Potential NBA Trade Targets Most Likely to Be Dealt During 2013-14 Season
Last season, 13 deals were made at the trade deadline. The year before that, 10 were made.
Point being, while there appears to be tons of logical trade targets out there this season, the majority of these players will end up staying right where they are.
The good news for fans of the wheeling and dealing nature of the NBA, however, is that this year's draft class is one of the most highly regarded in recent memory. That could mean franchises that can't realistically compete will more readily accept their direction (cough, cough, tank) and make moves to help them do so.
Combine all that with the financial crunch of the new collective bargaining agreement taking effect, and we could have plenty of teams with motivations to deal. As a result, this could be a very busy year for trading.
Marcin Gortat, C, Phoenix Suns
The writing is on the wall for Marcin Gortat.
The Phoenix Suns drafted young center Alex Len with the fifth pick in this year's draft, Channing Frye is back after heart complications sidelined him last year and the Morris twins will require playing time in the frontcourt. If there's an odd man out in this equation, it's probably the 29-year-old center on an expiring contract.
Gortat's days of playing more than 30 minutes a night for a bad Suns team are likely over. That might be tough for a center still near his prime to swallow, and it would seem like trading Gortat to a potential playoff team for future assets would benefit all parties involved.
Jimmer Fredette, G, Sacramento Kings
This offseason probably didn't work out quite how Jimmer Fredette wanted it to.
Tyreke Evans was all set to leave a big void in the backcourt, but then the Sacramento Kings acquired Greivis Vasquez and drafted Ben McLemore.
Fredette quietly improved quite a bit last season and posted a 14.6 PER, but now he's slated to be a third-string point guard behind Vasquez and Isaiah Thomas and a third-string shooting guard behind McLemore and Marcus Thornton. He's sufficiently buried on the depth chart.
A savvy team in need of a shooter would be wise to inquire about Fredette, and given the massive hole the Kings have at small forward, a trade from a position of strength might be the way to go.
Evan Turner, G/F, Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are at an interesting juncture with Evan Turner.
The second overall pick of the 2010 draft hasn't lived up to expectations, and Philadelphia is at the beginning stages of a rebuild under new general manager Sam Hinkie.
The thought of investing big money into Turner at this stage of the rebuild probably isn't very appealing, so it would make perfect sense for the 76ers to try and flip Turner for whoever they could before he hits restricted free agency—or possibly unrestricted given his massive qualifying offer amount—this offseason.
Turner should have a few suitors out there who believe in his potential, but it's yet to be seen whether a team is willing to forfeit assets just to have the ability to match any offer he receives this offseason. If Turner is still in Philadelphia after the extension deadline (October 31), he'll likely be there the rest of the season.
Austin Rivers, G, New Orleans Pelicans
Another young player, another victim of a crowded backcourt.
Austin Rivers had plenty of chances to claim his stake to playing time in his rookie season, but a dreadful year led the New Orleans Pelicans brass to look elsewhere.
With Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon having a monopoly on nearly all the backcourt minutes, Rivers will be left fighting for scraps with Brian Roberts, who is actually the better player right now. Injuries can free up playing time for Rivers, but it's clear the Pelicans are no longer in the position of depending on him for production.
If a team in need of some bench scoring wanted to buy very, very low on a young player, Rivers might be a good fit. Depending on how serious New Orleans is about contending right now, Rivers could be the bait that brings in a decent small forward.
Kendall Marshall, G, Phoenix Suns
It's always danger time when a new regime that didn't draft you takes over.
That's the situation for Phoenix Suns point guard Kendall Marshall right now, and the acquisition of Eric Bledsoe this offseason doesn't bode well for Marshall's future.
Marshall is probably at his best when he's the worst player on the floor, and the Suns just don't have the talent to support a pass-only point guard right now. With Goran Dragic and Bledsoe taking care of the ball-handling and Marshall's inability to do anything but handle the ball, this is a poor match for both sides.
It's hard to imagine any team handing Marshall significant minutes at point guard given the depth of the position around the league, but a team looking for a young backup (like the Toronto Raptors) could probably acquire Marshall for a song.
Jason Thompson, F/C, Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings have a lot more depth than you might think, and Jason Thompson could be left out in the battle for minutes.
Thompson has never quite meshed defensively with new max man DeMarcus Cousins, and now the Kings have other options (Carl Landry, Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes) to pair with the big guy in the middle.
Perhaps more importantly, Thompson's long-term deal that runs through the 2016-17 season doesn't help Sacramento's financial flexibility down the line.
Teams in need of a third big (Los Angeles Clippers?) who can stretch the floor and rebound should look no further than Thompson. He's a really good player who just doesn't fit in Sacramento.
Rodney Stuckey, G, Detroit Pistons
With the addition of Josh Smith, the Detroit Pistons will need some shooting on the wing to space the floor. Rodney Stuckey does not provide that.
