The Most Tradeable Contract on Every NBA Team
The modern NBA is filled with some of the most ludicrous contracts in all of professional sports. In seeing role players receive lucrative multi-year deals and every star earn maximum offers, it is easy to forget that there are plenty of savvy signings in the league.
From rookies producing well beyond their pay grade to the significantly undervalued to proven veterans with expiring deals, there are a number of contracts across the NBA that plenty of teams would love to acquire.
They may not always be the flashiest names, but there are players from every team whose contracts mean that they could be dealt in a heartbeat if they were put on the trade block.
Without further ado, let's take a look at one player on each team with an extremely tradeable contract...
Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Teague
The Atlanta Hawks have done the impossible in moving Joe Johnson's massive contract. Now, they're committing to their young core of Jeff Teague, Josh Smith and Al Horford, which means that Teague will now be their featured backcourt player.
After spending his first two seasons largely buried on the bench, Teague emerged in the 2011 playoffs, playing solid defense on Derrick Rose, penetrating the lane and making smart passes. He translated that momentum into a very solid third pro year, starting all 66 games and averaging 12.6 points, 4.9 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game while hitting 47.6 percent of his shots from the floor.
Next season he is owed just $2.4 million with a $3.5 million qualifying offer for 2013-2014. With quality point guards earning obscene salaries in today's NBA, there are a myriad of teams that would be willing to take on the remainder of Teague's deal.
He is an excellent athlete, a scrappy defender who can play both on and off the ball and excels in the transition game. He is improving his shooting and facilitating, as well as his effectiveness in the half court.
This is a league where Goran Dragic is earning more than $8 million a year; wouldn't you love your favorite team to have an above-average starting point guard still on his rookie contract?
Atlanta won't be dealing Teague anytime soon, but if he were available, there are a number of teams that would be lining up to bring in the Wake Forest product.
Boston Celtics: Rajon Rondo
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Chris Paul earned $17.8 million last season, Deron Williams is slated to net (see what I did there?) $98.5 million from Brooklyn over the next five years, and yet the best point guard in the 2012 playoffs will earn under $36 million over the next three seasons.
Rondo has long been considered one of the league's more mercurial, erratic players, capable of stunning moments but also those where he simply did not seem engaged. That all changed last season, as he averaged 11.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and an NBA-best 11.7 assists per game. He was a pillar of consistency for Boston as they mounted a late-season charge and made the Eastern Conference finals.
In the playoffs, he upped his level of play to the tune of 17.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 11.9 assists, notching four triple-doubles in 20 games.
Rondo is easily the league's most versatile point guard. He has unmatched court vision, can attack the basket, shut down opposing guards on the perimeter and even play around the basket and sneak into the paint for tough rebounds.
His shooting is still a work in progress, but he was splashing mid-range jumpers with regularity in the postseason and hit nearly 70 percent of his foul shots.
Rondo is one of the league's most unique athletes and a devastating two-way player who shines best in big moments, yet he is being out-earned by Emeka Okafor.
He is one of the most dynamic young players in the NBA—someone that the Celtics are building their franchise around for years to come. Whenever Rondo has been "available," teams have been extremely interested, and his recent production proves why.
Brooklyn Nets: MarShon Brooks
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The 25th overall pick in the 2011 draft, MarShon Brooks was an extremely pleasant surprise for the New Jersey Nets last season, averaging 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while playing well in the backcourt alongside Deron Williams.
Though he lit up Big East defenses during his four years at Providence, it was unclear how Brooks' game would translate to the NBA level. In due time, he made a smooth transition and became the Nets' starting 2-guard early in the season.
Brooks will earn $1.2 million next season, and then $3.58 million over the next two years, both of which are team options. He has a $3.8 million qualifying offer for 2015-2016.
Brooklyn just made a blockbuster trade for Joe Johnson, who will obviously take over the starting spot, but considering that the 31-year-old swingman will be earning nearly $20 million next season and almost $25 million at the end of his deal, is he that much of an upgrade?
Brooks is a good athlete; he's capable of running the floor well and getting out in transition. He has a tight handle and can break his man down off the dribble or move around screens to create separation for an open jump shot.
He does not have the best shot selection, but he is a skilled passer with the size and strength to also spend some time at small forward. His three-point shooting was not great in his rookie season, but that often happens in the adjustment to the NBA level.
