asked for a trade. Apparently Waiters does not get along with point guard Kyrie Irving, and there is a nasty storm brewing in Cleveland. At some point it would seem the Cavaliers will have to choose between the two, and all indications are that Waiters will be the one who sees the door. Expect a multitude of teams to line up for his services, and the price tag will be exorbitant.
Dallas Mavericks - Dirk Nowitzki
The Dallas Mavericks have repeatedly tried to rebuild around Dirk Nowitzki in recent years, but they always seem to be just short of a true title contender. At 16-12 on the season this again appears to be true, and there isn't much more the team can do to build upwards. As an aging star one would think Nowitzki wants another true crack at a title, and it appears that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has enough respect to honor this wish. With his contract due to expire after this season the move would likely not serve the long term anyways as if the German won another championship he would likely come back to serve out the rest of his career in Dallas.
Denver Nuggets - Kenneth Faried
For reasons that no one can really understand, the Denver Nuggets seem to be continuously offering up the services of Kenneth Faried. As a young and talented player Faried would likely bring back a bounty, and after hearing repeated rumors it would appear the Nuggets really want to get rid of him. Expect rumors to continue swirling until the trade deadline and for a move to eventually occur.
Detroit Pistons - Rodney Stuckey
Over the last two years the Detroit Pistons have overhauled their roster, and one player that doesn't look to be a fit moving forward is guard Rodney Stuckey. As a seven-year veteran who has averaged 13.5 points per game throughout his career it is clear that Stuckey can bring back value, and the Pistons would like to have cap space with Greg Monroe set to be a restricted free agent.
Golden State Warriors - David Lee
There was a lot of hype surrounding the Golden State Warriors heading into the 2013-14 season, but after starting off 16-13 the team's aura seems to be fading away. One way to jump start the team would be a trade, and there appears no more likely candidate than David Lee. The forward has been the talk of trade rumors in past seasons, and after getting off to a poor start during the current season, it appears his run with the Warriors could finally be coming to an end.
Houston Rockets - Omer Asik
There has been no more talked about player in trade rumors throughout the NBA than Houston Rockets center Omer Asik. Ever since Dwight Howard was signed during the summer there has been no starting spot for Asik, and recently he stoked trade rumors by asking to get moved. A move now seems to be inevitable, but it can be expected that the Rockets will wait to pull the trigger until they get exactly what they want.
Indiana Pacers - Danny Granger
It does not appear as if Danny Granger so much wants to be moved from the Indiana Pacers but that he will be forced to move. Granger lost his starting spot last year after going down to injury, and with Paul George now turning into a bona fide superstar it is clear he will never be getting the spot back. Adding fuel to the fire is that Pacers executive Larry Bird effectively called Granger a lazy player in recent times. With Indiana now a top notch team it would make sense to avoid a bad situation by moving Granger and in turn also helping to stock up in a position of need such as point guard.
Los Angeles Clippers - Reggie Bullock
Some have recently speculated that the Los Angeles Clippers would make a huge move in the trade market such as getting rid of Blake Griffin. While this would be flashy, it would also make no sense considering the Clippers have a 20-9 record with Griffin averaging 20.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. One guy that it would make sense to move, though, is Reggie Bullock. Despite not playing much during his rookie season Bullock has some value as a shooter, and moving him along would give the Clippers a chance to add another big man who could give Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan some valuable minutes off.
Los Angeles Lakers - Pau Gasol
Despite the team not being willing to admit it, the Los Angeles Lakers are not going to contend this season. At 13-15 on the season they would seem to be better off looking forward towards next season, and the only player on the roster who could truly bring back value at this point is Pau Gasol. While not the dominant force he once was, Gasol has still averaged 14.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game this year, and at the age of 33 he brings a degree of both veteran and championship experience. He would likely bring back a few draft picks which could prove to be extremely useful as the Lakers look to retool their roster over the summer.
Memphis Grizzlies - Zach Randolph
It seems that everywhere Zach Randolph goes teams eventually tire of him, and the Memphis Grizzlies are holding this to be true. Randolph is extremely talented, but at 12-15 the Grizzlies need to make a change sooner rather than later. Moving him on could revamp the team's roster and extend their season.
Miami Heat - James Jones
The Miami Heat are as big of a lock as any team to hold tight with what they have, as their key pieces have helped win two NBA Titles and get off to a 21-6 record this year. One player they could feel is expendable, though, is James Jones, who happens to be one of about thirty guys the team employs to play on the wing. With a constant dearth of big men Jones could be turned into a center or power forward off the bench who would come in handy when things get physical in the playoffs.
Milwaukee Bucks - Ersan Ilyasova
At 6-22 on the season it is safe to say that the Milwaukee Bucks have been a complete disaster this year and something needs to change. While it would be nice to move the whole roster, one guy that actually makes sense to move is Ersan Ilyasova. The 26 year old power forward has the capability to be a 10 point, and seven rebound per game player and could easily start for many teams throughout the league. With big men being very valuable in the current NBA he could also bring back a solid player or two for the Bucks, in turn helping them reconstruct their roster which currently sits in shambles.
Minnesota Timberwolves - Dante Cunningham
The Minnesota Timberwolves appear to be doing everything they can to convince Kevin Love to stay in town, and this includes making big moves. One guy that could be next out of town is Dante Cunningham, who currently comes off the bench to little effect for the Timberwolves. Moving him on for another bench player who can actually provide an impact in the paint would provide Love with the occasional rest as well as ensure that Minnesota improves on their 13-15 record and advances to the postseason.
