Are Luol Deng and Danny Granger long for the mid-west?
With a lot of changes taking place this offseason, both on rosters and the sidelines, the NBA is going to be a crazy place for a couple months.
Lots of teams will be jockeying for a position in each conference's top-eight. After they all get a few games under their belts, teams may look to make a change. Time will run out fast for certain franchises, leading to even more changes.
Every team could stand to improve, something they will learn after a few weeks. Luckily they all have pieces worth dealing.
2014 First-Round Pick
Contract: Mid-First Round Typical
The Atlanta Hawks don't have a ton that could be considered trade bait.
Al Horford is an All-Star on a great contract. Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver were just re-signed. Paul Millsap, Elton brand and DeMarre Carrol were brought in as free agents. Lou Williams is coming off an ACL tear, and the rest are a host of rookie-scale contracts.
Therefore, in terms of possible trade options, we have their future draft picks. The Hawks have the right to swap each of their next two first-round picks with the Brooklyn Nets thanks to Joe Johnson's trade, an interesting wrinkle given Brooklyn's age concerns.
The 2014 draft is being praised as one of the best in a long time. If a team is willing to part with an asset that would help Atlanta win this season, the trigger could be pulled early on.
Contract: Two Year, $13.35 million
The Boston Celtics have a logjam in their frontcourt, which won't be alleviated easily.
The best route could be to look for a trade involving Brandon Bass. Big men Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk are promising youngsters, while power forward Kris Humphries has a difficult to trade $12 million salary. Another newcomer, Gerald Wallace has an even harder to trade three-year deal worth $30.3 million.
Bass appears to have peaked at 28. As a former second-round pick, he has had a very good career. He has benefited from having Rajon Rondo as a point guard in recent years, as well as getting open mid-range looks thanks to the defensive attention Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce needed.
The Celtics are going a different direction now. Instead of a team built around that mid-range game that Bass excelled at, they will be moving faster and looking for more points earlier in the shot clock. As quality a player as Bass is, in a team built around Rondo's skills, more than $6 million a year for that game is excessive.
The Celtics will be looking to move other pieces first, but once they find no suitors, Bass is next on that chopping block.
Contract: Two Years, $11.48 million
The Brooklyn Nets got their men when they made a trade for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce with the Boston Celtics. Jason Terry may have only been thrown in to match salaries or appease Garnett’s transfer.
While it wouldn’t be wise to immediately remove him from Garnett and Pierce’s side, after a bit of the season, the team may no longer have a use for his game. If the team is successful without him, and the former Celtics bond with their new teammates, Terry could fetch some salary relief on the trade market.
On a team full of guys who can shoot and score, Terry will have a tough time finding shots. He has the ability to be a clutch player, with the courage to take and make big shots. However, a team with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez has little need for extra help there.
Terry struggled to get going all last season, finishing with average numbers at best. If he can hit enough threes, the team might have use for him. Otherwise, he could possibly save the team north of $20 million in luxury tax money over two years.
Contract: One Year, $5 million
The Charlotte Bobcats will have a hard time finding a suitor for Ben Gordon’s mammoth $13.5 million contract, even as an expiring asset. It is also a bit early to give up on Bismack Biyombo, especially when he just finally got an offensive mentor in Al Jefferson.
The time has come for Ramon Sessions, on the other hand, to move along. Kemba Walker has been helped along enough at this point, and it is time to grant him the reigns of Charlotte’s offense fully. By moving away from Sessions, it is a clear announcement that they trust Walker’s growth and ability.
Given that Kemba started all 82 games last season at the point, this should be in line with their thinking. Sessions doesn't help this team as a $5 million backup point guard, as his abilities on offense are limited. He shot just 40.8 percent from the field last season and was equally as poor beyond the arc at 30.8 percent.
Charlotte would do well to surround Walker with more reliable shooting, something that may have passed Sessions and Gordon by.
