NBA Trade Rumors: 14 Players That Need a Change of Scenery
It sucks to realize that not every great NCAA player goes on to have a legendary NBA career. There are always those players that get drafted into thew wrong system and never fully develop into the players everyone was expecting.
But it happens and there's nothing we can do about it.
Currently, there is a long list of players that receive small amounts of playing time and we all know that that single player can become something if he were given the opportunity.
But like I said, it happens.
We've grown accustomed to being surprised when it comes to certain aspects in the NBA. It more so has to deal with players like Jeremy Lin, who went from riding the end of the bench to becoming one of the biggest surprises in the NBA's storied history (I realize that some of y'all are sick of Lin, but I had to mention it to get my point across).
Anyway, in this slideshow, I will feature players that I think can do exceptionally well if they are given the right opportunity in the right system.
Note: However, there is some criteria that needs to be analyzed before this moves any further. I will not feature long-time veterans such as Jerry Stackhouse or Tracy McGrady -- their best days are long behind them. These players in the following slides are players that have been in the NBA since the 2005-06 season.
Jordan Hill, Houston Rockets
Career Stats: 148 games (18 starts), 14.8 minutes per game, 5.4 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game
Practical Better Teams: Boston, Atlanta, Memphis, Washington, New Orleans, Golden State
Jordan Hill was once a highly-touted prospect coming out of Arizona and his play earned him an eighth-overall selection by the New York Knicks in the 2009 NBA Draft.
However, much like Channing Frye before him, Hill never got the grasp of the Knicks' playbook and instead, rode the pine in New York for just 24 games. Then, as part of a three-team trade, Hill was dealt from the Knicks to the Houston Rockets, where he has been ever since.
But since his arrival in Houston, it hasn't gotten much better.
To finish out his rookie campaign, the former Wildcat participated in 23 games, averaging 6.4 points and 5 rebounds per contest.
The following season, Hill played in 72 games, starting 11 of them for the Rockets. While playing a shade above 15 minutes per game, the center averaged 5.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
After seeing a slight decrease in minutes this season, Hill has been shooting a career-best 51.3-percent from the field, while accumulating 5 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest. Mostly utilized as a bench player, Hill will likely never see a full-time starting role in Houston as long as Samuel Dalembert is there.
I firmly believe that Hill would need to get dealt elsewhere for us to see his abilities. If given the starting opportunity, I don't ever see him becoming an all-star by any means, but I think he could become a quality player that could go out there every night and score 12-15 points and grab seven to eight rebounds per game.
James Anderson, San Antonio Spurs
Career Stats: 55 games (three starts), 11.8 minutes per game, 3.7 points per game, 1.2 rebounds per game, .8 assists per game
Practical Better Teams: Boston, Cleveland, Golden State, Oklahoma City, Portland, Charlotte
Like Hill in the previous slide, Anderson was once a highly-touted prospect, but he has struggled since being selected with the 20th overall selection by the Spurs in the 2010 NBA Draft.
Reports have surfaced recently that Anderson could be on his way out of San Antonio, as he is slipping further and further down the depth chart.
Manu Ginobili, as long as he's a Spur, will never relinquish his starting role -- there's no doubt about that. Danny Green has also been playing exceptionally well, which has come as quite a surprise to most NBA fans. Rookie Kawhi Leonard has also been playing spectacular, which makes Anderson even more expendable.
It appears as though he will not be in a black-and-white uniform for that much longer.
Anderson, a 6'6" shooting guard, has copious amounts of potential. But he will not reach his full potential if he's riding the pine in San Antonio. Head coach Greg Popovich has had a long, storied history of not playing young players and Anderson has seemingly fallen into that category.
Since his arrival in the NBA, Anderson has logged in averages of 11 and 12.5 minutes per game, respectively. Most teams would not want that out of a recent first-round pick, so a departure seems very likely. It remains quite simple: Anderson wants to play, Popovich doesn't want to give him the minutes, Anderson's feelings get hurt and he eventually gets his wish of a trade. It'll happen.
