The 2019 NBA Trade Deadline is just under a month away, and the trade market across the association has already started to heat up. Speculation has already started to circulate on whether a couple big name players will be moved come February.
All-Star big man Anthony Davis is a popular name on the rumor mill, with many speculating that the Pelicans could choose to go full-rebuild-mode and trade away AD. Kevin Love and Dennis Smith Jr. are a few other guys that are reportedly being shopped.
Aside from a few potential blockbuster trades, quality role players on rebuilding teams are well sought-after at this time of the year, with nearly every contending team looking to add depth and firepower to their rotation. Justin Holiday, Kyle Korver, George Hill and Trevor Ariza are examples of these kinds of important role players, with all of them being moved so far in the 2018-2019 NBA season.
However, rumors and trade talks between teams will reach an all-time high in the next couple of weeks. Here are ten players that are most likely to be traded ahead of the 2019 NBA Trade Deadline.
10. SG Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards have struggled heavily this season, both record-wise and off the court. Star point guard John Wall is projected to miss the rest of the season with a left heel injury. The Wizards sit at just 19-26 on the year and are currently out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. Bradley Beal and others have expressed displeasure with the coaching staff and team management.
With the Wizards struggling to contend shorthanded, a fire sale might be incoming come deadline time. With Wall on the shelf due to injury, many teams around the league will express interest towards acquiring Bradley Beal.
Beal has been a one-man show this year for Washington, averaging 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game. He looks to be locked in as an All-Star for the second straight year. His contract won’t be an easy one to move around, but teams will pay that price to acquire a player of his caliber. Any move involving Beal has the ability to seriously shake up the landscape of the NBA.
Best Fit: Charlotte Hornets
9. PF Markieff Morris – Washington Wizards
Although not on the same level as Beal, Markieff Morris will be an interesting name to keep an eye in trade rumors. Morris is a versatile forward that can stretch the floor and create his own shot.
Morris is 29 years old and in a contract year, set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He’s averaging 12 points and 6 rebounds per game on 35 percent shooting from three-point land, and is a second unit scorer and defender that immediately makes any team better.
Trade interest for Morris would be at an all-time high right now, but he suffered a neck/upper-back injury that will sideline him for 4-6 weeks. Teams will certainly be precautious with this injury during trade talks. However, Morris is an instant contributor on any team he goes to and can be a major addition for teams looking to make a deep playoff run.
Best Fit: Oklahoma City Thunder
8. PF Noah Vonleh – New York Knicks
A former top-10 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Vonleh has flourished in his first season with the Knicks. He’s garnered trade interest around the league already this year. The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly were interested in trading for the 24-year old big man, but this report was deemed “false” soon after.
Regardless, Vonleh will certainly be a sought-after player around the deadline. With Vonleh in a contract year, the Knicks could look to move him for some nice assets in return.
Best Fit: Dallas Mavericks
7. PG Dennis Smith Jr. – Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks’ fallout with Dennis Smith Jr. has been one of the more surprising developments in the NBA this year. The explosive second-year guard from NC State has a bright future in the league, but has had to sacrifice his time with the basketball in his hands due to the arrival of Luka Doncic.
After averaging 15 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds per game in his rookie season, Smith’s numbers have dropped in every category, with him now just averaging about 12 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He’s also turning the ball over at a higher rate than last year (3.1 per game).
The Phoenix Suns – a team in dire need of a starting point guard – are reportedly linked to Smith’s services. With a plethora of assets and young players, the Suns could look to package a couple of guys to try and acquire DSJ.
Best Fit: Phoenix Suns
6. G/F Terrence Ross – Orlando Magic
Terrence Ross has quietly been one of the most improved players in the NBA this season. After a couple consecutive seasons plagued with injuries, Ross has been huge for the Orlando Magic this season, averaging 13 points per game on 43 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent shooting from three.
Ross is in the final year of his three-year, $31.5 million contract and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. His expiring contract and noticeable improvement has made him a popular name on the trade market this season.