Brooks could be an electric sixth man off the bench for the Nets, but if they do decide to trade him, possibly for a power forward, his inexpensive deal and impressive production mean that plenty of teams in need of perimeter scoring will be very interested.
Charlotte Bobcats: Gerald Henderson
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One of the very, very few bright spots of Charlotte's anemic 2011-2012 season was the play of third-year shooting guard Gerald Henderson, who started every game in which he played and proved to be a solid offensive weapon for the Bobcats.
Henderson averaged 15.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists last season. He is still not a lethal shooter from deep, but he has improved his mid-range game and considerably upped his skills as a slasher and cutter around the basket. He also does not need to have the ball to be effective and moves around the court well on offense.
Defensively, Henderson shows promise of being an elite defensive wing. He is tenacious on the ball, but smart about choosing when to gamble and when to keep his position. He has great lateral quickness and is strong enough to not get pushed around.
Henderson will earn just $3.1 million next season and has a $4.3 million qualifying offer for 2013-2014. Considering the team is paying Ben Gordon $25.7 million over that same time frame, Henderson's contract looks even better.
There are a number of teams that could use some backcourt depth. While Gerald Henderson might not be a consistent floor-spacing option, he is capable of creating points and defending his position.
Charlotte would be foolish to let go of one of the few players on their roster with a bright NBA future, but Henderson is a quality starter who could contribute on any roster in the league.
Chicago Bulls: Taj Gibson
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Not that there aren't plenty of teams that would leap at the chance to acquire Derrick Rose and his five-year, $95 million deal, but coming off of an ACL tear, the MVP is looking much less appealing. In his stead is power forward Taj Gibson, who excelled as part of the Bulls' deep bench and is still on his rookie deal.
Gibson's numbers alone may not wow most observers: 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocks per game.
But his real contributions go beyond the stat sheet. He is an elite defender and is capable of protecting the basket, guarding his man in the post and even stepping out to the perimeter to cover the pick-and-roll.
He is extremely athletic, runs the floor very well and can finish with authority at the rim. To put it simply, there was a reason that Carlos Boozer was so often benched at the end of games in crunch time.
Gibson is set to earn a paltry $2.2 million next season and has a qualifying offer for $3.2 million the following year. Compare that to the $30 million Carlos Boozer is earning, and you see why plenty of teams are interested in trading for Gibson.
With enough minutes, he is a nightly double-double threat and an elite defender at a bargain price. Without a doubt, Gibson is the kind of player a team loves having.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Anderson Varejao
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It seems that anytime Anderson Varejao is healthy, teams across the league are interested in a potential trade. The 6'11" Brazilian big man has earned a reputation as a high-energy player who can hit the glass, score around the basket and draw charges (or flops, depending on your view) as well as anyone in the NBA.
He played just 25 games last season, but it was easily the best stretch of his career, as he averaged 10.8 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 51.4 percent from the floor. In addition, he averaged a staggering 4.4 offensive rebounds per contest, proving his relentlessness and knack for creating easy scoring opportunities on dunks and putbacks.
He is due $8.4 million next season and $9.1 million the year after that, but then has a team option in 2014-2015 for $9.8 million. With quality big men at such a premium in the league, that is a fairly insubstantial price for someone who can make an impact on both ends of the floor.
Durability is the big issue with Varejao, but there are teams that would be willing to take the risk to acquire such a talented, athletic frontcourt player. At just 29 years old, he has plenty of good basketball left to play, and he could be a difference-maker on a playoff contender.
Should Cleveland decide to commit fully to their youthful frontcourt of Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson, they could very well look to deal Anderson Varejao. If so, expect vertically challenged teams from across the league to be knocking down their door with offers.
Dallas Mavericks: Vince Carter
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In an effort to bring in Deron Williams, Dallas cleared their roster in order to preserve cap space, so there weren't a ton of players to choose from, but Vince Carter's small contract makes him a logical choice.
No longer the high-flying, elbow-dunking athlete of yesteryear, Carter is still a solid 2-guard who can score and stretch the floor.
Last season, he averaged 10.1 points, 3.4 boards and 2.3 assists per game while connecting on 36.1 percent of his three-point attempts. These are not staggering numbers, but for someone only earning $3.1 million next season and $3.3 million the year after that on a team option, they are more than solid.
He isn't half-amazing anymore, but Carter proved last year than he can subjugate himself for the good of the team and take on a reduced role. Plenty of teams could use help in the backcourt, and Vince Carter would bring a great deal of veteran experience to any roster.
