The trade deadline is almost upon us, so that means general managers are working overtime to try and get some deals done before is too late and they wind up stuck with guys that are no longer in their plans.
Should that happen, their only hope will be buying them out, should they consider that possibility rather than just sitting until their deal runs out so they get paid even the last penny of the deal they signed for.
Either way, we can rest assured that are a handful of players that are a lock to be moved either via trade or buyout, so let’s take a look at the top 11 candidates to finish the season playing for other teams.
JR Smith is not likely to be traded with the kind of contract he’s on, but he’s already expressed his desire to play and content, so he’s likely to accept a huge pay cut if that gives him a chance to play for a contender.
Smith is a good defender when locked in and the kind of streaky shooter that could come handy for contenders. He’s a plug guy that could fit right away, assuming he’s committed to the game.
Carmelo Anthony has already been traded and waived, but even despite speculation pointing towards him retiring right away, it seems like he’s keen to go out on his own terms and play until the end of the season.
Anthony could still draw some interest from contending sides and he’s reportedly going to consider all options before signing a deal. I truly hope he proves his doubters wrong and gets the respect he deserves. The best possible destination is Los Angeles Lakers, right now.
The Chicago Bulls signed Jabari Parker to a bunch load of money this season, so moving him is going to be tricky, especially with him being in and out of their rotation and playing so poorly in the defensive end.
Still, the talent and upside are there for the former 2nd overall pick, and he’s a risky flier that may be worth the risk for rebuilding teams with enough cap space or teams trying to dump some salary.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been quite good for the Los Angeles Lakers when needed, but that hasn’t been the case for most of the season and that’s doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.
Caldwell-Pope is a solid backcourt defender and an above the average three-point shooter so he could draw a lot of interest, especially if the Lakers pair him with Moritz Wagner or Ivica Zubac.
Dennis Smith Jr
Dennis Smith Jr has been involved in several trade rumors lately, although the Dallas Mavericks have tried to play those rumors down, most likely to keep the former 9th overall pick from losing his trade value.
Smith Jr has a lot of upsides but looks uncomfortable next to Luka Doncic, and with the point guard market being as short as it is, look for several teams to try and lure the athletic standout on a trade.
Enes Kanter doesn’t want to play for the New York Knicks anymore and he hasn’t been afraid to let everybody know a piece of his mind. He thinks he’s better than he is, and he wants to play for a contender.
The Knicks have fully embraced the tank and there’s no more room for an overpaid veteran like Kanter, that could also have a great impact off the bench for contenders. If he’s not moved, he’s definitely going to be bought out.
Terrence Ross is in the last year of a 10 million dollar contract, so the Orlando Magic need to move him right away or he’ll just walk away for free in the summer, as he’s not going to resign for a rebuilding team.
Ross’ sharpshooting may come really handy for teams looking to add depth at the wings, and he’s looked way better this year than the last couple of campaigns with the Raptors, so he’s going to have a lot of takers for sure.
Even though the Miami Heat have struggled to find any kind of offensive consistency whatsoever, coach Spoelstra has kept sharpshooter Wayne Ellington in the doghouse for most of the season.
Ellington’s stroke from beyond the arc is something a lot of teams are going to be looking for as we head towards the trade deadline, although the veteran wing doesn’t offer much besides his shooting.
Terry Rozier doesn’t want to embrace a lesser role with the Boston Celtics and he’s been stellar when he’s had to fill in for Kyrie Irving, so you know Danny Ainge is going to get a lot of calls inquiring for his availability.
Rozier is going to walk away as a free agent and the Celtics probably aren’t going to miss him, but why let him go for free when you can get something in return? He can ball, he can score, he can facilitate. He’s worthy of a couple of assets.
Finally, the Memphis Grizzlies have accepted the fact that they’re in no position to contend and that they can’t keep holding on to Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, especially with the Spaniard set to turn 34 years old.
Even at his age, Marc Gasol is one of the best two-way big men in the league and he’s keen to sign with a team that gives him the possibility of retiring as an NBA Champion, even if that means taking less money.
Yeah, everyone knows that Anthony Davis will leave New Orleans this season and finally, he requests trade from the Pelicans. He is one of the best players in the league and arguably the best big man and his decision is something that every Laker' fan like to hear.
Yesterday, Rich Paul has informed the Pelicans that Davis has no intention of signing an extension with the team this summer, and prefers to be traded to a place where he can "compete for Championships.:
I expect that Los Angeles Lakers get him until the February deadline and best trade package would be Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac, Josh Hart and 1st Round Pick.
If the Pelicans don't trade him until the trade deadline, then Boston Celtics could be the favorite to land Davis this summer.