The Bobcats have a chance to make a long stride in their overall development this coming year, and getting something of value in return for Sessions could aid that further.
Contract: One Year, $14.28 million
The Chicago Bulls have little need to make any sort of a trade right now.
Thanks to the return of Derrick Rose and a productive offseason, they should be primed for another deep run into the postseason.
However, in order to save some cash and shrink under the luxury tax, dealing Luol Deng is still entirely possible. The team is more than $6 million over the NBA's $71.7 million number for next season's team, even with only 12 players on guaranteed deals.
The emergence of Jimmy Butler last season, along with the offseason addition of Mike Dunleavy may have made Deng somewhat expendable. Even if the Bulls took back a lower quality small forward and future pick, they could survive and even thrive in the future.
The Bulls are already owed a protected first-round pick from the Charlotte Bobcats in an upcoming draft, so adding another would really boost their staying power among the league's elite.
Deng is an All-Star and very desirable player across the league. His level of defense at a position that commands one to cover a star on a near-nightly basis is rare. That he can score in the mid-to-high teens every night is almost gravy. Chicago could bring back a sizable haul for a player of Deng’s caliber.
Age: 31 (on Sept. 28)
Contract: One Year, $9 million guaranteed (additional year at $9 million, only $4 million guaranteed)
If Andrew Bynum is returning to his prior form, it won’t be long until the Cleveland Cavaliers know it.
Should Bynum become his once-dominant self again, Anderson Varejao becomes expendable. Cleveland has spent recent first-round picks on big men like Tyler Zeller, Anthony Bennett and Tristan Thompson. All three could be hits, but will be fighting for court time with an established Varejao for little reason.
The Cavaliers are weak on the wing, a spot where they will need talent to make noise in the Eastern Conference. The mediocre duo of Earl Clark and Alonzo Gee won't be enough. If they could swing a deal with Varejao for a higher quality small forward, the team becomes instantly better overall.
Because that second year of his contract is not fully guaranteed, Anderson becomes something of an expiring deal. Adding in the fact that he is a quality big when healthy, he becomes quite the desirable trade bait.
Age: 21 (on Oct. 2)
Contract: Two Years, $3.14 million guaranteed (additional three years, $7.91 million in team options and qualifying offer)
On the surface, trading a first-round pick who was as highly touted as Shane Larkin, before he plays an NBA game seems a bit odd. However, after delving into the Dallas Mavericks roster and thinking about their need to win immediately, using the No. 18 overall pick as trade bait could be an intriguing option.
Larkin has already had the set-back of a broken ankle early on in his career. Though he should be alright by the start of the season, he missed valuable development and proving time during summer league action.
The presence of Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Devon Harris and Gal Mekel on the roster, brings stiff competition for point guard minutes for Larkin. With Larkin sidelined in the summer league, Mekel started all six games, going for 9.7 points and five assists with some nice shooting clips. All that guard play could force Larkin into D-League assignment.
The team recently announced that Fab Melo will come to training camp, showing they don't have a ton of faith in their corps of big men. If Larkin could fetch a proven big body or prospect with some upside in the frontcourt, a deal could make sense.
Contract: Three Years, $34 million
New management and a new head coach could begin directing the Denver Nuggets on a different path than in previous years.
If that is the case, the first player up for serious review has to be JaVale McGee. McGee has proven to be a quality big with occasionally explosive upside. However, he is nowhere near worth the long-term security Denver has granted him. With still three years and $34 million left on his deal, it will be tough to find a taker on the trade market.
McGee has proven over time that he can play about 20 effective minutes per game. Simply said, $10-12 million a year is too much for that type of limited player. Thanks to other crafty and frugal moves, the Nuggets have been able to succeed with McGee at center, while remaining under the luxury tax.
But, Andre Iguodala is gone, as are Masai Ujiri and George Karl. This team is precariously placed in the playoff picture, but could prove to be very fragile. If things don't start hot, McGee will be shopped furiously.
