Major Sports Trades That Need to Happen Soon

Giancarlo Ferrari-King@@GiancarloKingFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2017

Major Sports Trades That Need to Happen Soon

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    Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

    With 2017 quickly taking shape, we wanted to break down some major sports trades that need to happen soon. These are moves that span the likes of the NFL, NBA and NHL. With all three sports currently in season, there wasn't another direction worth going in.

    The following trades have been sourced at one point or another. These aren't random names put together for the sake of clickbait. Each athlete listed comes with an explanation of why they should be traded and potentially where they should end up.

    Processing all of the criteria listed above, let's jump in and find out who made our list of major sports trades that need to happen.

Sean Payton

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    It's rare in the National Football League to see a coach get traded. When it happens, it's never as straight up as say a player getting dealt. The most obvious scenario was when Jon Gruden was "traded" from Oakland to Tampa Bay—he was actually allowed to sign with the Buccaneers—in exchange for four draft picks and cash.

    This offseason, rumors have been swirling about New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton becoming the next guy to face this scenario. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports even reported the Saints aren't ruling this type of move out.

    A logical choice for Payton would be with the Los Angeles Rams. With quarterback Jared Goff entering Year 2 of his development, Payton's body of work with Drew Brees has to sit well. The main issue here is the Rams are strapped when it comes to draft picks, having dealt the farm for Goff's services last year.

    Moving Payton to Los Angeles would not only provide a spark to an anemic offense, but it would also free up dollars for the Saints to spend elsewhere. Perhaps after 10 years of service in the Big Easy, Payton could end his career out in Hollywood.

DeMarcus Cousins

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    DeMarcus Cousins is a superstar by every feasible definition. Amongst NBA big men, Cousins has constantly gravitated toward the top of his class. Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green even dubbed Cousins "the best big man in the league, hands down," per's Ethan Sherwood Strauss.

    Cousins remains stuck in limbo as a member of the Sacramento Kings. Six years into his career, the Kings have yet to reach the NBA postseason. They've never even won more than 33 games in a single season.

    The issue with trading Cousins becomes partially due to NBA's latest labor agreement. Updated contractual numbers give Cousins a chance to earn $200 million, per ESPN's Marc Stein. If the Kings plan on offering up this type of deal, any motivation to move Cousins could render null and void.

    Despite all of the dancing dollars involved, if Cousins wants to climb into NBA title contention, he has to leave Sacramento. Not to say this team won't transition eventually into a playoff contender, but in a bustling Western Conference, they remain near the bottom of the pack.

    Trading Cousins to a contender would be best for basketball. However, it might not be best for Boogie himself.

Tony Romo

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    Michael Perez/Associated Press

    The emergence of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott this year in Dallas has given notion to the theory Tony Romo is disposable.

    Thanks to a riveting 13-3 campaign, the Cowboys far exceeded the expectations set for them after Romo went down with a broken bone in his back. Prescott's astounding play and ability to take control of the offense was enough to keep him atop the Cowboys' depth chart.

    Dealing Romo in the offseason now seems like a logical choice for Dallas. Swapping him out for draft picks or even alternate players would help Dallas grow. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk also mentioned the possibility of Romo being released—at his own request—as something we could see materialize.

    The end game here is Romo leaving Dallas. Assuming the Cowboys push forth with this plan, trading him could become one of the lead storylines of 2017.

Ben Bishop

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    Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

    Landing a reliable commodity in net is something all NHL franchises dream of. Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning could fit that bill.

    Bleacher Report's Lyle Richardson explained why he believes Bishop could be dealt this season. "Bishop has a no-movement clause. However, on Sep. 2, he told Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times he was nearly traded to the Calgary Flames last June. He's obviously willing to waive it to go to a playoff contender."

    Will a playoff contender step up and make a move for Bishop's services? He's currently injured but on his way back to the ice. In a sense, trading for Bishop would be a smart move. He's got a proven track record and with free agency looming—Bishop is set to hit the market after this season—this is also the best time to parlay a little value.

Jimmy Garoppolo

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    With the New England Patriots comfortably reaching the NFL postseason once again, rumors of an impending deal for Jimmy Garoppolo will have to wait.

