A blockbuster deal could be in the works in Philadelphia, as Ben Simmons is the next possible star to be moved this offseason. The 3-time All-Star is a very good player, but he has burned many bridges with the team that drafted him. That is why the 76ers are getting the most recognition in the news at this moment. With the blockbuster deal for Simmons pending, there could be some more moves during the season.
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. There are also a ton of superstar players that are on very average teams at the moment, and there could be some more rumblings about player unhappiness. Here are the 7 NBA stars that will likely force a trade this season.
7. Kristaps Porzingis
The Dallas Mavericks seem to want to keep Porzingis in town alongside Luka Doncic, but that might not be the case if the team gets off to a bad start. Porzingis is a 7’3” center who can shoot and defend, so he will be a wanted commodity despite his inconsistencies. Porzingis only averaged 13.1 PPG and 5.4 RPG in the series against the Clippers last year, which is unacceptable for a player who was an All-Star with the Knicks.
It is likely the Latvian will receive consideration from a lot of teams needing size, and rumors of him getting annoyed with Luka’s preferential treatment in Dallas could be the final straw. Porzingis is still only 26 years old, so he has at least 7 more years to play at an All-Star level and he could feel that playing in Dallas is stifling his career.
6. John Wall
John Wall is still one of the fastest point guards in the NBA, although he is always injured and will likely not play the majority of next season. At this rate, it is unlikely that John Wall will ever be fully healthy again. But that doesn't mean he can’t start for most teams in the league, because the point guard can still get to the rim and pass at an elite level.
Wall averaged 20.6 PPG and 6.9 APG this past season, respectable numbers for a player who barely had NBA action over the past 2 years. A lot of contending teams are interested in Wall’s signature, so the former All-Star could be the next star player to leave the Rockets after the James Harden fiasco.
5. Brandon Ingram
Brandon Ingram is only 24 years old and is part of a fantastic duo in New Orleans with Zion Williamson, but the team is not in a very good spot right now. Rumors are going around that Zion is unhappy with the Pelicans franchise, something that could cause a ton of problems with the team in a very competitive Western Conference. Ingram averaged 23.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 4.9 APG last year while barely missing out on another All-Star selection.
The 6’8” forward has a very versatile skillset and has a chance to become a superstar, but New Orleans might not be the best spot for him right now. If Zion continues to feel unsettled with the Pelicans and the team struggles in the win column, the former No. 2 overall pick could demand a trade to a better team. If that does happen, the Pelicans are in very deep trouble.
4. 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 experience in the playoffs already. He can score inside, shoot the ball, and play solid defense in the post. Siakam was an All-Star in 2020 and has a lot left in the tank as a two-way star.
But Toronto are likely out of the mix in the East, and a player of Siakam’s ability belongs on a team with other stars. The Cameroonian can do it all as a power forward including defending multiple positions and running the floor, so he could be fed up with a losing situation and demand a trade to a contender.
3. Karl-Anthony Towns
Towns is still an exciting prospect in the league despite his roller coaster of a season. Towns possess a unique all-around game that includes shooting, rebounding, and defense. He is still a franchise cornerstone but he has not had enough help in Minnesota until now. There is also news that Towns is fed up with the lack of stability within the organization as well.
Whether or not Towns is great enough to be the best player on a championship team remains to be seen, but he still averaged 24.8 PPG and 10.6 RPG last year. The Timberwolves will want to keep Towns at all costs, but a superstar player has a ton of power in today’s NBA and Minnesota might have no choice but to fulfill this trade request.
2. Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal has developed into an elite offensive player. His career-high in scoring had placed Beal on the radar for many top NBA teams, and a player like Beal can transform a team's offense singlehandedly. Even with a ton of roster changes that brings Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyle Kuzma, and Montrezl Harrell on board; Washington will not be a contender.
Beal is 28 years old and in his prime, so it does not make sense why a special offensive talent should waste his years on an average team. There is a possibility that the Wizards get off to a hot start and make the playoffs at the end of the season, but a player of Beal’s talents can be used for legitimate championship purposes.
1. Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard might be a top-5 player in the league this year because he keeps getting better every year. The superstar point guard averaged 28.8 PPG and 7.5 APG last season and was a force behind getting the team to the postseason. But yet again, Portland are not finding playoff success despite Lillard’s brilliance.
This could be the final season where Lillard stays quiet because it is obvious the superstar point guard will not waste his remaining prime years on first-round exits. Lillard is 31 years old, making this season a critical point in his (likely) Hall of Fame career. If Portland struggle as they did last year, Lillard will force his way to another team which could kickstart an immediate rebuild for the Trail Blazers.