NBA Trade Deadline: 15 Players Most Likely to Be Traded
15 Players Who Could Be Moved Prior to NBA Trade Deadline
With the NBA Trade Deadline just 20 days away, we are entering a very exciting time for basketball fans. In the upcoming weeks, there will be tons of rumors regarding possible trades -- some will have some truth to them, some will not. Ultimately, by the time the deadline passes, we will probably see less than 10 of the rumored trades actually happen.
Last season's trade deadline was one of the worst in a long time. There were, of course, a lot of rumors, but there was serious inactivity. The biggest trade at the 2013 NBA Trade Deadline was involved the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic. The Magic sent J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith to the Bucks for Tobias Harris, Beno Udrih and Doron Lamb. Clearly, a trade centered around Redick and Harris is far from that of the blockbuster variety.
The trades that didn't happen were certainly more fun than the trades that did happen. There were rumored trades involving several big name players, including Kevin Garnett (he was eventually traded in the offseason), Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, Andrea Bargnani and Josh Smith. None happened -- at the deadline, that is.
Hopefully the 2014 trade deadline will be better; it's hard to imagine it being worse. There are some big names being discussed, but for the most part there are role players involved in trade talks. Like every season, most rumored trades won't happen, but they are a lot of fun to follow in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline. Here are 15 players that you will hear a lot of trade rumors about for the next three weeks.
Omer Asik wants out of the Houston Rockets' organization. When they signed Dwight Howard, Asik clearly didn't like that. He has only appeared in 17 games for the Rockets this season, averaging just 4.4 points and 6.8 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game. When looking at his per 36 minutes numbers, he looks much better, averaging 8.7 points and 13.3 rebounds per game.
A former second-overall pick, Evan Turner still hasn't lived up to his draft potential. In 2013-14, Turner is averaging 18.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. However, he is shooting just 44 percent from the floor. Almost any team could use Turner as an extra wing player, but he isn't an ideal starter on a good team.
Even though Emeka Okafor won't play this season, he still has some trade value, believe it or not. He is on the final year of his contract, making just over $14 million. Expiring contracts have a ton of value in the NBA for teams looking to sign big free agents in the following offseason. It seems to be a near-lock that Okafor won't be with the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 21.
The best player on the trading block from the Philadelphia 76ers, Thaddeus Young's only downside is that he is on a fairly large contract. An NBA executive was quoted as saying, "There is not a GM in the league who wouldn't want Thaddeus Young on their team." If the 76ers are willing to eat some of his salary, they could conceivably get a first-round pick in return for him. Young is averaging 17.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game this season.
Yes, another Philadelphia 76ers player might be traded. Spencer Hawes is a rare talent that any team could use. Stretch-centers aren't all that common in the NBA. Hawes is shooting 42 percent from three-point range this season, while averaging 13.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.
Kyle Lowry may be the player most likely to be traded at this point. Apparently the Toronto Raptors are aggressively trying to move the point guard, but teams aren't willing to meet their asking price so far. As we get closer to the trade deadline, the Raptors' asking price will surely come down a bit, and a team that needs a point guard will pull off a good trade for Lowry.
The Boston Celtics have two options with Rajon Rondo: Trade him while his value is at its lowest and coming off of an injury, or build around him. Since returning from injury, Rondo hasn't been himself, that's for sure. If he does start to look like the great version of himself, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Celtics get an offer they can't refuse for the outstanding point guard and accepting it.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports says the Houston Rockets are aggressively shopping Francisco Garcia. Whether or not a team is willing to trade for him is the question. Garcia, 32, has been suffering from knee tendinitis lately. He's also having a pretty bad season, averaging just 5.8 points per game and shooting only 34 percent from beyond the arc.
The Charlotte Bobcats have been rumored to be seeking a trade involving Ben Gordon's expiring contract to acquire a player that can help them win this season. Again, expiring deals have a lot of value. It certainly wouldn't be surprising to see Gordon shipped out of Charlotte prior to Feb. 20.
Denver Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw and point guard Andre Miller clearly have some tension in their relationship. If you asked me a week ago, I would have been 100 percent sure Miller would be dealt. Now, the chances are much more slim, with backup point guard Nate Robinson being lost for the season. I still think Miller gets traded, though.
This one is interesting. The Chicago Bulls clearly don't want to have Carlos Boozer around much longer, but Taj Gibson was always their backup plan. Now there are rumors floating around that three teams, the Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Bobcats and Washington Wizards, have already contacted the Bulls about acquiring Gibson. Apparently the Bulls are looking to shed a ton of salary so they can make a serious push to sign soon-to-be free agent Carmelo Anthony in the offseason. This situation, from now until the end of the offseason, is going to be fun to keep an eye on, folks.
The Orlando Magic have been shopping veteran point guard Jameer Nelson all year, and executives tell Chris Broussard of ESPN that he will probably be traded before the trade deadline. The 31-year-old is averaging 13.4 points and 6.6 assists per game for the Magic.
Danny Granger is clearly a shell of his former self, averaging just 8.3 points per game this season. Granger averaged 25.8 points per game in 2008, just five seasons ago. He doesn't seem worthy of a starting spot anymore, but a team may value his veteran presence on the bench and his expiring deal enough to make a trade for him.
Rumors surfaced a few weeks ago that the Detroit Pistons may be looking to trade one of Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings or Greg Monroe. Trading Monroe makes the most sense for the Pistons. However, a few days ago, we heard that the Pistons were essentially not listening to offers for Monroe. These are obviously just rumors, he could be traded by the end of Saturday night for all we know. Monroe would be a great addition for a team looking to acquire a talented young power forward. Watch out for the Washington Wizards, specifically.
Related: Wizards interested in Monroe?
Finally, we've arrived at the best player on the trade market by far. Carmelo Anthony may or may not be traded prior to the deadline, depending on what the New York Knicks think about their postseason chances. The Knicks have been playing better lately, but they aren't better than the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers, so it may be best to simply trade Anthony and get something for him, rather than allowing him to leave via free agency and not getting anything in return.