NBA Stars and Players Most Likely to Hit 2022-23 Trade Block
Following Donovan Mitchell's trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who's next up on the list of star players to become available? What about players who aren't All-Stars, but can still help push contenders over the top?
To preview which guys will likely hit the trade block this season, we'll break it down into 15 total players over five categories:
- Star-Level Talent
- Role Players
- Bench Help
This list won't include any current Utah Jazz players, as Mike Conley Jr., Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, Malik Beasley and others are already widely known to be available. Russell Westbrook is another obvious name who could be on the move before the 2022-23 season begins.
With those players already technically hitting the block, expect the following 15 players to join them at some point this season.
Doug McDermott, F, San Antonio Spurs
One of the game's best three-point shooters, McDermott finished seventh overall in outside accuracy last season (42.2 percent). While most of these came off of catch-and-shoot attempts, the 30-year-old was even better on pull-up threes (43.2 percent).
McDermott won't bring much else to the table as a defender, rebounder or playmaker, but he's an elite shooter who would thrive next to a shot-creator like LeBron James, Luka Doncic or Chris Paul.
Derrick Favors, C, Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder should once again be in sell mode this season, as Chet Holmgren's season-ending Lisfranc injury guarantees this will be one of the NBA's worst teams once again.
Favors, 31, is one of the lone vets left on the roster, and can provide some rim protection and rebounding in a backup role for a contender. He's on an expiring $10.2 million contract, so there's no long-term money for teams to take on.
Terrence Ross, G/F, Orlando Magic
Orlando should wait to try and rehab Ross' value a bit before moving him, as he looked like one of the best bench scorers in the league before struggling with his shot last season (10.0 points on 39.7 percent shooting overall and 29.2 percent from three).
An expiring $11.5 million contract shouldn't be hard to move, however, especially for a wing who averaged 15.1 points on 36.2 percent from three from 2018-2021.
Evan Fournier, G/F, New York Knicks
The Knicks overpaid for Fournier last season and still owe him $36.9 million over the next two years. His 14.1 points per game and 38.9 percent mark from three didn't make up for Fournier's poor defense, leading to a career-worst swing rating of minus-6.7.
New York should see what it would take to get off Fournier's deal and start a player like Quentin Grimes in his place. Outside shooting will always be in demand, so the Knicks may be able to find a buyer.
Eric Gordon, G/F, Houston Rockets
Gordon, 33, was still playing at a high level on both ends last season and should draw plenty of interest from contenders looking for wing help.
He nailed 42.8 percent of his catch-and-shoot threes, defended at a high level and showed off some playmaking ability. With the Rockets not expected to sniff the playoffs this season, Gordon can serve as a starter or sixth man for a team with title aspirations.
Buddy Hield, G/F, Indiana Pacers
The Pacers are executing a rare rebuild, meaning Hield's time in the Hoosier state may not be for long. He'll turn 30 before the year's over and Indiana should want to prioritize minutes for players like Bennedict Mathurin and Chris Duarte instead.
While his three-point shooting has dropped each of the past five seasons, down to a career-low 36.6 percent in 2021-22, Hield showed off some surprising playmaking skills following his trade to the Pacers. Getting in the right situation could see his three-point accuracy rise above 40.0 percent once again as well.
Richaun Holmes, C, Sacramento Kings
Although he lost his job to Domantas Sabonis, Holmes should still be considered a starting-caliber center, one the Kings may look to move for wing help at some point this season.
The 28-year-old averaged 11.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and shot 68.3 percent in 25.7 minutes over 37 starts last season. With a team-friendly $36.1 million owed over the next three years, Holmes would be a nice pickup for teams who need center help at some point.
Josh Richardson, G/F, San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are in tank mode, meaning Richardson and his expiring $12.2 million contract will almost certainly be moved at some point before the deadline. The 28-year-old can play and defend multiple positions and made 41.5 percent of his threes last season.
