At the very same second the offseason begins, hundreds of rumors start coming and going in all directions, regarding all the important moves that may or may not happen throughout the upcoming season.
More often than not, those rumors wind up being mere speculation, either because the player that wants out doesn’t find a suitor willing to risk a lot for his services, or because all parties involved failed to reach an agreement.
Even so, it’s pretty cool to look back and wonder what could’ve been if all of those rumors would’ve been true, so let’s take a look at the top 6 NBA trades that were pretty close to happening last season but eventually fell off.
6. Kemba Walker - Cleveland Cavaliers
Considering Derrick Rose and Isaiah Thomas were both major busts and Jose Calderon shouldn’t even be in the league anymore, the Cleveland Cavaliers were in the mix to try and acquire Kemba Walker from the Charlotte Hornets amid their roster overhaul.
So, right after they landed Jordan Clarkson, they reportedly approached the Hornets with a trade package consisting of him, a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick, but Charlotte obviously declined.
5. DeMar DeRozan - Los Angeles Clippers
DeMar DeRozan is one of the most reliable and consistent scorers in the league despite his lack of a three-point shot, or at least during the regular season. So, him being a California native and with the Clippers refusing to enter full-rebuild mode, they were reportedly interested in landing the shooting guard.
DeRozan was the main piece in the Toronto Raptors’ core but they struggled a lot during the playoffs, so rumors were that he was set to being traded on Draft night, with the Clippers offering Tobias Harris and the 12th and 13th overall picks to get him.
4. DeMarcus Cousins - Cleveland Cavaliers
Everybody knew DeMarcus Cousins wasn’t ready to make a long-term commitment with the New Orleans Pelicans even despite their success and how great he was playing, mostly because of his desire to win-now and even make his long-awaited playoff debut.
LeBron James has always been a fan of Cousins’ and with him looking to add more superstars that could help them at least not get swept by the Dubs, there were reports pointing towards Cleveland making an offer that involved Kevin Love, Cedi Osman, Ante Zizic, and Channing Frye for a 1 year rental on Cousins.
3. Marc Gasol - Celtics/Cavaliers /Bucks
With Gasol wanting out of the rebuilding Grizzlies and the Boston Celtics keen to add more firepower amid the loss of Gordon Hayward, and were interested in pairing Gasol with Horford to create one of the most dynamic frontcourts in the league, but they weren’t ready to part ways with Marcus Smart to get the deal done.
Also, the Cavs were looking everywhere for help against the Golden State Warriors but refused to trade away their Brooklyn Nets’ pick all year long. Furthermore, the Bucks were involved in pretty much every single trade rumor after trading for Bledsoe, but reportedly, there were no offers for the Spaniard.
2. Anthony Davis - Boston Celtics
With the Boston Celtics striking out on Marc Gasol but desperate to improve their starting center spot, there were (and still are) a lot of rumors pointing towards Danny Ainge trying to lure Anthony Davis out of New Orleans to dress him in white and green.
Alvin Gentry pretty much shut the door on the Celtics by stating that they’d have to give them the New England Patriots if they wanted to put their hands on Davis, and not even Smart, Rozier, Brown and a future pick would’ve been enough to land him.
1. Kawhi Leonard - Los Angeles Lakers
Ever since the start of the prior campaign, there was a lot of mystery around Kawhi Leonard’s injury and his status, and why on earth he was refusing to play after reportedly being cleared by the San Antonio Spurs medical staff.
The never-ending saga is still going on but according to several reports, Kawhi Leonard was actually pretty close of becoming the first superstar of the new Lakers era, but the Spurs wanted more than the trade package LA was ready to offer: Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and future picks.