6 NBA Players Who Will Become Stars If Traded to a New Team
Sometimes a change of scenery could make all the difference.
Between logjams, offensive systems and team chemistry, there are a number of reasons why one particular setting might be a better fit for a player's individual needs.
You might already consider some of these guys stars, however they all play in smaller markets and none has made the All-Star team. A new city and uniform could change that.
J.J. Redick is averaging nearly 15 points a game without much talent around him.
Imagine how good he could be if he played alongside a big man who drew double-teams or a point guard who could break down the defense?
Most of Redick's looks at the rim are the result of an off-ball down-screen or the ball movement that surrounds him. He's improved his off-the-dribble game, showing he can put it on the deck before pulling up or stepping back.
But Redick's potential would be maximized if he had playmakers around him to help create open looks. Boston has been rumored to be interested and would be a good fit. Redick would be a nice target for Rajon Rondo in the drive-and-dish game.
Remember when Tyreke Evans averaged 20 points, five rebounds and five assists as a rookie? That was before Sacramento decided to add Marcus Thornton, Aaron Brooks, Jimmer Fredette, Isaiah Thomas and John Salmons.
Evans can't whip out the dance moves on a crowded dance floor.
He's a versatile offensive player but needs a more defined role in a different setting. Evans' quickness off the dribble allows him to score at the rim or create opportunities for teammates. But with half of the Kings' roster consisting of shoot-first guards, it's tough for anyone to find a rhythm.
I've floated the idea of Evans to the Lakers, where he can occupy the wing or back up Steve Nash at the point. Either way, a trade involving Evans seems like a win-win for all parties involved.
With Al Jefferson taking up most of the space inside and Derrick Favors backing him up, Paul Millsap would have more offensive freedom playing in someone else's frontcourt.
On a team without a physical interior presence, like Houston for example, Millsap could have a field day on the glass and in the paint. Utah is too crowded up front. At times Millsap is forced to play on the perimeter, which pretty much offsets his strengths as a rebounder and inside scorer.
With Millsap, Jefferson, Favors and Enes Kanter, along with arguably the worst backcourt in basketball, the Jazz should be looking to move at least one of them. Millsap seems like the guy who would benefit the most from a change of scenery.
Brandon Jennings is a big fish in a small pond.
The kid's flash was meant for the bright lights. Even if his stats remained the same, Jennings' perceived star power would rise just from playing in a bigger market. Jennings' style of play could captivate fans unfamiliar with his swagger and "easy on the eyes" game.
Milwaukee must make a decision soon on how it wants to handle Jennings' impending free agency.
If Monta Ellis gets traded, he's likely to see his role reduced, the way Kevin Martin's was when he got dealt to Oklahoma City. But Jennings has the chance to go somewhere and put on the star's suit. Along with Jrue Holiday, Stephen Curry and Ty Lawson, he's part of that next generation of point guards and would build his brand by playing for a winner somewhere else.
It's time for Atlanta to close the book on the Josh Smith chapter of Hawks basketball.
The relationship has run its course. With Smith's contract up and his expectations of a max offer, there's no point in paying just to remain average.
However there is a point in someone else coughing up dough for Smith's services. Few players in the league offer the total package that he does.
Smith's defense, elite athleticism and versatility should fit smoothly into any lineup. Without the need for the ball, he's better off complementing superior scorers than he is acting as the main cog in the system like he is now.
Smith will be one of the more coveted players at the deadline and could be the missing piece for a team looking to contend for a title.
With Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford, you wonder if the Clippers would ever think about dangling Eric Bledsoe, just to see what type of market he attracts.
Bledsoe is just waiting for his chance at a full-time gig. He's one of the NBA's most freakishly gifted athletes.
If given the green light to do his thing on the court, Bledsoe's numbers would double. But where would this be possible?
How about Utah? Its backcourt packs about as much firepower as a Nerf gun. Bledsoe would shine with the freedom to handle the ball and make plays on a regular basis.