Quantcast
Connect with us

Editorials

5 big names who could be on the move by the NBA trade deadline

Kyle Lowry, Raptors

The NBA offseason is basically over and done with as far as player movement is concerned. Sure, there might be a trade or two between now and October, but for the most part, teams are rolling with what they have for now.

So, the next natural time for big trades to occur is in February, when the trade deadline takes place.

While clubs may currently be satisfied with their rosters, a lot can change between now and then, and there are numerous players around the league who seem to be prime candidates for a trade deadline address change.

The NBA offseason is basically over and done with as far as player movement is concerned. Sure, there might be a trade or two between now and October, but for the most part, teams are rolling with what they have for now.

Here are five big names who could potentially be on the move by February.

5. Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves

There was some talk about the Minnesota Timberwolves trading Andrew Wiggins earlier this offseason, but not much came of it.

Let’s be honest: Wiggins has been a major disappointment since entering the NBA back in 2014. While he puts up counting numbers, he is incredibly inefficient, and his defense leaves much to be desired.

On top of that, Wiggins has four years and over $120 million remaining on his current deal.

Why, then, would anyone trade for him, you ask?

Well, he is just 24 years old, so another franchise taking a chance on him is not out of the realm of possibility, even at his salary. Because of all of the money he is owed, he likely wouldn’t cost much in return, meaning some team could just trade a couple of guys on the final years of their respective deals.

At this point, the Timberwolves may just be interested in dumping Wiggins’ salary to try and free up some cap space for the future.

4. Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry, Raptors

Yes, Kyle Lowry is a Toronto Raptors legend. Yes, he just helped deliver the franchise’s first NBA title. But he is also 33 years old and is entering the final year of his contract.

With Kawhi Leonard now playing out in Los Angeles, the Raptors are no longer title contenders. As a matter of fact, there is a good chance they will have to fight for a playoff spot, even in the Eastern Conference.

Let’s say it’s February and Toronto is wallowing around or below .500 and clearly doesn’t have a chance of contending. The Raptors should then seriously consider moving Lowry, even if it would hurt.

It’s not like Lowry was great this past season, either. Sure, he put together some big-time performances in the finals, but during the regular season, he was hampered by back issues and had what was, by far, his worst year in Toronto.

Would the Raptors seriously trade their hero?

Maybe not, but it’s something that should absolutely be on the table.

3. Kevin Love

Kevin Love

If there is one thing the Cleveland Cavaliers regret doing, it’s probably giving Kevin Love a four-year, $120 million contract extension last summer.

Love missed most of this past season due to a toe injury, and going back even further, he has not played 70 games since the 2015-16 campaign, as he has appeared in 60, 59 and 22 contests over the last three years, respectively.

Not only that, but Love turns 31 years old next month, meaning he isn’t exactly on the same timeline as the Cavaliers.

Cleveland absolutely, positively should look to trade him before the February deadline, but, of course, what the Cavs should try to do and what the will try to do are not mutually inclusive.

Plus, it’s not like Love will be easy to move, either. While he certainly provides value due to his ability to space the floor, rebound and pass, teams probably won’t be jumping at the opportunity to add a major defensive liability (and an aging, injury-prone one at that) making that much money.

It’s also important to keep in mind that Love’s extension actually kicks in 2019-20, so that four-year deal is just beginning.

2. Andre Drummond

Pistons, Andre Drummond

CP

This one is pretty interesting.

Andre Drummond has a $28.8 million player option for the 2020-21 campaign, one that he may very well decline. With the Detroit Pistons not resembling anything close to an NBA title contender, there is a possibility the club could consider moving Drummond by the deadline.

Drummond has spent his entire career in Detroit, but he hasn’t won much of anything there, as the Pistons have made just two playoff appearances since drafting him and have been swept both times.

It might be time for Detroit to move on, as while Drummond puts up huge numbers, his overall impact is questionable, as he is actually not a great defender, and we know his offensive repertoire is very limited.

Think about it: do the Pistons, a franchise that has been cash-strapped for years, really want to commit big money to Drummond long term? This is a team that has been starving for cap room for years, so re-signing Drummond may not be the best idea.

The best course of action may very well just be trading Drummond now and getting some value while they still can.

1. Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal, Wizards

The Washington Wizards are a complete mess.

John Wall is likely to miss all of next season due to a torn Achilles and has $170 million coming to him over the next four years. There is very limited young talent on the roster. This is also isn’t a playoff contender by any stretch of the imagination.

How the Wizards have not aggressively pursued trading Bradley Beal, who still has two years remaining on his deal at reasonable money for his production and has a ton of value as a result, this NBA offseason is truly mind-boggling.

At some point, Beal might just have to demand a trade and force Washington’s hand, because the Wizards are dragging their feet here.

But I honestly can’t envision a scenario where moving Beal between now and February doesn’t at least become a legitimate discussion in Washington, as the Wizards will almost certainly be out of the playoff picture fairly early, even in the Eastern Conference.

This team just isn’t good, and the only way for it to truly begin a rebuild is to trade Beal and work from there.