The NBA Finals are going on, with the focus of the NBA world on the next few games of the series. But the offseason is nearing which means teams want to acquire players and move pieces around for the coming season. It is the norm for teams to move parts and we will see player movement in due time.
Here is the one player that will likely not be on every team next season. Every player must be under contract or have a team option. That means players who have player options are not included while those with qualifying offers can be used in sign and trade deals.
Atlanta Hawks - Onyeka Okongwu
The Atlanta Hawks exceeded expectations by making the Eastern Conference Finals led by their superstar Trae Young. The roster has incredible pieces that fit together, but the young man Onyeka Okongwu will likely be packaged in a trade to either increase Atlanta’s depth further or a move for some picks.
Boston Celtics - Marcus Smart
The Boston Celtics already made a trade by moving Kemba Walker and are all-in on building around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Marcus Smart is key to what Boston does on defense, but he will likely be sacrificed in favor of another piece to improve Boston’s starting lineup. The key for Boston is moving Smart with valuable first-round picks for a third All-Star player.
Brooklyn Nets - Landry Shamet
The Brooklyn Nets are the most talented team in the NBA with three superstar players. Without injuries to Kyrie Irving and James Harden, the Nets would have likely run away with the title this year. Looking ahead to next season, Landry Shamet is the most valuable trade piece on the roster. The Nets have a ton of offense but moving Shamet for a capable big makes sense.
Charlotte Hornets - Malik Monk
The Charlotte Hornets have an untouchable in LaMelo Ball but the roster can be improved by moving some capable young players. Malik Monk averaged 11.7 PPG this season but he is 25 years old and could be a hot commodity in the trade market. Charlotte need experience and scoring to help LaMelo get to another level, and Monk could be the sacrifice.
Chicago Bulls - Lauri Markkanen
The Chicago Bulls made a massive move to acquire All-Star center Nikola Vucevic to pair with Zach LaVine, and the team is on track to making a playoff appearance. Moving their hottest commodity, Lauri Markkanen is the best way to create the best starting lineup for the Bulls to get to the next level. Expect Chicago to focus on acquiring a capable point guard.
Cleveland Cavaliers - Collin Sexton
The Cavaliers are shopping Collin Sexton, a future All-Star guard who can score at his own pace. Sexton averaged 24.3 PPG this season, but Cleveland want to cash in on him with his value at the highest. Sexton could be a wanted commodity for title contenders such as the Lakers or Heat, which means Cleveland could acquire some very nice young players such as Kyle Kuzma or Tyler Herro among others.
Dallas Mavericks - Kristaps Porzingis
The Dallas Mavericks have a top-10 superstar in Luka Doncic, which means everyone on the roster outside of Tim Hardaway Jr is immediately available. The most valuable asset is Kristaps Porzingis, a player who has worn out his welcome in Dallas. Porzingis was a flop in the postseason, and he is likely out the door for a star who can relieve scoring pressure off of Doncic.
Denver Nuggets - Monte Morris
The Nuggets were a disappointment in this year’s postseason thanks to the unfortunate injury to Jamal Murray, which means Denver need a third star to pair with MVP Nikola Jokic and the returning Jamal Murray. Denver did a great job at acquiring Aaron Gordon this season but they need more, meaning Monte Morris could be on the move. Morris averaged 10.2 PPG and 3.2 APG this year and could be a needed commodity as a backup point guard.
Detroit Pistons - Josh Jackson
The Pistons are in rebuild mode, so moving players not fitting their plans is the goal this offseason. Josh Jackson is 24 years old and is starting to show potential, but Detroit might prefer to move up in the 2021 draft. The Pistons need to focus on the draft because there isn’t a guaranteed star on the roster as things stand. The Pistons might move Jackson to the likes of the Houston Rockets in exchange for a more valuable pick.
Golden State Warriors - James Wiseman
The Warriors have a lot of excitement generating around them regarding the return of Klay Thompson. The sharpshooting of Stephen Curry and Thompson will make headlines again next season, but it might not be enough in the competitive NBA landscape. Moving their future asset in James Wiseman in a blockbuster deal could bring a legitimate star to Golden State. A player like Bradley Beal, DeMar DeRozan, and even Karl-Anthony Towns could be available. The Warriors own first-round picks and Wiseman, starting a great package for a team willing to take the bait.
