Under-the-Radar NBA Trade Targets Who Could Be on the Move This Season
Usually while we're all waiting for the next big blockbuster trade in the NBA, some smaller trades go unnoticed.
Those big deals we all love so much rarely come to fruition, but every year there are a few contenders who will add pieces from lottery teams that are selling.
Sometimes, these smaller additions can make a world of difference down the stretch and into the postseason. More often than not, these trades are about shoring up depth or taking a chance on a player reviving their career.
Remember, title contenders are usually risk-averse when it comes to altering team chemistry or the on-court product, so it's the safer acquisitions that usually happen. That's something to keep in mind when examining these potential under-the-radar trade targets for contenders this season.
Ramon Sessions, G, Charlotte Bobcats
The Charlotte Bobcats may have legitimate playoff aspirations given the wide-open race for the last few seeds in the Eastern Conference, but let's assume they'll be on the outside looking in when the deadline approaches.
In that scenario, it would make plenty of sense for the Bobcats to shop Ramon Sessions to a contender. Sessions is on an expiring deal worth $5 million, and his ability to handle either guard spot off the bench could be a nice addition to a team looking for some extra firepower.
You may not think of the word "elite" when you see Sessions play, but he does one thing as well as anyone in the league: draw fouls.
Sessions got to the line 7.6 times per 36 minutes last year, which was the sixth-highest mark in the league. Through four games this year, he has gotten to the line a whopping 12 times per 36 minutes.
A contender in need of help at either guard spot or off the bench should be knocking down the door for Sessions. He's an impact player who would likely come at a low price.
Lavoy Allen, F/C, Philadelphia 76ers
The more notable players for the Philadelphia 76ers like Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes are grabbing a lot of the trade spotlight, but don't forget about Lavoy Allen. He could probably fit in more places as a role-playing big man.
Any contender playing Allen significant minutes might be in trouble, but he can provide depth, fouls and some good floor spacing offensively.
Allen's bread and butter is a jumper from around 18 feet, and although he struggled a bit to knock it down at a consistent rate last year, he was an excellent jump-shooter his rookie year, knocking down 38 percent of them.
With Philadelphia looking to pick up any future assets and likely wanting no part of Allen's qualifying offer due this offseason, a contender could very well acquire him on a rental for a second-round pick fairly easily.
Channing Frye, F, Phoenix Suns
Stretch big men will be en vogue for a while, and Channing Frye might be one of the best in the game.
Frye's heart complications kept him out for all of last season, but he's beginning to get his feet under him for the rebuilding Phoenix Suns.
Frye is a 38.8 percent career three-point shooter and a better defender than he gets credit for. Most importantly, we've seen offenses built around "pace and space" have plenty of success with him in a major role before.
While the days of Frye being a starter are probably over, he could certainly come off the bench and play a substantial role. Frye is a luxury who costs a pretty penny ($6.4 million this year, $6.8 million next season), but he's a player who can make an offense more dynamic.
Frye is the type of smart, veteran player with a defined skill-set who should be a hot target, particularly because Phoenix has no need for him now and would most likely happily dump his salary for an expiring deal and a draft pick.
Ekpe Udoh, F/C, Milwaukee Bucks
If you're looking for an odd man out in the Milwaukee Bucks' crowded frontcourt rotation, it's probably Ekpe Udoh.
After undergoing knee surgery, Udoh returned for the first time Wednesday night. But with Larry Sanders not receiving premium minutes and head coach Larry Drew playing favorites with Zaza Pachulia, it's hard to imagine Udoh having much of a role, if any at all.
That's a shame, because Udoh can be a useful player when he's matched up with the right frontcourt partner. He's an excellent shot-blocker (2.7 blocks per 36 minutes on his career) and a surprisingly good option out of the high post, but he struggles mightily to rebound or score in the paint.
Pair him with a guy along the lines of Zach Randolph, for example, and Udoh could really shine. He'll be up for restricted free agency next season, so perhaps the Bucks would consider giving Udoh up a few months early in exchange for a second-round pick or a wing player who could help going forward.
Andre Miller, G, Denver Nuggets
If the Denver Nuggets look like they're headed for the lottery, it will probably be time to send Andre Miller to a better home.
Miller might struggle to play significant minutes with Nate Robinson and Randy Foye both in the picture, and that, combined with Denver's potential decline, could make him a serious dump candidate at the deadline.
Miller is certainly a unique point guard, but off the bench he could run an offense and exploit matchups in the post to provide some easy scoring. Incredibly, he's still a pretty useful player at 37 years old.
It would be surprising if the Nuggets weren't at least in the hunt for the playoffs, but Miller will likely be the first piece to go if Denver decides to shed some salary and go with the youth movement full time.
Brandon Bass, F, Boston Celtics
It seems like there's a pretty good chance Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge scraps this current roster for parts.
While Brandon Bass is slightly overpaid at $6.4 million a year, it's not egregious like some of the other deals Boston has to deal with.
Most importantly, Bass can help quite a bit on the floor. He has a nice mid-range jumper, he can cover smaller power forwards really well and he's an excellent foul shooter. He could certainly be the first big man off the bench for a title-contending team.
Boston would likely welcome the extra cap room and a draft pick of any kind in return for Bass. A team with playoff aspirations and a frontcourt hole, like the Washington Wizards, for example, might be a good fit.
Bass isn't spectacular by any means, but he would be a solid addition to pretty much any rotation.
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