Five Players who could be Traded at Next Year’s NBA Trade Deadline
Is there anything more fun in sports than a big trade? Nothing tops the thrill of seeing an elite player on the move, drastically altering the future of all parties involved. And every year, many trades go down on the day called the Trade Deadline- the final day where trades are allowed. And the upcoming deadline, which was moved up a few weeks to February 8th, could be one of the most active ones yet. So, who exactly could be on the move?
The Grizzlies are going to have a very tough time following their usual plan of staying afloat, getting by as a decent team. The Western Conference is too deep to rely on that type of competing. So, if things don’t look good for Memphis come February, look for them to consider moving on from Marc Gasol and begin a rebuild, centered around Mike Conley. Gasol is the type of player who can really fit anywhere thanks to his versatility and defensive prowess, but look for teams like the Celtics and Trail Blazers to attempt to put together a package of young talent that will satisfy Memphis. Or, if the Phoenix Suns happen to surprise and become a playoff contender, they would definitely be able to put together a collection of assets that the Grizzlies couldn’t turn down.
Drummond’s name is one that’s been thrown into rumors on many occasions, and if the Pistons don’t meet their expectations this season, expect them to finally move on. Unfortunately Drummond never improved his weaknesses, and has only deteriorated as his career goes on. His rim protection needs much more work, he has no offensive game, and is the worst free-throw shooter in the league. Drummond might just turn out to be a great rebounder who isn’t great at anything else, but his rebounding ability alone will be enough to attract a team in the trade market.
Aldridge’s archaic skillset continues to be exposed in big matchups, and if he has a slow start to the season, there is no reason to expect that Gregg Popovich won’t cut his leash and send him away. Popovich is a no-nonsense coach who cares about nothing aside from winning. If he can get a nice collection of talent for Aldridge next winter, he’ll certainly pounce on the opportunity if the price is right.
If Wade and the Bulls can’t agree to a buyout before the season starts, he can certainly be a candidate to get moved. The only reason Chicago wouldn't be in favor of trading Wade would be that his contract of $24M expires after this season, which would give them huge cap flexibility next summer. But if he proves that he can still have an important role on a good team, don’t be shocked if a team in the running to make the postseason calls on Wade to help get them there.
LeBron James can become a Free Agent next summer, and securing his services will be the top priority on the Cavaliers’ minds. If they look even somewhat underwhelming at the halfway point, expect huge changes to come as the Cavs attempt to woo James. The obvious option for them is to trade Kevin Love. And if they find a package that they think would be appealing to LeBron, Kevin Love will be saying goodbye to Cleveland.
Given all of the dramatic storylines going on across the league right now, basically everyboy and anybody can be moved. Watch out, as next year’s NBA Trade Deadline could be the most eventful that there has been in quite a long time.