Just months after signing their most recent contracts, it may be moving time again for a few men.
That’s because, according to Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) regulations, players signed without the use of Bird Rights and prior to September 15th aren’t eligible to be traded… until December 15th.
Thus, we may see some organizations show buyer’s remorse by shipping away their most-recent signees a mere eight weeks after convincing them to join their respective clubs.
Though it’s unlikely we’ll see too many people get moved so soon, it’s a very real possibility for a select few.
Main trade block candidates
- Luke Babbitt, Atlanta Hawks
- Vince Carter, Sacramento Kings
- Tyreke Evans, Memphis Grizzlies
- Danilo Gallinari, Los Angeles Clippers
- George Hill, Sacramento Kings
- Shabazz Muhammad, Minnesota Timberwolves
- Ersan Ilyasova, Atlanta Hawks
- James Johnson, Miami Heat
- Nerlens Noel, Dallas Mavericks
- Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat
- Zach Randolph, Sacramento Kings
Mostly veterans on rebuilding or disappointing teams, these men are likeliest to move once CBA rules allow for it.
If we had to choose one player as the likeliest to move, it would probably be a certain Sacramento Kings point guard who has already publicly voiced displeasure with his situation:
George Hill sent that tweet out after being benched late in a 109-104 Kings loss against the Milwaukee Bucks. The former Indiana Pacer can still provide tremendous value, but he’s most comfortable playing off the ball, where he can spot up and knock down open threes. His fit with Sacramento simply doesn’t make much sense.
Apart from Hill, his teammate Zach Randolph is taking away minutes from more exciting young prospects (like Skal Labissiere for one), but could help a playoff team as a reserve big man.
Nerlens Noel has proven to be an awful fit with Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle. Noel’s days in Dallas are probably numbered, whether they trade him or simply let him walk in free agency this summer. Truth be told, his recent wrist injury will likely make his exit happen in the latter fashion.
Luke Babbitt and Ersan Ilyasova have performed admirably for the tanking Atlanta Hawks, and could see some interest in the trade market, as floor-spacing bigs on team-friendly contracts are usually a hot commodity.
Tyreke Evans has arguably been the Memphis Grizzlies most productive player. If they decide to blow it up (which, judging by general manager Chris Wallace’s recent comments, doesn’t seem likely), teams will assuredly come knocking for Evans, especially considering he’s on a one-year, $3.3 million deal.
And finally, Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson and Danilo Gallinari are playing decently enough (though that last guy did just return from injury), and if their respective teams – the disappointing Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers – decide to tank, they would likely be among the first players to go.
- Nick Collison, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
- Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs
- Udonis Haslem, Miami Heat
- Shaun Livingston, Golden State Warriors
- Paul Millsap, Denver Nuggets
- Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
- David West, Golden State Warriors
From this batch, Kevin Durant is considered untouchable for the most obvious reasons: He’s an MVP candidate on the best team in basketball, who took a pay cut so the Golden State Warriors could re-sign their main role players from last year. Durant isn’t going anywhere.
Two of those aforementioned role players – Shaun Livingston and David West – are also on this list because not only are they still extremely productive, they’re on very team-friendly deals. Plus, why would they be packaged in any sort of trade anyway? The Warriors have more than enough star power as is. Maintaining team chemistry is far more important to them than trying to be savvy on the trade market.
Apart from them, a few of the other guys on this list are untouchable for more sentimental reasons. Out of respect for their lifetime contributions to their organizations, Dirk Nowitzki, Nick Collison, Udonis Haslem and Manu Ginobili would never be added into potential deals for salary-matching purposes, or as “trade filler,” even despite their cheap contracts. (Nowitzki does have a no-trade clause in his contract, but the point still stands.)
And Paul Millsap – despite the frustrating wrist injury which will have him sidelined at least until the All-Star break – was playing fantastic basketball before going down. The Denver Nuggets would be insane to trade him under these circumstances.
- Pau Gasol, San Antonio Spurs
- Tim Hardaway Jr, New York Knicks
- Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics
- JJ Redick, Philadelphia 76ers
- Derrick Rose, Cleveland Cavaliers
- Dion Waiters, Miami Heat
Massive salaries or concern regarding injuries are the primary reasons for everyone’s inclusion in this batch.
Gordon Hayward is an All-Star talent and the Boston Celtics wouldn’t try to trade him regardless, but if they did make him available, what kind of interest would he garner, considering what happened last time we saw him on a basketball court?
Tim Hardaway Jr, on the other hand, is relatively healthy and has performed quite well under his new deal. But that doesn’t make his huge contract any more team-friendly.
Same with Dion Waiters (though Hardaway has clearly been the better shooting guard this season), except the Heat’s scorer is also dealing with a plethora of ailments that have somewhat hampered his productivity this season. Waiters wouldn’t receive much interest in the trade market, and the Heat would be foolish to fleece themselves just to get rid of him.
Derrick Rose’s issues are well-documented and we don’t need to rehash them all here.
JJ Redick has performed wonderfully with his new team, the Philadelphia 76ers, but his one-year salary of $23 million would make it quite difficult to move him.
And Pau Gasol – though still productive – will be owed, at minimum, $38.7 million over the next three seasons. Considering he’ll be 39 during the last year of his deal, no other team would be willing to take on that sort of commitment.