He can't carry an offense like he could in New Jersey or Toronto, but the 35-year-old Carter still has a place in this league. Young playoff teams that may be interested in bringing in a proven player with some postseason experience could look at Carter as a low-risk option, considering his deal can come off the books in 2013.
Considering Shawn Marion's declining skills and $8.6 million deal, Brendan Haywood's ludicrous contract and Dirk Nowitzki's no-trade clause, Vince Carter is the most tradeable Maverick almost by default.
Denver Nuggets: Ty Lawson
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In many ways, Ty Lawson's appearance on this list is for the same reasons as Jeff Teague: He's a young, athletic point guard who can facilitate and score while being an absolute blur in the open court.
The difference though, is that Lawson put up even better numbers in his first starting season, averaging 16.4 points, 6.6 assists and 3.7 boards per game while hitting on 48.8 percent of his attempts from the floor.
Lawson emerged as Denver's starter last season, and he led the Nuggets back to the playoffs, averaging 19 points per game in their first-round, seven-game series against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Still on his rookie deal, Lawson will earn $2.5 million next year and has a qualifying offer for $3.6 million the following season. Considering his immense talents and ability to both score and dish, he is well worth such a small investment.
Teams that need an injection of youth at point guard, like the Dallas Mavericks or Orlando Magic, would undoubtedly jump at the chance to bring in someone of Lawson's caliber for cheap.
However, as an integral part of Denver's core with Danilo Gallinari, Arron Afflalo and Kenneth Faried, it is unlikely they would even consider shopping him, despite signing veteran Andre Miller to a shiny new three-year deal.
Detroit Pistons: Greg Monroe
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One of the few bright spots during an otherwise bleak stretch of Detroit basketball, Greg Monroe has emerged over his first two seasons as an absolute force in the middle for the Pistons. Capable of playing center and power forward, he has proven to be a franchise cornerstone and someone from whom any team would benefit.
In his sophomore campaign, Monroe posted 15.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while hitting 52.1 percent of his field-goal attempts. He is a crafty scorer around the basket, an improved defender and a true leader out on the court.
Monroe will be earning $3.2 million in the 2012-2013 season and $4.1 million the following year on a team option the Pistons would have to be insane not to pick up. He is then set for a $5.5 million qualifying offer.
There is a dearth of elite centers in the league, and Monroe is well on his way to joining the ranks of Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, if he isn't there already. Size with his level of skill doesn't come along very often.
Greg Monroe appears to be one of the few Pistons around for the long haul, but most of the league would not hesitate a second to deal for him if he became available.
Golden State Warriors: Dorell Wright
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A strong case could be made for Stephen Curry here, but with his nagging ankle problems last season as well as his troubling decrease in production, the one-year, $4.1 million remaining on Dorell Wright's deal may actually prove easier to get rid of for Golden State.
Like Curry, Wright had a down year last season, but he represents a much smaller risk for an interested team. He averaged 10.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 36 percent from deep, but he is just a year removed from averaging 16.4 points and three assists per contest.
Wright is by no means an all-around player, but he is an excellent shooter capable of spotting up or creating his own shot. He can attack the basket and is athletic enough to play well in transition.
At 6'9", he is a decent rebounder capable of playing some power forward in a small-ball lineup if necessary.
He is still just 26 years old and a low-risk option for a team looking for a quality small forward. He does not represent a significant financial investment, and if he does not function well, the team can simply let Wright walk and use the cap space to bring in another player.
According to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, the Warriors have been interested in moving Wright, and there should be a number of teams looking to bring in the sharpshooting forward for both his abilities and the expiring deal.
Houston Rockets: Kevin Martin
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The Houston Rockets have clearly entered rebuilding mode, dealing point guard Kyle Lowry as well as big man Samuel Dalembert. The next player to be shipped out of Houston could very well be scoring 2-guard Kevin Martin.
Last season, Martin was Houston's primary offensive option, averaging 17.1 points per game to go along with 2.7 boards and 2.8 assists. He could be a little trigger-happy, but Martin excelled at attacking the hoop off the dribble as well as pulling up for jump shots.
He made 34.7 percent of his threes, although he did take a staggering 5.6 per game, while giving the Rockets' backcourt a veteran presence that was capable of lighting up the scoreboard on any given night. His range and ability to cut to the basket made him a very tough cover for opposing defenses.