Austin Daye, Detroit Pistons
Career Stats: 168 games (21 starts), 16.4 minutes per game, 6 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game, 0.8 assists per game
Practical Better Teams: Golden State, Atlanta, New Jersey, San Antonio, Utah, Oklahoma City, Miami, Milwaukee
Since arriving in the NBA, Austin Daye has had a rather odd career. After playing sparingly during his rookie campaign, Daye's minutes increased during his sophomore season.
His points per game jumped from 5.1 to 7.5, while his rebounds jumped from 2.5 to 3.8. Yes, they may not seem like sexy numbers, but when you're not playing more than 20 minutes per game, you're not going to expect Hall-of-Fame numbers.
But now, it appears as though Daye has landed in the dog house in Detroit.
He is playing in just 14.7 minutes per game, while shooting a career-low 30.1-percent from the field. The former Gonzaga star is also averaging a career-low 4.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and one assist per game.
I firmly believe that Daye has great talent. I think he's a very good small forward that can do many solid things with the basketball. The problem is that he rarely gets it in his hands when he's actually on the court. He needs to find a way out of Detroit if he wants to flourish. If he decides to stay in the Motor City, he will be riding the pine for the rest of his career.
A departure should be in Daye's future.. that is, if he wants to have a solid NBA career.
Terrence Williams, Houston Rockets
Career Stats: 111 games (nine starts), 20.1 minutes per game, 7.4 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per game
Practical Better Teams: Golden State, Detroit, Orlando, New Jersey, Chicago, Toronto, Portland
One of a number of lottery selections in this list, Terrence Williams has also had a rather odd career.
After playing in 78 games during his rookie season, starting nine of them, Williams logged in about 23 minutes per contest. During that span, the former Louisville star averaged 8.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.
But things changed after that season and Williams was suddenly on the trading block. On Dec. 15, 2010, as part of a three-team deal, Williams was dealt from the Nets to the Rockets. Over the rest of the season, the forward played in just eleven games for Houston, averaging 3.5 points in 7.6 minutes per contest.
It hasn't gotten much better for the seldom-used Williams this year, either.
With rookie Chandler Parsons and near-Slam Dunk Champion Chase Budinger surpassing him on the depth chart, Williams logs in about 15 minutes per contest, averaging 4.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
With a team that is rich when it comes to small forward, Williams is never going to receive the playing time he covets. He will likely have to split his time three ways with the aforementioned Parsons and Budinger.
So a change of scenery seems entirely plausible if he wants to succeed. I don't think we'll see Williams in a Rockets uniform for that much longer and I think it'll be for the best.
J.J. Hickson, Sacramento Kings
Career Stats: 257 games (148 starts), 20.6 minutes per game, 8.6 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game
Practical Better Teams: Boston, Philadelphia, Memphis, Denver, Atlanta, Golden State, L.A. Clippers, New York, Minnesota
The past couple of seasons have been odd for J.J. Hickson, once a budding star in the NBA. Now, he seems as though he's riding the Kings' bench while contributing miniscule things.
As a Cavalier last season, Hickson got his time to shine, as the power forward started 66 games for the re-building Cleveland team, averaging 13.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest.
During the offseason, Hickson was surprisingly dealt to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for small forward Omri Casspi. At the time, the Kings seemed to be getting an amazing deal, but it appears now that the trade was a normal one-for-one swap.
Currently, the former North Carolina State star is averaging 4.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, while playing in about 19 minutes per contest. His minutes have been severely limited since he has to split time with former lottery picks DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson and free-agent signing Chuck Hayes.
Clearly, Hickson needs to find a new home if he wants to go back to the player he was during the 2010-11 campaign. He's just 23 years old, so he still has a long career ahead of him. Teams should be clamoring to make a deal for the forward, as he has the ability to become one of those players that can energize a team and take them far into the playoffs.
