With the NBA's Feb. 20 trade deadline rapidly approaching, the league could be in for some major surprises over the next month.
The Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls already shipped out high-profile players (Rudy Gay and Luol Deng, respectively) with the future in mind. As teams jostle for playoff positioning during the next few weeks, some will be forced to confront an unwelcome reality—that they're going nowhere fast.
Upon reaching that conclusion, those squads' front offices will face a major decision: Should they blow up their current rosters for long-term flexibility or stay the course and hope things turn around?
Some surefire playoff teams might even jump into the trade foray, looking to strike while the iron is hottest on certain players. If a player appears to have maximized his trade value and is unlikely to re-sign with his current squad (think Deron Williams in 2010-11), his team would be wise to explore all possible angles before ruling out any potential trades.
Here, let's look at seven players whose scalding-hot play this season has their trade value at an all-time high. This list excludes players on their rookie deals and those with only one year remaining on their current contracts, as their respective contractual situations distort their trade value.
Note: All salary information comes from Spotrac.com. "Current contract" information starts with the 2013-14 season. "ETO" stands for early-termination option; "UFA" stands for unrestricted free agent.
All advanced statistics, unless otherwise noted, come from Basketball-Reference. All statistics and records are current through games played on Jan. 17.