Stuckey is a 28.8 percent three-point shooter, and that's toxic considering the paint will be plenty clogged all year long. Without driving lanes and the ball in his hands, Stuckey doesn't bring a whole lot to the table.
The Pistons might want to get whatever they can for the combo guard before he becomes a free agent. He just doesn't mesh with the personnel in Detroit anymore.
Jamal Crawford, G, Los Angeles Clippers
Jamal Crawford is a luxury the Los Angeles Clippers can afford—at least for now. So long as Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan can play the lion's share of the minutes up front so the team doesn't have to rely on guys like Byron Mullens and Ryan Hollins, Crawford probably won't be on the block.
Crawford played well spotting up off the ball next to Chris Paul last season, and of course, his ability to create his own shot with ridiculous ball-handling led him to some big nights and some bad ones. J.J. Redick should sap some of Crawford's minutes; however, and the development of sweet-shooting rookie Reggie Bullock could make Crawford a little more expendable.
Still, the only likely scenario in which the Clippers shop Crawford is if there's an injury in the frontcourt, or the backup bigs are so atrocious that something needs to be done. That's not entirely out of the question, so Crawford and his non-guaranteed deal going forward could be the Clippers' primary trade chip at the deadline if they are in need.
Ersan Ilyasova, F, Milwaukee Bucks
Ersan Ilyasova adds some stretch to the Milwaukee Bucks front line, and that's not to be taken for granted. Although he's incredibly streaky, few players offer the combination of rebounding and shooting Ilyasova does when he's hot.
That said, $7.9 million is a pretty penny for a player who has missed significant time and has only averaged 27 minutes a game over the last two seasons.
For Ilyasova to really hit the trade market, though, John Henson will have to play so well that he'll command more minutes. Given Henson's performance as a rookie and his dominance during summer league, it's not out of the question that the young big man forces Milwaukee's hand.
Glen Davis, F, Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic have an oddly crowded frontcourt with Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic, Andrew Nicholson and Jason Maxiell, and that might make Big Baby's return from a season-ending injury a little less triumphant than you'd expect after a hot start last year.
Davis shouldered much of the scoring load last season for the Magic, but it's clear the team is rebuilding and will need a good chunk of Davis' minutes to help develop younger, cheaper players.
The Magic will likely showcase Davis just enough to establish a trade market, then look to deal him at the deadline for a team in need of some scoring punch off the bench. Simply put, Orlando has no real use for Davis at this point other than as a trade asset.
Arron Afflalo, G, Orlando Magic
Arron Afflalo is a veteran player who should be incredibly appealing to contenders in need of a 3-and-D guy on the wing.
Afflalo posted some of the best raw numbers of his career in an increased role, but his shooting percentages plummeted in the process. He's not a star, but as a role player, there are few better.
Orlando's brass knows this, and they'd be smart to demand a high price for Afflalo's services. Ultimately though, getting Afflalo's salary off the books and clearing the starting shooting guard spot for Victor Oladipo falls in line with the overall direction of the franchise. The price will be high, but Afflalo should be available to the highest bidder.
DeMar DeRozan, G, Toronto Raptors
This is probably less about DeMar DeRozan than it is about new Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri.
While he was with the Denver Nuggets, Ujiri showed no hesitation to move expensive, long-term deals. DeRozan fits the same bill as Arron Afflalo and Nene did, and it's hard to say he meshes well with fellow post-oriented wing Rudy Gay.
If Jonas Valanciunas is a building block, and you have to think he is, the Raptors would do well to surround him with shooters who give him room to breathe. DeRozan is a great athlete and a capable scorer, but he's also a 23.9 percent career three-point shooter. Financially and schematically, this is a bad match.
Trevor Ariza, F, Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards re-signed Martell Webster, drafted Otto Porter and lost Emeka Okafor indefinitely to a neck injury. Where does that leave Trevor Ariza? On the water as trade bait.
Ariza's expiring contract is conducive to a trade, and more importantly, the Wizards could really use some help in the frontcourt. Nene isn't durable whatsoever, and guys like Al Harrington and Jan Vesely can't be relied upon. Kevin Seraphin can take some of the load but probably not all of it.
That might lead the Wizards to look at potential deals for Ariza, who should appeal to both contending teams and teams looking to shed salary. The Wizards haven't been afraid to take on salary for the sake of competing, and Ariza's expiring deal may see them do it once again.
Nearly Every Boston Celtic
Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Jordan Crawford and maybe even Rajon Rondo are likely on the block as the Boston Celtics look to blow it up completely and start from scratch.
Lee might be the most likely of the group to go. His skills just don't translate for a bad team, and his lengthy contract doesn't either. If any team is willing to bite the bullet on his mid-level deal through 2015-16, you have to think Celtics general manager Danny Ainge would happily let him go.
While Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo are likely safe, it's safe to say Ainge will be answering all the phone calls he receives this season. It's hard to imagine Boston's rebuilding process is anywhere near complete.
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