Teams definitely need to take a look at Hickson. He's going to be a star one day.
Tyrus Thomas, Charlotte Bobcats
Career Stats: 349 games (115 starts), 20.5 minutes per game, 8.1 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, 1.4 blocks per game
Practical Better Teams: Boston, Dallas, New Orleans, L.A. Lakers, Atlanta, Washington, Golden State, Detroit
At one point in time, Tyrus Thomas was expected to become the next great thing. The former LSU star was taken with fourth-overall selection by Portland in 2006, but was immediately dealt to Chicago in exchange for the draft rights to Texas star LaMarcus Aldridge.
Boy, did the Bulls make a triumphant mistake.
After two years of primarily being used as a bench player, Thomas was thrown into the starting lineup, beginning with the 2008-09 season with Chicago. That season, Thomas averaged a career-high 10.8 points per game, along with gobbling up about 6.4 rebounds per game.
The following year, on Feb. 18, 2010, Thomas was dealt to Charlotte in exchange for Acie Law, Ronald Murray and a future first-round selection. For the rest of the season, Thomas participated in 25 games, averaging 10.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
The 2010-11 campaign, his first full season in Charlotte, the power forward played in just 41 games, starting two of them. Along the way, Thomas averaged 10.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. It's gotten even worse this season, as the six-year veteran is averaging just 5.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, both of which have been his lowest totals since his rookie season. He's also shooting 33.7 percent from the field, by far his lowest percentage of his career -- he has shot at least 42 percent in every single season since arriving in the NBA.
Regardless, Thomas needs a break. He needs a change of scenery.
Thomas needs to go elsewhere if he wants to flourish. He may never be one of those key starting role players, but I can see him becoming a quality sixth man. He just needs to go to another team if the 25-year-old wants to salvage his career. Luckily, he's got plenty of time.
Robin Lopez, Phoenix Suns
Career Stats: 215 games (94 starts), 14.1 minutes per game, 5.6 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game, 0.8 blocks per game
Practical Better Teams: Milwaukee, New Jersey, Orlando, Memphis, New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlotte, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers
The lesser-known Lopez has had a rather disappointing career thus far. And even though his brother has seemingly had a better pro career, Brook's name has constantly been on the trading block more than Robin's.
But "the other Lopez" seems to be more expendable.
The Suns are stacked in the frontcourt with players such as the surprising inside force Marcin Gortat, the under-sized Hakim Warrick, rookie Markieff Morris and Channing Frye, perhaps the best shooting big man in the NBA. So it seems as though Lopez really doesn't fit into the Suns' long-term plans.
There's no question that he can contribute, but he just needs to find that right system that best utilizes him.
Since being tabbed with the 15th overall selection in the 2008 draft, Lopez has never received an abundance of minutes. He has never averaged more than 20 minutes per contest and has never eclipsed 9 points and 5 rebounds per game.
But he could surpass those expected totals if he were to land elsewhere. Milwaukee seems like a great option, as the team has struggled in the absence of Andrew Bogut, a former first-overall selection.
I believe Lopez can become a player that can average 12-15 points per game, along with grabbing up seven to eight rebounds per contest. I just don't think he'll be able to do that in the desert.
Dominique Jones, Dallas Mavericks
Career Stats: 40 games (zero starts), 7.9 minutes per game, 2.5 points per game, 1.4 rebounds per game, 1.2 assists per game
Practical Better Teams: L.A. Clippers, Chicago, Portland, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Washington, San Antonio
This may seem puzzling to some, as Jones is just in his second full-time season in the NBA. But just hear me out on this.. the former first-round selection will not get anywhere in his pro career if he remains with the defending champions.
The Mavericks are rich in the backcourt, to say the least.
Currently on the roster, at point guard and shooting guard, Mark Cuban's team consists of Jason Kidd, Roddy Beaubois, Jason Terry, Delonte West and Vince Carter.
