The NBA Finals has officially ended and Giannis Antetokounmpo finally brought the city of Milwaukee a championship. Now, every team is going to try and create a good squad. That will be done through what looks to be another entertaining offseason.
The free-agent market will be one of the more lackluster classes compared to years in the past. However, the NBA trade rumor mill is buzzing loudly. Due to salary-cap space shortages and available talent on the market, teams are going to have to improve through a trade.
Several household names on the market could influence a team’s overall level into the green. There are even top teams from last year looking to part with a top player from their roster with hopes that it gets their franchise over the hump. Let’s sort through the rumors and sort out which players are the most important rumors regarding players that could be possibly traded.
Lakers Could Land Chris Paul Or Russell Westbrook
When the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals, there was a surrounding feeling around the league that this was Chris Paul’s chance. At 36 years old, Paul does not have much time left, but he left an impression on all of us after showing that he was the best player on the Suns’ roster. Paul has a player option worth over $40 million, but he could decline that option to join a contender and get his first championship ring.
Some may believe that is farfetched, but the Suns had an easier road to the NBA Finals. They faced teams that didn’t have Anthony Davis, Jamal Murray, or Kawhi Leonard. Giannis Antetokounmpo played with a hurt knee and still dropped 50 points. Russell Westbrook is in the same boat as he is 32 years old and is having trouble getting out of the first round. The Lakers need a point guard and a third superstar, so either could be vetted to join Los Angeles.
Tyler Herro Likely To Be Traded
When the Miami Heat rose to the NBA Finals, Herro was the key cog in the team’s success. He was the team’s second-leading scorer. At just 20 years old (at the time), there was a vast overreaction that the Heat had found themselves a younger version of Steph Curry or Klay Thompson. Last year, Herro’s numbers increased, but he tested the patience of the Heat organization. Reality and game seemed to overcloud his focus.
With that said, Herro is just 21 years old and would be welcomed by many rebuilding teams. To pull a third superstar to pair with Jimmy Butler and Bad Adebayo, Herro will have to be included in any major trade package according to Bleacher Report. The Heat are one of the favorites to land Bradley Beal. To acquire Beal, the Heat would have to part with one of their younger stars.
Lakers Could Trade Kyle Kuzma
Numerous reports are circulating the web that the Lakers are interested in trading Kuzma this offseason. Kuzma has been a vital part of the team’s bench for the last two years. However, the Lakers are looking to win now and pull a third superstar to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Any major trade will have to include Kuzma, who is playing on a friendly $13 million salary for the next three years.
At 25 years old, Kuzma has many prime years left. Two years ago, Kuzma averaged 18.7 points per game as a starter. Kuzma has been linked to multiple destinations. Some of those potential destinations and rumors include the Trail Blazers (Damian Lillard), Cavaliers (Collin Sexton), Pistons (Jerami Grant), Wizards (Russell Westbrook), and Pacers (Myles Turner).
Nets And Lakers See Myles Turner As A Target
Had Turner played the full season, he would have led the league in blocks. Still, the 3.4 blocks he averaged in 47 games is impressive. We haven’t seen an active shot-blocker like Turner in years. At 25 years old, he also has many prime seasons ahead of him.
While Turner is not your traditional center, he brings value to a team that likes to go small. One report suggests the Nets could part with Joe Harris, Nicholas Claxton, and two second-round picks. A team like the Lakers would thrive with Turner in their lineup. Imagine having to score on a team with LeBron, Anthony Davis, and Turner in the middle.
RJ Barrett Could Be Moved For Star Player
Barrett is coming off his second season in the league, a season that saw him improve in every aspect of the game. Barrett showed that he can score and rebound in this league. Not to mention, he is one of the better defenders in Tom Thibodeau’s schema. With that said, the New York Knicks lead the league in salary cap room and could not only sign a player but trade for a player like Westbrook.
