NBA Trade Deadline: Available Wing Players
Who could be on the move with the Trade Deadline looming?
It’s NBA All-Star Week, and that means the Trade Deadline is just a week away. Things started to heat up with the Plumlee-Nurkic swap over the weekend and the Birdman trade Monday, then burst into a #WojBomb ball of flames when Ibaka was moved to the Raptors Tuesday.
What other names could be on the move over the next week? Here’s a sneak peek with a three-part series previewing the point guards, wings, and bigs that could be on the move by the trade deadline. Not everyone below will be moved but they’re probably the most available.
So if you’re shopping for your team and hoping to add a piece, you’ve come to the right place…
CHI Jimmy Butler
NYK Carmelo Anthony
Jimmy Butler is a genuine bona fide superstar. His 24/5/6 slash line is MVP material most years and that’s before you factor in his elite wing defense. Butler is also on a far below-market contract because of the max extension he signed before the cap explosion. He’s got two more years left at around $19 million a year, roughly the same amount per year guys like Luol Deng and Chandler Parsons signed this summer. And that’s why Chicago would be insane to trade him now. The rebuild cupboard is bare right now anyway, and there’s almost no package that could add up to even close to Butler’s value. It would have to be Denver or Boston and it would have to be a lot. We’ll see.
More than enough has been said by now about newly-named All Star Carmelo Anthony. He’s not a franchise player anymore but still thinks he is, he’s never defended well, and he shoots too many 2s for most teams in 2017. But he’s still a great shooter and one of the best scorers in the league. The right move for all involved is probably to wait and trade Melo this summer. If he does go, it looks like Clippers or bust at this point, but here are some other Melo deals if you’re interested.
Cheap difference makers
LAL Nick Young (2/$11m)
PHX P.J. Tucker (1/$5m)
ATL Thabo Sefolosha (1/$4m)
MIA Dion Waiters (1/$3)
MIL Tony Snell (2/$6m)
CHA Marco Belinelli (2/$13m)
ORL Jodie Meeks (1/$6.5m)
These are the wings you are really hoping your team snags at the Trade Deadline, guys that won’t break the bank by cost or cap hit but who could show up when you need them in May.
And who could’ve ever guessed that Swaggy P would lead a list like that? Nick Young is scoring 14 points a game with a career-high 41% three-pointer and, incredibly, over 60% true shooting. He’s still a terrible defender but could lead a bench unit as a scoring sixth man.
And don’t look now, but that’s Dion Waiters’ music right behind him! What a world. Waiters is shooting almost as well as Young from downtown, though he’s shooting so many 2s (and poorly) that he’s still not efficient and posts a poor offensive rating. He’s got a player option for next year but you know he’s opting out and cashing in on his big season.
Tucker and Sefolosha are on the other end of the spectrum. They’re not going to give a lot on offense but they’re really strong defenders and guys that the right team could add as a valuable fifth starter, as long as the other four can shoot.
Snell and Belinelli are signed an extra year and offer a shadow mix of both ends of the court. Meeks is a knockdown shooter but is injured and may not be able to move because of that.
Useful veterans slightly overpriced
NYK Courtney Lee (4/$45m)
TOR DeMarre Carroll (3/$44m)
UTA Alec Burks (3/$32m)
PHX Jared Dudley (3/$30m)
These are all good veteran players, just slightly on the expensive side. They’re guys you want on your team in a playoff series, not on the other side. These are the guys that hit the open shot and get to the 50/50 ball and they’re the ones in the right place on defense most of the time. All of them are on perfectly fine contracts right now, but they’ll be a bit rough in a couple years.
Courtney Lee was the one great contract New York signed this summer. He won’t go anywhere unless Melo goes and probably shouldn’t anyway, but he’s a perfect 3-and-D guy. Jared Dudley is 75% of that.
DeMarre Carroll had a huge breakout in Atlanta before an injury cost him his start in Toronto and then he’s never fit in right. He’s a strong individual defender and a versatile piece on both ends. Alec Burks is a decent scorer but a bit overpaid. Both of these guys could be moved, not because their teams don’t want them but because both need the cap room to pay other stars this summer.
LAC Wesley Johnson
MIA Wayne Ellington
CHA Jeremy Lamb
SAC Rudy Gay
This quartet is overpriced in theory but the contracts are still pretty cheap overall. The problem is none of them are very good.