Martin is in the final year of his contract and will earn $12.4 million next season, making him the highest-paid player on the Rockets' roster by over $3 million.
Though CBS' Ken Berger reports that Houston is planning to keep Martin, there would undoubtedly be some teams that would want to bring him in as a proven scorer and a low-risk addition to the locker room because his deal expires next offseason.
The chance to see that big of a contract come off the books is certainly enticing. If the Rockets do decide to deal another one of their veteran players, expect teams to inquire aggressively about Kevin Martin's availability.
Indiana Pacers: David West
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Coming off an ACL tear, it was difficult to predict how David West would perform in his first year with Indiana. He had a very solid season, but was not quite the two-time All-Star he had been in New Orleans. However, West is in the final year of his deal and currently holds the Pacers' most tradeable contract.
West is owed $10 million next season, a sum plenty of teams would be eager to see come off of their books in time for 2013's free-agent class.
He averaged 12.8 points, 6.6 boards and 2.1 assists last season, proving he can still contribute at a fairly high level. West is capable of stepping outside and hitting perimeter jumpers as well as scoring in the low post, making him a very versatile offensive option.
He is not a great defender, although his rebounding abilities are underappreciated. Still, the real appeal for many teams in trading for a player like West is the cap room his expiring contract would free up.
The 31-year-old veteran's best basketball is behind him, but he is still a quality starting 4, proving so during Indiana's postseason run. He would draw plenty of interest from both salary cap-conscious teams and those looking to bring in a proven frontcourt scorer.
If Indiana struggles next season, the team may look to deal West for future assets—and there are plenty of teams that would be lining up to acquire him.
Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Griffin
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Though he recently agreed to a five-year extension, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Blake Griffin still has one year remaining on his current rookie contract. Considering his All-Star production, he remains the Clippers' most tradeable contract.
Griffin will earn just $7.2 million next season—mere pennies for someone who averaged 20.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game last season while connecting on 54.9 percent of his shot attempts.
His unparalleled athleticism has been well documented: Griffin can outrun, out-jump and overpower his opponent on nearly any given night. He is lethal in transition, attacking the rim and simply refusing to be denied. His dunks have become folkloric among NBA fans, and any time he elevates it creates a sense of excitement and anticipation.
He still has to develop a post game and mid-range jump shot and capitalize on how often he gets to the line, but Griffin's physical gifts already make him a nightmare on offense. He has shown flashes of being a phenomenal all-around player if he keeps working.
Few players in the league have accomplished what Griffin has while still showing tremendous upside, and with the exception of Kevin Love, he is perhaps the most promising young power forward around.
Any team in the NBA would take on Griffin's final year of his rookie deal, even if it meant they had to tender him a max extension once next summer rolls around. He is simply that kind of transcendent talent.
Los Angeles Lakers: Andrew Bynum
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Pau Gasol may be the player whose name gets brought up in the most trade conversations, but the owner of the Lakers' most tradeable contract is none other than his frontcourt partner, Andrew Bynum. Bynum had a career campaign last season and has quickly cemented himself as a top-three center in this league.
Fully healthy for the first time in ages, Bynum was able to cut down on his foul trouble and actually stay on the court, averaging 18.7 points, 11.8 boards and almost two blocks per game while shooting 55.8 percent from the field. He was able to score consistently with his back to the basket and knock down foul shots when he was hacked.
Bynum is a much more polished scorer than Dwight Howard; he has some solid low-post moves and does not rely solely on his size and brute strength.
Defensively, he is simply too large to go through, and he showed improved awareness in choosing when to contest a shot. Los Angeles' defense needed a dominant big man anchoring the paint, and Bynum rose to the challenge.
He is in the final year of his deal and will earn $16.5 million next season. Considering the numbers he put up and the fact that, at 24, he has still not scraped his ceiling as a player, any team, even the Orlando Magic, would be willing to trade for Bynum.
His deal comes off the books next summer, but any team willing to give up assets for him would undoubtedly look to throw a hefty extension Bynum's way and lock him up for a long time to come.
Los Angeles may be pushing to move Gasol, but if they were to make Bynum available, he would be gone in an instant.
Memphis Grizzlies: Tony Allen
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Sure, Memphis has plenty of star power with Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and the unheralded Mike Conley, but since all four of them are on expensive extensions, the team's most tradeable player is veteran 2-guard Tony Allen.
