It is time for another installment of our trade rumor rankings series, where we rank the five players who have appeared most often in trade reports over the previous week, as judged by our Trade page. The trade market has been relatively active of late, though maybe not with the most exciting names, as the likes of Derrick Favors and Moe Harkless have been traded this week.
Regardless, there are some interesting names still popping up in trade scuttle, which we’ll get into below.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City)
Since getting traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the Paul George deal, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has continued his development as one of the craftiest, effective ball-handling scorers in basketball. And with the Thunder still early on in their rebuild, it’s only natural that his name has continued to pop up in trade rumors, even with Oklahoma City coming out and saying he’s not on the block.
The most recent report on the matter came from TSN and stated that the Toronto Raptors, the former Kentucky standout’s hometown team, are monitoring Gilgeous-Alexander’s situation:
One of the situations they’re closely monitoring, according to a league source, is in Oklahoma City, where Toronto-born star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander may eventually tire of leading a rebuild. The Thunder have gone 46-108 over the past two years and don’t seem close to turning the corner, especially after losing second-overall pick Chet Holmgren to an off-season foot injury. The 24-year-old point guard spent the summer playing for Nurse with the Canadian senior men’s national team, so there is familiarity on both sides. Gilgeous-Alexander is under contract with OKC through 2026-27 and has given no indication that he would prefer to play elsewhere, but again, things can change quickly in this crazy league. If that or any other enticing opportunity presents itself, Ujiri and Webster – flexible as ever – will be ready.
We’ve already seen the Raptors swoop in and land a major player in the trade market with Kawhi Leonard, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the aggressive Masai Ujiri pull off a similar heist with regards to Gilgeous-Alexander.
Regardless, Gilgeous-Alexander seems to be content in Oklahoma City despite the team’s standing in the pecking order in the Western Conference…
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the speculation that he would want out of Oklahoma City
"I know what I signed up for when I signed a 5 year extension… and I don't think we're gonna be losing for much longer."
"I believe in this team" pic.twitter.com/5Un4Hsb92f
— Andrew Schlecht (@AndrewKSchlecht) September 26, 2022
…so it doesn’t look like he’ll be on the move anytime soon.
This is just something to monitor if the Thunder continue to lose in the upcoming 2022-23 season.
For the latest Shai Gilgeous-Alexander rumors, click here.
Myles Turner (Indiana)
Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner has been no stranger to these rankings and he appears on our list yet again this week.
Turner isn’t oblivious to the scuttle, with the big man speaking out on the constant speculation at training camp this week (via the IndyStar):
“This is the only time I will be addressing it this year; I want to make sure everyone knows that,” said Turner, who declined to discuss any contract negotiations. “Yeah, elephant in the room. For me, this is my eighth season. I’ve been in trade rumors the past four or five years. It’s something that I know that I’m numb to. It’s something that it’s just whatever comes with this business. There are no hard feelings in this business. You have to take the emotions out of everything, and I’ve learned that at a young age, and I still hold true to that. My job is to come in here and help these young guys now, man.”
Brian Windhorst speculated on Turner and his connection to the Los Angeles Lakers on his most recent podcast, too:
Brian Windhorst: Any any explanation to the intrigue on why Rob Pelinka And Darvin Ham delayed their press conference by five days? … Why would they do that? Why would they do that? Dave McMenamin: I just know around the same time that occurred we were hearing from the Pacers GM that Myles Turner will for sure be with the team to start training camp so I don’t know.
Nevertheless, it looks like this holding pattern between Turner and the Pacers will continue this season, despite the constant rumors about Indiana shopping him on the trade market.
For the latest Myles Turner rumors, click here.
Mike Conley (Utah)
Two things are true with regard to Mike Conley and his future Utah Jazz.
For one, Utah is probably shopping the veteran point guard with the team in full rebuild mode and him not fitting that timeline. Also true, however, is that interest in Conley probably isn’t that high, as the 34-year-old has two years left on his deal worth $47.1 million.
The Athletic’s Tony Jones said this week on a podcast that Conley is still in Utah because he didn’t gain much interest when the Jazz talked to teams about him:
Tony Jones: Mike (Conley) didn’t have a ton of interest on the trade market, which is one of the big reasons why he’s still here.
