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5 Players That Will Be Traded And 5 Players That Will Not Be Traded By The Trade Deadline

5 Players That Will Be Traded And 5 Players That Will Not Be Traded Until The Trade Deadline

The trade deadline is now two months away. The rumor mill is swirling and we are beginning to pick up more data on what teams will be buyers and sellers when that time comes. For some teams, entering the 2021-2022 season, there were question marks about some of their star players. To the naked eye, it appeared that Bradley Beal and Ben Simmons were surefire trade targets. Instead, they have stayed with their respective teams.

As we move towards another phase of the season, it’s evident that some players are very likely to be on the move. As for others, we can make an educated guess that they will stay put. Who will stay and who will go? These are the five players that will and will not be traded.

5 Players That Will Not Be Traded

Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns

Despite a four-game losing streak that dropped the Timberwolves to the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference standings, Towns is not going to go anywhere. Before the season, there were rumors about his destination being the Celtics or Warriors. Instead, neither team wanted to part with their young players or draft assets. What worked out well for Minnesota is that he is having an All-Star caliber season.

If Towns doesn’t make the All-Star Game, it would come as a shock. He is averaging over 50% shooting, while his 45.3% shooting from three-point range is a career. Combine that with 24.2 points per game and 9.2 rebounds, you have the old All-Star KAT back on the team. Towns could get the team a haul in return, but it appears that the team is perfectly fine seeing how Towns, Anthony Edwards, and D’Angelo Russell can carry this team into the playoff picture, even if that means playing in the play-in game.

Brandon Ingram

NBA Trade Rumors- Pelicans "Willing" To Part With Brandon Ingram In Potential Damian Lillard Sweepstakes

Ingram, the 2020 Most Improved Player, is having a great season individually. The problem is that he is on such a bad team that we never get to hear about it. Ingram is averaging 22.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. The Pelicans are 7-20 with the worst record in the Western Conference. A lot of that has to do with a first-year coach and no Zion Williamson.

Even with Williamson out, the Pelicans are locked to Ingram. They haven’t seen what Ingram and Williamson can do together over a long period. If Williamson gets shut down, the Pelicans can easily tank without directly telling us they are tanking. Combine a lottery pick with Ingram, Williamson, and some of their supporting cast, you are talking about a potential climb back to the standings at a quicker rate rather than what you would get in return for Ingram.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook

This all comes down to money. Westbrook is making $41 million this season and is expected to make $47 million next year. Who in the right mind is going to take Westbrook’s salary based on his recent track record? The Rockets were an average team two years ago. The Wizards were a below-average team last year. Now, the Lakers are hovering around .500 and they have LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The common denominator is Westbrook. His stats are impressive and the world is going to appreciate what he did one day. However, as a team player, he hasn’t been an effective role player since Kevin Durant left the Thunder. Westbrook hasn’t played in a Conference Finals since 2014. He plays hard, is tenacious, and can average a triple-double, but this is a team sport. His salary could pay for four effective role players, so the Lakers are going to have to find a way to make this work.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

Will Kyrie Irving play this season? That question is so up in the air that it’s going to force the Nets to pay for his services without him playing a single game this year. On paper, Irving, James Harden, and Durant were the big three that were going to march through the Eastern Conference to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2002. Instead, the Nets own the best record in the East with no Irving in sight.

Some teams could use a player like Irving and the Nets could use a third superstar. With that said, no team is going to give out assets if they don’t think the player is going to play this year. Irving’s reputation is not helping either, especially after last year’s near retirement and his injuries in the playoffs. If the public can see that Irving is not reliable, what do you think executives are saying?

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard

It feels like Lillard wants out. It’s almost an unspoken truth at this point. It doesn’t matter how many times Lillard tells us that he is staying, we just don’t believe him. Finally, we do believe him. Lillard is due $135 million the next three seasons and we are getting a potential glimpse of a regression. His shooting and points totals are hovering near career lows, while he is battling injuries. Could this be the downside of the future 32-year old?

