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Every NBA Team’s Most Interesting Trade Candidate: The Lakers Must Trade Russell Westbrook

Every NBA Team’s Most Interesting Trade Candidate: The Lakers Must Trade Russell Westbrook

As the world counts down to the end of 2021, there’s another important date looming in the near NBA future. The NBA Trade Deadline is February 10, 2022, and teams are starting to gear up for buy or sell mode. Some teams such as the Warriors, Suns, and Bulls could be one piece away from competing for a championship, while other teams like the Pistons, Rockets, and Magic are hoping to add an additional first-round pick to speed up their rebuild.

Even though every team is not going to be active at the trade deadline, each team has an interesting piece to offer. What we have learned through the years is that no player is truly safe. This is a business and franchises are going to do what they see best for their respective future. With that said, this is every team’s most interesting trade candidate.

Atlanta Hawks - Cam Reddish

Reddish is having one of his best seasons in year three. Reddish was drafted by the Hawks because he was viewed as an outside shooting threat. In his first two seasons, he was anything but that, including shooting 26.2% from three-point range last season. This year, he is averaging his best points per game mark at 12.1, while shooting an impressive 37.0% from three-point range.

Reddish is just 22 years old and will be looking for a new deal after next season because of the expiration of his rookie contract. If the Hawks can add piece, Reddish could be used as trade bait. The team seems content with Kevin Huerter moving forward, so Reddish is expendable.

Boston Celtics - Marcus Smart

What we can gather is that the Celtics are not going to trade either Jaylen Brown or starting-caliber Jayson Tatum. Dennis Schroder is on a one-year contract, so he is a rental at best. The trade chip that will get the Celtics the most in return is Marcus Smart. With three years left on his deal, Smart brings leadership, tenacious defense, and a proven NBA player.

Smart’s tenure in Boston seems murky. After he called out Brown and Tatum, it seems like the relationship has holes in it. The Celtics are struggling to contend right now. The team needs a third superstar. A team that is selling at the deadline could be swayed if Smart is included in the deal.

Brooklyn Nets - Joe Harris

The reigning three-point shooting champion has played in only 14 games this season but was shooting 46% from three-point range when he played. With Kyrie Irving potentially returning on a part-time basis, he will probably be out of the starting lineup.

The Nets will probably try to land a power forward or center, and Harris' contract is perfect for that prospect of a trade. He didn't play well in the 2021 NBA Playoffs and even though he is the only 3-and-D player on the Nets, Harris could be traded before the deadline.

Charlotte Hornets - PJ Washington

The Hornets are an interesting team to watch. With the team hovering around .500, the team is looking to make a run at qualifying for the playoffs. For the most part, the team has done a lot of that without major contributions from Washington. Last year, Washington averaged 12.9 points and 6.5 rebounds. This year, those numbers have dipped to 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds.

Washington is 23 years old and should be considered a valuable asset. He is a career 38% shooter from three-point range and stands 6-foot-7. The Hornets have had to use Washington as a power forward/center combo as a backup, but a team could use him as a small forward. If the Hornets wanted to add a third piece, such as Myles Turner, to Gordon Hayward, LaMelo Ball, and Terry Rozier, it could come at the cost of Washington.

Chicago Bulls - Coby White

If White can consistently give the Bulls about 10 points per night, the team is golden. With Alex Caruso leading the bench, the Bulls have an expendable prospect in White, who is just in his third season. White averaged 15.1 points per game last year but was used as a starter. Now, he is the team’s backup that is more like a shooting guard.

White has the ceiling to score in high volumes as evidenced by his high school and college career. With the Bulls, he might be the one piece that doesn’t fit moving forward. At 21 years old, White could help lure one more superstar to Chicago. With championship potential, it might be time to pull the plug.

Cleveland Cavaliers - Cedi Osman

If there was a year to trade Osman, it would be now. Osman is averaging a career-high 39.5% shooting percentage from three-point range this year. Along with 11.5 points, Osman is also shooting 45.3%, which is also eight percent better than last year. Osman has a reduced role this year with the Cavaliers, averaging just 22 minutes per game, but he is flourishing.

Osman could yield a starter caliber player if packaged with the right assets. With Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley leading the way, the Cavaliers could use a proven shooting guard if one comes available. With Collin Sexton’s future up in the air, it would be wise to cash in on an upgrade with Osman’s ceiling as high as it is right now.