Contract: One Year, $8.5 million
This spot is more likely a tie between Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva, the Detroit Pistons' resident expiring contracts.
Their deals are nearly identical, but Stuckey is probably the more desirable piece in a trade, making him a better piece to deal.
The point guard position in Detroit is manned by Brandon Jennings, with Will Bynum and possibly Peyton Siva on hand to back him up with drastically cheaper contracts. While the frontcourt is equally as stocked without Villanueva, there is a chance Andre Drummond doesn't ascend quite as quickly as hoped and Kyle Singler reverts back to what he was originally expected to be.
It is still a close call, but Stuckey's position and age make him slightly more desirable in a trade. The team would do well to seek a legitimate shooting guard in his place, as the position is clearly their weakest. Perhaps packaging both expiring deals could net a suitable piece.
Also keep in mind that the Pistons may have to send their 2014 first-round pick to the Charlotte Bobcats as a part of the Corey Maggette deal.
Contract: Three Years, $44.38 million
Trading one of your best players is never a popular move, but sometimes necessary to ensure the future of your team.
The Golden State Warriors have entertained the idea of parting ways with David Lee, and an early-season stumble will make the idea all the more realistic.
Lee is 30, and played four years and a lot of minutes at the University of Florida. Up until last season, he was simply a good stats, bad team guy. Unfortunately, an injury dampened his first postseason appearance, though the team's ceiling appeared to be raised in his absence.
After next season, Lee really starts breaking the bank at more than $15 million per year. If the Warriors aren't careful, he could wind up clogging up too much cap space when extension time rolls around for Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes.
Barnes emerged last season as a real weapon for a small-ball team like Golden State. His ability to play the power forward position despite a smaller frame helped his team cause matchup problems in the playoffs.
Obviously, dealing a player of Lee's caliber and respect is tough on fans. However, the chances are good that he would draw quite a fine price on the market. There aren't many 30-year-old, All-Star power forwards with 20-10 potential available for trades.
Contract: Two Years, $16.74 million
Omer Asik has to be one of the most sought after trade targets this fall, as the arrival of Dwight Howard has made things uncomfortable in the Houston Rockets frontcourt.
The Turkish center has earned the opportunity to be a starting center in the NBA, after a breakout season one year ago. Averages of 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds were just part of the story, as Asik's defense and pick-setting really helped propel Houston into the postseason. His originally questionable contract became suddenly very reasonable.
The team can list Asik as it's power forward, hoping to align him alongside Howard, but their games may just be too similar. Both take up a ton of space in the paint, clogging up the works for penetrating guards like Jeremy Lin and James Harden.
If the team could find a taker for Asik, willing to part with a perimeter sharp-shooter, it would prove beneficial to Houston in the long run. That would open up the paint for the trio of Lin, Harden and Howard to operate at maximum efficiency.
Contract: One Year, $14.02 million
Like a lot of the NBA's top teams, the Indiana Pacers have little need to pull an early-season trade. They aren't even in the luxury tax danger that teams like the Chicago Bulls or Brooklyn Nets are.
They can easily pay Danny Granger his $14.02 million next season and enjoy the production of their once All-Star scorer. The ghost of his five-game season last year does lean over plans for 2013-14, as does the development of younger, cheaper players in Paul George and Lance Stephenson.
Granger's role on the team is still undefined. This roster made it all the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals without him, and has made clever free agent grabs to accent the team this summer.
Though Indiana can still avoid the luxury tax while keeping Granger, it is never a bad thing to save money. Picking up two quality role players for the price of one potential star could be just what the Pacers need to get over that hump. Then again, Granger could be just what they need as well.
No trade is likely in Indiana, but keep an eye on how Granger progresses through the first couple months. If he loses his job to Stephenson or someone else, he may even request a move.
