10 NBA Players Guaranteed to Demand Trade in 2012-13
In today's NBA, maintaining the same core group of players for a number of years is an arduous task. Free agency plays a huge role, obviously, but as we've seen in the past few years (Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony), there are cases where a player simply requests that he be dealt, bucking the natural flow of player movement throughout the NBA.
Money and playing time are usually the biggest factors whenever someone asks to be moved, but sometimes there are certain instances when a player just wants to get out of what he perceives to be a bad situation.
Every man on an NBA roster wants to excel, and those who don't see a clear path to stardom with their current team have a tough decision to make. Recently, a number of them have taken their concerns directly to the front office and demanded a trade, and the same figures to happen this season as well.
Jimmer Fredette, Sacramento
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Sacramento Kings point guard Jimmer Fredette is even deeper on the depth chart now than he was during his rookie season thanks to the arrival of Aaron Brooks, who spent much of last year starring in the Chinese Basketball Association.
With so many ballhandlers in front of Fredette in the Kings' rotation (Brooks, Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans), a trade is probably in the best interests of both parties. And while Fredette is a liability on the defensive end (his Defensive Rating last season was 114 according to Basketball Reference), his potential to get hot at a moment's notice makes him a valuable asset. Sacramento should have no shortage of suitors if they decide to move Fredette, and the former All-American could thrive with a change of scenery.
Tyreke Evans, Sacramento
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After a promising rookie season in 2009-10, Tyreke Evans' numbers have fallen across the board over the past two years. While there are many possible reasons for the decline, it doesn't help matters that Sacramento still has yet to find a position for the former first-round pick.
The Kings have been engaged in a game of musical chairs with Evans ever since he arrived in the league, playing him for extended minutes at the 1, 2 and 3 spots. At 6'6", Evans has the height and the skill to play each of those positions, but he'll never be able to blossom at any of them unless there is some sort of stability.
With Evans on the final year of his rookie contract, Sacramento will need to figure out soon if the former Rookie of the Year figures into their long-term plans. If not, then it may be wise for them to hasten his departure.
Eric Gordon, New Orleans
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Back when Eric Gordon signed a four-year, $58 million offer sheet in July, he said that he would be disappointed if the New Orleans Hornets matched the deal.
To no one's surprise (except for maybe Gordon), the Hornets matched the deal. And even though he's saying the right things, one has to wonder if the 23-year-old Gordon truly has his heart in New Orleans.
"I'm here to help these fans, help this organization win games," Gordon told the Times-Picayune in September. "I'm happy here, and I'm just looking forward to the season."
A lot of Gordon's outlook will depend on the play of rookies Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers. If the two first-year talents can quickly become acclimated to the NBA game, perhaps Gordon will learn to love the Big Easy. But if not, expect the rumors to start flying before the trade deadline.
Al Jefferson, Utah
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The Utah Jazz have four starting-quality big men for two positions—at some point, something needs to give.
Al Jefferson—he of the $15 million expiring contract—may be the piece on the move this season. The Jazz haven't shown any signs that they intend to sign him to a long term deal, and he's far too valuable to let walk away in free agency.
Despite their relative inexperience, reserve bigs Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter are more than capable of complementing power forward Paul Millsap in the frontcourt. From Jefferson's perspective, it would be in his best interests financially to get shipped off prior to the trade deadline to a team willing to give him a max contract next summer.
Amar'e Stoudemire, New York
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The Carmelo Anthony-Amar'e Stoudemire partnership needs to bear fruit quickly, or else one of them will wind up on the trading block. And since Anthony is more of a franchise player than Stoudemire, it would make sense for the Knicks to try to deal their 6'10" big man.
The not-so-small elephant in the room is the fact that Stoudemire is set to make $65 million over the next three seasons. That contract seems almost impossible to move, but if Joe Johnson can get dealt, then anything is possible.
Stephon Marbury is but one of a few notable figures who have gone on record saying that the Anthony-Stoudemire partnership is doomed to fail. And if Stoudemire doesn't want to be around for the fallout following another Knicks' playoff disappointment, he would do well to request a one-way ticket out of town as soon as he can.
DeJuan Blair, San Antonio
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In the blink of an eye last season, DeJuan Blair went from being a starter to racking up playoff DNP-CDs (Did Not Play - Coach's Decision) at an alarming rate.
The San Antonio coaching staff appears to be on the same page now with Blair, but there still appears to be some bad blood beneath the surface. Blair didn't say much during the Spurs' media day in early October, and would probably welcome a trade despite the fact that he has yet to request one.
Blair is too good to languish on any team's bench, and would figure to have a fair deal of trade value if San Antonio decided to go in that direction. There's still a chance to save the marriage, but after what went down last spring, a divorce may make more sense.
Jose Calderon, Toronto
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In an interview with the Toronto Star, Raptors' point guard Jose Calderon claims that all is well, but at some point this season, the constant trade rumors may start to wear on the Spanish-born point guard.
With a career assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.2-to-1, Calderon is clearly one of the league's better playmakers. He deserves a starting role the NBA, but he'll now have to defer to Kyle Lowry, who was acquired in a trade by the Raptors in July.
Calderon figures to be one of the hottest commodities on the trade market this year thanks to his $10.5 million expiring contract. Don't be surprised if a contender tries to swing a deal at the deadline for the 31-year-old Calderon, who just might be amenable to a late-season move.
Kevin Martin, Houston
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If it wasn't for "basketball reasons", Kevin Martin would currently be a member of the New Orleans Hornets. But after NBA commissioner David Stern blocked the first iteration of the Chris Paul trade, Martin remained with the Houston Rockets and suffered through one of his worst seasons as a pro.
Martin has made no secret of the fact that he was tired of the incessant rumors last year, and didn't confirm or deny whether he had asked for a trade at any point this offseason.
"Things like that we'll keep behind closed doors," Martin told the Houston Chronicle in early October. "I'm happy now. We're good."
How good he'll be with rookie shooting guard Jeremy Lamb nipping at his heels may be another matter entirely.
Tyrus Thomas, Charlotte
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There was one point in the not-too-distant past when Tyrus Thomas oozed with potential. However, his disappointing performance last season (5.6 PPG, 36.7 FG%) took a great deal of luster away from Thomas's star.
Even so, there are probably still a few teams who would love to add the 6'9", uber-athletic Thomas to their roster. And now that he's solidly behind Bismack Biyombo in the Bobcats' rotation, Thomas may welcome a fresh start as well.
Thomas says that stomach ulcers were the cause for this sharp decline last season. With a much improved medical outlook as well as 20 additional pounds on his frame, the 26-year-old Thomas may be a candidate for the NBA's Comeback Player of the Year Award. He'll have to get significant time in order to win that however, and it doesn't look like those minutes will be available to him in Charlotte.
Charlie Villanueva, Detroit
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Charlie Villanueva has yet to find success with the Pistons, and it would make perfect sense for both parties to go their separate ways ASAP.
The problem is that after a number of disappointing seasons, Villanueva's trade value is only a fraction of what it once was. After a stellar 2008-09 campaign in Milwaukee (16.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG), Villanueva hasn't been able to force his way into the Detroit starting lineup for three straight years.
The two years and $16.5 million left on Villanueva's deal isn't a terrible burden, and perhaps some team desperate for frontcourt help will take a flyer on the 28-year-old forward. Quite simply, it makes no sense for Villanueva and Detroit to endure two more seasons together.