Hey guys, with the trade deadline a little more than a week away, I thought it would be fun to talk about trade candidates. We have all heard about the rumors surrounding Markieff Morris, Ryan Anderson and Brandon Jennings, but apart from the obvious guys like those, who else could you see being moved? I’ll start us off…
Jonas Nader (@JonasNader)
Jeff Teague- The Hawks seem like they’re ready to hand the team over to Dennis Schroder, and their front office doesn’t have confidence that this team can make some noise in the postseason. Teague is an All-Star guard with a reasonable contract (he’s due $8.0 million next season), and considering the free agent market for point guards will be pretty weak this summer other than Mike Conley, he’s one of the most valuable trade chips on the market at the moment. Teams such as the Magic, Knicks and Jazz have all been linked to him, but the good news is that his value will almost certainly be safe wherever he lands depending on the pieces involved. As for Schroder, he needs to be owned everywhere as we approach the deadline.
Al Horford- While we’re on the topic of the Hawks, it sounds like they don’t want to give Horford a max deal this summer, so it makes sense for them to listen to offers so that they don’t lose him for nothing in free agency. Boston seems like the most likely destination, and even though their frontcourt is crowded, Horford would obviously get his minutes no matter what. With Tiago Splitter (hip) looking at an extended absence, a Horford trade could open the door for Walter Tavares in Atlanta. That would be too much fun.
Pau Gasol- He can walk this summer as an unrestricted free agent, and the Bulls are kidding themselves if they think they can compete for a championship with their current roster. The injury to Jimmy Butler (knee) should only increase the chances that the Bulls make a trade, so stashing Bobby Portis sounds like a solid idea. The only wrinkle is that only contending teams would want to bring on the 35-year-old veteran, and Gasol would have to let that team know that he would be willing to sign a new deal in the summer. The Heat are getting tired of Hassan Whiteside, so I could see them going for it all and acquiring Gasol. After all, Dwyane Wade’s window for another title is closing.
Terrence Jones- I’m surprised they haven’t traded him yet. The Rockets have five bigs capable of playing the four in Jones, Josh Smith, Donatas Motiejunas, Clint Capela and Montrezl Harrell, yet they are starting Trevor Ariza at the four. Ariza has looked phenomenal in the small-ball lineup, so I have no idea why Houston hasn’t moved Jones yet. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff doesn’t trust him and the Rockets won’t be able to afford him this summer, so moving him to a team like the Suns, Raptors or Pelicans seems like a no-brainer. I love Jones’ upside, and the good news is that you only have to stash him for one week.
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Ethan Norof (@Ethan_Norof)
Tobias Harris: Since the deal was agreed upon, I've been convinced that the Magic re-signed Harris with the intent to unload him sooner rather than later. Given the improvement of Evan Fournier and the arrival of Mario Hezonja, Harris' departure may come sooner than even I expected. Any team that trades for that contract will be intent on giving Harris minutes, but his ultimate outlook would be dependent on his final destination.
Kenneth Faried: I really don't think the Nuggets will get an offer that makes a Kenneth Faried trade scenario plausible, but imagining him on the Toronto Raptors is quite the visual. Faried's game is going to remain the same regardless of where he plays, but his minutes could certainly steady if the Nuggets decide to deal him.
Michael Carter-Williams: Just when you think MCW is beginning to find some stability and consistency, he has a stretch of several bad games that doesn't leave (enough) wiggle room. The lengthy point guard is not going to move to a new city and suddenly find a jumper, making it difficult to project that as a part of his arsenal. Having said that, if Carter-Williams winds up getting traded, it's going to be a team where he won't be sharing the PG role with guys like Jerryd Bayless and O.J. Mayo.
Jared Johnson (@JaredJ831)
Out of the guys in Atlanta, I think Jeff Teague is the most likely to get dealt. So far he's been linked to Utah, Orlando, New York, Indiana, Boston and Philly, and out of those destinations I think New York and Orlando are his most likely landing spots. It doesn't make a lot of sense for Utah to bring Teague in and thus stunt the development of Dante Exum, Boston already has two solid point guards in Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas, and I'm not sure how much of an upgrade Teague is to George Hill in terms of what Indiana wants to do with their point guard. Philly's interest was reportedly nothing more than a phone call, and I'm not buying that they're seriously considering making a trade for Teague at the deadline. New York is in clear need of a starting caliber PG, and Orlando is reportedly looking to be active at the deadline, and they may feel Teague is the guy that can take their franchise to the next level (and maybe not Elfrid Payton). Out of those potential destinations, I think Indiana and Boston would be the worst for his fantasy value. As Jonas stated, Dennis Schroder needs to be owned everywhere.
Greg Monroe's name has been popping up in the rumor mill as of late, and with the Bucks underperforming, there appears to be a chance that Milwaukee's big offseason acquisition is moved at the deadline. In fact, Milwaukee is reportedly willing to part with anyone not named Giannis, Jabari or Middleton, so the Bucks could be a team making major moves at the deadline. Out of the guys on the roster, I feel Michael Carter-Williams and Monroe are the most likely to be moved, although it's currently unclear exactly where they might be sent. I think Moose has the talent to put up solid numbers regardless of the jersey he's wearing, but I'm not nearly as confident the same can be said of Carter-Williams. MCW just doesn't look like a starting caliber point guard in the NBA, so I think his low-end value takes a hit wherever his next location may be. Jerryd Bayless is worth stashing in most leagues, as his situation could improve depending on how the roster is reshaped at the deadline.