Needless to say, Jones isn't going to see much playing time behind those five athletes. To get a considerable amount of playing time, Jones will need to head elsewhere if he wants to show that he was worth the 25th-overall selection.
The 6'4" shooting guard has all the capabilities of becoming a legitimate role player in the NBA. He may never be a full-fledged starter, but I can definitely see him becoming a solid threat off the bench, much like James Harden in Oklahoma City.
The former South Florida star was great during his three years in college, as he never averaged less than 17 points per game—his career-high was during his junior campaign when the guard averaged 21.3 points per contest. During his college days, he also showed that he is a quality all-around player as he averaged 4.6, 5.6 and 6 rebounds per game, respectively. He also averaged 2.8 assists per game during his freshman season and then followed it up with four and 3.6 assists per contest.
The point I'm trying to make is that Jones can become an excellent player in the NBA, but he just needs to be given that shot to strut his stuff. He's just never going to be able to do that with so many veterans in front of him in Dallas.
Brian Scalabrine, Chicago Bulls
Career Stats: 513 games (61 starts), 13.2 minutes per game, 3.1 points per game, 2 rebounds per game
Practical Better Teams: Any
Scalabrine is one of the best, unheralded players in the NBA. Unfortunately, he just doesn't play, but I believe he can become a legitimate star in the league if he's given the chance. And plus, he has more rings than LeBron James. So, c'mon son.
If given the opportunity to start, there's no doubt in my mind that he can go out there and average 20 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
Ah, just kidding.
Anthony Randolph, Minnesota Timberwolves
Career Stats: 155 games (33 starts), 17.5 minutes per game, 8.4 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, one block per game
Practical Better Teams: Boston, L.A. Clippers, New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Indiana, New Orleans, Denver, Orlando, Toronto
I've felt so sorry for Anthony Randolph, I don't know about y'all. When I first saw Randolph play in college, I was amazed because he was one of the best physical specimens I had ever seen. I thought to myself, "this kid is going to be a stud in the NBA."
But apparently I was wrong. However, there's still a chance for Randolph, as he is just 22 years old. He's still got plenty of time left to change the course of his career.
Originally taken with the 14th overall selection by Golden State in 2008, Randolph was immediately thought to come in and become a star. However, he played just two seasons in Golden State before being dealt to the Knicks, along with Kelenna Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf, in exchange for David Lee.
However, during those two years, Randolph showed promise, as he averaged 7.9 and 11.6 points, respectively. He also grabbed up 5.8 and 6.5 rebounds per game in that span as well. It looked as though he was on his way to stardom before the trade to the Knicks.
But he'd spend just s17 games in New York before being dealt again, this time as part of the blockbuster mega-deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York. Randolph ended up in Minnesota, along with Eddy Curry. He participated in 23 games with the 'Wolves for the rest of the season, averaging 11.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Yet again, he showed promise.
This season has been a disappointment, however. Randolph logs in about 12.5 minutes per contest, averaging 6.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
Randolph is a freakishly-good athlete that has the ability to become a humongous star. He's got all the talent in the world, but he just hasn't been given the chance to show what he can do if placed in the starting rotation. Randolph eventually needs to find a new team, work his way into the main rotation and try his hardest to become a legitimate starter. Because frankly, he's got all the tools of becoming someone great.
Toney Douglas, New York Knicks
Career Stats: 163 games (30 starts), 22.1 minutes per game, 9.4 points per game, 2.5 assists per game, 2.5 rebounds per game
Practical Better Teams: L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Toronto, Portland, Miami, Milwaukee, Phoenix, New Orleans
Ah, how things change. At the beginning of the season, everyone seemed to be noting that Toney Douglas was going to become the next breakout star. With Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler on the roster, Douglas was going to be having a field day.
And then Jeremy Lin emerges and messes everything up.
