With training camp already started, teams are shaping up for the 2021 season. We have seen some big moves so far such as the point guard swap of Russell Westbrook for John Wall, and also the Milwaukee acquisition of two-way star Jrue Holiday. But the offseason will likely hold some more offseason movement, as there are NBA stars that are still likely to be moved.
As teams look towards adding All-Star talent to their roster, here are the 15 players that could be traded this season. While a lot of these players have already been on the trade market, other players will likely be moved shockingly. Starting with a Lakers young forward, here are the top 15 players that will likely be traded this season.
15. Kyle Kuzma
At this point, it is hard not to feel sorry for Kyle Kuzma. The young man has been in trade rumors ever since LeBron James joined the Lakers, which is what we all expect. The Lakers want to win the championship every year as long as LeBron James is on the roster, so a young asset like Kuzma is a very attractive bargaining chip. Kuzma didn't have a great season last year, but his ceiling is very high as a stretch forward.
Expect rebuilding teams such as the Chicago Bulls to offer a package for Kuzma's services, while both the Washington Wizards and Portland Trail Blazers want to keep adding pieces for a deep Playoff run in 2021. The Bulls have some nice young players like Coby White and Lauri Markkanen, so Kuzma fits like a glove in their rebuilding plans. Meanwhile, the Wizards have Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal, and adding Kuzma would be a solid scoring trio. The Portland Trail Blazers need shooting alongside Jusuf Nurkic so Kuzma fits the bill perfectly as well. Time will tell if Kuzma will finally get moved or dragged along for another championship with the Lakers.
14. Andrew Wiggins
The potential of Andrew Wiggins is almost ridiculous. He has yet to mature as a man and as a player, which is hindering his progress. Nonetheless, teams should still give him a shot to reach All-Star status which can be easily achievable for him. Very few players have the athletic ability of Wiggins, so rebuilding teams will be looking to give him the opportunity.
The Chicago Bulls are in rebuild mode, and a swap involving Zach LaVine could be in the cards. The Warriors need shooting and scoring, while the Bulls need rebuilding pieces. Wiggins will bolster the Bulls wing as an athletic scorer with the potential to be a lockdown defender as well. Expect the Philadelphia 76ers to give Wiggins a shot as well, as his ability to run the floor can fit perfectly next to Ben Simmons. Lastly, the San Antonio Spurs should find their cornerstone building blocks next to Dejounte Murray and Derrick White. Andrew Wiggins needs a place to grow, and San Antonio could be it.
13. Aaron Gordon
The Orlando Magic seem to be a playoff contender thanks to Nikola Vucevic, but Aaron Gordon hasn't been that convincing for the team. They could do with adding a perimeter scorer to help them on offense, and Gordon could be the trade piece they can use. Gordon had a decent season by averaging 14.4 PPG and 7.7 RPG, but his impact could be greater on the right team.
Gordon will attract interest with the Knicks and Spurs, who could use a young athlete to make highlight reels and also help with their rebuild. The Knicks have an affinity for power forwards anyway, so Gordon could be a great option for them. The San Antonio Spurs could possibly strike a deal involving DeMar DeRozan, an All-Star scorer who isn't helping San Antonio during the rebuild at all. Even the Warriors could use Gordon's ability to run the floor and finish on the break, so there will be many suitors for Gordon's signature.
12. Andre Drummond
It is crazy how the NBA's best rebounder seems to always be in trade rumors. This shows how much the league has changed, where 7-footers with exceptional athletic ability isn't valued anymore if they can't shoot. The Detroit Pistons traded Drummond for peanuts, and now the Cleveland Cavaliers could be moving Drummond to a team that needs more size and rebounding. The Cavaliers need to rebuild with young players, so Drummond could be shipped out imminently.
Andre Drummond once again posted a double-double last season by averaging 17.7 PPG and 15.2 RPG. His ability on the boards is truly unmatched right now and there will be teams who need a glass cleaner as great as Drummond. Teams that will be interested include the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, and even the Dallas Mavericks. The Knicks need big names to fill out their roster while the Bulls need a dominant center alongside forward Lauri Markkanen. The Mavericks are looking for a Big Three and Drummond might be the player they can get for the best trade package they can offer.