Allen came to the Grizzlies from Boston because he wanted more playing time, and in his extended minutes on the floor he has proven to be an absolute nightmare on the defensive end. He is physical, aggressive and capable of shutting down both guards and forwards. He never takes a possession off and is excellent at reading passing lanes.
His numbers aren't stellar—9.8 points, four boards, 1.4 assists and 1.8 steals per contest—but he is a true intangibles player. He hustles for loose balls, draws charges and makes the extra effort necessary to win games.
Offensively, he is not a great shooter by any means, but he can move without the ball in order to create scoring opportunities and attack the basket, as well as get out in transition and create easy points.
He has just one year and $3.3 million remaining on his current contract, and with the league being dominated by wing players, every team could benefit from adding a savvy defender like Tony Allen.
His deal comes off the books next summer, and considering the impact he makes on the defensive end of the floor, he would be an asset for any ballclub. A team looking to bring in a veteran guard but not commit long-term would be more than willing to send an offer Memphis' way.
Miami Heat: LeBron James
Don't tell me your favorite team wouldn't bend over backwards to bring in LeBron James on his current deal. He is a three-time MVP, just won his first championship while eviscerating the league's best and is still slated to earn less than the likes of Joe Johnson on his current deal.
There's almost no point in putting James' stats, but the reigning Finals' MVP averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists last season along with nearly two steals per contest. He finally developed the low-post game fans have been hoping for and reduced his reliance on three-point shooting.
He logged time at every position on the court for Miami, running the team's offense as a point-forward for long stretches while also spending time banging in the paint against power forwards and centers. His versatility was essential to the team's success, as his sheer size allowed him to keep his man out of the paint, but his guard-like quickness also made it easy to stay in front of his assignment.
LeBron is well worth a max contract, but he is earning $17.5 million next season and $61.7 million over the following three years.
If James somehow ended up on the trading block, there isn't a team in the league that wouldn't kill themselves to throw together an offer for the Heat's superstar small forward.
Milwaukee Bucks: Samuel Dalembert
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Milwaukee may have just acquired the Haitian center prior to the draft, but Samuel Dalembert is easily the team's most tradeable player. He is in the final year of his contract and would provide a team not only with salary cap relief, but also a solid, defensive-minded player at the 5.
With Houston last season, Dalembert averaged 7.5 points, seven rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. His offensive game was far from polished, but he chose his spots well and was able to score on putbacks and dunks when necessary.
He is strong and uses his size well to rebound; he can also block shots and rotate over to help his teammates when they get beat. He is not an elite big man, but he is more than capable of holding his own on most nights.
Dalembert will earn $6.7 million next season—hardly a king's ransom. For a size-strapped team, that is a contract well worth taking on, especially because it expires at year's end.
He may not be anyone's center of the future, but Dalembert is a fairly cheap option to protect the basket. Should Milwaukee decide for some reason to deal him prior to the season, teams would be interested both for his on-the-court abilities and expiring deal.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Nikola Pekovic
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With no disrespect to Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic possesses Minnesota's most tradeable contract. Coming seemingly out of nowhere, Pekovic established himself as a bruising center that relished physical contact and caused an outbreak of "Pekcitement."
Last season, he averaged 13.9 points and 7.4 boards while shooting 56.4 percent from the field. He is not a great shot-blocker, but he is a decent interior defender and plays with an aggression and ferocity that allows him to make the most of his physical gifts.
Pekovic is in the final year of his deal; he will earn $4.8 million. Considering that he is just 26 and could be a team's starting center for the next five to six years, that is a very worthwhile investment.
He would provide a gritty inside presence for any team in the league, and his expiring deal is an added bonus to create some cap space.
Minnesota could look to move Pekovic if they do end up trading for Pau Gasol, and there are very few teams that wouldn't benefit from having the 6'11" European big man on their roster.
New Orleans Hornets: Jason Smith
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As much as I wanted to put Anthony Davis here, I felt obligated to go with a player who has actually logged time in the NBA. Jason Smith was re-signed by New Orleans last summer due to the departure of David West and actually had a very solid fourth season in the league.
He averaged 9.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and a block per game in addition to 52 percent shooting. He could score around the basket but also step outside and hit jump shots, working well in the pick-and-pop game. He is not a great defender, but he showed more aggression on the boards and as a help defender.
Smith has proved that he deserves his share of minutes on the court, and as a true seven-footer, those will certainly come to him. Smith is slated to earn just $2.5 million per year for the next two seasons. If he can continue improving, that will be a true bargain.
