Potential Landing Spots for Newly Available NBA Trade Targets
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, December 15th marks the date in which NBA players who signed a new contract in July can be traded. Now 108 individuals fit that billing and are available for trade consideration.
The question is, who could be on the move? More importantly, where are the potential landing spots for said players?
From the obvious to the not-so-considered, there are relatively well-known names that could find themselves on the trading block. Whether they're performing poorly or simply falling out of favor in the eyes of the organization, there is reason to believe their value will be explored.
So who may go where?
D.J. Augustin, Indiana Pacers
Position: Point Guard
Experience: 4 Seasons
2012-13 Season Averages: 8.01 PER, 13.0 MPG, 3.2 PPG, 2.3 APG, 1.0 RPG
When the Indiana Pacers landed D.J. Augustin, many expected him to step in and fill the void left by the departed Darren Collison. Thus far, it hasn't gone as planned.
Ben Hansbrough has been named second on the depth chart over Augustin (via NBA.com).
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, this now has Augustin's name coming up in trade speculation along "the grapevine." With Hansbrough the better shooter and more reliable passer, as well as a player with family ties to the team, the potential for a trade improves.
So where should he go?
The Dallas Mavericks could be a potential fit, but they have a virtual carbon copy in Darren Collison on the roster. They also need more of a pass-first lead guard as opposed to Augustin's scoring mentality.
The Utah Jazz fit the same billing but have the same issue. Mo Williams is a far superior player with the same style.
They need a facilitator.
The ideal trade here would be with the Los Angeles Lakers. Pau Gasol is a perfect fit at power forward or center for Indiana, while point guard is a primary need for L.A.
Considering Augustin is an athletic player who can get up and down the floor, he'd certainly be welcomed. The question is, could Indiana actually construct an attractive enough deal to land Gasol?
With David West's expiring contract and hot play, they could. The likelihood of such transpiring, however, is unknown.
Michael Beasley, Phoenix Suns
Position: Small Forward
Experience: 4 Seasons
2012-13 Season Averages: 9.68 PER, 26.3 MPG, 11.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.4 APG, 37.5% FG
According to Shaun Powell, who writes for SportsOnEarth.com and has over 25 years of covering the NBA, Michael Beasley has been labeled as "toxic." He's also been the cause for belief that there will be changes coming in Phoenix.
To add further fuel to the fire, head coach Alvin Gentry has been labeled as safe from being fired in 2012-13.
Suns source: Michael Beasley is "toxic," team in tailspin, could lead to major shakeup.— Shaun Powell (@Powell2daPeople) December 10, 2012
As for where Beasley could end up, the Los Angeles Lakers are, once again, an option. They're in dire need of an athletic wing, and Beasley certainly fits that billing.
Whether they'd complete a high-profile trade with a division rival is unclear. Especially considering they already pried Steve Nash loose this offseason.
Another interesting option could be the Milwaukee Bucks. They run an up-tempo offense and presently possess a plethora of frontcourt depth that could become expendable with the emergence of Larry Sanders.
They also lack a consistent option at small forward.
Although Beasley is far from consistent, he is a game-changer. One can only imagine that he would fit in offensively next to Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.
Let the poor shot selection begin.
Willie Green, Los Angeles Clippers
Position: Shooting Guard
Experience: 9 Seasons
2012-13 Season Averages: 9.09 PER, 17.6 MPG, 5.8 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 38.1% 3PT
Every night out, Willie Green appears to be more and more out of place with the Los Angeles Clippers. With Chauncey Billups soon to return from injury and Eric Bledsoe on the rise, that status as the odd man out will only grow as an even heavier burden on head coach Vinny Del Negro.
So why not deal Green for some depth at center?
Green can still play. He's a proficient scorer with a smooth shooter's touch. He's also a solid ball-handler.
So who could benefit from his veteran presence?
A return to the Philadelphia 76ers certainly makes sense for Green, as the Sixers rank 26th in points per game. Although Nick Young and Jason Richardson hold down the 2-spot, Philly could use some help at point guard.
As a solid ball-handler, Green could serve in a hybrid role with Evan Turner serving as the primary facilitator.
Another option could be the Houston Rockets, who could use a shooter behind James Harden. If not Houston, the recurring Portland Trail Blazers could certainly benefit from an upgrade over Sasha Pavlovic as a reserve 2.
Although there has been no word on a potential move, it would certainly make sense.
Kris Humphries, Brooklyn Nets
Position: Power Forward
Experience: 8 Seasons
2012-13 Season Averages: 15.38 PER, 24.0 MPG, 7.8 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 0.8 BPG
This one is merely speculative, but it certainly makes sense.
Kris Humphries has carved out a status as one of the NBA's most ferocious rebounders. He's averaged at least 12.0 rebounds per 40 minutes in every season since 2010 and presently sits at 12.5 in 2012-13.
Unfortunately, he's only averaging 24.0 minutes per game and is seeing his playing time decrease every time out.
A major reason for this development has been the progress made by Andray Blatche, who is averaging 17.8 points and 9.0 rebounds over his past five games. As soon as Brook Lopez returns to the rotation, it's likely Blatche will take Humphries' spot in the rotation.
Thus creating the opportunity for a trade.
The most ideal fit would have to be the Boston Celtics, who continue to rank dead last in the NBA in offensive rebounding. The chance that the Nets trade a top rebounder to a division rival, however, is rather slim.
Especially considering Humphries and Rajon Rondo were recently involved in a suspension-garnering scuffle.
For that reason, the top two fits may just be the Portland Trail Blazers and Toronto Raptors.
Toronto is looking to move Andrea Bargnani, which could lead Brooklyn to entering a three-team deal. They don't need Bargnani, but they could pick up a draft choice or a young 4 if the chips fall into place.
As for Portland, they lack depth at every single position. Adding Humphries would certainly lessen the pressure on LaMarcus Aldridge.
Courtney Lee, Boston Celtics
Experience: 4 Seasons
2012-13 Season Averages: 7.44 PER, 23.9 MPG, 5.6 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.9 SPG
Are you surprised to see his name on this list? You should be.
Just don't think that means it isn't true.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that Courtney Lee is one of the names being thrown around by league personnel as a trade possibility. A major reason why are his poor performances in Boston.
That and the potential lack of a spot in the rotation once Avery Bradley returns from injury.
As for where Lee could end up, potential destinations could include the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers.
L.A. has been in dire need of an athletic wing since Trevor Ariza departed in 2009. Although one could argue that Lee is better fit for the 2-spot, he is a solid fit at small forward based off of the following factors.
Lee is a solid athlete, stout defender and consistent three-point shooter. The Lakers need help in all three of those categories.
As for the Bucks and Blazers, the move would be made based off of their lack of depth. Milwaukee lacks a consistent small forward, while Portland has nothing behind Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum.
Lee's presence would certainly be an upgrade for either team.