11. Derrick Rose
Another player that has been thrown in trade rumors is Derrick Rose. Rose is 33 years old and will likely not improve anymore as a player, so the Pistons would do very well to move him for future assets. The Pistons drafted Killian Hayes to be their new point, so Rose might be expendable. Rose averaged 18.1 PPG and 5.6 APG this season, so expect contending teams to offer future picks and whatever young assets they have to boost their conference standings.
The Los Angeles Clippers have needed a point guard for a while now, and Rose fits the bill perfectly. Rose has All-Star ability with his scoring and playmaking, so he immediately improves the Clippers' weaknesses. Even the Golden State Warriors, who lost Klay Thompson for the season, will be looking for a short-term fix at the guard spot. Rose's playmaking and scoring will fit nicely next to Stephen Curry, who will already have a ton of pressure to do a ton of work on offense for the Warriors.
10. C.J. McCollum
Scoring guard C.J. McCollum is one of the best shooting guards in the NBA yet somehow flies under the radar. Probably because he shares the backcourt with Damian Lillard, a legitimate superstar and one of the top 10 players in the league. Still, McCollum is a scoring machine and could average 25 PPG for any team in the NBA. The Portland Trail Blazers have Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic, and Robert Covington so trading McCollum could get them a player who can defend and play both sides of the ball better.
McCollum can score but is a defensive liability which means his fit with Damian Lillard won't always be as impactful as it should be. Therefore, the Trail Blazers should look towards moving McCollum out East to the likes of Detroit or Orlando as they desperately need perimeter scoring. Portland seem to be going all-in ever since they made the Western Conference Finals in 2018, so moving McCollum for more pieces could be in the cards.
9. Blake Griffin
Former All-Star Blake Griffin was once a franchise player for the Los Angeles Clippers, so it was a shock to see him traded to Detroit a few years ago. Griffin did not have a solid season last year by posting 15.5 PPG and 4.7 RPG in only 15 games of play, unfortunately going down with a season-ending injury. It is very likely that Griffin never returns to his franchise superstar level of play and athleticism, although he will always be a capable All-Star if he can come back healthier.
The Detroit Pistons are probably going nowhere this season so moving the injury-prone Griffin for assets seems like the best thing to do. A team like the New York Knicks could use Griffin's highlight reel potential and skills, while Portland could actually offer a swap deal package for C.J. McCollum. Blake Griffin is likely out the door this season so it will be interesting to see where he ends up
8. Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine is a perfect player to add to a franchise looking for cornerstones for a rebuild. He is young, athletic, and has taken jumps in his play this past season. LaVine is slowly developing into one of the better scorers in the league so expect teams to keep knocking on Chicago's door. The Bulls will want to keep him, but if they want to go all-in in tanking, moving LaVine could be the best possible move for them.
The Chicago Bulls will require a first-round pick for LaVine's talents, which most teams will be willing to give up. LaVine had a career year averaging 25.5 PPG, a massive jump from last year. LaVine is already blossoming into an All-Star before our eyes, so Chicago can acquire some excellent rebuilding picks for their star player. Teams like the Nets and Celtics could be interested since they would like to add a third star to their ranks.
7. Victor Oladipo
What is really going on with Victor Oladpio? Reports originally resurfaced that Oladipo wanted out of Indiana, only for reports to come out that he is committed to the Pacers for the foreseeable future. Either way, Oladipo will likely be on the trading block. His skills as a defender and scorer are impressive, but he isn't the number one guy for Indiana who would probably prefer to build around All-Star Domantas Sabonis. Many teams would love to get their hands on Oladipo, so Indiana can receive a huge package in return.
The Miami Heat have been rumored to be in the running for Victor Oladipo, who will have an official Big Three if they trade their young assets. The Heat proved Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are good enough to lead the team to the Finals, but Oladipo could bring them a title. The Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks should also consider Oladipo, who can score and be an excellent playmaker as well alongside their own superstars. Oladipo is an upgrade over Boston's guards, while the Bucks can finally find their help for Giannis Antetokounmpo.