    Garoppolo cut his teeth filling in for a suspended Tom Brady early on in the 2016 season. The 25-year-old started two games, completing 68.3 percent of his passes for 502 yards and four touchdowns.

    Examining the film showed a tremendous amount of poise and growth when it came to Garoppolo's game. He filtered the offense, working within the pockets, reading pressure and releasing the ball quickly.

    With so many teams in search for a future quarterback, it makes sense why Garoppolo's name would generate heat. ESPN's Adam Schefter mentioned New England "will want a lot" in exchange for his services.

    Whether a deal materializes or the Patriots keep him around is up in the air. What we can gather from various reports and the state of the quarterback market is that dealing Garoppolo would make for a compelling storyline this offseason.

Jimmy Butler

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Will the Chicago Bulls trade Jimmy Butler? More importantly, should the Bulls trade him?

    It makes for a perplexing question as the Bulls attempt to find a way into the 2016-17 NBA playoffs. Currently pegged at 19-18—good enough for seventh in the Eastern Conference—the Bulls have fluctuated between legitimate and downright awful.

    The biggest bright spot we've seen in Year 1 of the Dwyane Wade regime has been Jimmy Butler. He's caught fire, averaging 25.6 points, 4.5 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game. So how, and more importantly why, would the Bulls deal him?

    It starts with proverbially hitting the reset button. Any deal for Butler would logically bring back a return of draft picks and talent, as Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune wrote. A Butler trade would end the Bulls' playoff aspirations but open the door to a new era.

    Selfishly, we would love to see him get dealt, turning the NBA trade deadline into a lightning rod for hot takes.

Nerlens Noel

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Adding a rim protector like Nerlens Noel into the mix wouldn't be a bad idea for a handful of NBA teams.

    Since Noel's visual discord with the Philadelphia 76ers first came to light. Trade talk has run amuck. Recently, Keith Pompey of brought up the fact Noel was being shopped during the offseason. He's been a constant source of rumors of movement and those rumblings have only gotten louder.

    Any deal involving Noel could become a reality as time creeps forward. Back in November, Sam Amico of Pro Basketball Digest reported the Portland Trail Blazers had interest in acquiring Noel. Could that be his true landing spot?

    The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor discussed the possibility of Noel landing in Portland: "Noel makes a ton of sense; he is a gifted shot blocker who’s also capable of switching onto the perimeter, and he’s only 22 years old."

    Truth be told, with all of the big men in the 76ers' rotation, shipping Noel out to Portland would be awesome. He would not only produce a copious amount of minutes, but Noel would also have a chance to work with Damian Lillard.

Matt Duchene

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    What general manager wouldn't want a viable, talented 26-year-old center on their roster? It's a question we're bound to find out the answer to as the NHL's trade deadline approaches.

    Matt Duchene has spent his entire career wearing the muted tones of the Colorado Avalanche. With the team facing all types of struggles this season, there has been noise surrounding Duchene's departure.

    Penning a column about a potential move involving Duchene, Mark Shiver of the Hockey Writers explained "Avalanche GM Joe Sakic is supposedly shopping Duchene." It makes sense. At 26, he's exceeded 50 points or more on four separate occasions. Duchene can move the puck and manufacture points.

    Teams hunting for points during the postseason or those in need of an offensive commodity should look Duchene's way as the trade deadline gets closer.

Rudy Gay

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    Alan Diaz/Associated Press

    The Sacramento Kings aren't limited to just DeMarcus Cousins in their repertoire. They also boast the likes of Rudy Gay—a veteran wing who possesses a knack for scoring.

    There hasn't been a mound of concrete evidence surrounding Gay. We know the Houston Rockets wanted a piece of him last offseason, per Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical (h/t The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor).

    Other than that, the lines of communication have been relatively quiet. Still, it doesn't take away from the fact Gay should be moved to a contender.

    He's still launching buckets at a quality clip. Gay's 18.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game would make him a wonderful fit with the Rockets or even the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    We want to see this trade happen for a bucket of reasons. The biggest one being at 30 years old, Gay still has enough in the tank to give a playoff contender an extra shot of adrenaline.

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