The talk of the summer will almost definitily be free agency. And how could it not be? We might be headed into one of the single biggest free agency splashes in the history of the NBA, with Lebron, Wade, and Bosh willing to test new waters; of course it should be the biggest thing this summer, if not this year.
So, while everyones undivided attention will be on Lebrons or Wades new team, one overlooked factors of this summer, and of next year, will go unwatched as always.
Yes, of course: I'm talking about trades.
Let's face it--we're having an NBA crisis. The NBA, and many of its teams, are losing money faster than ever. Many teams are contemplating moving for fear that there team will go under water in their current city.
Many teams make so little money that this summer's free agency will be like telling the team they can have a ton of great white sharks; if they can fit it in a tiny, little fish tank.
Teams this year have sucked (Nets and Timberwolves being example A) and some teams have already said that trading was necessary this year (Raptors and Indiana) while other teams will obviously look into it come summer.
Fast forward to right now: in the NBA, there are no longer him for him trades. Or two players for two players straight up with out any other aspect. No, in todays game almost every trade has something to do with cash or with draft picks.
But players still hold value.
So, here I will rank the top fourty players with the highest trade value heading into 2010-2011.
(THis is what the rankings mean: if a team, who holds a player ranked 10 on the trade value list, and another team decides to trade player ranked 8 for number 10, the team thplacat holds number ten either accepts or seriously considers this deal.
But anyone below team who attempts to get number 10 with someone lower than the 10 spot has no chance of landing 10)
(P.S--Not to steal any credit, I got the original ide from Bill Simmons. Just completely blew up the rankings.)
Group 10: The "I probably shouldn't trade them, they're pretty decent and my fans will be mad" group
40. Kevin Garnett
There is probably no way the Celtics trade him until he is completely, completely washed up. He still has some gas left in that tank, but it's slowly fading away. Garnett no longer brings that 150% intensity to the floor every night, and doesn't leave everything on the court.
But, if a team offers someone to the Celtics, someone who they think could really help Pierce and Allen win another ring, the Celtics seriously consider it. Honestly.
39. Al Jefferson
Would be higher if not for his continuos problems with injuries. Other factor that places him so low: look at his overal record since entering the L. Miserable. Maybe it's in his blood.
38. David West
David West is so amazingnly underpaid at this point in his career (less than 10 mill pers season when teammates on the bench make much more) that the Hornets, even if he does not reach potential, will probably not trade him.
But he's ranked low because if the Hornets receive someone who they think will help Paul win a ring faster, they don't hesitate.
37. Tony Parker
Was meant to break out completely this year. Did not. Still a good player to have on good perimeter team, and basically becomin a poor mans Rondo.
36. Marc Gasol
Completely robbed of the MIP award this year. Went from being part of the most lop sided trade of the decade, the one that got his brother Pau Gasol onto the Lakers, to being one of the more consistent rebounders and scoring Centers of the West.
35. Rudy Gay
In my opinion, higher than teammate Marc Gasol on the trade value list, but still not the highest for his team. If Gay wants to become a real star who can't shoot as nice as a team would want their franchise perimeter player to shoot, he has to start averaging a nice 25-30 points a game.
A team with a player like Gay, a good but not great franchise player, will never realize full potential. But he's still very good trade bait as a very good player.
34. Stephen Curry
No one can say Curry hasn't impressed them; at least on the offensive end. He has made shots for himself (basically what you need to do in a completely disfunctional and me-first offense that the Warriors hold) and has impressed many as a point guard.
Defensivily he has become a liability, but offensively, he is quietly setting records for points per game while having sensation shooting percentages from 3 and free throw for any rookie.
Group 9 The "would help out my team and aren't too expensive" group
33. Russell Westbrook
Westbrook is currently being the second best player on a team that has won fifty games and giving the one seed some deep trouble. Westbrook brings the Thunders lightning every game, and can blow up if needed.
Yet, his shooting is (though not in the play offs right now) not suitable for a guard, and turns over the ball far too often. Still in the top fourty, because some teams would love him as a two, three guy on a good team.
32. Chauncey Billups
It has been seven times straight in the conference finals for Billups and, though this year is in jeopardy, he is a proven winner.
31. 0.J Mayo
In my opinion, the Grizzly with the highest trade value this year, and most likely for years to come. Has settled into his role fairly easily, and is capable of single handedly dominating a game, while also accepting his off days and distributing the ball more often than not. I like his potential.
30. David Lee
The one bright spot offensivley for the Knicks, and hustles every play no matter the situation. Has a couple more years on his contract, but a giant trade from a team that needs a good big man will soon come.
29. Eric Gordon
Has an exeptionally good drive, and surprised many in the NBA with help and one on one defense. Tries too hard sometimes, rushing and losing the ball, but, once out of the dysfunctional Clipper Land, should develop a better jump shot and become a formidable shooting guard.
28. Zach Randolph
Forget what I just said about Mayo being the Grizzly with the highest trade value. Completely forgot about the real Big Z. Randolph quietly developed into one of the premier low post players in the L, and his team work problems and "me first" mentality dissapeared.
He's the highest trade value player for the Grizzlies. And this time I mean it.
27. Kevin Love
Love has yet to reach full potential and was the only bright spot for the Wolves. Believe me when I say that in a couple of years we're going to be talking about a top ten scorer, top three rebounder, and a top center in the rankings of assists when we talk about Love.
Group 8: The "I really probably shouldn't trade him, but I guess I'll listen to the offer" group
26. Josh Smith
Maybe one of the biggest surprises of this year. A ball hog who decided to pass up on a lot of shot oppurtinities, and became the most reliable player on a stacked team. The inability to realize his three point shot should not be attempted three times a game was his demise a couple years ago; now, after the realization, he fits into spot 28 on highest trade value players
Hawks won't want to trade him though.
25. Al Horford
Another Hawks player (and won't be the last to show up, either.) Horford is another player who is woefully underpaid, yet his stats should suggest other wise. Gives you his full body and talent every night, and the center piece of the Hawks front court. Definitily another player Atlanta won't want to part with.
24. Blake Griffin
Don't laugh; Griffin has far too much talent to end up like Oden, even if for season ending injuries. The Clippers wouldn't be such a laughing stock if Blake had shown up, and after what just happened, with so much to prove, the Clippers would drop any player before letting go of Griffin.
On a side not, many other teams would like to grab this load of potential, who more than proved himself in the summer league.
Thus, this concludes 40-24 for players with the highest trade value. There's no way you're going to want to miss 24-1.
Please, comment if you would like, with disagreements or agreements.
(Prt. 2 should be coming out shortly--look here later for the link.)