Trading for Jason Smith would be a low-risk, high-reward move for any team. Even if he continues to put up the same numbers, he is still a steal in terms of production versus cost.
Lots of teams need to bolster their frontcourt. Should the Hornets decide to move Smith to open up minutes for Davis, they will have plenty of offers to choose from.
New York Knicks: Iman Shumpert
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The team nearly relinquished Iman Shumpert in a sign-and-trade for Steve Nash, but with Nash headed to Los Angeles and Shumpert still a Knick, he retains ownership of the team's most tradeable contract.
With Tyson Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony all earning staggering sums until the 2014-2015 season, New York is blessed to have an impact player like Shumpert on the roster for cheap.
In his rookie season, Shumpert's game translated seamlessly to the NBA as he averaged 9.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He was easily the team's best defensive wing, capable of guarding multiple positions thanks to his length and quickness, as well as being an absolute pest guarding the ball.
He was excellent at reading passing lanes. Along with Chandler, he helped to bring a defensive toughness to the Knicks that the team had been lacking for years.
Offensively, he could handle the ball well and attack off the dribble. He is extremely athletic and can play above the rim with ease, although his shooting could undoubtedly use some work.
Though Shump's ACL tear creates plenty of question marks for the future, there are still plenty of teams that would love to bring in the talented 2-guard via trade.
He will earn $1.6 million next season and under $8.5 million over the following three years, with the final year being a qualifying offer.
Elite perimeter defenders are hard to come by, and one still on his rookie contract is even rarer, so don't be surprised to see teams looking to broker deals for Iman Shumpert in the future.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Nick Collison
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James Harden may be the obvious choice here, but Nick Collison, one of the league's premier reserve big men, actually possesses the Thunder's most tradeable contract.
Collison is due $2.9 million next season and just $4.8 million over the following two years. His numbers—4.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game—may not astound fans, but his contributions do not show up in the stat sheet.
Collison is an excellent role player because he is truly team-oriented.
He does not care about his individual stats and is far more focused on doing everything possible to help his team win basketball games. Collison is a strong rebounder, always willing to sacrifice his body and draw charges, and he can also score in the pick-and-roll when necessary.
At age 31, he has a ton of experience in the league and is the kind of player every team loves to have come off their bench. He is the quintessential "glue guy." On top of all of this, Collison is a very good defender from the power forward position and can guard the post extremely effectively.
It seems every championship team has a Nick Collison; his willingness to do whatever it takes to help his team is what makes him so valuable. He'll never put up gaudy numbers, but for someone on a contract cheaper than that of most first-round draft picks, he is an excellent player.
Any savvy team would jump at the chance to trade for Nick Collison if he ever were available.
Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard
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Personally, I think Howard doesn't deserve to be traded and should be forced to play out his contact in Orlando, but there's no doubting the number of teams clamoring to bring in the 26-year-old All-Star center.
He may be coming off a troubling back injury, but no big man in the league can be as dominant as a fully engaged Howard.
He has one year and $19.3 million remaining on his contract—a hefty sum, but hardly unreasonable when you consider that he averaged 20.6 points, 14.5 rebounds and over two blocks per game last season while shooting 57.3 percent from the field.
Any team with Howard would have a significant advantage in the middle because of Howard's strength and uncanny athleticism. He can finish at the rim as well as anyone and runs the floor extremely well. He has not developed a killer post game, but he can carve out decent position and often overpower his man.
His leaping ability allows him to grab boards with ease on offense and defense. Though he needs to work on keeping the ball in bounds, there is no denying his talent as a shot-blocker and help defender.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Howard may only want to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, but due to his tremendous physical abilities, nearly every team in the league would be willing to make a deal for his services, even if he still needs to mature.
Philadelphia 76ers: Elton Brand
Unlike some players on this list who are here because of their stellar level of play relative to their contract, Elton Brand appears on this list purely because his $18.2 million deal will come off the books a year from now.
Don't get me wrong, I like Brand as a player and it's been great to see him contribute and play the veteran role on a fun, young Philadelphia team, but he is being paid superstar money to put up 11 points, 7.2 boards and 1.6 blocks per game.
He's a crafty post scorer and is extremely effective below the rim. He has actually become a better defender as time goes on; he is still a gifted shot-blocker thanks to his timing and has improved at guarding the post over the past couple years.