Lin is undoubtedly the Knicks' main man in New York, there's no question about that. And it appears that Iman Shumpert will be Lin's back-up for the foreseeable future. Any time that is remaining seems to belong to Baron Davis.
So that makes Douglas expendable and it is entirely plausible that he won't be a Knick for that much longer. However, Douglas is still in his rookie deal and he is making just $1.145 million this season, so it'd seem somewhat hard for the Knicks to unload a player of his caliber for another solid player—I mainly attribute this to a player that is comparative to Douglas makes more than his $1.145 million salary.
This season, the former Florida State Seminole is currently averaging a career-low 7.6 points per game, along with 2.2 assists and two rebounds per contest. In other words, he's struggling and that hurts his trade value substantially.
But there are teams out there that desperately need a back-up point guard and Douglas could be moved to one of those teams by the time the trade deadline rolls around. He's got a lot of potential, but he just needs to find the right coaching staff that can utilize him the best.
Daniel Orton, Orlando Magic
Career Stats: Three games (zero starts), 2.3 minutes per game, 0.7 points per game, 0.3 assists per game
Practical Better Teams: Any team with frontcourt help
I'm going to keep this short and simple. I believe Orton is a bust. I called it from draft day and it appears that it's going to stay that way.
Of course, it doesn't help that the player ahead of you on the depth chart is Dwight Howard, the best center in the game. So of course, Howard will receive 90-percent of the minutes while Orton is left out in the cold. And even when Orton has the chance to play, guys like Ryan Anderson and Glen Davis will be used before the former Kentucky Wildcat.
Orton makes just a shade over $1.1 million salary, so it's not like the Magic would be trying to get rid of a Rashard Lewis-like contract. They can give him away for cheap and I'm sure there's at least one general manager out there that feels that he's a developmental player that's worth the risk.
We just don't know who that general manager is and for now, Orton is stuck in no-man's land.
I'm not sure a change of scenery would be vastly beneficial, but his career could have a better outcome if he landed elsewhere.
Brandan Wright, Dallas Mavericks
Career Stats: 140 games (31 starts), 12.8 minutes per game, 5.5 points per game, 2.9 rebounds per game, 0.8 blocks per game
Practical Better Teams: Golden State, Boston, Memphis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, New Orleans
I'll be the first to tell you—I've always been a fan of Brandan Wright. I just wish things had turned out differently for the former Tar Heel.
After being tabbed with the eighth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by Charlotte, Wright has seemingly bounced around and has been given small amounts of playing time along the way.
Wright played about 10 minutes per game during his rookie campaign and played well enough for the Warriors to reward him with additional minutes the following season. Wright played a career-high 17.6 minutes per contest during his sophomore season, averaging 8.3 points and four rebounds per contest.
Just 21 games into the 2010-11 season, Wright, along with Dan Gadzuric, was dealt to New Jersey in exchange for the once double-double machine Troy Murphy and a 2012 second round pick. He played just 16 games for the Nets for the rest of the season while primarily riding the end of the bench.
Prior to the start of this season, Wright signed a contract with the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. But unfortunately for Wright, the Mavericks are also rich in the frontcourt with players such as former MVP Dirk Nowitzki, former bust Yi Jianlian, Lamar Odom, Brendan Haywood, Brian Cardinal, Sean Williams and one of the biggest out-of-nowhere surprise players, Ian Mahinmi.
So it appears there isn't much room for Wright, although he is currently averaging 5.9 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in about 13 minutes of action.
But I fully believe there is still hope for Wright. He has a profuse amount of potential, but just needs to put it to work. If he can land on a team that can actually give him about 16-20 minutes of playing time, I think Wright can flourish. He may never be a full-time starter, but I can definitely see him becoming a key contributor off the bench.
Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers
Career Stats: 93 games (25 starts), 20.7 minutes per game, 6.1 points per game, 3.2 assists per game, 2.5 rebounds per game
Practical Better Teams: Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Memphis, L.A. Lakers, Portland, Phoenix, Orlando
Even though Eric Bledsoe has been in the NBA for not even two full seasons, it's been an odd venture.
The point guard was taken by the Thunder with the 18th overall selection, but was then immediately dealt to the Clippers in exchange for a future first-round pick.
Over his rookie season, he appeared in 81 games, starting 25 of them. Successfully logging in almost 23 minutes per contest, the former Kentucky Wildcat averaged 6.7 points, 3.6 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.
He was thought to be a key contributor for the Clippers this season until the front office wheeled-and-dealed throughout the entire offseason. They struck gold when they made a mega-deal with New Orleans to acquire all-star Chris Paul. Then, the team signed former NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups to a contract to act as the team's back-up point guard and a seldom-used starting shooting guard.
Not to mention, the team already had Mo Williams on the roster so needless to say, the Clippers have an amazing amount of depth at point guard.
Having those three players on the roster (even though Billups will likely miss the rest of the season) makes Bledsoe especially expendable. And the thing about it is is that Bledsoe has great potential. He's a solid player, that with the right coaching, could become a great back-up or maybe even a starter in the NBA.
But he's not going to accomplish anything with a team that has so many backcourt players. Bledsoe needs to go elsewhere if he wants to flourish and I'm sure there are a good amount of teams that would love to acquire Bledsoe.
Jonny Flynn, Houston Rockets
Career Stats: 141 games (89 starts), 24.1 minutes per game, 9.9 points per game, 3.9 assists per game, 2 rebounds per game
Practical Better Teams: L.A. Lakers, New York, Memphis, Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Utah, Cleveland, Detroit
Notice a theme here? This is the third Rockets player on this list in case you were counting.
Flynn has become quite the disappointment since arriving in the NBA from Syracuse. Taken with the sixth overall selection by Minnesota, Flynn was just never able to get things going with the 'Wolves.
His subpar play eventually led to his departure, as he was part of a draft day trade that sent him to Houston, along with the draft rights to Donatas Motiejunas, who has yet to make his professional debut in the United States.
Flynn has played just seven games for the Rockets this season, averaging just 3.1 points and 2.4 assists per contest. Of course, Kyle Lowry has been playing the best basketball of his career and Goran Dragic has been a better back-up than Flynn, so the point guard has become quite expendable.
At just 23 years old, Flynn still has plenty of time to develop. There are many years left until he calls it quits and I'm sure he can become a solid player by the time he hangs his sneakers up.
Flynn definitely has all the capabilities of becoming a star. He just needs to put it to use.
Other Players That Need a Change
Of course, there are many other players that need a change of scenery. I'm sure there are quite a few players that loathe the position they're in right now, but they're getting paid for it, so what more could they ask for?
Like I said, there are going to be other players that want off of their teams and some of them may get their wish, depending on how hard they push the front office to make a decision.
So, with veterans included, here's some other players that could use a change of scenery:
* Andres Nocioni, Philadelphia
* Gary Forbes, Toronto
* Dorell Wright, Golden State
* Josh Childress, Phoenix
* Marvin Williams, Atlanta
* Carlos Delfino, Milwaukee
* C.J. Miles, Utah
* Boris Diaw, Charlotte
* Carl Landry, New Orleans
* Ben Gordon, Detroit
* Travis Outlaw, Sacramento
So Who Moves at the Deadline?
Not every single one of these players is going to be dealt, that's obvious. But don't be surprised if a couple of the athletes are actually moved at the trade deadline.
Of the players listed in the previous slides, I'm going to go ahead and say that the likeliest candidates to get dealt are J.J. Hickson, Tyrus Thomas, Robin Lopez, James Anderson, Austin Daye and Terrence Williams, in no particular order.
But as the deadline looms, we'll see what happens. The trade deadline should definitely be exciting this month (or at least I'm hoping so).