The 2021 NBA season is well underway and the league has changed thanks to the superstar movement. Looking ahead to next season, it is anticipated that there will be more star movement. More specifically, most of these movements may happen during the offseason.
Due to franchise directions or simply the need for a new challenge, there are some players right now that are destined for new teams. With their talent and skill set, they can be important pieces for winning. Here are the top 10 players most likely to change teams next season.
10. Buddy Hield
Buddy Hield is a sharpshooter, which means teams will be willing to take on his massive salary. Hield is 28 years old and still in his prime, but he hasn't quite found his impact this season with the Sacramento Kings. Hield is a player most teams would want, so he will generate interest.
Hield is averaging 16.5 PPG this season so teams needing scoring include the Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, and Philadelphia 76ers. The Kings probably want picks and assets so teams will need to make his salary work with fillers to acquire him.
9. Kevin Love
Kevin Love was one of the best big men in the league in terms of floor spacing and rebounding in his prime. While Love is not the same player he was with the 2016 title-winning team, he has proven to be a championship-level player and can be effective as a third or fourth option on the court. Love's shooting is above-average and he has always been a strong rebounder at his position.
It is obvious Kevin Love wants out of Cleveland following his ridiculous behavior by gifting a possession during the game. Love is getting bothered by the team's poor play and a veteran on a rebuilding team will never find happiness. Love wants to join a contender so if Cleveland buys him out or receive a decent offer, Love will be on a different team next year.
8. Myles Turner
The leading shot blocker in the NBA will probably find a new home next year. The Indiana Pacers have a clogged paint with Domantas Sabonis absorbing most of the minutes, and it doesn't make sense to keep Turner coming off the bench. In fact, they should cash in on him while his value is high.
Turner is averaging 12.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 3.4 BPG while shooting 33.5% from three. Turner will never be a marksman but he is a capable knockdown shooter when he's open. Teams needing size should go for Turner because he's a modern big man, and the Pacers will probably cash in on him as a result.
7. Andrew Wiggins
The potential of Andrew Wiggins was the biggest factor keeping him valuable in the NBA. Unfortunately, it is increasingly becoming obvious that he will never reach what he could reach. Nonetheless, teams should still give him a shot to reach All-Star status which can be achievable for him considering his physical gifts.
Wiggins can defend the perimeter, score in isolation, and is strong on the fast break. Expect contenders such as the Philadelphia 76ers to give Wiggins a shot as well, as his ability to run the floor can fit perfectly next to Ben Simmons. Even rebuilding teams like the San Antonio Spurs should find their cornerstone building blocks next to Dejounte Murray and Derrick White.
6. Spencer Dinwiddie
Spencer Dinwiddie had an All-Star caliber season last year, posting 20.6 PPG. But with the Brooklyn Nets having a stacked roster with Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving; there is probably little roster minutes and cap room for a player of Dinwiddie's caliber.
The explosive guard only played 3 games this season before tearing his ACL, and it is difficult to imagine he will return at his same level next year. Even if he does, Brooklyn should trade him to allow him to get big money on his next contract.
5. Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker has been injured for most of the season so it is unfair to critique his play too harshly. But the Celtics want to build around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker is not the player that will take them over the hump. The Celtics need to make big plays to compete in the East, and Walker offers a lot of value to teams needing offense.
Kemba Walker is only averaging 18.2 PPG this season but his skills as a scorer cannot be denied. He holds a career average of 19.8 PPG so he can still fill it up when he gets going. Kemba is making max dollars so teams with salary cap space can strike a deal for him.
4. CJ McCollum
CJ McCollum is one of the best shooting guards in the NBA yet somehow flies under the radar because Portland Trail Blazers aren't a big enough contender in the West. McCollum is a scoring machine and he is averaging 22.9 PPG this season on 45.3% field goal shooting. These are respectable numbers for the second option on the team, and he can be a massive help to any franchise needing guard play.
But he isn't the best fit in Portland. McCollum can score but is a defensive liability which means his fit with Damian Lillard won't always be as impactful as it should be. The Trail Blazers need to go all-in for a shot at the Western Conference Finals once again because as things stand, McCollum won't be enough to make that happen alongside Damian Lillard.
3. Kyle Lowry
Former NBA champion Kyle Lowry was shopped before this season's trade deadline, but there were no takers and Toronto didn't feel the need to move him urgently. Rather, it seems Lowry will go to the team of his choosing this summer. The Raptors are having a difficult season, and Lowry probably wants to join a contender.
He is averaging 16.8 PPG and 7.3 APG this season, respectable numbers for a point guard on a lottery team. Lowry seems to be in his final months with the Raptors, and he belongs more on a team like the 76ers. Daryl Morey is very interested in making a deal for the 6-time All-Star, and knowing his track record, he might get it done.
2. DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan is one of the All-Star snubs this season because his impact for the Spurs has been ultra important. DeRozan is averaging 21.7 PPG and a career-high 7.4 APG for the Spurs, and he has been the best player on a potential playoff seed.
DeRozan is still one of the best isolation players in the world and given the chance, he can be a second or third option for a very good team. Many teams need consistent scoring from the perimeter such as the Raptors, Mavericks, and Grizzlies. Considering the Spurs are in rebuild mode, DeRozan is likely playing his last months with the team.
1. Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns is flying under the radar more than ever this season, mainly because the Timberwolves have the second-worst record in the Western Conference. Towns is putting up his usual All-Star numbers, 24.8 PPG and 10.9 RPG.
Many teams could use the double-double ability of one of the best young players in the NBA, including the Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans. Both teams have star players on the roster already, but Towns would take both teams into potential contenders. Towns is active on both ends and does not have a weakness on the floor, since he shoots 39.4% from deep and also averages 4.6 APG.