Now, that is an exaggerated take. The facts are that Lillard has spoken repeatedly about how he is planning on staying in town. Something has to be said about Lillard being less than 800 points to Clyde Drexler’s all-time points mark in Portland. He is also in the mix for Terry Porter’s all-time mark in assists. Once Lillard passes Drexler, it could be a different story, but that won’t happen until after the trade deadline regardless.

5 Players That Will Be Traded

Marcus Smart

marcus smart boston celtics nba

When Smart criticized Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to the media, it felt like the tipping point of the iceberg. Before the year began, Smart signed a four-year extension to stay with the team. There are plenty of teams that would love to have Smart on their team for about $12 million per season. The Celtics need an upgrade and it could be Smart that headlines that package.

The Celtics are 13-13 on the season and coming off a season that saw them finish as the No. 7 seed in the conference. At some point, the combination of Brown and Tatum needs to be questioned. Does the franchise need a third player to help this team get back to the top? Whoever that player is, it would likely come at the hands of sending Smart.

Buddy Hield

(via CBS Sacramento)

(via CBS Sacramento)

Hield is shooting a career-worst 35% from three-point range but owns five straight years of shooting at least 39% or better. He is a solid outside shooter despite what the numbers say now. You must look at his situation in Sacramento and wonder how much of the blame is on him and how much of the blame is on the Kings. With the Kings sort of hovering around the play-in game conversation, the team is stuck in the middle in their decision-making.

The reason that Hield will get traded is because he does not fit in. He didn’t fit in under Luke Walton’s system. He is struggling to fit in now, specifically based on his combined 4-for-24 shooting from three-point range the last five games. Hield should have been traded years ago, but the Kings drug their feet. There are teams like the 76ers, Mavericks, Grizzlies, and Cavaliers, who could use a player like Hield, so keep an eye out for the rumor mill.

Myles Turner

Myles Turner

The Pacers continue to be an irrelevant team. After some rumblings about the Pacers potentially shopping Domantas Sabonis, now you know the team is looking to sell. While Sabonis is likely going to stay in Indiana as their crown player to build around, that means that some players like Malcolm Brogon, Caris LeVert, and Turner should be on the market.

Turner is the most obvious player because he is a free agent in 2023. The frontcourt duo of Sabonis and Turner doesn’t work. The Pacers don’t want to use him on offense, but instead as a shot-blocking role player. Turner could succeed somewhere else and the Pacers need pieces to rebuild. This seems like a future divorce in the making.

Kemba Walker

Kenny Smith Takes A Shot At Tom Thibodeau For Benching Kemba Walker: "The Guy's A Great Offensive Player And You Just Don't Know How To Use Him"

After the Knicks benched Walker, there was a consensus of shock around the league. Walker joined the Knicks on a two-year deal to play in his hometown. The problem is that Walker averaged 11.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. What stands out is that his three-point shooting, 41.3%, is the first time he was shooting above 40% in his career.

A contender could use Walker and he is playing on a cheap $8.5 million salary. If Walker isn’t going to play for New York, then he might as well be shopped for some sort of value. He’s not worth a first-round pick, but the team could get some kind of draft capital or cash in return. Andre Drummond was in the same boat last year, but eventually got bought out. Walker has an extra year on his deal, so a trade is more likely.

Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons On The First Round Of The 2021 Playoffs- "I Don’t Care Who We Play. That’s The Point Of Having The No. 1 Seed."

All of the rebuilding teams have their eyes on Simmons. They have to, right? Simmons is a three-time All-Star that plays superb defense and can facilitate an offense like no other. If the 76ers were better off without him, then they wouldn’t be just two games over .500 and struggling to fight to be in the playoff picture. The 76ers overplayed their hand also by trying to force him to play and by debunking his mental health.

Simmons was owed $147 million over the next four years before this season began. For a contender, that’s hard to match unless you are trading someone like Russell Westbrook or Damian Lillard, two players we said aren’t going to be traded. What about a team like the Pelicans, Thunder, Rockets, or Spurs? All of these players need a player to build around and have draft capital and salary relief, specifically the Thunder and Rockets. Even the Timberwolves have appeal because the salary of D’Angelo Russell could be used in a package. Either way, this relationship is so severed that there is no way he ever suits up for the 76ers ever again. 


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