There’s an old saying that goes, “it’s time to fish or cut bait.” It basically means some people are good enough to fish. The others get to stay back and cut bait. While it might sound harsh, even in the NBA there are players that don’t quite “cut-it.” Here are five hoopers I feel teams would benefit by trading:
The first-round pick in 2015, Stanley Johnson was expected to be an astonishing defensive player. The 6’7” 245 lb forward is said to be extremely versatile as he can guard 1-4 while playing with tremendous athleticism. The Detroit Pistons have put together a remarkable start to the season, currently leading the Central division with a 10-5 record. Looking through the stats; 7.5 points, 1.3 assists, and 3 rebound per game leave Johnson as the least efficient starter on a thriving team.
There is no player currently harming the Pistons, however, Johnson's abilities and value could be traded for the missing pieces the team needs to maintain their success.
Former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams has faced tremendous statistic and value reduction through the years. The star potential window expected from Carter-Williams appears to be closed. Consequential weaknesses in his game include; avoids shooting even when open(lack of confidence), prone to lazy turnovers (averages three per game for career), inconsistency, and poor three-point shooting.
Unfortunately, now starting his 5th season with the Charlotte Hornets, he has been traded 5 times. Averaging 2.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. A rooster modification for the Hornets may be crucial considering they are ranked 28th in assists and 23rd in three-pointers made per game. It is of Charlotte's best interest to trade for Carter-Williams in hopes of a better distributor and or a better shooter from distance.
This year the Minnesota Timberwolves least played player (averaging 2.3 minutes per game) has a contract worth $7,300,000. Last year, Aldrich played in 62 games while only scoring 105 total points. Overpaying a player to underperform is the opposite of what any rising NBA needs. Currently ranked 27th in three-pointers made, the Wolves should look player that has the ability to shoot from range and defend at an elite level.
Mario Hezonja was the 2015 5th overall pick whose numbers, unfortunately, have been decreases since his rookie year. His averages in points, assists, steals, blocks, rebounds and minutes have all decreased from his first year in the league. Heznonja’s field goal and three-point shooting percentages have increased from last year as the load of minutes has decreased. He is a confident player and despite his desire to becoming a star his recent minute reduction may be effective in eliminating pressure he may feel on the court.
Hezonja’s strengths is that he is a solid rebounder who can shoot well and has strong athletic abilities (finishing and rebounding). With unknown potential, his position as the Magic’s role player may be better suited on a different team. It would be beneficial for the Orlando Magic to receive a player who can create opportunities for Aaron Gordon.
It is no doubt that Austin Rivers is a confident sharpshooter, but the question remains: Would he still have the spotlight without his father's greatness, and would he even be a Clipper? Probably not. Rivers effort is intense night in and night out. However, can his impact overlook the blatant mistakes made by Rivers when his intensity leads to foolishness? It is known on almost all scouting reports that Rivers tends to get over aggressive on defense and becomes prone to mistakes.
Following the Clippers and Chris Paul break up, Rivers playing time has increased rapidly. Despite the current career-high year in scoring the production is not present. When shooting 37% from the field, 13.2 points per game is unacceptable for a team attempting to replace superstar Chris Paul. League-wide, players would love to play on the Los Angeles stage and it would be foolish for the Clippers to not utilize that. Austin Rivers is an overrated player who the Clippers can wisely trade to obtain a guard to better compliment Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.