5 Players That Could Be Traded This Season
When Tristan Thompson went down with an injury early in the season, the Cavaliers were struggling to win games. The news that their starting center would miss extended time was an absolute gut punch, but the Cavs rallied and wound up winning 17 of the 20 games Thompson sat on the sidelines. In some ways the Cavaliers success without Thompson has made the Canadian big man expendable. With that being said, Thompson could still really help a team that is in need of a low maintenance, defensive-minded center. Furthermore, Thompson’s contract could allow the Cavaliers to build a package that could land them another star talent.
Possible Destinations: Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder
Julius Randle Los Angeles Lakers
If there is one thing that the Lakers have going for them it is their depth in the front court. Unfortunately for Julius Randle, that depth has made the University of Kentucky product expendable to the Purple and Gold. Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Larry Nance Jr. are all younger and fit the Lakers system better than Randle and the Lakers have already made it clear that they have no intention on matching any offer he receives in free agency. At this point, the Lakers likely want to move him for something along the lines of a second round pick, but even that may be too much for some teams to part with for the soon-to-be restricted free agent. Only teams that won’t have excess cap space this summer will be ready to pounce.
Possible Destinations: Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets, Portland Trailblazers, Dallas Mavericks
DeAndre Jordan Los Angeles Clippers This season has not gone according to plan for DeAndre Jordan and the LA Clippers. Without Chris Paul gone, DeAndre’s offensive efficiency has taken a step back along with the entire Clippers squad. The Clippers are sitting outside of the playoff hunt for now, and with the number of big contracts on their books you have to think they are considering moving a few pieces to try and retool the roster. Given Griffin’s ability to sell merchandise and tickets, Jordan is likely the man they decide to move. He may not be an offensive force, but Jordan remains as one of leagues most menacing rim-protecto
rs and could be a big addition for any playoffs squad. Possible Destinations: Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards
Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies Once upon a time, you wouldn’t even be able to imagine the Grizzlies trading the Spanish center. Marc Gasol has been synonymous with Memphis since his first appearance, however this season everything has changed. After the early season conflict with his coach David Fizdale (which resulted in the former’s dismissal) Gasol’s low maintenance reputation was shattered. It is obvious that Gasol has been unhappy with the Grizzlies’ competitive stagnancy, and although he won’t ask for a trade it is clear that he’d rather be playing for a winning organization. Gasol is still a top 10 big man in the league and his skill-set is easily transferrable. You have to imagine then, that if the Grizzlies do in fact make him available, every team will do their due diligence and make an inquiry.
Possible Destinations: Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets
Paul George Oklahoma City Thunder
So far the science experiment with Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George has had mixed results. After some early season disappointment, the offense has started to click and the team is racking up wins. Has the recent success convinced George to stay in OKC after this season’s end? Not likely. Unless the Thunder look like an unquestioned contender by the all-star break, there is a good chance that Paul is moved. If the Thunder don’t believe they can retain his services, rather than let him walk for nothing there is a better chance that George is moved to a team like the Cavaliers or Rockets as they gear up to take on the Warriors in the playoffs. George as a number one option can reach limited success, however if paired with the right superstar, George could be the difference maker in a championship match-up.
Possible Destinations: Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs