The 2017-18 NBA regular season may only be a day old, but this past offseason illustrated how significant moves can come without warning at the most unexpected times.
General managers will likely wait a few weeks or even months before retooling their rosters with the season having officially started. Still, the old axiom "where there's smoke there's fire" can often apply to the rumors that swirl around various players.
DeAndre Jordan, Tyson Chandler and Jared Dudley have all been subject of trade rumors in the last few weeks.
The Los Angeles Clippers had an opportunity to clean house and begin a long-term rebuild this past summer when they traded Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets. Instead, they re-signed Blake Griffin to a five-year extension worth a little over $171 million.
Although the Clippers appear to be focused on contending for a title, that didn't stop ESPN.com's Zach Lowe from arguing why Los Angeles could potentially trade Jordan if the team starts slow right out of the gate.
Lowe reported the Clippers listened to trade offers for Jordan this offseason. According to Lowe, Los Angeles didn't initiate the discussions but rather gauged the market for the All-Star center before holding onto him.
Moving on from Jordan wouldn't be a bad idea for the Clippers, especially if they're hanging around the middle of the Western Conference by December or January.
The 29-year-old can opt out after this season, and re-signing him may mean an investment similar to Griffin's contract. The Los Angeles Times' Brad Turner reported Sept. 29 that Jordan was negotiating his own extension with the Clippers, and that no deal had been made yet despite the two sides having mutual interest in reaching an agreement.
Paying $20-plus million for an offensively limited center would be a steep price, even when considering the rim protection Jordan provides. It remains to be seen whether Paul's departure will mean Jordan's offensive game becomes even less effective since he won't have one of the game's best point guards helping to get him open shot opportunities.
If the Clippers are offered some combination of young stars and draft picks in return for Jordan, the team should consider pulling the trigger.
Chandler is a more cost-effective version of Jordan. The Phoenix Suns center still has two years remaining on his deal, which total a little over $26.5 million. That cost is offset somewhat by the fact the Suns' asking price won't be close to what it will take to acquire Jordan from the Clippers.
Lowe reported Oct. 9 that the Suns have looked into trading Chandler but aren't desperate to move him on.
At 35 years old, Chandler is no longer the defensive presence who helped the Dallas Mavericks win a title in 2011.
He averaged 0.5 blocks in 47 games for the Suns last year and allowed opponents to shoot 61.8 percent on attempts inside six feet, according to NBA.com. In comparison, that number was 54.9 percent in 2014-15, when Chandler enjoyed a resurgent season with the Mavs.
In March, Chandler confirmed he had told Suns management he didn't want to be dealt to a contending team.
"That's true. I feel like it's a journey I started that I want to see through," Chandler said, per the Arizona Republic's Doug Haller. "If things change, I don't know, but as long as I'm here, I'm going to try and do what's right by these young fellas. I didn't want to go nowhere. I wanted to be with these dudes and finish it out."
Those comments didn't stop Phoenix from nearly moving Chandler to the San Antonio Spurs in a sign-and-trade for Jonathon Simmons. The San Antonio Express-News' Jabari Young reported in July the Spurs reneged on the deal "at the last minute" when they decided they didn't want to absorb Chandler's contract.
Chandler would be a sensible midseason acquisition for a playoff contender looking to strengthen its frontcourt.
In the same article he floated the idea of the Clippers trading Jordan, Lowe hypothesized the Minnesota Timberwolves could trade Cole Aldrich and a second-round pick to the Suns for Jared Dudley.
While not confirming the specifics of Lowe's hypothetical deal, 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson reported Dudley is a target for Minnesota:
Dudley made 37.9 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc, and he's a career 39.7 percent shooter from three-point territory. That would be a big asset for a Timberwolves team that could be starved of perimeter shooting.
For as much as he represents a big upgrade to the Wolves roster, Jimmy Butler is a 33.7 percent three-point shooter. Jeff Teague is an inconsistent shooter from deep as well. They join a team that ranked 20th in three-point percentage (.349) last season.
Dudley's contributions are often underrated because he's not somebody who regularly scores at a high volume. The 32-year-old recently took issue on Twitter with somebody who he thought didn't properly value his contributions:
Minnesota has a nice starting five, but its depth falls off when you get beyond that. Nemanja Bjelica, Gorgui Dieng, Tyus Jones and Shabazz Muhammad are all good role players but collectively they don't cause much excitement for a team with big expectations in 2017-18.
Dudley is the kind of veteran the Timberwolves need to balance out their roster.