Despite the regular season being about a month away, there is still time for teams to make a splash. Just because the offseason is 90% over, it doesn’t mean that every team’s most rumored player is completely safe. As we know, a trade can happen anytime. If you are circulating in the rumor mill, you are never safe.
These 10 players have circulated through the rumor mill dating back to the start of last season. Somehow, these players remained with their team throughout the year, including getting past the trade deadline. With the offseason dwindling, these 10 players could still be on the move.
10. Zach LaVine
Possible Destinations: Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets
LaVine remains on the bottom tier of these rankings given that the Bulls made free agency splashes for Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan. However, until LaVine signs a contract extension with the Bulls, he will be a subject of trade rumors. LaVine is coming off an All-Star season and has just one year left on his deal. The two sides are apart on what the new deal would be.
If the Bulls can’t come to an agreement, one team that would love to have his shooting is the Philadelphia 76ers. The team could part with Tobias Harris to allow LaVine to play the two-guard spot with Ben Simmons. As for the Nuggets, the team is without Jamal Murray and could look to move Murray to allow the Nuggets to win now with Nikola Jokic, Aaron Gordon, and LaVine.
9. Bradley Beal
Possible Destinations: Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets
Beal is another player that can’t escape the rumor mill. Beal has just one year left on his deal in Washington. Despite the Wizards trading Russell Westbrook for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Montrezl Harrell, Beal will be talked about as being traded until he agrees to an extension.
The Miami Heat have been long rumored to trade for Beal. A package centered around Tyler Herro could be enough to land the league’s scoring runner-up. Jimmy Butler, Beal, and Bam Adebayo would be a tough big three to beat in the East. As for Denver, the reasoning is similar to LaVine and the Nuggets have a prized young piece in Michael Porter Jr. they could offer.
8. Marcus Smart
Possible Destinations: Minnesota Timberwolves, Dallas Mavericks
Smart recently signed a contract extension with the Boston Celtics but is still a vital piece of any major trade package that could land the Celtics a third superstar to pair with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Smart is one of the better two-way players in the league and would contribute to any team that wants to make a playoff push.
For the Mavericks, this would allow the Celtics to take on the salary of Kristaps Porzingis. The Celtics have been linked to Porzingis dating back to his playing days with the Knicks. Another center, Karl-Anthony Towns, has also been linked to Boston. Smart would have to be included in either package to land either of the superstars.
7. Buddy Hield
Possible Destinations: Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks
Hield does not mesh well with what Luke Walton is doing in Sacramento. The Kings have seen Hield’s production dip in each of Walton’s two seasons. Before Walton, Hield was a 20-point per game scorer in this league, who owns the range from outside.
One team that needs some outside shooting is the Los Angeles Lakers. The team traded their top two three-point shooters in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma via trade. Hield would give the Lakers a true outside shooter. As for Atlanta, the Buddy Hield-Trae Young connection at Oklahoma would dazzle on the court.
6. Andrew Wiggins
Possible Destinations: Washington Wizards, Minnesota Timberwolves
Wiggins is another player that can’t escape the rumor mill. Given that the Warriors have Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, we often forget that Wiggins is still on the team. With Wiggins and young talent in James Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga, the Warriors could form a package to acquire a fourth superstar to make a team three years ago with Kevin Durant.
This time, the package would be centered around Bradley Beal or Karl-Anthony Towns. The Timberwolves are the more likely trade partner at this point with Wiseman and Kuminga being stable blocks to pair with Anthony Edwards. Curry, Thompson, Green, and Towns could be good enough to get the Warriors back in the NBA Finals.
5. Pascal Siakam
Possible Destinations: Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors
Siakam’s time in Toronto has to be coming to a close despite what the reports are saying. The Toronto Raptors are not contenders with Siakam and Fred VanVleet leading the show. The team overpaid to keep the role players in town. After all, they helped Toronto win their first championship.
With that said, Siakam is a No. 2 or No. 3 option. The Trail Blazers need a true No. 3 to pair with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Siakam could be the missing piece to help Portland get over the hump, but it would require a lot of salary shuffling. The Warriors are an interesting fit, but it would require Toronto to take Wiggins, but with Wiseman and Kuminga paired with Scottie Barnes, the Raptors would have a future to build around.
4. Myles Turner
Possible Destinations: New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors
The Pacers are such an enigma because on paper the team has the pieces, but it doesn’t feel like they are good enough. The Pacers could get a decent package in return from both the Knicks and Warriors. With the Knicks, a package including Mitchell Robinson, Immanuel Quickley, and picks could be enough. That would give the true anchor to the defense that led the league last year.
The Warriors and Pacers could have the best overall deal where both parties walk away happy. Trading Wiseman would allow the Pacers to rebuild with a younger core. Adding Turner would give the Warriors a win-now veteran. Turner would be a great fit for the Warriors, who lack a true rim protector. This trade would be beyond fair for what both teams want to accomplish.
3. Ben Simmons
Possible Destinations: Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors
It felt like once the 76ers were eliminated from the playoffs, that Simmons was a done deal out of Philadelphia. Instead, we wait. Then, we waited some more. Now, the season is about to start and Simmons is still on the team. With that said, we shouldn't trust Simmons being on the 76ers until he truly starts his first game. Simmons was blasted for his offensive woes and has been heavily rumored to be out the door.
Simmons has also been the central jewel regarding trade with the TrailBlazers for Damian Lillard. Having Lillard and Joel Embiid makes the 76ers a contender. As for Portland, it gives new head coach Chauncey Billups a true foundational player to build around. As for Toronto, the Raptors lack a point guard now that Kyle Lowry joined Miami. Simmons could join Pascal Siakam to make a competitive dynamic duo to accelerate the rebuild.
2. CJ McCollum
Possible Destinations: Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers
Concerning Simmons, McCollum’s name has been thrown around as well. The combination of Lillard and McCollum have just one Conference Finals appearance and no trips to the NBA Finals. McCollum has yet to make an All-Star Game despite being paid like one. It feels like this duo is coming to an end.
Simmons could join Portland even without Lillard joining the 76ers. McCollum would be a great fit for the 76ers. McCollum is coming off a season where he averaged 40.2% from outside the arc. The 76ers weren’t a top defensive team even with Simmons finishing as the league runner-up in Defensive Player of the Year. Losing Simmons’ defense for McCollum’s offense would elevate the 76ers.
1. John Wall
Possible Destinations: Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers
It’s one of those scenarios where we are 99.9% sure John Wall is not playing for the Houston Rockets next year. The question is now who will he play for? The top team that is contending for his services is the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers are going to be without Kawhi Leonard this season due to a torn ACL, so the team has been trying to add pieces to surround Paul George to help the team stay competitive.
The team acquired Eric Bledsoe from the Grizzlies. Adding Wall would give a scenario where both could compete for the starting job. Regardless, having Wall and Bledsoe, who are former teammates at Kentucky, provides the team great depth and would allow Wall to compete. As for the 76ers, Wall would be the ultimate backup for Simmons. What Simmons lacks in offense, Wall can make up for with the second unit.