One Player Every NBA Team Would Like to Trade
Like all of us, NBA teams make mistakes.
Whether it is a bad contract, a bad draft choice or simply the perfect storm of factors to ruin a situation, many teams find themselves in situations where they need to get rid of a player.
These players are not necessarily bad. It could be that they are just massively overpaid or do not fit on their current teams—or yeah, are just bad players.
It’s a common problem in today’s NBA, where so many teams are poor cap managers and talent evaluators.
The following teams want to trade these players for many reasons. Some may not want to trade the player that appears on this list, but they should.
Atlanta Hawks: Josh Smith
2012-13 Stats: 16.1 points, eight rebounds, 3.6 assists
2012-13 Salary: $13.2 million
Josh Smith is a good player, but he has had a rocky past with the Atlanta Hawks. He has gone back and forth as to whether he wants to be there, and we will likely find out his true feelings in 2013 when he is a free agent.
The risk of losing Smith is great, which is why the Hawks probably want to trade him if they think he will not return. Although such a move would guarantee him not returning, it is worth it if he isn’t going to anyway.
The Hawks have few players with long-term deals, as they have followed the trend of making cap room a priority. They will be gearing up for a big free-agent spending spree, but it might be nice to get what you can for Smith first in order to improve your team even more.
Boston Celtics: No One
The Boston Celtics do not have a single player on their roster that they wish to trade at this point. None of their contracts are outrageous, and all of the players they have under contract for more than a few years are important players who look like they will factor heavily into the team’s future.
None of those players look bad at this point. Jeff Green is filling the sixth man role pretty well, averaging 8.9 points per game and shooting 44 percent from the field. In addition, Brandon Bass, Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Jared Sullinger are all playing well in supporting roles.
Brooklyn Nets: Kris Humphries
2012-13 Stats: 8.1 points, 8.1 rebounds
2012-13 Salary: $12 million
Despite all of the negative attention he has gotten because of his ill-fated marriage to Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries is a pretty good NBA power forward. So why would the Brooklyn Nets want to trade him?
The answer is the emergence of Humphries' backup, Andray Blatche, who is averaging more points (off the bench) and would probably match Humphries’ rebound average if he were playing the same number of minutes.
Granted, Blatche has had a checkered past, but that also makes him cheap. He is being paid just $854,000 this season. That is a paltry sum by NBA standards, and it pales in comparison to the $12 million the Nets are paying Humphries this season. When it comes to production per dollar, Blatche is a much better option.
Charlotte Bobcats: Tyrus Thomas
2012-13 Stats: 6.6 points, 3.1 rebounds
2012-13 Salary: $8 million
The Charlotte Bobcats have improved this season, but they are still among the league’s worst teams. One thing that needs to be a priority for this team is dealing with the Tyrus Thomas situation.
The young power forward has not lived up to expectations and is owed more than $25 million over the next three seasons. The talent always seemed to be there, but the motivation never was.
Thomas is at the point now where he is worth giving up on. Unfortunately for Charlotte, his salary and lack of production make him unlikely to be attractive to any team out there.
Chicago Bulls: Carlos Boozer
2012-13 Stats: 13.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists
2012-13 Salary: $15 million
Despite what some fanatical fans might say, Carlos Boozer is not a bad player. However, he has to be the player the Chicago Bulls would want most to trade.
His stats are fairly impressive until you look at how much the Bulls have to pay him over the next few years. Boozer is owed more than $45 million over the next three seasons, which is ridiculous given his defensive shortcomings.
When you combine his ridiculous contract with the facts that he is 31 years old and his production is dipping, you get a player whose team wants to trade him but can't.
Boozer’s scoring is at its lowest level since his rookie season, and his field-goal and free-throw shooting percentages are at a career low.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Anderson Varejao
2012-13 Stats: 15 points, 15.4 rebounds
2012-13 Salary: $8.4 million
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in rebuilding mode, and Anderson Varejao is getting to the latter stages of his career. He is in his prime, but considering that this team is not winning now, the team would be better off trading him for younger parts.
Varejao is owed more than $25 million over the next three years and will likely never be as valuable as he is right now on the trade market.
Shedding his salary and age for younger talent would be a great move for the Cavaliers. There is no way a contending team would put Varejao on this list, but the Cavs are a team of the future. They are not winning with him now, so there is no point in holding on to him given that he's 30.
Dallas Mavericks: Shawn Marion
2012-13 Stats: 9.6 points, 7.1 rebounds
2012-13 Salary: $8,646,364
The Dallas Mavericks have shed so much salary in an effort to get in on the free-agent frenzy that there are few players they would like to trade. Most are either too cheap or too young to qualify.
That is why Shawn Marion made this list. Even though he is proving himself to be valuable despite his age, trading him would shed almost $20 million over the next two seasons.
