Sometimes, a team has a player, or players, on their roster that they’d love to ship away.
Whether it’s because of a bad contract, combative behavior, a complete lack of production or a combination of each, some teams would just seemingly be better off without certain players.
The following is a list (in alphabetical order) of each team’s designated player they would happily trade away.
This was a tricky selection. Originally, Marvin Williams was the first name that came to mind because he’s scheduled to make slightly more than $23.2 million over the next three seasons—assuming he picks up his player option for Year 3 worth $7.5 million.
However, Kirk Hinrich is the choice because he’s scheduled to make $8 million in 2011-12 and it’s the last year of his current contract.
Currently, the Hawks salary for 2011-12 is slightly more than $65.8 million. If they take Hinrich’s contract off the payroll, they’d be under the old collective bargaining agreement’s salary cap, could get value in return for Hinrich’s expiring contract and might have money left over to re-sign Jamal Crawford.
The move would also give the Hawks an opportunity to see if their third-year point guard, former first-round draft pick Jeff Teague, is ready to take the reins of the offense.
O’Neal only played in 33 games last season (regular season and playoffs) and didn’t really do much to prove that he was worth the nearly $5.8 million he made last season, or that he’ll be worth the roughly $6.2 million he’s scheduled to make in 2011-12.
Sure, the Celtics could use his size on the interior, but they could also use some cap relief—they’re currently on the books for about $72.5 million next season.
The Bobcats will owe Diaw $9 million for the 2011-12 season. While the eight-year veteran is a versatile player who can contribute in numerous ways, his glaring inconsistency makes it difficult to say he’d be worth that kind of money.
Charlotte’s coaching staff likely has had no idea what they’ll get out of Diaw on a nightly basis. One game he’ll have 25 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists, and then the next game he’ll have two points, one rebound and no assists.
The Bobcats have a very young core, which includes 2011 NCAA Tournament MVP Kemba Walker, so it might be in their best interest to ship out Diaw. Teams might be enticed by his potential to put up big numbers in every fourth game of the year, as well as his expiring contract.
Along with Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer left Utah and took his talents to the Windy City in the “summer of LeBron.” The Bulls signed him to a three-year, $12.5 million contract.
Brewer appeared in 81 games for the Bulls in 2010-11, but he only started one game. His stats were nothing special, as he averaged 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
Chicago would love to address one of their weaker areas by adding a solid shooting guard via free agency like Arron Afflalo or Nick Young. Unfortunately for President Obama’s favorite professional basketball squad, they’re already on the books for about $61.7 million in salary for 2011-12.
Not to mention, Derrick Rose will become a restricted free agent after next season and the club he nearly led to the Finals last season will probably reward him handsomely.
If the Bulls can trade away Brewer, $4.7 million will be taken off the books for 2011-12 and $4.37 million will be taken off for 2012-13. That money could help them either land a solid shooting guard or put more money in D-Rose’s pocket.
Baron Davis is scheduled to make $13.95 million in 2011-12, and he has a player option worth $14.85 million for 2012-13. While Davis is still a decent point guard option, it’s hard to make an argument that a player who averaged 13.9 points and 6.1 assists on the Cavaliers last season will be a good value.
The Cavaliers landed their point guard of the future when they drafted Kyrie Irving this past June. Although there’s no way of knowing how good the Duke prospect will be upon entering the league, Cleveland could afford to let Davis go because they’re not going to be a contender any time soon, and they have another solid point guard in Ramon Sessions.
Last summer, the Mavericks signed Haywood to a six-year, $55 million contract.
Haywood was expected to be the team’s starting center, but Tyson Chandler took over the middle for the Mavericks last season. As a result, Haywood ended up only playing about 18.5 minutes per game last season, averaging 4.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and one block per game.
In 2011-12, Haywood is scheduled to make slightly more than $7.6 million. It’s reasonable to believe the Mavericks wish they wouldn’t have to pay his salary so that they can have more money to re-sign Chandler—which looks like it will be a very difficult task.
Over the next four seasons, the Nuggets are scheduled to pay more than $27 million to Harrington.