Conley talked to the media this week about the situation, too, which reminded us that these athletes are people and that trade speculation isn’t easy on them or their families (via Twitter):
Mike Conley, on reacting in the moment to the changes: “All of us are up in the air, and no one knows what’s going on. … At this point, I’m just trying to concentrate on being all-in. I figure if I was going to be traded, it would have happened at this point.” … Andy Larsen: Mike Conley says that, if he’s traded, his wife and kids will likely stay here in Salt Lake City so they can finish out the school year. As a result, he’s conflicted about the idea of a trade: it might be a more contending situation, but he’d probably be away from his family.
That situation can’t be easy but Conley has always been a professional, so it shouldn’t get too dramatic behind the scenes.
For the latest Mike Conley rumors, click here.
Russell Westbrook (LA Lakers)
Training camp is here and with it, so have the chances of the Lakers trading Russell Westbrook any time soon dwindled. Could it happen at the trade deadline? Certainly. But it doesn’t look like a deal will pop up over the coming months prior to that.
Rob Pelinka recently called Westbrook a ‘great part’ of the Lakers team while also maintaining that if there’s a deal out there to be made that would make Los Angeles better, he’d make it:
Pelinka said Westbrook is a “great part of our team,” but the Lakers executive added, “If we have to continue to upgrade our roster throughout the season, we will.” Pelinka explained that if that means parting with the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks in a trade that involves Westbrook, he will be open to it for the right deal. “Let me be abundantly clear: We have one of the great players in LeBron James to ever play the game, and he committed to us on a long-term contract, a three-year contract,” Pelinka said, alluding to the contract extension James signed in August that will keep him in L.A. through the 2024-25 season. “So of course, we will do everything we can, picks included, to make deals to give us a chance to help LeBron get to the end. He committed to our organization. That’s got to be a bilateral commitment, and it’s there.”
Westbrook also talked about the trade rumors, telling the media:
None of us knows what will happen next. That’s the beauty of sports, though: You know you want to watch. “Whatever unfolds, unfolds,” he said. “I’m just happy and blessed to be able to play a game I love again. … Whether they want me here or not doesn’t really matter. Honestly, my job is to be a professional, show up to work like I’ve always done thus far, do my job the best way I know how to, and that’s it. I mean, we all have jobs (where) sometimes people at our jobs don’t like us, or they don’t want us there, as you guys probably can attest to in many other jobs across the world. And as a professional, as a working man, I have to do my job and do it the best way I know how to be able to support and take care of my family, and that’s what I will do.”
If the Lakers, after their wholesale changes this summer, have a strong start to the regular season, we could see the Westbrook – on the final year of his contract – trade talk come to a halt. But if they struggle early, the speculation on his future will only continue to get louder.
For the latest Russell Westbrook rumors, click here.
Jae Crowder (Phoenix)
The biggest name on the trade market left, and the one with the highest level of certainty that he’ll be traded, is probably Jae Crowder.
We say that because the Phoenix Suns went so far as to announce that Crowder won’t join the team for training camp as the club tries to find a resolution to his situation:
Suns Statement: The Phoenix Suns and forward Jae Crowder have mutually agreed that he will not be with the team for training camp.
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) September 25, 2022
Crowder also tweeted about the trade talks, stating that one must seek work where he is wanted.
ONE MUST SEEK WORK WHERE HE IS WANTED.. WHERE HE IS NEEDED.! I AM THANKFUL FOR WHAT THESE PAST 2 YRS HAVE TAUGHT ME.! NOW I MUST TAKE ON ANOTHER CHALLENGE WITH CONTINUED HARDWORK & DEDICATION.! FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CLOSED THE DOOR ON ME…. THANK YOU! 99 BACK SOON.! 🥷🏾🤫🤐
— JAE CROWDER (@CJC9BOSS) September 25, 2022
According to Windhorst, the problems started when the Suns told Crowder that he wouldn’t be the team’s starting power forward next season, with the job going to Cam Johnson full-time now. Marc Stein expounded on that, saying that Crowder also wanted his contract extended and told that to the Suns, who declined to do that while informing him that he’d be losing his starting job to Johnson.
Among the teams who have been mentioned as potential suitors for Crowder, the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies and Milwaukee Bucks have all come up this week, among other teams, too.
With Crowder on the final season of his deal and set to be paid just $10.2 million in 2022-23, it shouldn’t be difficult for Phoenix to find a new home for the tough-two way swingman.
For the latest Jae Crowder rumors, click here.