New Orleans Pelicans - Ryan Anderson
In what appears to be a recurring theme, the New Orleans Pelicans are shopping Ryan Anderson. Doing this actually makes sense at this point as Anderson is averaging a career-high 20.4 points per game and likely will not go for much higher value ever again. With a very young core the Pelicans would benefit from gaining more assets for the future, and moving Anderson would do just that.
New York Knicks - Iman Shumpert
The New York Knicks are having an absolutely dreadful season to date with their 9-18 record putting everyone on the team on watch. Amongst these people on watch is Iman Shumpert, who appears to be the only player on the team aside from Carmelo Anthony who could bring back any value in a trade. With a move for Anthony off the table, expect the Knicks to move Shumpert in an attempt to both jump start the current season and make sure Carmelo does not bolt town afterwards.
Oklahoma City Thunder - Jeremy Lamb
The Oklahoma City Thunder are riding high right now, but as any good team does they are always looking to get better. One obvious way to do this would be to get rid of Jeremy Lamb who despite having good peripheral statistics has been wildly inconsistent this year. Moving him on for a consistent and grizzled veteran would shore up the team's bench and in turn help make the odds of a deep playoff run much greater.
Orlando Magic - Arron Afflalo
The Orlando Magic are in complete rebuild mode right now, and with teams noticing this it has been rumored that calls for the services of Arron Afflalo are rolling in. Afflalo is having an incredible season, averaging 21.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game, and he likely will never have greater value. As a team that has a 8-20 record and no chance of competing this year, it would appear that moving him on for draft picks and youthful players would be a smart move.
Philadelphia 76ers - Thaddeus Young
Despite a few early season surprises, the Philadelphia 76ers have come back down to earth and their 8-20 record is indicative of a rebuilding team. One player that does not want to be part of the reconstruction is Thaddeus Young, who has already asked to be traded. Asking for this has painted 76ers management into a corner, although getting a good return for Young's services could be a smart move nevertheless.
Phoenix Suns - Channing Frye
The Phoenix Suns have been the surprise team of the 2013-14 season as their 17-10 record and a spot in the playoffs was the last thing most people expected. And while some people will want them to go for it all after this start, I think that continuing to build towards the future would be a wise decision. To this extent moving on from Channing Frye would be a logical decision as he is having a career year and will likely never have greater value. Additionally, he is not an invaluable asset either this year or in the future, and moving him on would likely help in both areas.
Portland Trail Blazers - Meyers Leonard
The Portland Trail Blazers have had a start to remember as their 23-5 record ranks amongst the best in the NBA, but this does not necessarily mean they are content. Currently the Trail Blazers' starting five and bench are performing as well as anyone could expect, so it would appear that moving a lower level bench player would be in the cards. One guy that fits that mold is center Meyers Leonard, who has only appeared in seven games and serves as Portland's third string center. Still, he is only 22 years old and would likely bring back at least a depth player on the wings as a lower level team looks for a potential diamond in the rough.
Sacramento Kings - Jimmer Fredette
Despite a 8-19 record during the 2013-14 season it appears that the Sacramento Kings are ready to make bold moves to better their team this year, as was displayed when they acquired Rudy Gay from the Toronto Raptors this month. One player that was heavily mentioned in trade discussions for Gay and still looks likely to be traded in the near future is point guard Jimmer Fredette. Once considered a phenom prospect, Fredette now sits firmly behind Isaiah Thomas on the Kings depth chart and has little chance of moving up anytime soon. Still, there is no doubting he can shoot the ball with the best in the world, and he could be a key piece in a potential move for a more developed perimeter player.
San Antonio Spurs - Cory Joseph
The San Antonio Spurs seem to be an engine that just keeps on churning each season, and their 22-6 record this year shows that little needs to be changed moving forward. Still, head coach Gregg Popovich and the rest of management are experts at moving spare parts for potentially useful guys, and one player that appears likely to be moved in quick order is Cory Joseph. The 22 year old point guard has shown flashes of brilliance, but he still sits behind both Tony Parker and Patty Mills on the point guard depth chart and is unlikely to pass either in the near future. Moving him on for another bench player would make more sense than anything else given the current stability and veteran presence that the Spurs have on their roster.
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry
The Toronto Raptors have constantly been mentioned in trade rumors this season, and after trading Rudy Gay the most mentioned player on the way out has been Kyle Lowry. The point guard is immensely talented and successful on the court as his averages of 15.2 points, 7.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds could fit nicely into any team's statistical line. As one would expect teams have been lining up for the services of Lowry, and it should be expected that the Raptors will wind up getting a nice ransom for him before things are over with.
Utah Jazz - Richard Jefferson
The Utah Jazz have been absolutely brutal during the 2013-14 season, and at 8-23 on the season any playoff aspirations have all but vanished. Utah's roster is currently filled with youthful players that will likely be around for the long haul, but one veteran guy who they could logically move and get a decent player or pick back for is Richard Jefferson. At 33 years old Jefferson is not the guy he once was, but he can still play north of 20 minutes per game at small forward for a championship caliber team and has stoked trade rumors by stating that he wants to go "championship hunting" this season. Look for the Jazz to listen to the veteran and send him away to get another asset or two that will help in the future in return.
Washington Wizards - Trevor Ariza
The Washington Wizards have been extremely erratic thus far during the 2013-14 season, but it should be expected that they will improve upon their 12-13 record moving forward. If they do decide to move any players to jump start a consistent presence, it can be expected that Trevor Ariza will be on the way out. The veteran forward is having one of the best seasons of his career, but he is a free agent after the 2013-14 season and will likely be worth a ton if they trade him now. Doing so could damage the current season's prospects, but with youngsters on the roster such as John Wall and Bradley Beal they could decide that gearing up for future seasons title runs is the best decision.