No longer the potent scoring threat that could put up 30 points any night, the 13-year veteran from New Jersey has logged a lot of minutes in the NBA. Last season, his scoring average dropped from 17.7 in 2009-10 to 10.5. His field goal percentage also went down from 43.5 percent to 41.6 percent.
While Harrington could still provide some contributions to the Nuggets, the team appears likely to begin a rebuilding phase. Currently, they’re in good position to have financial flexibility after next season, and moving Harrington would only help that.
Last season, the Pistons were close to reaching a deal that would get Hamilton out of Detroit, but he wanted more money from the buyout that would have taken place with the Cavaliers.
In each of the next two seasons, the Pistons are scheduled to pay the UConn alum $12.65 million. While Hamilton’s still a solid player, he’s definitely not worth that kind of money—especially on a team that has other bad contracts and probably won’t make the playoffs.
It’s never easy for a coach or management to deal with an over-the-hill, disgruntled All-Star. Last season, then-coach John Kuester and Hamilton didn’t get along very well, to put it nicely.
General Manager Joe Dumars is probably hoping a situation like last year’s doesn’t happen again. Dumars is also probably hoping that he can move Hamilton so that the rebuilding process can begin faster and the team has some additional cap room.
The injury plagued, offensively challenged Andris Biedrins is scheduled to make $9 million in each of the next two seasons, and he has a player option worth another $9 million for 2013-14.
That’s a lot of money for a player who’s missed 72 games over the past two seasons. Biedrins’ statistics don’t help his case, either, as he averaged five points, 7.2 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game last season.
It’s been a struggle for Thabeet in the NBA so far. He was averaging 1.2 points per game for Memphis last season before being traded to the Rockets. Soon after, he was sent down to Houston’s D-League affiliate—making him the highest draft pick ever to be sent down.
In 2011-12, Thabeet is scheduled to make slightly more than $5.1 million. Fortunately for the Rockets’ ownership, the lockout has made the possibility Thabeet gets that money very slim.
They’re probably thankful that his contract for 2012-13 has a team option. Having to dish out nearly $6.5 million to player who has a career average of 2.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game would not be a good feeling.
The Pacers owe Posey about $6.9 million next season—quite a bit of money for a player who’s not nearly as effective as he used to be.
Last season, the former NBA champion averaged just 4.9 points on 33.6 percent shooting (31.6 percent from three). That’s pretty low for a majority of players, let alone one whose niche in the league is supposed to be shooting.
The Clippers owe Mo Williams $8.5 million in 2011-12, and he has a player option for 2012-13.
Over the past couple of seasons, the NBA has seen a bevy of young point guards take the reins of their team’s offense and be successful. The Clippers hope that when Eric Bledsoe’s time comes to take over the offense, he’ll be able to do the same.
So, the question now (or whenever next season starts) is when will Los Angeles’s second-tier basketball squad make Bledsoe the starter?
Since the team doesn’t appear to be in playoff contention for next season, it’s reasonable to think they’d want to bring Williams off the bench so that Bledsoe can audition for their "point guard of the future" position.
Bynum is scheduled to make slightly more than $15 million in 2011-12 and nearly $16.5 million in 2012-13—if the team picks up his option.
While he’s got boatloads of potential, he’s also already got a vast injury history at the young age of 23. His maturity has also come into question when he does things like the flagrant foul on J.J. Barea in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals or putting off major surgery to go watch the World Cup.
While reports have said many within the Lakers’ organization would be very much in favor of trading Bynum for Dwight Howard, if the opportunity presents itself, there have also been reports that Jim Buss will not allow the player he made the decision to draft in 2005 leave Los Angeles.
So to quote a famous cliché: we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
O.J. Mayo was the subject of trade rumors quite often last season. The Grizzlies management was probably even more in favor of moving the shooting guard after he got into a fight with teammate Tony Allen this past January.
Nearly a month after the fight incident, Mayo was suspended for 10 games because he tested positive for a banned substance.