Contract: Two Years, $22.43 million
Like JaVale McGee, DeAndre Jordan is an exciting and capable NBA center. However, he is also as highly paid as McGee, while playing not many more minutes.
Jordan has been a good, not great, fit for the Los Angeles Clippers these past few years, but with the arrival of a new regime in Doc Rivers, that time could be limited.
Rivers' brand of basketball isn't quite the exciting "Lob City" style that fans may have grown used to, and he is wielding quite a bit of power. Together, he and Chris Paul will decide Jordan's future with the organization.
If it turns out that Rivers wants a more traditional big man to set picks and defend, Jordan will be put on the market. As the team is built, it can't trade Jordan unless a big man comes in return. That and his contract will make it tough to move him.
Still, if this expensive team doesn't succeed immediately, they can't move Paul, Rivers or Blake Griffin. Jordan is simply the next in line and most expendable.
2014 First-Round Pick
Contract: Mid-First Round Typical
Simply said, I'm not sure there is a trade-able player on this roster. At least a player in which a trade would be obvious or easy.
Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are on mammoth, expiring contracts. I'd think it doubtful that any team with the cap space available has the desire to bring in one of these big, old names. The same goes for Steve Nash, though his deal won't expire until 2015.
The rest of the roster features cheap role players who were mostly just signed by Los Angeles this summer. It is unlikely they signed the likes of Chris Kaman, Jordan Farmar or Nick Young just to trade them a couple months in.
Steve Blake is an option, but $4 million for a 33-year-old backup point guard isn't going to net anything desirable in a trade.
The truth is, Los Angeles' best asset may be their 2014 first-round pick. While they may wish to keep it, considering the possibility that two future first-rounders are already gone in the Nash and Dwight Howard deals.
However, much of their roster is on one-year deals. If they could net a longer-term piece of value for that pick, it would greatly entice Bryant and Gasol to re-sign next summer, as well as attract a big-name free agent.
Contract: Two Years, $14.94 million
While the Rudy Gay trade is tough to grade due to the reasoning behind it, it is clear that Tayshaun Prince didn't exactly work out for the Memphis Grizzlies.
In 15 playoff games, Prince shot just 35.5 percent from the field on 8.1 attempts. He was a grotesque 26.3 percent from beyond the arc. For more than $7 million per year, the Grizzlies need more.
The 33-year-old swingman still holds some value around the league as a lanky defensive small forward. His veteran presence and sizable playoff experience could prove valuable to a team looking to break in like the Cleveland Cavaliers or Washington Wizards.
Recently signed on the cheap, Mike Miller serves more of a purpose as a long-range bomber for Memphis. It would be tough to part with Prince without another wing coming back in a trade, as Quincy Pondexter would likely have to slide into a starting role.
Contract: Two Years, $7.6 million (second year is player option)
Whether the Miami Heat simply lucked out or really saw something no one else did, they hit big with Chris Andersen.
Now they are trying to do the same thing with Greg Oden. If he even slightly works out, the need for Joel Anthony goes right out the door. The 31-year-old center has played his entire career as a background big man in Miami. Last year he dropped to a career-low 9.1 minute average over 62 games.
Before Anthony has the opportunity to grab another 3.8 million from the Heat next season in a player option, the team might consider dealing him early on in 2013-14.
With Chris Bosh, Andersen and possibly Oden holding down the frontcourt, Anthony and his contract become unnecessary. The Heat could also save some money against the luxury tax with a clever deal to pick up some second-round pick package.
Contract: One Year, $4.47 million ($5.96 million qualifying offer for 2014-15)
Time is running out for Ekpe Udoh to pop.
The former No. 6 overall pick of the Golden State Warriors, (sandwiched between DeMarcus Cousins and Greg Monroe!) will enter Year 4 of his career coming off a worrying season. In 2012-13, Udoh averaged a career-low 17.3 minutes per game.
