Trades are bound to happen and fireworks will be at the forefront at some point this upcoming NBA season. Many teams are missing one or two pieces from being a true contender in their respective conference.
Some teams are thin in the guard spots, while others are not as deep up front. Other teams lack wings with two-way versatility. The Warriors set the bar with a new error of positionless basketball. Now teams need to put themselves in that position to be effective.
The NBA map might see much player movement on the horizon. Each one of these stars could very well be on the move. Here are 10 stars that could be traded this 2019-20 season.
10. Goran Dragic
The Slovenian Dragon is still one of the better starting guards in the NBA. Dragic has a smooth game and plays with heart every time he’s out there. Despite this, it seems like the Heat and Dragic are hoping to part ways at some point this upcoming season. As a result, his name has constantly been thrown in the trade mill.
Goran is looking to win a championship at this stage in his career and the high caliber offensive guard is still capable of running an offense. We seldom remember he was an All-Star reserve in the East and the Most Improved Player for the Suns many years back.
In the right situation, Dragic can certainly help his team win games down the stretch.
The European guard is 33 years old, and his age is starting to show, but Dragic has always been one to rise to the occasion when the pressure is at its peak. For instance, during the 2017-18 playoffs in 5 games against the Sixers, Goran averaged 18.6 ppg and 4.6 apg on 47% shooting overall including 38% from 3.
The Mavericks or the Magic could be potential ideal fits.
9. Gordon Hayward
Hayward is still recovering from a horrific leg injury that left him not only physically damaged, but mentally as well. His body looks well-enough and he has shown spurts of the player he was with the Utah Jazz. The mental game, however, is what is keeping him from an aggressive playstyle.
A change of location and a system where Hayward can get the touches and playing time he needs can only do wonders for the 29-year-old forward. Teams like the Cavaliers or the Hornets might be willing to give up assets for whatever bit of promise the All-Star has to offer.
And while Hayward’s basketball IQ is unquestionable, Beantown is just not an ideal match.
8. Andrew Wiggins
Wiggins got paid — but unfortunately seemed to leave his heart and hustle at the negotiating table. Despite having loads of talent, the kid has no heart.
The intangibles and tools are there, undoubtedly, but questions about his desire and passion for the game have become a bigger story than his production on the floor. Do you see the problem?
Still, many teams are willing to deal for a promising 24 years old still trying to come into his own. He could just be a late bloomer.
His upside is the knife that will force the hands of many GM’s willing to talk trade. And, believe it or not, we could see a bad salary for a bad salary type of deal.
7. Kevin Love
Love’s ability to play off the ball allows him to thrive in almost any system. Still, the Cavs are just not the place for him. You can continue te expect him on the trade block through November, and Cleveland will be looking for a crop of high-quality young players and the first-round draft picks in return.
Ever since the departure of King James, the Land has headed for a new (and younger) direction — one Kevin Love has no place in.
Plus, even with as good as Kevin Love is, he cannot thrive as a first option. His tenure with the Timberwolves and most recent post LeBron era with the Cavs has only served to solidify this claim.
6. Paul Millsap
Millsap’s value is found in his contract situation and his ability to function as a glue guy. Paul’s presence on this young Nuggets team has done wonders for them and his ability to do the little things at a high level are what adds significant value to any team. Millsap is the anchor of Denver’s improved defense.
He and the Nuggets seem on good terms currently, but he still makes an adequate trade chip. The big man is in a contract year and can give any team a boost in the frontcourt.
A team like the Minnesota Timberwolves would benefit highly from a defensive first forward who adds grit and toughness.
Overall, there are really almost no wrinkles in Millsap’s game. He is a great NBA build, tough-nosed defender, and someone who embodies the meaning of a stat-sheet-stuffer supreme.
5. Chris Paul
Chris Paul and the Thunder just met, but they might not know each other for long. Paul’s contract is quite big and at his stage of career, the two sides have little business working together.
CP3 is looking to get a Championship and is too old to not compete on a contending team. Meanwhile, there are a whole host of teams who are probably just an addition at the guard spot away from being a contending-level franchise.
The perennial All-Star and seasoned floor general has so much experience to add to a team ready to take that next step. While some argue he has lost a step, he had successfully adapted his game to fit the modern-day NBA.
4. DeMar DeRozan
The infamous DeRozan and Kawhi swap yielded unreal results for the Raptors. For the Spurs, they seem to be done with the experiment. DeRozan is a smooth mid-range shooter and very old school guard who developed his overall game this past season. The three-point shot is still a work in progress, but his newfound playmaking skills make him a true combo guard at heart.
While DeRozan may not function as a go-to guy for an NBA team, he is more than capable of yielding excellent results as a complementary piece. Any teams looking to make a big 3 or dominant duo should look into his services. The price may be steep but the talent is well worth it.
3. LaMarcus Aldridge
DeRozan is not the only Spur potentially on the trade market. LaMarcus Aldridge also seems to want out of San Antonio. So far, the Trail Blazers have been linked to Aldridge, but they will likely not be his only suitor.
LaMarcus is unstoppable in the post and his game has aged well as a result. The improvements he’s made to his outside shot, and on the defensive end, only serve to show the progress.
The Spurs may be combusting at the seems, but Aldridge will only add a stable building block to any potential suitor. The big man needs to play for a team who shares his goal of winning a championship.
2. Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal is, arguably, the second-best shooting guard in the NBA. He defends at a high level, harbors incredible efficiency, he’s good leader, and an above-average playmaker. So do not be surprised if a future MVP contender ends up within his reach.
One of the most fascinating qualities of Beal’s game is how he conducts himself in the locker room. He’s a low manage personality player who causes no drama. He could be considered among one of the least dramatic superstars in the league. It is easy to see why Washington is hoping to build around him.
However, his hesitancy to sign on the dotted line for an extension could spell the end of his Wizards tenure.
One team consistently mentioned as being linked to Beal is the Boston Celtics. They are one of the dozens of likely suitors for the sharpshooting superstar guard.
1. Blake Griffin
Griffin is easily a top 10-15 player and one of the best athletes in the league.
Griffin is a point forward and slowly adding a reliable jumper to his game. His mid-range is practically automatic already. Also, the level of passion and heart that Griffin carries himself with is invaluable. The big man would make any team lacking in leadership, IQ, and stardom very pleased. He is capable of being the top option on a contending team.
The Pistons should keep him, but if they end up trading him they better get a Godfather offer. The best big man Detroit has benefitted from since Ben Wallace easily.