Ellington has actually played pretty well for Miami this year, the best of his career, and he at least has a reliable three-point shot. Wes Johnson has always struggled to fit on offense with an awful career offensive rating of 99 after seven seasons. Jeremy Lamb just isn’t good. He can’t shoot and can’t do much else. He’s just the guy from the James Harden trade.
Rudy Gay is a unique case. He’s always been better in theory than actuality but he’s also out for the season with a ruptured Achilles. At age 30, he may never be back whole again — and that’s why he could actually opt in to his $14 million player option instead of being one of the top wings on the market this summer. A small market team with some cap room that can’t attract free agents might be willing to take a shot.
Young guys that might be available cheap
ORL Mario Hezonja
DEN Malik Beasley
CHI Denzel Valentine
All of these guys are buried on their respective depth charts, so while we haven’t seen much yet, it’s impossible to know if there’s something there. Each is still on a rookie deal with several years remaining and that means there’s a lot of value to tap into, value that might come cheaper than it should with their teams largely ignoring them.
Hezonja has been lost on defense and even worse on offense so far, and his shot has been streaky at best. Beasley has played under 100 minutes all season as a rookie and has actually been pretty good but he’s buried in Denver so he could be an accidental throw-in on the right deal. Valentine is the oldest of the trio, the increasingly rare 23-year-old rookie. He has barely played and it’s troubling that his 3-and-D qualities haven’t flashed yet at his stage of development.
Are these guys players? Their own teams aren’t set to find out, so maybe yours should take a chance.
Expiring deal pickups
PHI Ersan Ilyasova
SAC Omri Casspi
MIN Shabazz Muhammad
OKC Anthony Morrow
LAC Paul Pierce
Ilyasova has actually been pretty good this year and has always been a solid stretch four, something most teams could use in 2017. But Philly seems to like him and supposedly wants to re-sign him, so he may not be available.
Casspi and Morrow have never been great but they’re really solid role players who just seem to be playing for teams that don’t use them the right way.
Bazz is a black hole on offense but he has some pretty good scoring moves. He isn’t going to pass or contribute on defense but can add some scoring punch off the bench and he’s still young and Minnesota doesn’t have room to sign him to a summer extension.
Pierce technically has another year left on his deal but we know he’s expiring. Are we totally sure Washington or Boston couldn’t use his veteran presence and savvy skills off the bench? Feels like he still has a big playoff moment left.
MIL Michael Beasley
IND Rodney Stuckey
MIA Luke Babbitt
MIA Rodney McGruder
NOP Tyreke Evans
ORL Jeff Green
There’s some intrigue here. Beasley has bounced around the league and around the world but has proven to be a valuable bench scorer if you’re looking for a guy to suck up usage rate like it’s going out of style.
Stuckey has a $7 million option next year he could pick up, depending on how the season plays out. He’s a combo guard without a shot or defensive skills but he can score and create some if you’re desperate or looking to sign a 50 Cent lookalike.
Babbitt is a useful combo forward with a career 40% shot, and McGruder has played a lot of decent minutes for Miami this year. The Heat may hang onto both now after the win streak but would be tempted by a 2nd round pick as bare as their draft cupboard is.
Tyreke Evans and Jeff Green were high draft picks and good once upon a time. Blessings upon you if you think they’re the piece your team is missing in 2017.
You’d have to pay us to take them
POR Allen Crabbe
POR Evan Turner
MEM Chandler Parsons
LAL Luol Deng
OKC Kyle Singler
The saddest thing here is that everyone but Singler was just signed this summer, and they’re already among the worst contracts in the league. Each of Crabbe, Turner, Parsons, and Deng is signed on for three more years after this one at over $17 million a year. All together, the four players signed on for a whopping $331 million. Good job, NBA.
Allen Crabbe is actually pretty solid. He’s probably never going to be a high scorer but he looks like a great 3-and-D wing except for the fact that Portland is a trainwreck of a defense. Crabbe is shooting 43% from deep this year and over 40% for his career, and he’s only 24. His contract is high but he’s got raw defensive skills that seem worth taking a chance on for what else he adds.
Parsons was good, at one point, but his body just can’t hold up. Deng was terrific at one point but that was before Thibs ran him into the ground. Turner thinks he’s the best player on this list, if that’s worth something to you. It’s impossible to imagine any of these three moving for the next few years.
Kyle Singler is only making $5 million a year but that’s still approximately $6 million a year more than he should be making.