Houston Rockets - Eric Gordon
The Houston Rockets are in rebuild mode with their future lying in the talents of Christian Wood, Jae’Sean Tate, and Kevin Porter Jr. Eric Gordon, a successful piece to the Rockets success over the years, is almost 33 years old and does not fit with the young squad Houston is trying to build. Gordon is owed over $37 million over the next 2 years, so a contender needing scoring and defense (hint: Philadelphia) could strike a deal for the veteran.
Indiana Pacers - Myles Turner
The Pacers might have a couple of tradeable pieces on the roster, but Myles Turner could be the most valuable asset on the team. Turner averaged 12.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 3.4 BPG and could be the next solution to a team needing size on their roster. Indiana already have Domantas Sabonis taking up minutes, so Turner could be moved for a mix of picks and players. The goal for Indiana is keeping Sabonis happy and re-signing the likes of TJ McConnell and Doug McDermott could be another priority.
Los Angeles Clippers - Luke Kennard
The Clippers redeemed themselves after last year's failures, with Paul George playing like an MVP in the absence of Kawhi Leonard. It is widely expected that Leonard re-signs, which means the Clippers need to improve the roster. Luke Kennard is a solid shooter who was signed to a long-term contract, averaging 44.6% from three. The Clippers need to improve, and a 25-year old shooter could be a valuable asset.
Los Angeles Lakers - Kyle Kuzma
The Los Angeles Lakers will be back next year, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis ready to win their second ring together. The Lakers are finally done with Kyle Kuzma, and the split should be seen this offseason. Kuzma has a high ceiling which means the best chance for Los Angeles to get another star player is to move Kuzma immediately.
Memphis Grizzlies - De’Anthony Melton
The Memphis Grizzlies have a budding superstar in Ja Morant and that means the team needs to build a strong team as soon as possible. Jaren Jackson Jr is another piece who can defend and score, and the team is well-coached. De’Anthony Melton averaged 9.1 PPG this season as a backup point guard and has potential as a 23-year old. Memphis could move Melton in a package with Grayson Allen or Desmond Bane to acquire a scorer who can create his own offense alongside Morant.
Miami Heat - Tyler Herro
The Miami Heat dropped the ball by not making a deal for James Harden this year. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo need help, and cannot be expected to carry the team to the Finals again. Tyler Herro had a disappointing season and the Heat need a shot at acquiring a star on the level of Bradley Beal. Herro is only 21 years old, so Miami should strike this summer because the East is getting more competitive.
Minnesota Timberwolves - Malik Beasley
Minnesota need to do everything in their power to keep Karl-Anthony Towns on board, and that means moving Malik Beasley who signed a big contract recently. Beasley had off-court troubles this year and the team can’t afford to deal with any more issues beyond their consistent losing. Since Jimmy Butler left, Minnesota has been a pushover. Expect Beasley to be moved to start clearing out the roster of dead weight.
Milwaukee Bucks - Donte DiVincenzo
The Bucks did a great job of keeping a trio of Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Giannis Antetokounmpo for the long-term. The Bucks are one of the best teams in the NBA on both ends of the floor, and adding to the roster only improves their title chances every year. DiVincenzo missed the entire postseason this year, but he is 24 years old and could be moved to continue improving the roster around Giannis. The Bucks are in the Finals right now, but next year it might not be so simple.
New Orleans Pelicans - Eric Bledsoe
The Pelicans were awful this season and head coach Stan Van Gundy wasn't the right fit. Eric Bledsoe is also a bad fit with the team because starting next to Lonzo Ball does not get it done on offense. The Pelicans will move Bledsoe to build a team around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, especially since Lonzo Ball could be leaving too.