Another player that New York could look to get is Damian Lillard. Despite reports saying that Lillard is not asking for a trade, Portland could jump-start the rebuild by acquiring a player like Barrett, who has star potential. At just 21 years old, he could be the new face of the franchise.
Toronto Enters James Wiseman Sweepstakes
The Warriors are in the final run of their championship dynasty. Curry (33), Thompson (31), and Green (31) are in their 30s with an injury history and lots of minutes played. The team shouldn’t be worried about the future and their 20-year old lottery pick. Wiseman has enough potential to land a big name this offseason.
That big name could be Pascal Siakam according to Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News. After a disappointing season that saw the Raptors fail to qualify for the playoffs, moving Siakam’s max contract would help the future of the team, especially with the potential departure of Kyle Lowry. Siakam is 27 years old and is coming off a season where he averaged 21.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. Golden State would need to send Andrew Wiggins as well, but Wiseman would be a necessary asset.
Collin Sexton Gains Interest From Heat And Warriors
After the rise of Darius Garland, combined with the fact that Sexton enters a contract season, there are growing reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers could part with Sexton this offseason. Sexton is coming off a career-high in points per game. At just 22 years old, Sexton could help a team win now and for five years down the road.
The Heat could easily package a first-round pick and Tyler Herro to acquire Sexton, who is in the final year of his rookie contract. The Cavaliers would likely want more, but it’s a good deal given Herro has two more years on his rookie scale. As for the Warriors, there is recent interest that the Warriors have “intrigue.”
Denver Nuggets Remain A Target For Bradley Beal
Beal is coming off a season where he was the league's runner-up in scoring. Beal has been linked to the Warriors and Heat, with Miami being the leading contender. However, the Nuggets have emerged as a trade partner for the Washington superstar.
An earlier report suggested that the Nuggets had an interest in acquiring Beal. That trade would likely include Michael Porter Jr., Will Barton, Monte Morris, and their 2021 first-round pick. Porter showed great strides last year after averaging 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds. He is also just 23 years old, but with MVP Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, the Nuggets could be an even more offensive powerhouse with Beal’s 31.3 points per game added to the team.
Trail Blazers Remain Top Destination For Ben Simmons
When the 76ers were bounced from the playoffs, head coach Doc Rivers would not commit to Simmons being a player that could lead a franchise to a championship. His offense was virtually gone against the Hawks. Even though Simmons was the runner-up in Defensive Player of the Year, this is a scorer’s league. You have to shoot the ball and have some form of success.
Simmons is only 24 years old and a three-time All-Star. Since he has a solid resume and a high salary (average $35 million), Bleacher Report suggests that Simmons could land in Portland in exchange for Damian Lillard. If not Lillard, CJ McCollum is potentially also on the table.
Kemba Walker Could Make Superstar Backcourt In Dallas
After the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Kem Walker, there was a widespread belief that Walker would not play a single game in OKC. If the Thunder were to flip Walker and jolt their rebuild, the Dallas Mavericks would be a prime destination.
Some believe the Mavericks are not going to give up on the combination of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. One landing spot for Walker would be the Dallas Mavericks, who have an interest in making a big three with Walker in the fold. The trade has the Mavericks offering the likes of Josh Richardson and Dwight Powell.
Warriors Can Offer Best Package For Damian Lillard
Lillard said that the reports were false about him asking for a trade. Lillard wants urgency from Portland after the team has made just one Conference Finals in nine years. At 31 years old, Lillard’s prime seasons are not going to be as automatic as compared to the year’s past.
The Warriors have the best trade package with Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, Jordan Poole, the No. 7 overall pick, and the No. 14 overall pick. Wiggins would be a salary dump but brings a player that can produce on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Wiseman, as previously mentioned, has a high ceiling and needs more experience. With Wiggins and McCollum, the Trail Blazers could compete in the short-term and rebuild on the fly. As for the Warriors, it would create a trio of “Splash Bros.”