He has proven to be pretty durable over the past few seasons after his knee troubles, missing just seven total games the past two seasons. No longer a nightly 20-10 threat, Brand now picks his spots and plays a more complementary role than he ever did in Chicago or Los Angeles with the Clippers.
Still, a team looking to gain financial flexibility would jump at the chance to bring Brand aboard for one season. He can still contribute good minutes and would create a huge amount of cap space for next year's free-agency period.
There are not a ton of teams that could take on Brand's high salary, but those that could would be eager to do so.
Phoenix Suns: Marcin Gortat
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In his first season as a full-time starter, Marcin Gortat had an absolute breakout year for Phoenix and proved to be one of the better centers in the league. "The Polish Hammer" proved to be a tenacious player on defense, a physical rebounder and an excellent scorer in the pick-and-roll.
While some of his numbers have to be attributed to Steve Nash, Gortat certainly deserves credit for the 15.4 points, 10 boards and 1.5 blocks he posted per contest. He would not be denied driving to the basket and was an excellent interior scoring presence for the Suns.
He used his size and strength on defense to grab tough rebounds in traffic, alter shots and play very solid help defense. He defended the post well and would not be backed down by opposing centers.
Gortat will earn $7.3 million next season and $7.7 million the following year, a small price to pay for a seven-footer who is one of only a handful of players who can boast of averaging a double-double last season.
As I've mentioned plenty of times, true centers are hard to come by nowadays. An affordable one who produces at a high level is even rarer. If Marcin Gortat were on the trading block, the Suns' front office would simply blow up with potential offers.
Orlando did not think much of Gortat when they sent him to the desert, but his stellar play and relatively cheap deal have made him Phoenix's most tradeable player.
Portland Trail Blazers: Wesley Matthews
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Much like the Dallas Mavericks, the Portland Trail Blazers do not have a large number of contracts to choose from, but Wesley Matthews' deal looks pretty good when you consider his numbers.
After being undrafted out of Marquette, Matthews caught on with the Utah Jazz and earned himself a multi-year deal with the Blazers that he has easily lived up to thus far.
This past season, Matthews averaged 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists while proving to be the team's primary three-point shooter and hitting 38.3 percent of his attempts. He is excellent at shooting off of picks and spotting up in the corner, so he is not merely a standstill offensive player.
He is also an solid defender; he is strong and physical but also very smart and does not gamble or make risky decisions. He is not extremely athletic, but he can stay in front of his man and read passing lanes very well.
Matthews will earn $6.5 million next season and around $14 million over the following two years, which is a great deal when you consider his ability to impact both ends of the court. The NBA does not have a ton of elite shooting guards, and most teams could do much worse than trotting out Wesley Matthews every night.
He may not have a ton of upside, but Matthews is a hard-nosed, team-oriented player who could fit well in almost any system. The Blazers would have no shortage of offers if they made him available via trade.
Sacramento Kings: Isaiah Thomas
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The 5'9" Isaiah Thomas, who went from the last pick in the 2011 draft to a starting point guard last season, was easily one of the most surprising players in the league this side of Jeremy Lin.
He earned a spot on Sacramento's roster and looks to have a very bright future in the league after fighting to gain consistent playing time.
Thomas averaged 11.5 points, 4.1 assists and 2.6 boards last year while shooting 37.9 percent from three. He settled the Kings' questions about point guard and showed that he could be both an attacking guard and a facilitator.
His size obviously puts him at a defensive disadvantage, but his grit and aggressiveness help to neutralize the height issues.
Perhaps the most appealing part about Thomas, though, is the fact that he is earning just $1.6 million over the next two seasons. Compared to other point guards producing at his level, that is about as big a bargain as you can get.
There are a myriad of teams that would love to trade for Thomas and his minuscule deal, even if they meant to use him as a spark off the bench instead of a starter.
Isaiah Thomas is still young and brimming with potential. Considering how inexpensive he would be, he may possess the most tradeable contract in the NBA.
San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker
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Tony Parker's inclusion in this slideshow would have been unthinkable just a year ago, but after a season that garnered him an All-Star berth and serious MVP consideration, any team would jump at the chance to bring in the French point guard.
Parker averaged 18.3 points, 7.7 assists and 2.9 rebounds last season while leading the Spurs to the Western Conference's top seed and an appearance in the conference finals. He was a pillar of consistency and became a go-to crunch-time scorer, while also having one of his best years sharing the basketball.