After next season, Mayo becomes a restricted free agent with a $7.4 million qualifying offer. With all the money the Grizzlies have committed to other players—especially Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay—and will have to spend in order to keep Marc Gasol, it’s reasonable to think they won’t send an offer sheet Mayo’s way.
If that ends up being the case, they might as well trade him and see if they can get something in return.
This was one of the tougher selections to make. Anthony ended up being the player chosen because the Heat have nearly $15 million committed to the center over the next four seasons (assuming he picks up his player option in Year 4).
It’s no secret that the Heat are trying to sign a big man through free agency but don’t have much salary cap flexibility. Getting Anthony’s contract off the books could allow them to sign an interior guy who’s not offensively inept.
While Anthony provides Miami with great defense and rebounding, they could have really used a center last year that could finish layups and dunks around the rim.
Quite often, opposing defenses could get away with playing them five on four, which made the drawbacks of double-teaming LeBron James or Dwyane Wade much less painful.
Drew Gooden is a solid role player who usually provides his team with energy, rebounding and an ability to make defenses that leave him open for a 12-14 foot jumper pay.
Still, is Gooden a player worthy of commanding $25.4 million over the next four seasons?
The former Kansas star did average 11.3 points and 6.8 points in 24.6 minutes per game for the Bucks last season; however, he missed 47 games due to injury. Over the past three seasons, he’s missed a total of 90 games.
The Bucks were the ones who gave Gooden his five-year, $32 million deal last July. It seemed like a bit of an overpayment, but could have still been worth it if he stayed healthy because of Milwaukee’s weak front line.
Well, things didn’t work out too great last season and the Bucks are probably wishing that the only other player besides Andrew Bogut officially on their payroll for 2013-14 and 2014-15 didn’t spell his name D-R-E-W-space-G-O-O-D-E-N.
The Timberwolves haven’t been allowed to sign their top draft pick Derrick Williams yet, but they’re already looking at nearly $48.4 million in salary for the 2011-12 season. While trading Randolph and his roughly $2.9 million salary wouldn’t be taking off that much, it’s still better than nothing.
Trading Randolph would solve another issue the Timberwolves have, their frontcourt logjam. Next season, time at the small forward and power forward positions will have to be split up among Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson, Kevin Love, Randolph, Martell Webster and Williams (and to a lesser extent, Lazar Hayward and Nikola Pekovic).
While Love will probably play some center, Darko Milicic and Anthony Tolliver will likely get the majority of minutes there.
Last season, Travis Outlaw was one of the least valuable players in the NBA.
Outlaw received $7 million in salary but only accounted for 0.8 win shares, equating to $8.5 million spent per win—one of the league’s worst marks. He averaged 9.2 points per game while shooting 37.5 percent from the field and 30.2 percent from three.
Nets general manager Billy King has probably had dreams about another team trading to take on Outlaw’s contract, which isn’t set to expire until July 2015.
Okafor is a solid center; he’s just overpaid. Over the next three seasons, he’s scheduled to make more than $40.5 million.
Last season, Okafor’s scoring and rebounding were down from his career averages.
The UConn alum recently turned 29 and will be in his 30’s for the final two seasons of his contract—during which time he’ll make more than $28 million.
Only because if the Knicks decide to trade Billups and his $14.2 million expiring contract, they’ll probably be getting something good back in return—like, say maybe, Chris Paul.
If not Billups then Renaldo Balkman, since he barely plays and is owed nearly $3.4 million over the next two seasons.
Over the next two seasons, the Thunder will owe B.J. Mullens about $3.5 million.
Since getting drafted 24th overall by Oklahoma City in the 2009 NBA draft, the big man out of Ohio State hasn’t had an illustrious career—to say the least. He’s appeared in 26 games, totaling 39 points, 34 rebounds and three blocks.
Gilbert “I bring guns to” Arenas (I wish I was witty enough to think that up) is set to make more than $62 million over the next three seasons, assuming he picks up his player option worth nearly $21 million for 2012-13.
Orlando is just under the $75 million salary mark for 2011-12, and they’re slightly over that mark for 2012-13. GM Otis Smith would love to be able to get rid of Agent Zero’s gargantuan contract in some way, especially with Dwight Howard's impending free agency.