6. Kevin Love
Unsurprisingly, Kevin Love appears on the list. Love is one of the best big men in the league in terms of floor spacing and rebounding. Love has proven to be a championship level player and can be effective as a third or fourth option on the court. Love's shooting is above-average and he has always been a strong rebounder at his position. Unfortunately for him, he simply doesn't fit with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kevin Love is a waste of talent on a rebuilding squad, so there will be some contending teams looking at Love's floor spacing ability at the power forward or center position. Teams like the Rockets are looking to add more big man depth and shooting to bolster their front-court signings of Chris Wood and DeMarcus Cousins. Expect Houston or even a team like the Boston Celtics to offer a strong package for the former All-Star.
5. Kemba Walker
The Celtics reportedly try to trade Kemba Walker before training camp, so they will likely try once again to move Walker with the hopes of attracting top-level talent. Kemba Walker is an excellent scorer and fits into the Celtics system, which makes him a very attractive target for other teams as well. Boston are in a win-now mode so they will look to add players to help them win the championship in 2021.
Possible destinations for Kemba Walker include the Clippers or even the Philadelphia 76ers. The Clippers desperately need a point guard upgrade over Patrick Beverley and could use Kemba's explosive scoring on offense. The Sixers also need a point guard who can shoot, which Kemba can do very well (shot 38.1% for the season).
4. Ben Simmons
All-Star Ben Simmons is one of the best all-around talents in the league thanks to his defense and playmaking. Along with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons has single-handedly put Philadelphia on the map as a free agent destination and as a contender in the East. Simmons is very unselfish and can affect the game in many ways, making him an excellent player for any team. But unfortunately, he hasn't found the success he dreams of alongside Joel Embiid.
Simmons is an amazing player, but his lack of shooting makes him a liability from the perimeter. Anytime Joel Embiid is inside, shooting is absolutely key. The Sixers have claimed they want to hold onto Ben Simmons, but if the Rockets are forced to trade superstar James Harden, Simmons might have to be traded. As good as Simmons is, James Harden is one of the 5 best players in the world so this is a deal that would give Houston their second playmaker next to John Wall.
3. DeMar DeRozan
The San Antonio Spurs need to rebuild, and with teams such as the Lakers already inquiring about DeMar DeRozan, the scoring wing could be on the move soon. Anybody with eyes could see that DeRozan wasn't helping the Spurs contend in the West, so it is confusing as to why San Antonio doesn't move him already for assets. The Spurs have some talented young players such as Derrick White, Lonnie Walker IV, and Dejounte Murray so stockpiling assets should be the way to go.
DeRozan is still an All-Star thanks to his scoring and improved playmaking, so expect his old team the Toronto Raptors to be interested in him. The Raptors have Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry, and DeMar DeRozan would complete a solid Big Three that could legitimately win the East. The Orlando Magic could use DeRozan's scoring desperately, so a package centered around Aaron Gordon could be in the cards for the Spurs.
2. LaMarcus Aldridge
Along with DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge could be and should be out of San Antonio soon. The Spurs have stayed committed to the old-school style of play that DeRozan and Aldridge bring, which hasn't resulted in many wins for the team. While DeRozan is still in his prime, Aldridge is past it and will be 36 this season. The Spurs could keep him until he retires, but moving him for assets right now could be the right move for them.
LaMarcus Aldridge dropped 18.9 PPG on 49.3% shooting last season, meaning he is still an above-average scorer who can create his own shots. Teams like the Warriors and Clippers could use his scoring because he can post-up on the block for turnaround jumpers all game. The Warriors need to replace Klay Thompson's scoring, so Aldridge could be an option. Similarly, the Clippers could use a third star to dump the ball down, and they need their scoring replacement for Montrezl Harrell. This might be the time Aldridge finally gets traded, so it will be interesting to see where he goes.
1. James Harden
It is a shame that the Houston Rockets are imploding the way they are this offseason. Russell Westbrook has already been traded which means that James Harden is likely to be next. The Beard requested a trade after declining his 2-year, $103 million extension which clearly shows he wants out of Houston as soon as possible. The Rockets underwent serious changes in management this offseason and franchise player James Harden doesn't seem sold on staying even with the acquisition of John Wall.
James Harden made it clear he wants to play in Brooklyn with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and that is the best landing spot for a superstar scorer of The Beard's level. Harden averaged 34.3 PPG in a sensational season and he will create one of the most unstoppable offenses in NBA history if he becomes a Nets player. Time will tell if Houston will pull the trigger on a Harden trade to Brooklyn or make things uncomfortable by keeping him on the Rockets squad to start the season.