Entering the NBA can really turn your world upside down, as there’s a lot of instability, traveling, adapting mind and body, and a lot of intangibles that could take a toll on a rookie or sophomore player.
Sometimes, these young men just need a change of environment in order to succeed, while others, they’re simply not that good. Also, there have been few cases where a young player is a star in the making, but the team currently needs a proven veteran that could contribute right away.
This season, we’re witnessing a couple of those scenarios, and we could expect several young stars that could be moved before the February deadline, and today, we’re going to let you know about them.
8. Frank Ntilikina
When the New York Knicks first got Frank Ntilikina with the 8th overall pick, they hoped to find their starting point guard for the future, but truth to be told, his lack of improvement has raised several questions over his true potential.
Perhaps Ntilikina was never that good to begin with, and beside his temper, length, and defensive IQ, he doesn’t offer much in the offensive end. Also, with Burke and Mudiay on board, he’s expendable on a market where several teams are looking for point guards.
7. D’Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell was supposed to be something of the likes of the second coming of James Harden, but so far, he’s failed to prove his worth, even though there have been some glimpses of greatness.
Russell has all the tools to become a successful NBA player, but he’s looking more like a future 6th Man of the Year rather than an All-Star. Also, the Nets need to clear cap space for the summer, so he’s a prime trade candidate.
6. Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier proved that he’s worthy of more playing time when he stepped up for Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart in the playoffs last year, but still, Brad Stevens hasn’t made an adjustment to the team’s rotation and he’s not happy with his current role.
Perhaps Rozier is a bit overrated and they should’ve sold high on him while they could, but still, with him being a lock to leave the team as a free agent in the summer, Boston can’t afford to let him walk away for free.
5. Brandon Ingram
Everybody seems afraid to say it, but let’s just face facts. Ingram may be young and all, but he’s failed to improve even under LeBron James’ tutelage, so of all of the Lakers young studs, he’s the more tradeable.
Ingram may wind up being an All-Star and hopefully, that’s the case, but the Lakers need players that can contribute right away to make the most of LeBron’s presence, so he could be moved in order to bring an All-Star to the Staples Center.
4. Markelle Fultz
The Philadelphia 76ers have already denied the rumors pointing towards them exploring the market for Markelle Fultz at the moment, but that could change depending on the progress of his rehab from a shoulder injury.
Moreover, the Sixers’ core has been outstanding, but they lack reliable role players that could help them close out games, and the sophomore guard could bring some nice value in return even while he’s injured.
3. Andrew Wiggins
Let’s face it. Andrew Wiggins has been a major disappointment for fans, for insiders, and most importantly, for the Minnesota Timberwolves, that must be feeling robbed with the contract they handed him.
The Timberwolves need to shake off the franchise and trade away all players not named Karl-Anthony Towns, starting with their disappointing former 1st overall pick, who may grow to become a solid role player elsewhere.
2. Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball has been great defensively for the Los Angeles Lakers, and he has shown glimpses of greatness with his playmaking so far, even though his offense is yet to catch up with all of the little things he brings to the table.
Even so, just like Ingram, Ball is not the player the Lakers need right now, even though I truly believe he will make multiple All-Star selections in no time. If Magic wants Davis, he needs to trade Lonzo Ball.
1. Dennis Smith Jr.
Dennis Smith Jr. had a great rookie season but has kind of regressed during his sophomore campaign, as injuries, lack of a solid jump shot and Luka Doncic’s presence have really taken a toll on his game.
Smith is a stud in the making and he could draw a lot of value in return should the Mavs move him. Also, with Luka Doncic playing like a 7-year veteran, maybe they would rather chase proven veterans and compete right away rather than rebuild around their backcourt.