7 NBA Players with Expiring Contracts Who Will Be Traded This Season
There are a handful of players around the league with expiring contracts who have enough value that they are near certainties to be traded this February (if not sooner). Just because a guy has an expiring contract doesn't mean other teams are going to want him, but if he carries enough value, the cap relief he gives the team acquiring him can make it worth their while.
Only two of the seven players in this slideshow are top tier to-be-courted free agents. The remaining five are guys who have value but can net their respective teams some nice pieces in February if they're able to find the right takers.
José Calderon ($10.5 Million)
Jose Calderon was deemed expendable from the moment Kyle Lowry was obtained this summer. The fact that he just turned in yet another awesome performance in today's (Sunday, Nov 19) win over the Magic really shouldn't and won't change that. I discussed whether or not dealing Calderon would improve the Raptors and was able to come to the conclusion that it certainly would, but that dealing him would prove difficult.
Calderon offers a lot of value to teams in need of a heady floor general, and though he is 31, he still has a lot to offer as either a starter or a backup. The fact is, he's just expendable for the Toronto Raptors because Lowry is the future.
J.J. Redick ($6.2 Million)
J.J. Redick is a fan favorite in Orlando and is having a career year. "So why trade him?" you ask. Simple: Redick is on a reasonable (and expiring) contract and could net a high draft pick. Because Redick is entering his prime, and the Magic are years away from contending, this is the ultimate "sell high" scenario.
If the Magic could net a lottery pick for Redick (reasonable request considering Redick himself was a late lottery pick), GM Rob Hennigan would have no choice but to pull the trigger.
While there is something to be said for keeping fan favorites, particularly while a team is rebuilding, a pick that had the potential to be in the top 10 would be too much to pass up.
Stephen Jackson ($10 Million)
Stephen Jackson is all but worthless to the Spurs with Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard both better and younger options. But he's still an expiring contract, and for a team looking to shed salary, the Spurs may ship Jackson off for a piece or two that could help this year.
There's not much to get excited about, because Jackson's future in the league looks pretty bleak, but he has value as an expiring contract.
Josh Smith ($13.2 Million)
There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Atlanta Hawks, but one near certainty is that Josh Smith will want nothing to do with their rebuilding. He's given his entire career to the Hawks thus far and seen little to no return on his investment.
Smith hasn't made an All-Star team, hasn't won Defensive Player of the Year (despite year in and year out being one of the best) and the Hawks have yet to get even to the Eastern Conference finals.
Now that they've dismantled the roster in a cap cutting move (see: Joe Johnson deal), Smith has no reason whatsoever to remain loyal to the team. The Hawks will be wise to shop him at the deadline and get as much back as they can, because the chances of Smith re-signing are pretty slim.
Paul Millsap ($8.6 Million)
Both Paul Millsap and his teammate Al Jefferson are two of the more attractive expiring contracts available this year—Millsap, more so. Because Millsap is signed for far less than Jefferson, and has just as much (if not more) value, finding a taker and a nice package in return for him is going to be pretty easy for the Utah Jazz.
In Millsap, they have the kind of talent that should be able to net a high lottery pick and additional prospects in return. He's not a max-contract talent, but he's far above replacement level for a starting power forward and may eventually make an All-Star team or two before his career is over.
Chris Kaman ($8 Million)
Chris Kaman seems like a nice fit in Dallas, but let's be honest: The Dallas Mavericks are not going anywhere this year. There are a number of teams that could use Kaman's services, and Mark Cuban is going to have to let his ego go and rebuild a little.
They couldn't get much for Kaman, but he offers almost nothing that can be built around for the future, so even a couple of second-rounders and a TPE should be enough to take him off Cuban's hands.
Samuel Dalembert ($6.7 Million)
The Milwaukee Bucks have Samuel Dalembert on the books for $6.7 million, and they're playing him under 17 minutes per game. Dalembert is still an effective shot-blocker and defensive player that could play a bigger role on another team.
The fact is, the Bucks have found their answer at center in an unlikely candidate in Larry Sanders, and Sanders is doing an excellent job for the Bucks. Ersan Ilyasova is playing a mysteriously low amount of minutes and underperforming, but that only makes the decision to get rid of Andrew Bogut look bad (or does it?).
It doesn't mean that Dalembert needs to be featured. Eventually, the Bucks will get Ersan integrated properly, and Sanders is looking like a fine option at center. Dalembert is expendable, and the Bucks could get a piece that would serve far greater importance for the time being than to pay six-plus million for a backup center.