A true “three-and-D” player with an innate ability to create for himself and score points, Ross can be a key contributor on any playoff team as a second-unit anchor.
Best Fit: Indiana Pacers
5. PG Jeremy Lin – Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks are a tanking team in the Eastern Conference, with no need for veterans on their roster as they attempt to lose games. Veteran point guard Jeremy Lin is on a one-year deal, set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
A great backup point guard option on any team with the ability to serve as a starter as well, Lin’s value should garner much attention by the deadline. At 30 years old, Lin is averaging a respectable 11 points and 4 assists per game in backup minutes for the Hawks this season.
The Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly already linked to Lin’s services, with both teams in need of a backup point guard of his caliber. Due to his team-friendly contract, Lin is very likely to be moved somewhere by the deadline.
Best Fit: Sacramento Kings
4. C/F Dewayne Dedmon – Atlanta Hawks
Dewayne Dedmon is another veteran on the Hawks that could very likely be moved by the NBA Trade Deadline. Dedmon is a proven big man in the NBA, averaging 10 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for Atlanta at 29 years old.
Playing predominantly center for the Hawks, Dedmon can space the floor at the five-spot, shooting 36 percent from deep.
On a one-year deal and just making $6.3 million, Dedmon is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. A rental for the big man seems very likely with many teams looking to add bench depth for the playoffs and down the stretch.
Best Fit: Philadelphia 76ers
3. PF Kevin Love – Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Love has only played in four games this season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and is still sidelined from a toe injury he suffered in October. After signing a four-year, $120 million extension with the Cavs this summer, Love has recently been a trendy name on the trade market of late.
With the Cavaliers tanking, there has been no rush for Love to come back, but the team has recently cleared him to “resume basketball activities.”
As soon as Love does return, trade talks for the 11-year veteran will pick up rapidly. The Mavericks and Hornets are two teams that have already expressed interest in trading for the big man.
A five time All-Star and double-double machine, Love averaged 19 points and 13 rebounds per game for the Cavaliers at the beginning of this year before getting injured. His services would come at a high price. However, acquiring a player of Love’s caliber can certainly take a team to the next level.
Best Fit: Dallas Mavericks
2. F Kyle Kuzma, F Brandon Ingram – Los Angeles Lakers
Yes, the Los Angeles Lakers need to make a trade for a superstar. Time is running out for them to do so as well, as trade value for Brandon Ingram has already taken a massive dip from earlier this season. With LeBron James out with an injury, the Lakers’ young core has had to step up in his absence, and has struggled doing so.
Kyle Kuzma will be the featured piece in any trade package the Lakers can put together. The second-year forward is averaging 19 points and 6 rebounds per game on 47 percent shooting, and has proven himself as a top young player in the NBA.
Brandon Ingram has struggled mightily this season for Los Angeles, taking a step back after a highly-anticipated third season. However, Ingram still has a lot of upside and can score the basketball, keeping his trade value at a high clip.
Packaging Kuzma, Ingram, and young big man Ivica Zubac together can help the Lakers acquire another superstar to pair with LeBron James, while keeping Lonzo Ball on the roster. Anytime LeBron is on an NBA roster, his team will act aggressive in efforts to win now, and that’s exactly what the Lakers may choose to do this season.
Best Fit: New Orleans Pelicans
1. PF Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans
A trade for Anthony Davis would be one of the biggest trades in NBA history. Moving a player of AD’s caliber will change the landscape of the NBA, especially if he is to go to Los Angeles and pair with LeBron James.
Davis is arguably the best big man in the NBA, carrying the New Orleans Pelicans on his shoulders behind his 29 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. Davis is an MVP candidate every year, and his pairing with James could instantly make the Lakers into strong finals contenders.
The only teams in the NBA with nearly enough assets to make a deal for Davis are the Boston Celtics and the Lakers, and the Lakers have enough firepower to get a deal done. With the Pelicans potentially looking to blow it up and rebuild, Anthony Davis could very likely be on the move come trade deadline time.
Best Fit: Los Angeles Lakers