With free agency mostly wrapped up after the opening weekend and only a few interesting names still out there waiting to be signed, we thought it would be a good time to take a gander back at the NBA trade market and see what the latest scuttle is.
Using our Trade Rumors Page, we have ranked the five players who have made the most appearances in rumors over the past week and listed them below for you.
Let’s jump right in.
Brooklyn Nets big man Jarrett Allen has found himself in the midst of multiple trade rumors recently, all surrounding a potential deal between the Nets and Houston Rockets for James Harden.
Because Allen has yet to be extended by Brooklyn and is due to make just $3.9 million next season (a bargain for a starter-level talent with upside such as Allen), fitting the Texas product into a trade for Harden wouldn’t be difficult. And considering Allen, still just 22 and coming off an 11.1-point, 9.6-rebound-per-game season, is a valuable, productive cost-controlled piece, the Rockets likely would want Allen back in a deal for their former league MVP.
Allen spoke to our old friend Alex Kennedy and Basketball News this past week and had the following to say:
There’s been a lot of trade rumors involving the Nets recently, as I mentioned. I know you can’t discuss those specific rumors or the players in question, but just in general, do you pay attention to trade rumors? Some players read all of them, while others block them out entirely. What’s your approach to trade rumors? Allen: “I hear about them. It’s hard not to hear about them in this technological age with social media. But at that point, it’s like, what can you do about it? I’m not really focused on it. Either way, I’m going to have to play basketball and I’m just…like I said, it’s in the back of my mind.” Have you had any conversations with the Nets about the trade rumors or your status? Allen: “No. No, I haven’t.”
There isn’t word on if a Harden deal to Brooklyn is being negotiated at the moment, but if it is, expect to continue seeing Allen’s name included in the scuttle.
For more on the Jarrett Allen trade front, click here.
In the middle of Night 1 of the 2020 free-agent frenzy, a rumor about Washington Wizards point guard John Wall popped up to the surprise of many.
It stated that Wall had made it clear to the Wizards that he wants out of Washington:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 21, 2020
Right now, what a market for Wall might look like is difficult to determine, considering he hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since late December 2018 and is signed to a monster contract.
Not only does Wall has three seasons left on his deal worth roughly a total of $133 million, he’s also projected to be the second-highest-paid player in basketball next year, a terrifying tidbit that’ll worry any potential suitor.
The likeliest deal for Wall right now might be a swap where the Wizards send him to Houston for Russell Westbrook, equally overpaid (though without the injury concerns) and equally disgruntled with his current team.
Outside of that, it’s tough to see teams taking a flyer on Wall without seeing what he looks like in 2020-21 first.
For more on the John Wall trade front, click here.
One of the hotter names on the trade market this past week has been Aaron Gordon, who has been connected to multiple teams, including the Rockets (as part of a potential swap for Westbrook), the Portland Trail Blazers (before they acquired Robert Covington) and the Brooklyn Nets (in a theorized deal for Spencer Dinwiddie).
One option to explore: The Magic are getting calls about Aaron Gordon's availability, I'm told. https://t.co/gPbfKSLQZv
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) November 16, 2020
Gordon may not have blossomed into a star to this point in his career, but the uber-athletic forward with ball-handling and playmaking skills is someone who can guard multiple positions, initiate an offense at a secondary level and use his athleticism to blow by opposing power forward, both in transition and in the halfcourt.
If Gordon were to get sent to a contender, it would not be surprising whatsoever to see him take the next step in his development.
Nevertheless, with Jonathan Isaac almost certainly out for the entirety of next season, it’s unlikely the Orlando Magic, who have signaled they’d like to stay in the playoff picture with some of their moves this offseason, would trade Gordon unless they get an offer they’re blown away with.
For more on the Aaron Gordon trade front, click here.
We’re a week out from Westbrook’s trade request being made public and the Rockets don’t appear to be any closer to being able to fulfill it, even if they wanted to.
It’s not difficult to see why, either, with the former league MVP now 32 years old and owed $41.4 million next season, $44.2 million the season after that and $47.1 million the campaign after that (with a player option on the final year, to boot).
Westbrook, the second-highest-paid player in the league last season, is still effective in his own way, having put up an impressive 27/8/7 stat line in 2019-20, but his ball-dominant, defensively-lacking style of play doesn’t add up to a player worth spending such a huge chunk of your cap space on if you’re an NBA team.
Nevertheless, there are a few interested parties anyway, according to reports, including the New York Knicks, the Charlotte Hornets and the Magic, but that interest is conditional at best and will almost certainly not end with assets being sent Houston’s way in an exchange for Westbrook.
For now, we wait and see if the triple-double machine gets his trade request fulfilled over the coming weeks or if it’ll be an awkward training camp for the Rockets come December.
For more on the Russell Westbrook trade front, click here.
Rockets training camp won’t be awkward just because of the Westbrook situation, of course.
There’s also the Harden predicament hanging in their midst, one that doesn’t appear like it will be resolved soon.
This week, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported that Houston had given up hope on convincing Harden to stay with the Rockets:
The Houston Rockets have come to the realization that James Harden would like to move on from franchise and his mind is made up, but they are not preparing to rush into a trade to his preferred destination. Houston previously has said they are “willing to get uncomfortable” with the Harden situation. “The sense I get from the Rockets is that their ambition, their goal, their hope is no longer about salvaging the relationship with James Harden and kind of getting him on board,” said Tim MacMahon on the Brian Windhorst Podcast. “There’s a realization, you know, his mind is made up. He wants out and there is a determination to say ‘Okay, we get it. This happens in the NBA, but just because James Harden wants out doesn’t mean he gets to dictate where and for what [he’s traded].
So that’s where we are with the Harden situation: The Rockets have realized they have reached a point where they probably have to trade their superstar 2-guard, but they’re not willing to get fleeced in a potential deal either.
As such, patience will be required here for everyone, from Harden to basketball fans who want to see a blockbuster trade go down.
For more on the James Harden trade front, click here.