More often than not, teams don’t get enough value in return for their best players, either because everybody knows they’re desperate to get the hell away from the team, or because we head towards the deadline and teams get desperate to deal them.
Obviously, sometimes that ends up with desperate teams overpaying for other players that never truly achieve their potential, but when we talk about blockbuster deals surrounding an already proven player, all the teams know they need to give up on a lot of assets in order to lure them.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 highest trade value players in the league, being a franchise-changing type of players anybody would love to build around for the future.
Honorable Mention: Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard
10. Ben Simmons
There were a lot of doubts regarding Ben Simmons ability to stay healthy throughout a full season, but needless to say, those doubts have already been cleared by now following his outstanding rookie season.
Simmons is looking more and more like the second coming of Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson, and that’s a once in a lifetime kind of talent any general manager would love to trade for.
9. Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns is the league leader in double-doubles, he’s the most offensively gifted big man in the league and he’s such a dominant rebounder in both ends of the hardwood.
He’s still years away from fulfilling his true potential as a two-way stud in the league, and he already holds the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise record for scoring 56 points in a single game.
8. Joel Embiid
The Philadelphia 76ers took a major risk when drafting Joel Embiid, but he’s already proven that he can be worth the wait and all of the concerns as one of the most talented two-way players in the league.
When healthy, he can play lockdown defense below the rim and then just pull up from the three-point line and consistently knock down shots, and being as young as he is, he’s got the potential to be the face of the franchise for ages.
7. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook is the face, heart and soul of the Oklahoma City Thunders and even though he’s never going to ask for a trade out of the team, you’d have to pretty much offer them your full squad in order to get him.
We already know how dominant Westbrook is and how much he can impact every aspect of the game, and he’s one of the best point guards in the world and just need a couple of shooters around him to thrive.
6. Stephen Curry
Are you kidding me, right? You know how much you’d have to give the Golden State Warriors in order to take their 2 time MVP away from him after he’s led them to a couple of rings?
Curry is the best shooter in the history of this game and even though his ankle injuries are a true concern, you could still build a team around him and surround him with good defenders and contend for a Championship.
5. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant has emerged as a terrific rim protector after being already the best offensive player in the world for years, and you already know he’s capable of improving even the best team in the world as he did with the Warriors.
Durant can play and guard all 5 spots in the floor, can block shots, run the team’s offense, play lockdown defense and then just pull up from three, and you’d have to give away a lot of things in order to trade for him.
4. LeBron James
Obviously, it wouldn’t be wise to take a gamble on a 33-year-old and trade away most of your future players in order to get him, but we’re talking about LeBron James here, the greatest player of our generation.
Any general manager in the world would be thrilled with the idea of having LeBron on their team, and he’s definitely worth taking the risk and sending away several 1st round picks and role players to get him.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is just 23 years old and he’s already one of the best players in the league and a lock to league NBA in scoring and win the MVP award just a couple of seasons away from now.
He’s the perfect player to build around, he’s young, athletic, extremely mature and the most hard working player you’ll find on the gym, not to mention he’s still got a lot of room for improvement in both ends of the floor.
2. Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis should’ve already forced a move out of the New Orleans Pelicans, as he’s completely wasting the best years of his career on a team that’s never going to be a true Championship contender.
Should he want his way out of the franchise, the Pelicans would have enough assets to try and make some noise in the playoffs, and just a team like Boston with a lot of young future All-Stars have enough in their ranks to try and convince New Orleans to let him walk. In the words of Alvin Gentry: “they’re going to have to give us the New England Patriots”.
1. James Harden
James Harden is finally going to win the MVP award he’s chased for so long, and he’s emerged as the league most dominant and complete scorer and by a long shot, as well as becoming one of the best playmakers and ball handlers this game has seen over the last couple of decades.
Harden is leading the Rockets to their best season in franchise history and is still quite young. Furthermore, he looks like a lock to win way more MVPs and scoring titles over the course of his career, as well as being a great product of his own, so any franchise trying to get him would have to pretty much deal away their entire future and a lot of players, something like the Nets did with the Boston trade years ago.