Every team can use wings who can defend and shoot, and Richardson is an easy plug in to any contender's roster.
Myles Turner, C, Indiana Pacers
Turner has seemingly been on the trade block for years, and may finally be moved off a rebuilding Pacers team before he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Durability issues have plagued him in recent seasons, but Turner is a two time blocks leader who held opponents to 54.5 percent shooting at the rim last season. Add in his floor-spacing ability at age 26, and Indiana should still be able to get a first-round pick for the defensive ace.
Deandre Ayton, C, Phoenix Suns
Just because Ayton is back in Phoenix on a new four-year, $132.9 million deal doesn't mean his future with the Suns is safe.
Phoenix simply matched the offer sheet the Indiana Pacers signed Ayton to, which was the obvious choice at the time. If there's any animosity between the two sides, Ayton is eligible to be traded on January 15th, but can veto any trade until July 15th. He also cannot be traded to the Pacers until that time.
Teams like the Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets would all be intriguing fits.
John Collins, PF, Atlanta Hawks
Collins popped up in trade rumors this summer, and the Hawks built a package around him in an offer to try and get Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets.
Despite his success with the franchise thus far, Collins' usage rate has dropped each of the past four seasons and should only continue to fall now with Dejounte Murray on board.
There should be plenty of teams interested in a 24-year-old athletic big who can shoot at a high level, especially one under a guaranteed contract for the next three years.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
All eyes will be on Gilgeous-Alexander this season, as the dynamic young point guard will once again be the leader of a team that could win less than 30 games for the third year in a row. The New York Post's Marc Berman already mentioned Gilgeous-Alexander as a possible trade target to pivot to following the failed Donovan Mitchell pursuit.
After putting up 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.3 steals as a 23-year-old last season, the price for Gilgeous-Alexander, who's just starting a five-year, $179.3 million contract, will likely be even higher than that of Mitchell should the Thunder make him available.
Bradley Beal, SG, Washington Wizards
What, you thought the days of Beal being in trade talks were over just because he signed a shiny new deal?
Even with Beal, the Wizards are a play-in team at best this season. A trade for Monte Morris did nothing to solve the point guard dilemma and Kristaps Porzingis hasn't topped 57 games since the 2016-17 season. Washington is destined to be a sub-.500 team in a loaded East. At 29, how long can Beal truly be OK with that?
Beal got his money ($251 million over five years) and a no-trade clause, so he'll have a say over a new potential home. No one would blame Beal for asking out, and it may be in the best interest of Washington to rebuild as well.
Kevin Durant, F, Brooklyn Nets
After sitting on an unfulfilled trade request for two months, does anyone believe Durant won't ask out at some point again?
Just because the Nets didn't get the return they wanted for the 33-year-old superstar doesn't mean that offer won't come from some desperate team during the regular season. Injuries and squads that were once thought to be contenders stumbling out of the gate could easily convince a franchise to make a massive swing for Durant, one that Nets may not be able to refuse.
This is still a player who wanted his head coach and GM fired, the very same people he'll be working for and taking orders from this season. There simply has to be some uneasiness over the whole situation, whether Brooklyn wants to pretend it exists or not.
Teams like the Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks should be very interested in bringing Durant on board.
Kyrie Irving, PG, Brooklyn Nets
The Nets won't trade Irving before the season starts, but should be terrified to go into contract negotiations with him next summer as well.
An in-season trade may be best for all parties, as Irving can seriously rehab his image just by being available to start the year. He's still one of the most talented players in the NBA, one Brooklyn should be able to get a decent haul of picks/talent back for should Irving get off to a strong start.
Nothing with the Nets should be considered stable this season, with Durant, Irving and Ben Simmons' availability/happiness with the organization all up in the air. Brooklyn could turn into a dead whale bobbing in the ocean that all the sharks come to take a bite of, or come together and have the talent necessary to win a championship.
If it's the former, however, Irving could make a huge impact on a team like the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers or Dallas Mavericks.