Dallas Mavericks - Jalen Brunson

The Mavericks are struggling to stay fighting in the playoff conversation. The team is two games below .500 and losing relevance. Luka Doncic will bring attention to the team because of his ability to put up big numbers each night, but that’s not going to get the team out of the first round of the playoffs.

Brunson has gone from backup to starter and it’s proving to be a great fit. Brunson is averaging 15.8 points and 5.4 assists in 30.6 minutes of action. There are plenty of teams looking for a proven point guard. If the Mavericks want to add to the team with Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, selling on Brunson’s play this year could be a risky move, but one necessary to keep the team in contention.

Denver Nuggets - Bol Bol

Bol Bol was once considered a lottery pick, but we aren’t completely sure what he is capable of doing yet. In 11 games, Bol is averaging 1.4 points in 4.6 minutes of action. With Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon taking over the top of the depth chart, it’s unlikely we will ever see Bol play big minutes for the Nuggets.

If a team wanted to take a chance on Bol, the team might be able to cash in on a second-round pick. It doesn’t seem like much, but it would cash in on the second-round pick that the Nuggets used to pick him No. 44 overall in 2019.

Detroit Pistons - Jerami Grant

The Pistons own one of the worst records in the league. If this keeps up, the team is poised to make a run at the No. 1 overall pick for the second straight year. Adding a piece like Chet Holmgren to grow with Cade Cunningham would be ideal as the team continues with their rebuild. If there was a way to add starting-caliber, the more, the merrier.

Grant is coming off a season where he averaged 22.2 points. In 24 games, Grant is averaging 20.0 points per game. With one year left on his deal for about $20 million, Grant is an affordable forward. We should expect to see Grant on the move in the next month or so.

Golden State Warriors - James Wiseman

Last year, Wiseman averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in his rookie season. There were flashes of Wiseman looking like a starting-caliber center in the league, but the youngster hasn’t been able to stay on the court healthy. Meanwhile, the Warriors are winning games without his services. Kevon Looney has solidified his position as the team’s starting center, while small ball allows Draymond Green to play center sometimes.

The Warriors are potentially the best team in the league even without Wiseman playing. He is the most expendable player on the team given his potential ceiling. The former No. 2 overall pick should be dealt with before the deadline for a “win-now” prospect.

Houston Rockets - Christian Wood​​

The player the Warriors should try and go after is Christian Wood, plain and simple. Wood is one of the best small ball centers in the league that is currently averaging 17.2 points and 10.9 rebounds. Last year, Wood averaged 21.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, and shot 37.4% from the three-point range. He would fit perfectly with the Warriors.

Wood is the best player on the roster that will get the Rockets a first-round prospect. With Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green as the team’s young prospects, the team isn’t worried about winning now. Wood only has one more year left on his deal. Getting a player like Wiseman would help the young core grow.

Indiana Pacers - Myles Turner

The self-proclaimed best shot-blocker in the world is likely going to be traded before the deadline. The Pacers continue to struggle to compete and it looks like the team is ready to blow up the roster. Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, and Domantas Sabonis are not safe either, but Turner seems like the first to go.

Turner is averaging 2.8 blocks per game, one year after averaging 3.4 blocks. Turner is probably the best shot-blocker in the league and would be a perfect fit for a team like the Hornets or Knicks. Rim-protectors that can sometimes shoot from three-point range are tough to come by.

Los Angeles Clippers - Eric Bledsoe

With salary cap issues, the Clippers are probably not going to make any moves at the deadline because they can’t afford anyone. Also, now Paul George is out for three to four weeks, so the Clippers need offense, especially with Kawhi Leonard continuing to recover. With that said, if the Clippers could flip a player on the team, it would be Bledsoe.

Bledsoe was acquired during the offseason and is averaging 10.0 points per game. You can never have enough guard depth. If the Clippers were to tank this next month, Bledsoe would be the perfect player to try and trade if the team felt this year was a wash.

Los Angeles Lakers - Russell Westbrook

Remember when the Lakers traded half the team for Westbrook, who was coming off his fourth triple-double of his career? Remember when the league wasted zero time for the NBA Finals to be crowned Lakers vs. Nets? Those times seem like forever ago after the Lakers lost their fifth straight to fall to below .500.

With Anthony Davis hurt and LeBron James old, this team has so many questions. LeBron is having an MVP-like season. Westbrook’s fit with the team is the problem. His game is one-sided and it’s clear he is nowhere near as explosive and good at finishing anymore. The Knicks wanted Westbrook once upon a time. Maybe New York is still interested.