The Mavericks will likely end up not re-signing him after that anyway, so they might as well see if they can get a young, complementary piece for him, as long as it does not interfere with their ultimate free-agency goals.
Denver Nuggets: JaVale McGee
2012-13 Stats: 10.8 points, 5.6 rebounds
2012-13 Salary: $10 million
The Denver Nuggets are another team that has few players to choose from for this list, but JaVale McGee is the winner.
McGee is not a bad player, but he is young and has been a pretty big knucklehead. While he seems to have wised up since moving to Denver, there is still the chance that those problems could return.
There is also the massive salary that he is supposed to be paid. His contract over the next four seasons guarantees him $44 million, which seems like a lot for a player who has not proven himself. It was a risk, and it may pay off. But there is a chance McGee will never live up to it.
Detroit Pistons: Charlie Villanueva
2012-13 Stats: 7.1 points, 2.7 rebounds
2012-13 Salary: $8.06 million
A few years back, the Detroit Pistons went on a spending spree that included paying Charlie Villanueva a king's ransom. That is definitely a deal they would not make now.
After a breakout season in 2008-09 for Milwaukee that saw Villanueva average more than 16 points per game, the power forward has never gotten close to the same success as a Piston. His shooting percentage, scoring and rebounding have never reached the heights they did that season.
To make matters worse, Villanueva has a player option for the 2013-14 season that would pay him even more. Needless to say, the Pistons would love to get him off their roster.
Golden State Warriors: Andris Biedrins
2012-13 Stats: 0.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 33 percent from field
2012-13 Salary: $9 million
This was close between Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson. They have a lot in common, namely that both are ridiculously overpaid for very little on-court value.
Biedrins wins out because the Warriors could actually use him and he simply can't deliver. Not only are they paying him that much for this season, but he also has a player option that can force them to pay him that much again next season. Keep in mind, he is being paid that much for doing basically nothing.
As a result, he is completely untradeable. But there is no doubt the Warriors would get rid of him if they could.
Houston Rockets: No One
The Houston Rockets are another team that is in a position where it really does not have a player who qualifies for this list.
The Rockets' three highest-paid players are James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, and considering those three are the core of Houston’s future, it is unlikely they would be willing to, much less want to, trade any of them.
The rest of the team is young, cheap or has an expiring contract, and most are a combination of all three. The Rockets are set up so well salary-wise that even when the big three are getting fully paid in a few years, they will still have nearly $20 million in cap room.
Indiana Pacers: Roy Hibbert
2012-13 Stats: 9.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.05 blocks
2012-13 Salary: $13,668,750
I may be out on a limb here, but I think it is the right one. It would be easy to put Danny Granger in this spot, as he got the big money from Indiana and failed to live up to it at first. However, he has done more than Hibbert so far.
Seven-footers are at a premium, and Hibbert’s contract is proof of it. No other player would get paid so much for the minimal production he brings to the court. Granted, he is still pretty young, but what Indiana could get back for a legitimate seven-footer might be worth including him in a trade.
Los Angeles Clippers: Lamar Odom
2012-13 Stats: 2.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 29.7 percent shooting
2012-13 Salary: $8.2 million
I do not want to pile on Lamar Odom. The guy has had a rough go of it in the NBA over the past few seasons. However, the truth is that the Los Angeles Clippers do not have another player that falls into this category.
Odom gets paid more than Blake Griffin. Think about that for a minute or two. Granted, Odom’s contract comes off the books after this season, but Griffin will be a free agent as well.
That Odom is doing so little does not make him worth anything to the Clippers. If they could flip him for something better, I’m sure they would. They won’t because no one really wants him.
Los Angeles Lakers: Pau Gasol
2012-13 Stats: 12.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists
2012-13 Salary: $19,261,200
For another player who did not get paid so much, the stats of Pau Gasol would be a breakout year. For Gasol, it seems like there is no way those stats could be his.
Some will say that Gasol has hit his decline. At age 32, he is posting career lows in points per game and field-goal percentage (42 percent), and he does not appear to enjoy playing the game.
That argument is supported, but it is not what is going on. The truth is that Gasol simply does not fit in Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system alongside Dwight Howard. He needs to go somewhere that will value his post-up game, which is among the best, if not the best, in the NBA. Even playing him off the bench will not help him be more productive or happy.
Memphis Grizzlies: No One
There is a reason the Memphis Grizzlies are flying high in the NBA. They have put together one of the best, most complete rosters in the NBA.
There are no players who do not have a role on this team. Even the ones who do not play much are young, talented or extremely cheap. The higher-paid players are high-producing stars like Rudy Gay, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.
None of the Grizzlies is worth trading.
Miami Heat: Mike Miller
2012-13 Stats: 4.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists
2012-13 Salary: $5.8 million
The Miami Heat won the NBA title in 2012, and the shooting of Mike Miller was definitely a factor in that win. However, Miller has been made somewhat obsolete by recent additions to the Heat.
