We often think of NBA All-Stars in their prime whenever we think about blockbuster trades that occur in the off-season. This is because strong power has the possibility to transform a team’s title contention hopes and even completely change the direction of their focus.
But that doesn’t mean that young players don’t get moved. As a matter of fact, this season has seen the rise (and even fall) of some promising young players and that makes them potential trade targets.
Here are the ten young players who can be moved this offseason.
Allen is an active young center with great hops and even greater motor. He is very efficient on the boards and is a great option for lob passes or inside passes. Allen is still very young and can polish his offensive game, even more, making him a very valuable prospect for a team needing their center of the future.
Allen is averaging 10.6 PPG and 9.5 RPG per game this season, so the Nets will likely move him to acquire Bradley Beal who is a perfect fit next to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. If Beal is available, Allen will probably be the main sacrifice in Brooklyn.
The Bulls are not a good team, and Markkanen probably doesn’t want to waste his youth on a rebuilding process that might take forever. The Bulls have a collection of some nice young talent but no clear direction yet, making it frustrating for a player like Markkanen who can be a starter and put up good numbers elsewhere.
Markkanen is having a decent year, averaging 14.7 PPG and 6.3 RPG per game this season but he might blame the lack of talent or direction surrounding him at the moment for his slight dip in play compared to last season. Markkanen will likely want out, and the Bulls might have to grant him his wish.
The Miami Heat have been the most surprising team this season, and a team nobody wants to play in the playoffs. They have two All-Stars in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and a nice collection of talent including young scorer Tyler Herro. Herro has been good this season, averaging 12.9 PPG in 27.2 minutes of play, but he might be moved if Bradley Beal is available.
Bradley Beal might be the hottest commodity on the market right now, so Miami would give up anyone to pair him with Butler and Adebayo. Herro is a promising scorer, but Beal is a proven All-Star so this deal might happen to push the Heat on the level of Milwaukee in the East.
No doubt, if the Lakers have an All-Star target, Kyle Kuzma is the first one out the door. He is a very promising player, even though he hasn’t looked like it at times this season, so he has the most trade value on the Lakers outside Anthony Davis of course. Kuzma can probably average 20 PPG on a bad team if he wanted, so teams might offer some nice packages for him.
But for the Lakers, they will only move Kuzma if a legitimate star like Bradley Beal comes available. Kuzma is averaging 12.5 PPG on 43.2% shooting this season, so he might very well be the sacrificial lamb in order to grab a third All-Star and build a superteam in Los Angeles.
Turner is a perfect big man in today’s NBA. He can block shots, is agile enough to switch multiple positions, and can hit the outside shot. He is averaging 11.8 PPG and 6.5 RPG this season, including 45.1% from the field and 76.8%from the stripe. Clearly, he is a bright talent and many teams would love to have him on the roster.
The Pacers are good, but not quite a contending team since they lack any true superstar players. Turner has a very high trade value, and with Domantas Sabonis already on the roster, Turner could bring in a huge haul of draft picks and other assets if he is moved.
Michael Porter Jr.
The Nuggets have a huge roster filled with talent, so it makes sense to ship some of them off in order to get an All-Star caliber player to pair with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Out of all the assets Denver has, Porter Jr. might be the best.
He is averaging 7.5 PPG and 4.1 RPG in just 14.0 MPG this season, but his true value lies in his potential. He can defend multiple positions, play multiple positions, and can score from the inside and outside. He is also a decent rebounder and his ceiling could be extremely high if he continues to stay healthy and improve his overall game. Every rebuilding team would love to have him, so he might be moved this offseason.
Gordon is an athletic beast with a powerful body to play power forward or small forward, but he hasn’t quite found his fit in Orlando. He is not a great shooter, only 31.8% from three this season, and he can’t impact the game enough to warrant any kind of All-Star recognition. Luckily for him, Gordon is still very young and has plenty of room to grow.
For the Magic, they might not want to be patient and wait for Gordon, and shopping him off might bring in a nice haul of draft picks and other young players. If they can land an All-Star like Bradley Beal or DeMar DeRozan to pair with Nikola Vucevic, they would gladly ship off Gordon in a heartbeat.
Knox is a nice forward in today’s NBA since he can defend and is very versatile. He also seems to have the right attitude and seemingly wants to improve his overall game on a better team. Unfortunately for him, the Knicks are just plain poor as a basketball team and are completely irrelevant. For Knox, he might want to play elsewhere.
If Knox makes it clear that New York isn’t the place for him, the Knicks won’t be short on suitors. Knox is a promising young player and he can be used as trade bait for a legitimate star like DeMar DeRozan or a proven scorer like Kyle Kuzma. He has had a frustrating season so far, playing only 17.9 MPG and averaging 6.4 PPG.
Many fans were left scratching their heads when then Head of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson drafted Ntilikina in the 2017 NBA Draft. He was a Frenchman without any real recognition, and his career so far has been underwhelming. He can defend, which is a clear positive, but he is offensively limited and can’t shoot well from deep (31.1% for his career).
The Knicks won’t have a problem trading this young player if they get draft picks or a proven starter to help make the team better. For now, Ntilikina has to settle for being a part of a messy franchise that is praying for a light at the end of the tunnel.
Let’s make this clear: the Knicks wouldn’t dare trade Barrett unless it’s for a bonafide star or a very valuable draft pick. At least that’s what a normal-thinking franchise would do….but you never quite know with the Knicks. Still, R.J. is putting up 14.3 PPG in just over 30 minutes of play in his rookie season.
Barrett is a very promising player who looks like a bonafide star in the making, but still needs plenty of time to develop. If he is a part of a losing team that plays no defense, that process will take even longer. For the Knicks, an All-Star like DeMar DeRozan would uplift them tremendously, so Barrett would only be moved for at least a top-25 player in the league.