Memphis Grizzlies - Tyus Jones

The Grizzlies are quietly competing at a high level this year. The team has the fourth-best record in the Western Conference. That’s right. The Grizzlies, led by Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, and Kyle Anderson have a better record than the Clippers, Nuggets, and Lakers. It would be surprising to see Memphis try and lure a superstar to town, so the trade pool is fairly small.

Jones has an expiring contract. He is averaging 7.5 points and shooting a career-high 40% from three-point range. If any player were to be moved on the team, it would most likely be Jones.

Miami Heat - KZ Okpala

Once upon a time, Tyler Herro was seen as a trade chip that could land the Heat a third superstar to pair with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Now, Herro is the third superstar and could win Sixth Man of the Year. The Heat seems pretty content with their squad. Barring any injuries, the team will be quiet at the deadline.

The player that could move is KZ Okpala. He is averaging 3.5 points and shooting 41.5% from the field. He is a low-risk, high-reward type of player that could get draft capital for the team.

Milwaukee Bucks - Donte DiVincenzo

After watching the Bucks win a championship without him, that had to hurt in a way. It made DiVincenzo expendable. Last year, he averaged 10.4 points and shot 37.9% from three-point range along with 5.8 rebounds. A team looking for shooting depth could make a call.

DiVincenzo didn’t play his first game until Christmas, where he recorded three points. Once DiVincenzo plays a few more games, it will help his trade value go up. He is going to need to prove he is fully recovered from his nasty ankle injury.

Minnesota Timberwolves - Karl-Anthony Towns

The Timberwolves are in an interesting position. The team is contending for a playoff spot and is just two games out of the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference. However, the Timberwolves are not known for contending, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see the team go on a long losing streak and knock them out of contention. If that happens, could this be the year that the team finally deals Towns?

The team owns one playoff berth, a first-round playoff exit, in their marriage with Towns. The former All-Star is entering his prime and is a combo center that can shoot from outside. Towns could bring the team a platter of young prospects and future first-round draft picks to build around Anthony Edwards.

New Orleans Pelicans - Jonas Valanciunas

The Pelicans acquired Valanciunas and Devonte’ Graham with the intention that the Pelicans would have complementary pieces for Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Instead, Williamson hasn’t played a game this season. Ingram has tried to carry the team on his own, but the team remains near the bottom of the standings. This season is pretty much gone, so the Pelicans could look to get assets for now and the future to build around Williamson for next year.

Valanciunas is having a successful individual season, averaging 18.6 points and 12.2 rebounds. His most successful stat is his 45% shooting mark from three-point range, which was once leading the league. For a team looking to buy at the deadline, Valanciunas could be a great addition.

New York Knicks - Kemba Walker

Walker isn’t just the most interesting player to be traded in New York. He is the most interesting player in the entire league. After Tom Thibodeau nearly broke his NBA season, Walker has surged to the starting lineup in his second chance. His journey has the entire league talking, especially after his triple-double on Christmas Day.

Walker could stay with the Knicks or be traded. He is making only $10 million and has one more year left on his deal. The Knicks didn’t believe in him for a reason and Walker is hitting all the right buttons right now. This would be a time to hedge on Walker’s value.

Oklahoma City Thunder - Derrick Favors

Favors is the most experienced player on the Thunder, which tells you how young the team is right now. The team is focused on building around young talent, which is why the team is 12-20 on the season. Given what the Thunder have on their roster, you expected this kind of season.

The team will likely look to field offers for Favors, who is averaging 5.6 points and 4.9 rebounds this season. A team needing a backup center could probably get Favors for a draft pick or money. Favors was the backup for the Jazz last year and could be used in a similar role this season for a contender.

Orlando Magic - Mo Bamba

Surely, the Magic aren’t going to try and make Wendell Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba work together moving forward. The team is going to need to pick one and Carter is the better player. With that said, Bamba, now 23, finally has some experience and could be growing to be a role player in the league. When you think of comparable players, Bamba has some traits similar to Bismack Biyombo.

Bamba is averaging 10.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks in 28.7 minutes per game. The Magic want to build around their young core, but who exactly is that moving forward? Bamba is young enough to flip and is having a career season. The risk could be worth the reward moving forward.

Philadelphia 76ers - Ben Simmons

Is Ben Simmons going to pay this season? That’s a question that everyone is asking themselves these days. The 76ers have been the biggest losers from this drama series, falling from the No. 1 seed last year to hovering around the No. 6 seed. At this point, the team is paying for nothing.

