Podcast: NBA trade candidates who could be moved after Dec. 15

Podcast: NBA trade candidates who could be moved after Dec. 15

Podcast

Podcast: NBA trade candidates who could be moved after Dec. 15

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HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto and Yossi Gozlan discussed players eligible to be traded on December 15th to keep an eye on and some players who’ve outplayed their current contracts and could be in for a pay raise in free agency this summer on the latest edition of the HoopsHype podcast.

This episode is brought to you by Sports Business Classroom. If you’re looking to jump-start your career in the business of basketball, sign up for Sports Business Classroom’s GM Academy from December 27-29. You’ll learn and interact with executives from around the league, including Tommy Sheppard, John Hammond, Calvin Booth, and former general manager Ryan McDonough. This one-of-a-kind program will allow you to experience what it’s like during the trade deadline, draft day, and more. To sign up, click here.

For more interviews with players, coaches, and media members, be sure to like and subscribe to the HoopsHype podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Listen to the podcast above or check out some snippets of the conversation in a transcribed version below.

2:06 Dennis Schroeder

Dennis Schroeder, Boston Celtics

Scotto: When the Celtics signed Dennis Schroeder, that’s a guy I thought could have a bounce-back year to try to rebuild his value. So far, he’s had a nice start to the season. They got him as a steal with his contract because the market dried up when they got him, but they’re not going to be able to pay him that much next summer. If Boston continues to struggle and isn’t as much of a playoff team as we thought going into the year with the addition of Al Horford and the development of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown moving forward, Schroeder’s a guy I can see potentially on the move close to the trade deadline.

Gozlan: Even if the Celtics want to keep Schroeder long-term, they’re going to have a hard time retaining him. The most they can give him since they only have his non-Bird Rights is a starting salary at $7 million. It could be a four-year deal in the low $30 million range. That’s probably not enough to keep him. If they’d want to pay him more, they’d have to dig into their mid-level exception. They probably won’t have access to the full mid-level exception because they already have so much money dedicated to Tatum, Brown and Smart. It’s going to be a challenge to keep him.

They’re also slightly over the luxury tax, and the Celtics have been struggling. It doesn’t quite make sense to finish over the tax if they’re going to hover around .500. I don’t know what they can get for him. Maybe they can get a late first-round pick at best. If they can save money and get some assets, that’s pretty good considering they got one of the biggest bargain signings in free agency.

6:01 Will Barton

Scotto: Will Barton has always been a guy the past two seasons who’s always come up around the trade deadline in trade rumors when Denver was trying to get a bigger star and use him as part of a package. With their struggles this year and the injuries to Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray, maybe it’s something they look at. I don’t think he’s moved necessarily, but a guy who I’d at least keep an eye on.

Gozlan: He’s a really good role player, and he makes a pretty median-sized salary… He’s had some injury issues the past few years, but so far, he’s been healthy and playing really well… If they were to move Barton, they could do something like him and their pick this year to get an upgrade at shooting guard or another wing player.

The other guys that become eligible to be traded in December are JaMychal Green and Jeff Green. They’re unlikely to be moved because the Nuggets, assuming they’re healthy next year, are guys you want to put around Jokic, Murray and Porter Jr.

Scotto: When I look at Denver, for a small market team, I think they built this team well. You couldn’t have predicted the injury to Murray. Porter Jr.’s medical situation was a risk, but they took him with the 14th pick. I don’t think it should’ve prevented them from doing that. When he’s healthy, Porter Jr. has All-Star potential. Jokic wasn’t a household name when they drafted him in the 40s.

I think they’re still well-positioned ultimately despite the injuries to Porter Jr. and Murray. Porter Jr. is still only 23. Murray is 24. Jokic is 26. They’re going to have to re-sign Jokic in the near future, but I don’t see Denver being afraid to pay him max money.

10:30 Detroit Pistons: Kelly Olynyk, Cory Joseph and Frank Jackson

Scotto: The Pistons have some veteran guys they could look to sell, including Kelly Olynyk, Cory Joseph and Frank Jackson. Olynyk showed what he could do in an expanded role on a bad team with the Houston Rockets last year. I think if you’re a contending team, Olynyk would be a good stretch-five to have on your bench and could spot start at times. Detroit is focused on the development of Isaiah Stewart at center.

When it comes to Joseph and Jackson, Detroit wants to put the ball in Cade Cunningham’s hands and Killian Hayes’ hands. Somewhat similar to Derrick Rose when he was a veteran mentor, Joseph is a solid backup in the league who could help other teams.

Gozlan: I imagine Olynyk will be available. He was playing well until his injury. He’s only making $12 million, so that’s a really affordable deal I think any team can take on.

13:15 Daniel Theis

Daniel Theis, Houston Rockets

Scotto: Daniel Theis was brought to Houston to be a good veteran mentor and to help them try to win games even though they’re in a rebuild. He has great habits and does all the dirty work that doesn’t necessarily show up in the box score all the time. With Christian Wood at the five, that seems to be Houston’s best lineup, and for the time being, Theis hasn’t been getting playing time over the past few games. He’s a guy I feel is best suited on a playoff team. We saw that for years with the Celtics. I think, closer to the trade deadline, teams are going to be calling Houston and monitoring him. He’s well-liked around the league.