New York Knicks - Obi Toppin
The New York Knicks shocked the world by making the playoffs, and are on the right track. Julius Randle is an All-Star, Derrick Rose is a perfect veteran for the team, and the Knicks have the right coach. Obi Toppin can make highlight reels, but a trade that pairs Toppin with a budding player like Immanuel Quickley could bring another star to New York. The Knicks cannot rest on their laurels and should make a move to continue building a contender in the East.
Oklahoma City Thunder - Kemba Walker
The Thunder once again moved a veteran for first-round picks, and we could see the same with the recently arrived Kemba Walker. Walker will start the season with Oklahoma City and will likely be moved for yet more picks to add to the stash. The Thunder are in a no-nonsense tanking mode so any team offering picks will have Kemba Walker heading their way.
Orlando Magic - Terrence Ross
The Magic blew the team up before the trade deadline, and it could continue this offseason. Terrence Ross averaged 15.6 PPG this year and is constantly monitored by teams around the NBA. Ross can light it up when he is feeling it, although he can also be horrifically inconsistent. But Ross is a perfect scoring spark plug off the bench and will be welcomed by any title contender. Expect Orlando to demand picks or young players in return.
Philadelphia 76ers - George Hill
The 76ers might move Ben Simmons, but they might wait a season until his value goes up. Right now, Simmons is being ridiculed around the league for his inability to make a jump shot consistently. As things stand, George Hill is most likely the player to be moved this summer. Hill is 35 years old and only averaged 8.7 PPG, and could be moved to clear roster space for players who can play more minutes in the rotation of Doc Rivers.
Phoenix Suns - Dario Saric
The Phoenix Suns are having a fairytale season with Chris Paul and Devin Booker leading the team to the NBA Finals. Their goal of winning a title is within reach and whether they win or not, a roster change could be welcomed. The Suns have a great roster, but moving Dario Saric for another swingman who can defend and shoot could be in the cards.
Portland Trail Blazers - CJ McCollum
CJ McCollum is one of the best scorers in the NBA, averaging 23.1 PPG alongside Damian Lillard. McCollum will likely be moved to pair a more suitable star who can defend or at least offer more size alongside Lillard. Portland hired Chauncey Billups as their head coach and could be on a trajectory. There are a lot of players on Portland’s roster that need to go, but McCollum could be out the door for a chance to sign an available star.
Sacramento Kings - Harrison Barnes
The Sacramento Kings have De’Aaron Fox as their franchise cornerstone, but they need to make a big move to acquire a dominant presence in the paint. Harrison Barnes is a solid starter in the NBA, but he could be better suited in Portland in exchange for Jusuf Nurkic. The Kings can pair Marvin Bagley III with Nurkic down low, while Richaun Holmes could be a goner in free agency so a big man could be needed.
San Antonio Spurs - DeMar DeRozan
The Spurs should be in rebuild mode this offseason, which means the likes of DeMar DeRozan will likely never return to San Antonio. DeRozan had a strong season averaging 21.6 PPG and 6.9 APG which means he has a few years left at an All-Star level. The Spurs could negotiate a sign and trade with DeRozan, guiding the scorer to a team that needs him more. DeRozan never filled the unfillable shoes of Kawhi Leonard, but that doesn't mean the Spurs shouldn't cash in on the 4-time All-Star.
Toronto Raptors - OG Anunoby
The Toronto Raptors were a massive disappointment this year, and need a star player to pair with Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam. OG Anunoby is the most valuable asset on the roster thanks to his age and should be moved to acquire a star. For Toronto fans, seeing DeMar DeRozan back with the Raptors would take the team back to the playoffs.
Utah Jazz - Derrick Favors
The Utah Jazz were the best team in the NBA during the regular season and the roster is well built on both ends of the floor. Donovan Mitchell should take his game to the next level and that means Utah should be even better next season. Derrick Favors is a solid big man, but he should be moved to find a starter in case Mike Conley leaves in free agency.
Washington Wizards - Thomas Bryant
The Washington Wizards started the season horribly, but Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook carried the team to the playoffs. Next season, fans won't put up with mediocre play. Washington got rid of head coach Scott Brooks, but they need to find a starter to fit well alongside their two stars. Thomas Bryant took a big step this season, but he must be sacrificed to improve the roster.