We’re just under three months away from the NBA Trade Deadline. Although there are a number of recognizable names floating around the rumor mill, we might not end up seeing any major deals involving Kevin Love or Blake Griffin until the offseason.
The NBA trade season is all about bidding wars involving high-floor players who can complete a contending team.
Just a fraction of the season in, the lines between the contenders and pretenders is already starting to become clear. Who will be on the move this season?
Below are the top 10 players who might be on the trading block, ordered from most likely to be dealt to least likely.
Gallinari is exactly what a contending NBA team might want to look for in a deadline pickup. He’s big. He can score in bunches. He can be a starter or come off the bench.
He’s in the last year of a $22.6 million contract, and he’s putting up 19 points and 5 rebounds a game. He’s shot 43% from deep and 45% from the floor. He’d be a huge lift for any contending team struggling to create shots on offense.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have incentive to try and flip Gallinari into some kind of asset. The price tag might not be hefty, but they’ll be looking for young players and/or draft picks.
Similar to Gallinari, Thompson is on a non-contending NBA squad and in the final year of a big contract. The Cleveland Cavaliers probably have no intention of retaining him this offseason.
That being said, Thompson is having his best season by far. He’s putting up a double-double on average—15.2 points to go along with 10.6 rebounds. He’s also averaging 1.4 blocks per game.
Any contending team that needs to sure up the five could easily turn to Thompson. He offers additional value in his ability to potentially play power forward.
Again, the initial price tag might be a little cheap. The Cavaliers don’t have any intention of making a run this season.
By no means a game-changing pickup, Crowder would be the perfect example of a trade asset who can bolster a contender’s roster.
Crowder is in the final year of his contract, making just under $8 million. He’s putting up 9.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game this season. And he’s got playoff experience, too.
Jae Crowder might wet the palate of any contender that finds themselves pressed up against the hard cap. The Los Angeles Lakers, for example, might end up eyeing Crowder off the bench.
It won’t take much to land Crowder, but he’s a low-risk option that several teams might be geared up for this winter.
The second of the two Memphis Grizzlies on this list, Iguodala may never even wear a Grizzlies uniform.
Fans of the NBA have clamored around the idea of a buyout, but the Grizzlies aren’t budging. They’ve had no issue sitting back and waiting to see who comes calling for the former NBA Finals MVP.
Clearly, Memphis seems to believe that Iguodala could at least bring back a draft pick or two that would make this all worth it. His $17.2 million contract isn’t going to be easy for another team to take on.
But it’s unquestioned what Iguodala brings to the team. He could take almost any squad and elevate them to the next level. And there will be plenty of teams interested.
Morris made sure that he got his money for the 2019-2020 season this past offseason. He secured a one-year, $15 million deal with the New York Knicks.
The Knicks couldn’t sit around and do nothing all offseason after whiffing on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Morris was a fine addition, but there’s no real expectation that he intends to stick with the Knicks on a new deal.
Morris is putting up 18.2 points and 5.9 rebounds this season. He’s shooting an insanely impressive 45.9% from deep.
There were a number of teams this past offseason that were after Morris. There’s no reason to think they wouldn’t be interested now.
Based on his production, a bidding war for the offensively gifted forward seems inevitable. But he should be on the move one way or another.
Fans of the Trail Blazers have been split on what to do with Whiteside.
He’s got an impressive stat line of 15.3 points and 12.2 rebounds per game, but the results haven’t been pretty for Portland.
The biggest issue, however, is Whiteside’s season-long fit with Portland. With Jusuf Nurkic on his way back, Whiteside would likely have to come off the bench if he was retained.
No team wants a $27 million player coming off the bench.
The plan coming into the season was for Whiteside to be flipped for a longer-term asset. That probably won’t change between now and February.
The Chicago Bulls have a trio of young point guards to choose from. As it goes, a losing team with an abundance of riches in any one area is going to make a move.
Between Coby White, Zach LaVine, and Kris Dunn, Dunn seems to be the obvious choice to be dealt. He’s lacked the shooting touch to welcome a move to the two. He’s the odd man out.
Some contending team would probably welcome Dunn as a backup point guard. His price tag wouldn’t be insanely high either.
The Golden State Warriors had long-term plans to retain Alec Burks going into next season. He’d be the perfect fit for a fully healthy Warriors squad that would have him coming off the bench in the future.
But things change quickly. Alec Burks might be outplaying the maximum contract that the Warriors could offer him next season.
He’s an efficient scorer who’s making just $2.3 million this season. That makes him an attractive get for any team in the market.
It’d be a tough pill to swallow, but the Warriors would be wise to deal him.
It’s easy to see why teams would want to go after Aaron Gordon.
He’s a super athletic forward who’s averaging 14 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists. And he’s only 24. All that combined with him being under contract through 2022 makes him an asset worth investing in.
The Orlando Magic haven’t been able to do much in Gordon’s first six seasons with the team, so it might be time for them to bite the bullet and strike a deal.
A trade that sends DeRozan to a new team seems hard to imagine, but it’s happened before.
The San Antonio Spurs have been sputtering this season. If things continue, someone will be on the chopping block.
DeRozan is making $27.7 million this year and has a player option for the same amount next season. The Spurs might want that off the books if they’re missing the playoffs this season.
His 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists would make him an upgrade for almost any backcourt in the league.
Could the former all-star be on the move this season? Possibly. But finding a trade suitor and embracing a tanked season might be a lot to ask of Gregg Popovich and the Spurs.