No guard in the league is better at getting into the paint than Tony Parker; he is deadly off the dribble and can either score over big men or draw fouls and earn free-throw attempts. His defense improved last season, and while he's still not an elite perimeter defender, he was much less of a liability.
Parker is willing to absorb physical contact, which is a rare quality for perimeter players in today's NBA.
He is due $37.5 million over the next three seasons, coming out to exactly $12.5 million per year. Compared to other elite point guards, this is hardly an astronomical sum, and actually quite a bargain if he continues playing as well as he did in 2012.
He has morphed into San Antonio's franchise player due to Tim Duncan's mileage, but plenty of teams would love to take on Parker's contract if it meant starting him in their backcourt.
Toronto Raptors: Jose Calderon
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At age 30 Calderon may not fit the youth movement in Toronto, but there are still plenty of teams that will be calling about the prolific passing Spaniard.
Last season, Calderon averaged 10.5 points, three rebounds and 8.8 assists per game while also connecting on 37.1 percent of his three-point attempts. Calderon runs the pick-and-roll extremely well, has great floor vision and is a solid enough shooter to keep defenses honest.
He is in the final year of his contract and will earn a staggering $10.6 million next year. While this may be a lot to pay for a defensive liability who often struggles to get to the basket, that would not stop a number of teams from taking on Calderon's contract.
The chance to bring in a productive, unselfish player for one season and clear an eight-figure salary from the books all at once is certainly enticing for teams looking to open up cap room. Quite frankly, I'm astounded that Houston did not try to grab him in the deal for Lowry.
Calderon may not be Steve Nash or Rajon Rondo, but he can find passing lanes and make his teammates more effective, which is certainly a positive trait.
He may not have a future with the Raptors, but some team will certainly take on his expiring contract before the offseason ends.
Utah Jazz: Paul Millsap
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Unlike most teams in the league, the Utah Jazz actually have too many talented big men. One such player is Paul Millsap, an undersized (6'8") power forward who is still able to score inside, hit the boards and play solid defense against much larger players.
Last season, Millsap appeared in all but two contests for the Jazz and averaged 16.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists per game as well as nearly two steals. He helped the team reach the playoffs despite being in a so-called "rebuilding" phase.
Millsap is an excellent interior scorer and a tremendous athlete. He can get out in transition and finish at the rim. He has a great motor which allows him to simply wear down opposing defenses and manufacture points.
He uses his length and athletic ability to rebound over larger players and is tough enough to bang in the paint when necessary. He does not shy away from physical contact, and though he is foul-prone, part of that is because he covers for Al Jefferson's atrocious defense.
Paul Millsap's deal ends next season, with the forward slated to earn $8.6 million. For a big man who can score and rebound as well as he can, that is a fairly small price to pay. High-energy forwards are hard to come by, and Millsap would make a great addition to nearly any ballclub.
In addition, with teams desperate to clear cap room, the fact that his contract would come off the books next summer makes him even more attractive.
Utah could very well deal him in order to find more minutes for Derrick Favors, and there would be no shortage of suitors for the 27-year-old from Louisiana Tech.
Washington Wizards: Jordan Crawford
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John Wall is certainly a plausible choice, but as a former first overall pick, his deal becomes pretty sizable over the next couple seasons.
Jordan Crawford's contract, on the other hand, will stay low up until the summer of 2015.
After seeing almost no floor time with the Atlanta Hawks in his rookie season, Crawford was traded to Washington and proved to be a revelation for the troubled franchise. In his first full season as a Wizard he averaged 14.7 points, three assists and 2.6 rebounds per game.
He was not a great shooter, and he needs to pick his spots better, but he still gave the Wizards a quality shooting guard who wasn't a Nick Young-level head case. Crawford can work with the ball in his hands, even playing some point guard, and he is excellent at attacking the hoop.
A late first-round pick, Crawford is earning under $1.2 million next year and $2.2 the following season, and he has a $3.2 million qualifying offer in 2015. Considering his immense offensive abilities, that is a very small price to pay.
He would make a dynamite sixth man for a championship contender, being the focal point of the second team's offense and both looking for his own shot and creating for others. He is not an elite athlete or defender, but he is capable of exploding for 25 to 30 points on any given night.
Teams like the Lakers have already shown interest in him, according to Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico, and with Washington bringing in Bradley Beal, it is very possible that more teams will try to pry the 23-year-old scorer away from D.C.