Gozlan: Theis’ deal was prime for him to be traded in the future. I think even Theis figured he’d get traded because he got a 15 percent trade bonus in his deal.

17:45 Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker, New York Knicks

Scotto: Another guy who signed with a team to be a starter, and it hasn’t worked out to this point, is Kemba Walker on the Knicks. When he got his buyout and came to the Knicks, it was a modest contract and a worthwhile gamble. Offensively, he’s shooting the ball well from three-point range (41.3 percent). That’s not the problem. Defensively, you’ve got to be a good defender to play for Tom Thibodeau. That’s never really been Kemba’s calling card. He’s a guy to look at who’s trade eligible.

Gozlan: The fact that he got bought out by Oklahoma City was really shocking to me. I thought that was the most shocking thing of the entire offseason. He gave up $20 million, which is significant, but I thought they were going to let him play and try to trade him. They decided they weren’t going to get much for him and just took the money and let him go.

21:50 Mike Muscala, Robin Lopez and Doug McDermott

Bruno Fernando, Boston Celtics

Scotto: Oklahoma City’s in a deep rebuild. Mike Muscala is shooting about 43 percent from three as a stretch-five. I can see him appealing to teams. Orlando’s frontcourt with Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. has left Robin Lopez out to dry a little bit there. I can see playoff teams looking at him to fortify their bench. When I look at the Spurs, every team wants more shooting, and Doug McDermott has been traded a number of times. I think if you’re a team looking to add shooting, Doug’s on a nice contract that could move the needle for some teams.

Gozlan: Lopez is someone I wrote about in an article about players out of the rotation (who could be traded)… When Jonathan Isaac comes back, it’s not going to help him at all to get more playing time. He’s definitely a guy to watch. I’d be surprised if he finished the season in Orlando. Worst case? Maybe he hits the buyout market. He’s only making $5 million.

24:50 January 15 players trade possibilities: TJ McConnell, Talen Horton-Tucker and Josh Hart

Scotto: Indiana, if they keep sliding deep into lottery territory, I can see TJ McConnell being moved as an attractive backup point guard option for some playoff teams. On the Lakers, if they’re in a win-now (championship) mode, Talen Horton-Tucker is their only realistic trade asset that I think they can move. I don’t think he’ll be moved ultimately, but you have to at least think about it. Also, the Pelicans and Josh Hart. A lot of executives thought when he signed his contract that it was designed to be traded. He’s a guy I can see getting some value around the league due to his defensive ability and knowing himself as a role player.

Gozlan: Hart’s contract is very unique. It’s got multiple non-guaranteed years, and one of those years also has an option.

28:44 Mo Bamba

Scotto: Mo Bamba is eligible for restricted free agency this summer if Orlando extends a $10.1 million qualifying offer. They just signed Carter Jr. to a contract extension. So far, this season has been all about Orlando determining whether Carter Jr. and Bamba could play alongside each other in the frontcourt. Once they signed Carter Jr. to that extension, I felt like that was the barometer for where Bamba’s range could be for them. I don’t think they’re going to try and give him more than that.

MORE: Q&A: Mo Bamba on his journey, the Magic’s outlook, free agency

Gozlan: He went from potentially Orlando not giving him a qualifying offer and letting him become an unrestricted free agent to not only expecting to make him a restricted free agent, but I think they want to keep him now despite any long-term questions there could be with his fit with Carter Jr. You’ve also got Jonathan Isaac who’s eventually going to be back. Before the season, everyone’s thinking that Isaac and Carter Jr. would be the frontcourt of the future. Maybe it makes sense to pair Isaac with Bamba more defensively. Orlando has a lot of money to spend. They can afford to get Bamba back.

Scotto: In talking to people around Wendell Carter Jr., once he signed his extension, they feel it allowed him to shoot the three-pointer with more confidence and not focus on trying to get paid. It put him in a better mindset to expand his game and have that confidence and freedom without the weight on his shoulders.

32:56 Isaiah Hartenstein

Scotto: Before Isaiah Hartenstein hit the market and signed with the Clippers, he could’ve opted into a minimum guaranteed deal with the Cavaliers. He would’ve had a tough time playing in Cleveland. Kevin Love is back, and you’ve seen the tandem they have in Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. Hartenstein went to the Clippers and won a spot on the roster by beating out Harry Giles… To me, he’s put himself in a position to have his contract guaranteed as long as he keeps playing this way and put himself in a position to make money this offseason, or show without a doubt he’s an NBA player.

Gozlan: ProFitX has Hartenstein with a real-time contract of $7.5 million, which is basically what Ivica Zubac is making right now. He’s been a really effective rim protector for the Clippers… I think he’s definitely going to get guaranteed and will be on the roster past the cutdown date. At the same time, the Clippers do have a little bit of an issue retaining him. He’s got non-Bird Rights, and he’s making the minimum. The most they could pay him is just a little bit over the minimum. If he keeps this up, he’s going to be getting offers, maybe not in the $7.5 million range like ProFitX has him, but if he gets anything close to that, the Clippers will have a problem keeping him. They’d have to dig into their mid-level exception, and they already have a lot of tax issues.

MORE: The top trade candidate on each NBA team this season

MORE: Contract watch: Hidden gems in the start of the season

You can follow Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) and Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) on Twitter. 

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