As previously stated, the Magic are reportedly looking to be aggressive at the deadline, and so far Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo have been mentioned in potential deals. I'm not really buying that Orlando is interested in selling Dipo, but Harris is certainly a trade candidate with Mario Hezonja and Evan Fournier on the roster. As Ethan said, Tobias' fantasy value will ultimately be dictated by where he lands, but it doesn't seem likely he's dealt to a location where he's not playing meaningful minutes given his annual salary.
David Lee is either going to be traded or bought out by Boston, but by looking at the NBA landscape, I don't really see him landing in a situation that makes him a worthwhile asset in standard leagues.
Kevin Martin will more than likely be moved at the deadline, and I think he's someone to consider stashing in deep leagues. He can be a nice source of points and treys if he lands in the right situation.
Jared Dudley may end up in Cleveland at the trade deadline, which would pretty much destroy his value.
Mike Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher)
There aren't a lot of buyers these days, so we might not see an active deadline. Before we get to my list, I think the Raptors and Celtics have to be the two top candidates to make moves. They have a slew of assets and are on the doorstep to contend with the Cavs. Masai Ujiri guaranteed a championship at some point on Wednesday, so he sounds like he is going to be aggressive.
Pau Gasol - The Bulls are falling out of it and they really need to reload. They missed on Doug McDermott and it's going to sting quite a bit for a few years. The picks they traded to get him were Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris -- both are easily better players. If the Bulls can unload Pau for a first, it would be a no-brainer. Maybe Toronto throws some young players at them or a first-round pick to get Pau some PF minutes.
Tyson Chandler - There is no way the Suns keep Markieff Morris after he almost choked out Archie Goodwin, right? That team needs a complete makeover from top to bottom, so dumping Chandler's salary makes a lot of sense. It'll be easier said than done, though. It's hard to believe the Suns are in a bad spot after they hit big time with Devin Booker.
Kenneth Faried - Mike Malone really likes the small-ball lineups. Nikola Jokic can pass out of the post as well as any rookie big man I've seen in the past decade, so clearing out some more minutes for small-ball lineups makes a lot of sense.
The Nets - The worst team when it comes to assets. They have no chance of competing in the next three years, so unloading anything they can for even a 2017 pick makes a lot of sense. If you're in a deep league, you should be stashing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris McCullough and maybe even Thomas Robinson.
Matt Stroup (@MattStroup)
Terrence Jones: I agree with Jonas that this is an intriguing stash, and a guy who could go from having almost no value right now to being useful pretty quickly if he's dealt.
Lou Williams: His 28 points on Wednesday was the latest reminder that he's in an ideal situation right now, but he could lose a lot of his already limited value if he's dealt to a contender. Fantasy owners of Sweet Lou should hope things remain very quiet on the trade front.
Jeff Teague and Al Horford: So much trade talk surrounding the Hawks, but personally I'll be a bit surprised if the Hawks do something drastic so soon after a deep playoff run. I would definitely stash Dennis Schroder just in case, but I think the Hawks believe (whether right or wrong) that with Kyle Korver finally looking more like himself, and Teague breaking out of his slump, they can get their offensive machine back to the levels it was operating at last year.
Ryan Knaus (@Knaus_RW)
Thaddeus Young is one of the draft-pick-starved Nets' best assets -- over the next five years they get one pick, Boston's 2017 second-rounder, while giving up or swapping nine different picks, including three first-rounders. The Raptors have reportedly shown some interest in Thad, as well as guys like Kenneth Faried and Terrence Jones, and the Nets are likely to get more than a few suitors as Feb. 18 nears (it helps that he has a friendly contract, paying him an average of $12.9 million over the next three seasons). Any team trading for Young would likely install him as a starter, but the keys will be for him to maintain his playing time (32.6 mpg) and usage rate (22.2 percent). Joe Johnson is an even more obvious trade target, especially if he agrees to a buyout of his massive $24.9 million salary, and it was reported on Thursday that he'd be open to a trade. What, and miss all the fun in Brooklyn?
The Celtics, as usual, are looking to make a splash at the trade deadline. Danny Ainge reportedly wants to acquire a skilled post player and they're "very much in the mix" for Al Horford, whom the Hawks seem open to dealing for a steep price. If Boston does make a big deal, it's hard to imagine someone like Horford joining an already over-crowded frontcourt with Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Tyler Zeller, and Jordan Mickey waiting in the wings. Johnson, Olynyk, Sully and Zeller could all improve in the right situation (none are averaging more than 23.4 minutes this season), but it's impossible to predict until the dominoes start to fall.
Stroup beat me to the punch on Sweet Lou Williams, who stands out as an obvious trade chip for the Lakers. The 2014-15 Sixth Man of the Year is still 29 years old, he's averaging 15.4 points and 1.6 triples while drawing copious fouls (6.3 freebies per game), and he'll earn a reasonable $14 million over the next two seasons. Williams was a top-75 player in Toronto last year despite playing just 25.2 minutes per game, so a trade to a bench role wouldn't necessarily be a death-knell for his value. And even if he does stay in L.A., he'll likely lose minutes to D'Angelo Russell as the season progresses.