There has to be a very slim chance at this point that the Milwaukee Bucks would even grant that $5.96 qualifying offer next summer. Therefore, Udoh's contract becomes a decent expiring asset.
Of course, there is the chance that in his fourth season, Udoh figures it all out. Unfortunately, thanks to Milwaukee's offseason, he is now fighting for court time behind Larry Sanders, Ersan Ilyasova, Zaza Pachulia and John Henson in a crowded frontcourt.
Future First-Round Pick
Contract: Mid-First Round Typical
The Minnesota Timberwolves had an interesting offseason, topped off by extending Nikola Pekovic to a mutually beneficial deal.
The acquisitions of Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer in free agency have filled holes and left no extremely noticeable deficiencies. Barring injury, Minnesota appears fairly well-rounded. They shouldn't give up on a prospect like Derrick Williams or Alexey Shved just yet, either.
There is the chance that Martin doesn't work out, but he would be tough to move on his new long-term deal. He can't be dealt until mid-December anyway. Brewer, Ronny Turiaf and Chase Budinger have similar restrictions on their contracts.
The team's first-round pick next season may go to the Phoenix Suns as a part of Wesley Johnson's trade, but another pick could possibly be used in a deal to shore up the wing. There are question marks on a host of Timberwolves players.
Budinger, Brewer, Shved, Martin and Shabazz Muhammed may not all work out. If that is the case, Minnesota doesn't have a ton of easily movable assets beyond picks.
Contract: One Year, 2.39 million guaranteed (additional three years, $9.79 in team options and qualifying offer)
Unfortunately for Austin Rivers, the New Orleans Pelicans may have a shorter leash than normal.
Given their offseason moves, this team is looking to start winning now, not a couple years down the road.
Rivers had a disastrous rookie year after being drafted No. 10 overall last summer. He managed to appear in just 62 games thanks to a broken hand, posting a horrendous 5.95 PER.
With offense-first guards Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Anthony Morrow now in town to join Eric Gordon, Rivers' role is a crowded one. If he doesn't pop early on, the Pelicans may look to move early and avoid going down the rabbit hole with a first-round bust making lottery money.
New Orleans has some questionable depth in their frontcourt. Beyond Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson, there are no sure-things. If they could pick up a steady big man to back them up, sacrificing the potential in Rivers would be easier to swallow.
Age: 31 (on Nov. 16)
Contract: One Year, $21.68 million (additional $23.41 million early termination option)
Speaking purely as to whom the New York Knicks would like most to shed, Amar'e Stoudemire could be shopped.
Obviously, for 14.2 points per game, Stoudemire is overpaid making north of $21 million. The problem is, at that price, there aren't many in the league willing or capable of taking him on. Still, that won't stop the Knicks from asking around if he falters to start the season, gets hurt, or loses playing time to Andrea Bargnani.
After a month or so of the season goes by, there could be a team desperate enough to make a drastic call like trading younger assets for Stoudemire in hopes of saving their season. Even a possibility like an injury to a team's main power forward could open up this avenue for New York.
It is unlikely, but the Knicks have a solid, albeit expensive, team which isn't really in need of a trade. However, should an extenuating circumstance occur, teams could come knocking for Stoudemire.
2014 First-Round Pick
Contract: Late-First Round Typical
I am still not one who subscribes to the idea that the Oklahoma City Thunder should be shopping Kendrick Perkins like mad men. There still will be use for him come playoff time as a huge-bodied defensive force.
Trading Jeremy Lamb at this point would admit to totally blowing the James Harden trade. Since the team likes what both Thabo Sefolosha and Nick Collison bring to the table on inexpensive deals, there aren't many options for a possible trade.
This isn't really a problem for a team as talented as Oklahoma City. Sefolosha could be an interesting option, depending on the deal you think he'll earn in next summer's free agency. If it is somewhere near his current $3.9 million number, he is well worth the minor raise.
This brings us into the conversation of maybe dealing a pick or two in order to bring back something of immediate value. The Thunder could still use a sure-fire bench guard who can score, as Reggie Jackson and Lamb are still unproven. They could also use another big body, should tragedy strike Perkins, Collison or Serge Ibaka.
Oklahoma City could very well have two first-round picks on their slate for next summer, with a top-20 protected choice coming from the Dallas Mavericks in Harden's trade. This is a team that no longer has to think hard about building through the draft. They are built and need to be accented.
Contract: One Year, $12 million ($6 million guaranteed)
Until there is an actual buyout reached between Hedo Turkoglu and the Orlando Magic, he remains the most likely option to be traded.
If the buyout can't be reached before the season begins, the team could simply flip Turkoglu to a team that might have better luck cutting him, or keeping him around to allow that $12 million contract to expire next summer.
Turkoglu does offer something in the form of NBA experience. He has played forward in this league, occasionally at a high level, for 13 seasons. Teams with young, foreign players would consider bringing him in, especially if those players are from areas similar to Hedo's native Turkey and if Orlando would swallow some contract.
The Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, Utah Jazz and others fall into that category. Orlando has plenty of cap space to keep some of his contract as well. Right now they just want him gone with close to the last remnants of Dwight Howard's era.
Contract: One Year, $6.6 million
The Philadelphia 76ers are a massive unknown in the league right now. They are in the midst of a huge rebuilding project that has yet to really get started.
A player like Spencer Hawes has little use in a rebuild. He is a valuable piece to a contender, even at $6.6 million. That isn't a bad contract for a 25-year-old, true seven-footer with career averages of nine points and six rebounds.
It wouldn't be surprising if the 76ers tried to edge their rebuild along by picking up a prospect or pick for Hawes in an early-season deal.
There is also the development of Nerlens Noel to consider, whenever he is able to make his debut. Hawes can help a team win right now, which doesn't appear to be a top priority for Philadelphia.
Contract: One Year, $2 million guaranteed (Three Years, $9 million additional in Team Options and Qualifying Offer)
Kendall Marshall may have to go elsewhere in order to develop as an NBA point guard.
The Phoenix Suns made moves in the offseason to acquire highly-touted point guard Eric Bledsoe from the Los Angeles Clippers. At this point, Bledsoe's hype may outweigh his production, but at the same time he is ahead of Marshall on the depth chart immediately.
Also ahead of him is last year's starter Goran Dragic. Dragic is in town on a long-term deal, and the Suns must have ideas of extending Bledsoe to the same. Unless one of them readily accepts the shooting guard position, Marshall is a bit of a forgotten man.
To keep things in perspective, we are talking about a 2012 lottery pick who broke all sorts of assist records at the University of North Carolina. This also means Marshall is making lottery money, already over $2 million per year.
The Suns have little to worry about financially right now, but possible upcoming extensions to Bledsoe and Marcin Gortat have to weigh into the situation eventually.
Gortat is another option to deal, with an expiring $7.73 million contract. However, he is a quality big and could serve as a method of development for Bledsoe and other Phoenix youngsters.
Contract: Two Years, $30.88 million
Put it this way, the Portland Trail Blazers have done such a solid job re-tooling their roster this summer, there aren't a whole lot of options worthy of a possible trade.
However, should the beginning part of the season go by with a handful of more losses than wins, it may be time to start looking harder in the mirror. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the face of Portland for five or six years. Unfortunately, he's only gotten them to the postseason three times and never beyond Round 1.
After next season, Aldridge's salary leaps north of $16 million. If he isn't the guy to get Portland over the hump, they should part ways while they can still reap the benefits of a trade return.
This isn't an ideal situation. Obviously, the team could very well succeed out of the gate and have no need to make a move. However, if things start sour, Aldridge could find himself being shopped.
Contract: One Year, $7.58 million guaranteed (additional year at $7 million, $1 million guaranteed)
Not the sexy name here, which would be DeMarcus Cousins, but the free ride has to be coming to a close for John Salmons.