You know what you are going to get with Simmons. You are going to get a pass-first player that can rebound, defend, and orchestrate an offense. You can’t rely on him for the automatic offense. With a player like CJ McCollum on the market, it seems like Portland and Philly should stop dancing, and make a move.

Phoenix Suns - Elfrid Payton

Months ago, Deandre Ayton seemed like a potential trade target. The Suns and Ayton couldn’t agree on money and they stalled their talks. Now, Ayton could reach free agency and leave after this year. With that said, there is no way the team is going to trade Ayton when they are contending for the best record in the NBA. The combination of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Ayton was good enough to make the NBA Finals last year. They could do it again.

The Suns are strapped for cash and have a winning formula. Adding could be subtracting at this point. Elfrid Payton has no real long-term value to the franchise and is the most expendable player on the roster.

Portland Trail Blazers - CJ McCollum

After all the rumors and speculation, Damian Lillard appears to not be going anywhere this year. If the playoffs started today, the Trail Blazers would be the No. 11 seed. The combination of Lillard and McCollum was a good run, but it’s time to start something new.

McCollum could be good enough to land a prize like Ben Simmons. That would allow the Trail Blazers to compete with a duo of Simmons and Lillard. Meanwhile, McCollum would give the 76ers some outside shooting the team desperately needs.

Sacramento Kings - Buddy Hield

De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Marvin Bagley are all players that should be traded. Realistically, the Kings need to tear everything down, but it’s the Kings. The team has hovered around mediocrity for so long, why change now? Fox would get the team the biggest package, but he is their best player and young enough for them to build around him. Bagley is looking like a potential bust after being drafted No. 2 overall in 2018. The big man is averaging just 7.7 points and 6.4 rebounds. 

The logical option is Buddy Hield, who had expressed a desire to leave the Sacramento Kings. He was almost traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in the offseason, and he probably can't wait to continue his career somewhere else. With 15.6 points per game and 3.6 three-pointers per game, he is the perfect player for every contender in the league.

San Antonio Spurs - Thaddeus Young

The 33-year old deserves better than being used in just 14.2 minutes per game. Young is averaging 6.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. Last year, Young averaged 12.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists while shooting 55.9% from the field. At times, the Bulls’ offense ran directly through Young, so when the Spurs were able to get him, some thought he would make a bigger impact.

Young is not washed up either. The Spurs just aren’t very good. A rebuild should be the direction of the team, but we just don’t know. If the team is looking to add draft capital, Young should be let go, so he can showcase his talents on a contender.

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam

Dealing Siakam is going to be hard because he is due $35 million and $37 million the following seasons before reaching free agency in 2024. Siakam is also not producing like a player that should be making that much money. He is averaging 19.1 points and 7.6 rebounds this season. It’s clear that he was a product of Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry’s influence and not a true number one option.

With that said, there are plenty of teams that would be willing to add a second or third superstar. For teams such as the Thunder and Magic, building with Siakam could be an option, especially since they are not competing for the next few years. If the Raptors were able to get out of this financial commitment, they would surely be happy.

Utah Jazz - Joe Ingles

After finishing runner-up in the Sixth Man of the Year voting, Ingles has regressed this season. Last year, Ingles averaged 12.1 points, 4.7 assists, and shot 45.1% from three-point range. This year, those numbers have dipped to 7.8 points, 3.6 assists, and 39.0% from three-point range. Those are still not terrible numbers for a player coming off the bench, but could the Jazz look to make an upgrade?

Ingles is a free agent after this season, so if the Jazz looked at a contender, they could try and swap Ingles for a potential upgrade. The Raptors and Trail Blazers made a deal with Gary Trent and Norman Powell a year ago that saw upside for both teams. This could be a similar situation involving Ingles.

Washington Wizards - Davis Bertans

That five-year, $80 million deal for Bertans is looking pretty rough these days. Bertans is averaging 6.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, and shooting 31.0% from three-point range in 16.0 minutes per game. Bertans has at least two more years and $33 million and has an early termination clause for 2024-2025. Realistically, it would take the Wizards giving away pieces for a player to take Bertans off their hands.

The Wizards don’t have much to offer on their roster. Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Montrezl Harrell have been perfect fits with Bradley Beal. Spencer Dinwiddie is not going anywhere, while Deni Avdija is only in his second year. The Wizards would love to upgrade their depth, but Bertans is going to be a puzzling piece to move. 


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