The majority of NBA players enter the league with a desire to stick it out with the teams that drafted them. However, player movement around the league is increasing at a faster pace nowadays.
As the saying goes, the NBA is first and foremost a business. General managers will do anything to improve their team’s chances of winning an NBA championship, even if it means giving up on a promising prospect. On the other hand, these teams also have a limited window to build a winning team around their prized young studs, or else they will grow frustrated with their situations if the losing seasons keep piling up.
If a player doesn’t pan out for them or if the team doesn’t improve enough to catch up with their star’s elite talent, it might be best for both parties to move on from each other. Here are some young NBA stars who may find themselves on a different team soon:
Lauri Markkanen has hinted the possibility of requesting for a trade from the Chicago Bulls if things don’t improve within the organization. Should the Finnish-born forward remain unhappy, the Bulls may have no choice but to trade away their no. 7 overall selection in the 2017 NBA draft.
Markkanen showed promise in his debut campaign, making the All-Rookie First Team. He improved his numbers in year 2, with averages of 18.7 points and 9.0 rebounds. However, his production and efficiency slowed down this 2019-20 season and his game showed little to no improvement over the years.
Chicago has been eyeing to make a return to the postseason, but have remained stagnant and on the outside looking in for three seasons now. If Chicago doesn’t think Markkanen is one of their core pieces for the future, then perhaps the Bulls may just move on from the 23-year old.
The Indiana Pacers started to experiment having Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis share the frontcourt this season. Their fit alongside each other hasn’t been the best and if it continues to be that way, Indiana may be forced to choose between the two studs.
Sabonis turned in an All-Star campaign this year, with career averages of 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. Turner, though one of the best shot blockers and interior defenders in the league, hasn’t quite developed into the two-way stud the Pacers hoped him to be early on in his career. His numbers so far each season have remained within the ball park of his career averages (12.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.1 blocks).
Based on the development of their two big men, it appears like Turner could become the casualty when the time comes for the Pacers to make a decision.
Devin Booker is now in his fifth NBA season. With the Phoenix Suns, he’s played for five different coaches and made zero playoff appearances in his career.
It became clear that Booker was going to be the face of the franchise as soon as his rookie season. A first time All-Star this year, Booker is one of the elite young scorers in the league and is improving his overall offensive game year after year. However, the Suns have failed to build a winning team around the 23-year old star so far. While Booker has expressed his loyalty to Phoenix, it could be just a matter of time before the frustration boils over and he eventually wants out.
With his two buddies D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns already settling down in Minnesota, perhaps that could be one of his preferred destinations should he request a trade away from Phoenix.
Embiid is as dominant as they come down in the paint. However, Simmons’ inability and unwillingness to shoot from the perimeter has forced the Cameroonian to take more shots from the outside than he desires. Meanwhile, Simmons thrives playing in a fast-paced offense, and Embiid isn’t particularly the swiftest of runners on the break.
The Sixers are heading back into the “bubble” with potentially everything to lose. Another disappointing early playoff exit, and perhaps the Simmons-Embiid split that many analysts have suggested could finally happen.
Philadelphia will have a tough off-season ahead if their season ends in disaster once again. They could really go either way with this, but it’s possible that the Sixers choose to keep their superstar center over the dynamic two-way guard who hasn’t shown any in-game development on his jump shot.