The Sacramento Kings have waited out Cousins this long, they might as well reap the final year or two of his production for bargain-basement prices. On the contrary, Salmons has been overpaid for the past three seasons.
Given that the final year of his current deal only holds $1 million in guaranteed bills, his contract is essentially an expiring asset. With the free-agent bonanza of 2014 on the horizon, a team could jump at the chance to buy out the 34-year-old Salmons next summer.
Salmons has shot under 41 percent since joining the Kings two years ago and been shaky elsewhere as well. New ownership wants to start things going in their direction. He probably isn't included in those blueprints.
2014 First-Round Pick
Contract: Late-First Round Typical
It should come as little shock that the San Antonio Spurs have little need of an early-season trade.
They were seconds from winning the 2013 NBA title, and return much of the same roster. The Big Three are all back. Tiago Splitter has a new deal and Marco Belinelli was added to the fold. Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner and Patty Mills are all on expiring contracts, but the Spurs can use them to help build Kawhi Leonard's extension.
Beyond that, there are a few smaller deals that don't threaten the Spurs salary cap. They are still miles away from worrying about the luxury tax.
San Antonio is looking to win right away. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and possibly Gregg Popovich's time in the league is limited and they were so close this past spring.
Therefore, trading their upcoming draft pick in a deal could bring back a player capable of helping them get back to, and possibly win the championship. Though the team has no glaring needs, depth across the board is aways pertinent to San Antonio.
Contract: Two Years, $12.5 million
The Toronto Raptors have already made a sizable trade in dealing Andrea Bargnani to the New York Knicks.
However, new general manager Masai Ujiri has only begun putting his imprint on the franchise. It was clear he set out to knock away some bad money in that deal, while grabbing future picks. He also amnestied Linas Kleiza and inked a few role players to small, short-term deals.
The remaining bad contract on the roster, depending on your Rudy Gay feelings, belongs to Landry Fields. The Raptors got stuck paying Fields more than $6 million per year after a failed attempt to force New York to match.
Fields fell off a production cliff last season after two surprising years with the Knicks. The former second-round pick managed only 20.1 minutes in 51 games, averaging 4.7 points and 4.1 rebounds. Those numbers can be had in this league for a much cheaper price tag. One that Ujiri will be hunting for.
If Fields starts the season healthy and productive as he once was, it will increase his value on the market and Toronto won't hesitate to jump at a good offer.
Contract: One Year, $7.5 million
The Utah Jazz would struggle to find a taker for newcomers Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins. Their salaries are simply too monstrous.
However, Marvin Williams is similarly on an expiring contract, but for a much more manageable $7.5 million.
The Jazz have cleared enough room for Derrick Favors to have every opportunity to pop this season. However Williams remains as a 27-year-old lame duck in the frontcourt. The team is stocked with draft picks already, but there is the possibility of more coming in a deal for Williams.
This team is streamlined for a youth movement and looking ahead to the 2014 draft. Williams could possibly add to that future haul of young talent.
This type of player serves little purpose on this type of team.
Contract: One Year, $7.73 million
Much like the contracts of Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson, Emeka Okafor's huge salary will make it difficult for the Washington Wizards to find a trade partner.
Okafor also serves some purpose on the Wizards and put up decent numbers last season. Trevor Ariza, on the other hand, has a deal that a lot of teams could take on.
Ariza hasn't shot better than 41.7 percent from the field since 2009, yet has raked in north of $6 million for four straight seasons. Moving him opens the path for No. 3 overall pick Otto Porter to immediate learn and grow with other youngsters John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Overall it is a move in a direction. Whether it is the right direction would need to be proven, but at least it would be a direction. Retread guys who have played on six teams in nine years aren't typically desirable, Washington might prefer to go the route of home-grown, drafted talent like those three young guys.