Miller was the main sharpshooter on last year's team, but the addition of Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen this season has made Miller less and less important. Considering what Miller is making monetarily and that he has struggled quite a bit with injuries, his contributions are probably expendable at this point.
Because of all the reasons Miami would want to trade him in the first place, the Heat will not find a team willing to take on Miller.
Milwaukee Bucks: Drew Gooden
2012-13 Stats: (none)
2012-13 Salary: $6.68 million
With younger power forwards like Ersan Ilyasova and John Henson on the team, the Milwaukee Bucks have to view Drew Gooden as expendable. He is 31 years old and has yet to even play for them this season. He is basically being paid that much to just be a bench and locker-room mentor.
Apparently, the Bucks agree with me. According to Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times, the rumor around the league is that Milwaukee is trying to move Gooden. It would be good for the team, as it could shed salary and possibly get players who would actually play.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Williams
2012-13 Stats: 9.0 points, 5.2 rebounds
2012-13 Salary: $4,947,840
The Timberwolves have tried to trade Derrick Williams, and I can't see any reason why they would stop now.
Williams has not been as good as anyone would expect a No. 2 overall pick to be, as you can see from his stats above. He does not make much money, but there is a chance he could be better on a roster where he gets the ball more.
Playing with Kevin Love, Andrei Kirilenko and Brandon Roy will keep the ball out of a player’s hands, and that problem will be worse when Ricky Rubio comes back from injury. A trade would benefit Minnesota by giving it someone it could use better and would benefit Williams by sending him to a team that could better use his skills.
New Orleans Hornets: Xavier Henry
2012-13 Stats: 3.7 points, 2.1 rebounds
2012-13 Salary: $2,323,200
On a team as young as New Orleans, it is difficult to pick a player the team would want to trade. Even though he is cheap, that player is Xavier Henry.
He has been a pretty big disappointment, and that does not appear likely to change any time soon. His salary is not much, but it is too much for what Henry has produced.
He was expected to be an NBA starter when drafted. Instead, he will likely never be any more than a bench-warmer who plays sparingly. The Hornets would like to trade him for something they can use, but they will not be able to.
New York Knicks: Amar'e Stoudemire
2012-13 Stats: None, injured.
2012-13 Salary: $19,948,799
Do you know who the highest-paid New York Knick is for the 2012-13 season? It should be Carmelo Anthony, who has led the Knicks to the 14-4 record and into first place in the Atlantic Division. It isn’t him, though. It is Amar’e Stoudemire.
That's the same Stoudemire who has been injured for the entire season and who has struggled to fit in alongside Anthony in the starting lineup. When you pay a man that amount of money, you can't be happy when he fails to produce or even play.
The Knicks have to want to cut Stoudemire loose, as he is just sapping money that could be used to surround Anthony with more complementary players. Playing Stoudemire off the bench is an option, but that would likely take minutes from Tyson Chandler or Anthony, which is not something that would be good for the team.
Even if you do that, you would still be paying a player almost $20 million for maybe 20-25 minutes of playing time each night. He's not worth it.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Kendrick Perkins
2012-13 Stats: 5.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists
2012-13 Salary: $7.8 million
When the Oklahoma City Thunder traded for Kendrick Perkins, it seemed like a good move for a team that needed a defensive presence at center. While Perkins has been that and has also been a good veteran presence, his impact is such that he would be the player the Thunder would most like to deal.
He simply has not done enough to make you remember he is on the court. Granted, there are probably thing he does that outsiders can't see. However, that is not enough to warrant the more than $25 million the Thunder are expected to pay him over the next three seasons.
Orlando Magic: Hedo Turkoglu
2012-13 Stats: Six points, two rebounds, one assist (just one game played)
2012-13 Salary: $11,815,850
After losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2009 NBA Finals, the Orlando Magic lost Hedo Turkoglu to free agency. When they acquired him again via trade, they had to believe that he would be the same old Turkoglu who had helped them reach the finals in the first place.
That never happened, and now they have a big fat contract for a player who is doing little for them. He has only played in one game this season due to injury, which adds insult to injury. Paying him more than $23 million over the next two years is not something the Magic want to do.
Philadelphia 76ers: Jason Richardson
2012-13 Stats: 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists
2012-13 Salary: $5,799,625
The 31-year-old shooting guard has seen better days, which is not good news for the Philadelphia 76ers, who owe him nearly $20 million over the next three seasons.
Richardson is averaging just 12.8 points per game and is playing the fewest minutes per game of his career. His shooting percentage has been lower, but the truth is that he is not giving the Sixers anything a younger, less experienced player could give them for less money.
