There hasn’t been a shortage of NBA trade rumors over the past week, and as we get closer to February, the scuttle will only continue to become more frequent, a trend we’re already starting to see now, in early January.
Below, HoopsHype ranks the five players who have popped up the most in rumors on the site’s Trade page over the past week.
5. DEWAYNE DEDMON, SACRAMENTO
Following his trade request, Sacramento Kings big man Dewayne Dedmon was fined $50,000 by the NBA for making “public statements detrimental to the NBA and its teams.”
Surprisingly enough, however, Dedmon returned to the Kings’ rotation on Jan. 7, likely due to the plethora of injuries to Sacramento’s frontcourt rotation, and acquitted himself nicely, dropping 12 points, 10 rebounds and one three-pointer while posting a plus-33 plus/minus.
That type of audition could make Dedmon more appealing to the contending teams searching for a big man who can space the floor and protect the paint, but his price tag (he’s on Year-1 of a three-year, $40 million contract with a partial guarantee on the final season) could scare some of the interested parties away.
For what it’s worth, the Kings are reportedly willing to hear offers on the big man, but won’t take back bad salary that could hurt their future cap flexibility, per NBC Sports’ James Ham.
4. MARCUS MORRIS, NEW YORK
Although New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris has professed his love for the team he plays for, and his hope to stay there long-term and help the young players take the next step, that hasn’t stopped the interest league-wide in the 30-year-old.
Specifically, the most recent rumor on the matter states that the two L.A.-based teams are eyeing Morris, which makes sense considering the Knicks big man dropped 38 points on 19 field-goal attempts on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers last week.
However, the Knicks reportedly don’t have plans to move Morris at the moment, per Yahoo Sports, though we all know how quickly things could change if New York receives the right offer.
And the right offer could very well come along soon (as in one containing a first-round pick), especially when you factor in Morris’ high level of play this season and the fact that he’s on an expiring contract. Those two factors, plus New York not being in contention for a playoff spot this year, make Morris a prime trade candidate.
3. KYLE KUZMA, LA LAKERS
The closer we get to the 2020 NBA trade deadline, the more it looks like Kyle Kuzma will be one of the players traded. He’s struggled through injury and acclimation with his new role so far this year, and he’s averaging 12 points on a career-low 42.5 percent shooting for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Originally, most of the reports coming out of L.A. stated that the Lakers were willing to hear offers for their third-year forward, but weren’t going out of their way to trade him.
However, the most recent report on Kuzma’s trade candidacy, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times, stated that it was actually Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka who called the Kings in order to gauge their interest in the Utah product, and not the other way around as many originally believed. That makes a whole lot more sense, because Kuzma doesn’t even fit on Sacramento’s roster all that well, not with all of the young frontcourt depth they already have.
This situation is one to monitor, but Kuzma’s poor fit on the new-look Lakers could, and probably will, lead to his departure prior to next month’s deadline. His spot on the roster would be better used on an additional bench playmaker for Los Angeles.
2. KEVIN LOVE, CLEVELAND
The situation in Ohio between Kevin Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers has had moments of pure ugliness, including last weekend when Love blatantly showed up his teammates and head coach in the middle of a game. And that came on the heels of a report that stated Love had gotten into it with his general manager Koby Altman.
The five-time All-Star went on to apologize publicly for his actions and ended up unpunished by his team, but it’s clear at this point this pairing needs a split, and that the Cavs need to find a trade partner to take the floor-spacing power forward.
There hasn’t been much by the way of actual reporting on possible trade destinations for Love recently, which might have to do with the fact that not many teams are enthralled with the idea of acquiring a 31-year-old big man who has a tricky injury history and is on the first year of a four-year, $120.4 million contract.
Even so, Love desperately wants out of Cleveland, that much is obvious without even having to read the latest reports, so the Cavaliers might have to bite the bullet and attach assets in order to get rid of him, lest they allow him to have more flare-ups of bad attitude that could prove harmful in their young, rebuilding locker room.
1. ANDRE DRUMMOND, DETROIT
There has been smoke regarding an Andre Drummond trade out of Detroit for a while now, and that hasn’t slowed down over the past week.
Makes sense, too, considering the Pistons are struggling mightily due to injury on the year and have an expensive roster that could use a complete reset. What’s more, because Drummond is set to hit free agency this summer (all but certain, as he has a player option on his deal for next year), Detroit would be wise to move him and land a few assets that could help them with the rebuild to come.
Veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein recently revealed that a source of his believes Drummond will be moved within the next month:
And a local reporter in Detroit thinks the Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics could be interested in the two-time All-Star center.
On the year, Drummond is averaging 17.5 points, a league-leading 16.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.9 blocks per game – monster averages that should pique the interest of motivated teams around the Association.
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