Unlikely to get traded
- Tony Allen, New Orleans Pelicans
- Aron Baynes, Boston Celtics
- Bojan Bogdanovic, Indiana Pacers
- Omri Casspi, Golden State Warriors
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Los Angeles Lakers
- Darren Collison, Indiana Pacers
- Jamal Crawford, Minnesota Timberwolves
- Dewayne Dedmon, Atlanta Hawks
- Langston Galloway, Detroit Pistons
- Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs
- Taj Gibson, Minnesota Timberwolves
- Jeff Green, Cleveland Cavaliers
- Justin Holiday, Chicago Bulls
- Jarrett Jack, New York Knicks
- Luc Mbah A Moute, Houston Rockets
- CJ Miles, Toronto Raptors
- Jonas Jerebko, Utah Jazz
- Amir Johnson, Philadelphia 76ers
- Ben McLemore, Memphis Grizzlies
- Darius Miller, New Orleans Pelicans
- Nenê, Houston Rockets
- Zaza Pachulia, Golden State Warriors
- Rajon Rondo, New Orleans Pelicans
- Thabo Sefolosha, Utah Jazz
- Jonathon Simmons, Orlando Magic
- Jeff Teague, Minnesota Timberwolves
- Milos Teodosic, Los Angeles Clippers
- Daniel Theis, Boston Celtics
- PJ Tucker, Houston Rockets
- Ekpe Udoh, Utah Jazz
- Alan Williams, Phoenix Suns
- Nick Young, Golden State Warriors
The players on this list are too talented to be considered potential trade filler, but seeing them get moved wouldn’t be totally shocking either.
Bojan Bogdanovic is on a team-friendly deal (two years, $21 million, with the second year only guaranteed for $1.5 million) and he’s playing the best basketball of his career. Why would the Indiana Pacers move him, unless it was as part of a package for a star player?
Omri Casspi and Nick Young are valuable complementary pieces who function as extra firepower for the Warriors. Since, as we mentioned before, they don’t need to rock the boat by acquiring any more stars, it’s tough to see Golden State moving either player.
Over in the Lone Star State, Luc Mbah a Moute and PJ Tucker have been legitimately perfect fits with the Houston Rockets.
The only reason we didn’t list them with the other “Untouchables” is because Houston general manager Darly Morey will never hesitate to package players if he senses he can add another elite piece to his team. Still, though, Mbah a Moute and Tucker play tough defense and knock down open threes – they’re probably safe.
Ditto Daniel Theis and Aron Baynes, who should feel a sense of security with Boston thanks to what they provide (toughness on the glass and apt rim protection), but could still be traded away, as Danny Ainge wouldn’t shilly-shally from making a move if he thinks it will make his team better.
In the Bayou, Darius Miller has quietly been one of the league’s best spot-up shooters. That, plus his defensive abilities and ridiculously cheap contract (two years, $4.3 million with the second year non-guaranteed), should make his spot with the New Orleans Pelicans secure. But if another team wanted him as part of a package for a star talent (plausible), it wouldn’t be surprising to see him shipped away.
Same with Jonathon Simmons, who has really blossomed into a superb two-way guard, and the Orlando Magic.
Potential Trade Filler
- Arron Afflalo, Orlando Magic
- Ron Baker, New York Knicks
- Michael Beasley, New York Knicks
- Khem Birch, Orlando Magic
- Tarik Black, Houston Rockets
- Bobby Brown, Houston Rockets
- Reggie Bullock, Detroit Pistons
- Jose Calderon, Cleveland Cavaliers
- Michael Carter-Williams, Charlotte Hornets
- Mario Chalmers, Memphis Grizzlies
- Ian Clark, New Orleans Pelicans
- Tyler Ennis, Los Angeles Lakers
- Raymond Felton, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Maximilian Kleber, Dallas Mavericks
- Shane Larkin, Boston Celtics
- Joffrey Lauvergne, San Antonio Spurs
- Shelvin Mack, Orlando Magic
- Alfonzo McKinnie, Toronto Raptors
- Jodie Meeks, Washington Wizards
- Jordan Mickey, Miami Heat
- Eric Moreland, Detroit Pistons
- Royce O’Neale, Utah Jazz
- Patrick Patterson, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Willie Reed, Los Angeles Clippers
- Mike Scott, Washington Wizards
- Wayne Selden, Memphis Grizzlies
- Ramon Sessions, New York Knicks
- Marreese Speights, Orlando Magic
- Julyan Stone, Charlotte Hornets
- Anthony Tolliver, Detroit Pistons
- Damien Wilkins, Indiana Pacers
- Jeff Withey, Dallas Mavericks
- Troy Williams, Houston Rockets
- Tyler Zeller, Brooklyn Nets
No one’s inclusion on this list merits much explanation.
Some are veterans with playoff experience, others are young men with upside still trying to find their place in the league.
But for the most part, they’re just all right players on extremely cheap deals.
Rival teams won’t seek them out in trades, but they could still be included as filler to make the salary swaps work.
You can follow Frank Urbina on Twitter @frankurbina_.
HoopsHype’s own Alberto De Roa contributed to this article.