Getting Andrew Bynum was a big move for the Sixers (which will hopefully pay off at some point), and to get it done they had to take on the less-than-appealing Richardson. Trading him would allow the team to shed salary and/or grab more young players.
Phoenix Suns: Michael Beasley
2012-13 Stats: 11.4 points, 3.9 rebounds
2012-13 Salary: $5.75 million
The Phoenix Suns seemed like a natural fit for Michael Beasley when they signed him in the 2012 offseason, given that they were a run-and-gun offensive team that did not put a lot of emphasis on defense.
Apparently, the fit was not as good as we might have expected. Beasley is averaging fewer points and rebounds per game than he has in his career, and his shooting percentages from the field and three-point range are also career lows.
Almost all of his stats have dipped from last season, when he played fewer minutes and came off the bench for Minnesota.
Beasley’s contract is not terrible, especially if he improves. However, his contract is the worst Phoenix has when you consider the production it is getting for the money.
Portland Trail Blazers: Joel Freeland
2012-13 Stats: 2.2 points, 1.9 rebounds
2012-13 Salary: $3 million
Another young team with mostly cheap players, the Portland Trail Blazers do have Joel Freeland on their team, and he will be their player for this sad list.
Freeland makes a decent salary for an NBA player, but he does little to earn it. He doesn't play much, and even when he does, he does little, shooting just 27 percent from the field.
There is little to say about him, which is why the Blazers need to trade him. They need players who contribute if they are going to rebuild, and Freeland does not do enough of that.
Sacramento Kings: John Salmons
2012-13 Stats: 7.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists
2012-13 Salary: $8.08 million
No one can blame the Sacramento Kings for acquiring John Salmons a few years ago, especially given that he averaged 19.9 points per game for the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2010-11 season.
He does not seem to be remotely the same player now. Salmons is actually playing a little bit better than he did during the 2011-12 season for the Kings, which is sad because he is not playing that well now.
The Kings have a lot of talent on their roster, but none of those players are paid as much as Salmons for doing very little. Sacramento definitely would want to trade him, but given his production, salary and age (32), there is no way anyone else is interested.
San Antonio Spurs: Stephen Jackson
2012-13 Stats: 7.7 points, 37 percent shooting
2012-13 Salary: $10.06 million
One thing you can always count on is that the San Antonio Spurs will be a well-rounded team that plays great basketball. However, even they have a player that they probably would not mind getting rid of for the right return.
Stephen Jackson played well for them last season, but this season he has been less than spectacular. He has always been a scorer wherever he has gone, but he is not doing much of that this season, as his shooting percentage has nearly reached a career low.
Jackson’s minutes are also decreasing, and his ability to shoot threes is in question, as he is shooting just 28.6 percent from three-point range. His age at 34 makes him tough to trade, and the Spurs will probably keep him. But that does not mean they want to.
Toronto Raptors: Andrea Bargnani
2012-13 Stats: 17 points, 4.6 rebounds
2012-13 Salary: $10 million
The Toronto Raptors expected to be better in the 2012-13 season after going out and getting Kyle Lowry, Landry Fields and Jonas Valanciunas in the offseason. However, that has not come to fruition, as the team has won just four of its first 19 games.
Now that it is clear this team is still not ready for contention, it is a good time to get rid of the dead weight. Andrea Bargnani has become just that for this team.
Bargnani has not lived up to where he was drafted at No. 1 overall in 2006. He is shooting just 29 percent at home this season, which, according to Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun, may have to do with the hatred Toronto fans have for him.
Fans buy tickets, so if they do not like Bargnani, then it would make sense for the team to get rid of him. There is also the rumored possibility that the Raptors could nab Pau Gasol for Bargnani (per Doug Smith of the Toronto Star). If that is the case, the Raptors would be fools not to deal Bargnani.
Utah Jazz: Raja Bell
2012-13 Stats: None
2012-13 Salary: $3.48 million
There was a time when Raja Bell was one of the most valuable role players in the NBA. He was hitting threes and playing defense for the Phoenix Suns, who were at the top of the NBA.
That was a long time ago, and now Bell is over the hill and not even seeing the court for Utah. It makes sense that the Jazz might want to deal him for someone who will actually play.
There have been rumors about the Lakers being interested in Bell, which would be great for Utah and probably not as great for the Lakers. At age 36, Bell is more valuable to the Jazz on another team.
Washington Wizards: Emeka Okafor
2012-13 Stats: 7.0 points, 5.9 rebounds
2012-13 Salary: $13.54 million
The Washington Wizards spent money this past offseason to build a more veteran team that could possibly start winning. That plan has failed miserably, and Emeka Okafor has been a big part of the problem.
The Wizards signed him to a deal worth about $28 million over two seasons, and it is clear that he is far from living up to that kind of money. He is not even playing starter’s minutes anymore, probably because of how ineffective he has been.