A blockbuster deal was made on draft night as the Los Angeles Lakers acquired 9-time All-Star and former MVP, Russell Westbrook. Even though the point guard cannot space the floor well, he will form a dominant Big Three in Los Angeles alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. With the first real blockbuster deal completed, there could be a few more happening this offseason.
NBA stars are on the move more than ever because teams are looking to cash in on a player's value while players themselves are dictating their own future. With the NBA Draft officially over, here are the 7 star players that could be moved following the trade of Russell Westbrook.
7. Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer by the Boston Celtics to free up cap space for free agents. The Celtics might want to extend Evan Fournier a contract, so getting rid of an injury-prone Walker could work in their favor. But if Walker can remain healthy for at least the majority of the season, he is still capable of scoring 20 points a game.
Walker averaged 19.3 PPG and 4.9 APG this past season in 43 games, although his postseason did not go well as he only put up 12.7 PPG. Walker still has some explosiveness left and he will always be able to stretch the floor, making him a valuable trade target for the Knicks, Mavericks, or Bulls.
6. Kristaps Porzingis
The Dallas Mavericks have stated they want to keep Porzingis in town alongside Luka Doncic, but that might not be the case if teams come knocking. Porzingis is a 7’3” center who can shoot and defend, so he will be a wanted commodity despite his putrid postseason. Porzingis averaged 13.1 PPG and 5.4 RPG in the series against the Clippers, which is unacceptable for a player who was an All-Star with the Knicks.
But the Latvian will receive consideration from a lot of teams needing size, including the Magic and Pacers. Orlando have Jonathan Isaac and Porzingis could form a nice partner for him in the post, while Indiana can send Brogdon and Myles Turner to Dallas to improve their depth. Porzingis is still only 26 years old, so he has at least 7 more years to play at an All-Star level.
5. Malcolm Brogdon
Brogdon is a very solid player who defends well, hits the three at an above-average rate, and can be a playmaker in the offense. But he has a $21.7 million cap hit in 2022, making him a valuable trade piece for the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers acquired Caris LeVert in the James Harden trade, so the younger LeVert could likely take up the bulk of the minutes in the rotation.
Brogdon averaged 21.2 PPG and 5.9 APG this season, and his shooting from three (38.8%) could be valuable for a lot of teams needing scoring from the perimeter. Teams such as the Pelicans and Mavericks could use Brogdon’s ability as a two-way player so the Pacers could be making a trade before the season starts.
4. John Wall
John Wall is one of the fastest point guards in the NBA, although he suffered more injuries this season. At this rate, it is unlikely that John Wall will ever be fully healthy again. But that doesn't mean he isn't valuable, because he was a solid leader and veteran at the point guard spot for the tanking Rockets this season.
Wall averaged 20.6 PPG and 6.9 APG this past season. This type of stat line should place Wall among the top players on the market right now, even though the Houston Rockets might want to hold onto him to help the young players grow. Teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, and New Orleans Pelicans need a new starting point guard so Wall could soon play on a more talented team.
3. CJ McCollum
Portland are trying extremely hard to improve their roster around Damian Lillard, who will not accept losing in the first round of the playoffs anymore. Lillard is an extremely talented player that is untouchable, which means everyone else is including CJ McCollum. The shooting guard averaged 23.1 PPG this season, and he can be a go-to scorer for many teams needing offense.
The Trail Blazers have already discussed a swap deal with Toronto for Pascal Siakam, while the 76ers could desperately use McCollum’s scoring from the perimeter. McCollum has averaged over 20 PPG for 6 straight seasons so far, and at 29 years old, he has a lot left to offer. Portland need to make changes and that means their second-best player could be leaving soon.
2. Ben Simmons
There is no secret that Ben Simmons is on the trading block. He was a flop in the postseason, averaging 11.9 PPG and while shooting an embarrassing 34.2% from the free-throw line. As good as Simmons is on defense, he is a liability in crunch time and the 76ers always have to live without their second-best player on the floor. For a championship team, that is not going to cut it.
Philadelphia will likely be moving Simmons this offseason, and it is rumored that they are offering him to most of the teams in the league. Joel Embiid is a superstar right now, and he needs a player who can help him in the 4th quarter. Philadelphia need a scorer and a more reliable player in crunch time, which means Simmons could be out the door to teams such as the Warriors and Raptors although they have rejected preliminary offers.
1. Pascal Siakam
Pascal Siakam is among the most valuable players in the trade market because he is only 27 years old with a ton of versatility. He can score inside, shoot the ball, and play solid defense in the post. Siakam also has championship experience and was an All-Star in 2020 while making the All-NBA Team.
Siakam could immediately improve any team he goes to, and that means the Wizards and Trail Blazers will be in the mix. Siakam has proved to be a solid sidekick for a superstar in Toronto alongside Kawhi Leonard, so he can be the same for Bradley Beal or Damian Lillard. Otherwise, everyone would love to see Siakam forming a Big Three with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in Golden State.