Brand is scheduled to make $35 million over the next two seasons. It’s a dangerous investment for the 76ers because of his injury history and age (32).
If Philadelphia were somehow able free themselves of Brand’s contract, some of that money could be used to ensure Thaddeus Young stays in a Sixers’ uniform.
Childress is owed about $27 million from the Suns over the next four seasons.
In 2010-11, his points per game average was less than his salary in millions (5 to 6.5) and his free-throw shooting was a horrendous 49.2 percent. It was not a good season, to say the least.
Suns owner Robert Sarver is probably regretting spending all that money last summer, which could have been used to keep Amar’e Stoudemire in Phoenix, on Childress, Channing Frye and Hakim Warrick.
Over the next two seasons, the Blazers will be scheduled to pay Brandon Roy about $31.3 million. In 2013-14, Roy has a player option worth close to $17.8 million.
It’s doubtful the Blazers would happily trade him away, but if it came down to picking one player, the injury-riddled former Rookie of the Year gets the nod.
The fact Brandon Roy has been able to return playing basketball is remarkable in and of itself. Because he was such a great player for Portland for numerous seasons, it’s doubtful they’d decide to trade him off.
Still, their salary for 2011-12 is currently at about $66.3 million, so there’s always a possibility that the improbable occurs.
The Kings are primarily a young team.
John Salmons is 31. The nine-year veteran is scheduled to earn close to $31.5 million over the next four seasons.
While the Kings payroll for 2011-12 currently sits at a shade under $30 million, the franchise is pretty cash-strapped. It’s reasonable to believe some or many within the organization would like to be free from Salmon’s contract so they can put some of that money towards re-signing Marcus Thornton.
Assuming he exercises his player option for 2013-14, Richard Jefferson is scheduled to make about $30 million over the next three seasons. That’s a lot for an 11-point-per-game scorer, especially for a small-market team like San Antonio that takes pride in making wise decisions on when to spend the big bucks.
Jefferson’s scoring has declined in each of the past four seasons, so the Spurs management probably won’t be expecting any miracles from the 10-year veteran. They’d love to shed his contract, especially considering they’re currently booked for about $73.2 million in salary for the 2011-12 season.
Jose Calderon is a solid point guard, but he’s probably not worth about $20 million over the next two seasons. Toronto will likely be stuck with Calderon until 2013-14 when he becomes a free agent.
In the end, having an expensive point guard like Calderon probably isn’t their biggest concern, considering they’re one of the NBA’s worst teams.
The Jazz will owe Okur nearly $11 million for 2011-12. The nine-year veteran is coming off an injury-plagued season that caused him to miss 69 games.
Upon Okur’s return to the Jazz, his team will have a logjam of big men. Veterans Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap will each be working hard to avoid getting jumped in the starting lineup by the third overall selections of the past two NBA drafts—Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.
Regardless of if (or when) either of the two young Jazz big men cracks the starting five, the organization will certainly be looking to give them substantial playing time. Also, second-year athletic forward Jeremy Evans will do his best to remain in the team’s rotation—especially since his contract expires after next season.
So where does that leave Okur? In the 13 games he appeared in last season, he played just about 13 minutes per game. With all the frontcourt players the Jazz have, it’s reasonable to believe they’ll look to move their 32-year-old big man, who’s got an expiring contract that might entice some trade partners.
Over the next two seasons, Rashard Lewis is scheduled to make nearly $46 million.
A contract like that is probably not one a young team like the Wizards is content with having. It’s understandable why they ended up with Lewis on their team—the quicker they got Gilbert Arenas out of town, the better—but the former All-Star is a shell of his old self.
Of course, there’s no telling whether the next collective bargaining agreement will have an amnesty clause that Washington could use on their 13-year-veteran forward.
There’s also a possibility that if they live with paying his salary next season—which is the league’s second highest behind Kobe Bryant—then another team will be enticed by his expiring contract that is set to pay him about $23.8 million in 2012-13.