As the NBA gets closer to announcing what the salary cap will be for the 2020-21 season, scuttle about trades – which have already begun to pick up steam recently – will only continue to intensify.
Consequently, we are hearing bigger and bigger names come up in trade rumors over the past week.
To make things easier for you as far as tracking what the latest smoke about potential NBA trades is, we have once again ranked the five players who have appeared most in our Trade Rumors Page over the past seven days.
Let’s jump right in.
Trade rumors sprouting up about New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday is nothing new, as the talented floor general has been a highly bandied-about trade target dating back through last season – and even earlier than that.
However, this week, we got our most concrete bit of reporting on a potential Holiday trade when The Athletic’s Shams Charania dropped the following on us early on Wednesday:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 4, 2020
With the Pelicans fully committed to a youth movement and Lonzo Ball needing a longer look as the team’s primary playmaker, it makes some sense why New Orleans would want to see what they might be able to get in a theoretical Holiday trade.
That doesn’t mean he’s a lock to get dealt, but this latest rumor is certainly more substantial than anything we’ve heard on the Holiday front in months.
Holiday, one of the most underrated point guards in the game, averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists and 1.6 steals last season and is under contract for two more seasons, the second of which he has a player option on, meaning he could hit free agency next year, in the 2021 offseason. Holiday projects to be merely the 42nd highest-paid player in the NBA next year, a more than fair price for his level of production.
Some of the teams who have been tied to Holiday about a potential trade in the past have been the Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets, so keep an eye on them, among other contenders, here as this situation unfolds.
For more on the Jrue Holiday trade front, click here.
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul has come up a couple of times this week in trade rumors.
First, Jonathan Macri of Knicks Film School said the following about Paul and the New York Knicks, a rumored potential landing spot for the 10-time All-Star:
“Let me preface this by saying I’m not reporting a Chris Paul deal is any closer to happening than it was two weeks or two months ago, nor am I saying that Leon Rose is any more inclined to pay OKC’s asking price than he ever was before, but… I’ve been told by a league source that Chris Paul prefers his next basketball home to be either in LA or NY (Los Angeles is where he resides full time) and that has created some modicum of leverage in the ongoing negotiations between the sides. I’m also told that there is a deal on the table that is comfortable from Sam Presti’s perspective, and the ball is in Leon Rose’s court.”
Then, The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo mentioned that Paul will have some say in where the Thunder send him, meaning that if the future Hall-of-Famer does favor New York City or Los Angeles, Oklahoma City will do what they can to help him out in getting there.
Paul is coming off an All-Star campaign where he averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists, but the problem here is his contract, which is set to pay him $41.4 million next season and $44.2 million the year after that, when he’ll be 36.
Will a contender be willing to take on that kind of money, even if Paul’s play hasn’t fully regressed due to age yet? We’ll find out this offseason, when many expect the ball-handling maestro to get dealt.
For more on the Chris Paul trade front, click here.
With the Philadelphia 76ers’ hire of trade master Daryl Morey, questions immediately began to be raised about the futures of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons with the franchise, and whether the popular executive would consider splitting the star pairing up.
And judging by how Morey ran things with the Houston Rockets, Embiid, a traditional center in every sense of the word, seemed like the likely trade candidate.
Nevertheless, Morey seemed to put all that to rest when he tweeted the following upon his hiring being made official:
On to bigger things pic.twitter.com/dhXWkRN0ht
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) November 2, 2020
Furthermore, there was a report from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor stating that league execs would be surprised if Morey did trade Embiid or Simmons anytime soon:
“Maybe Embiid and Simmons are destined for a breakup, but executives around the league say it would be shocking if it happened before next season – or during the season. The Rockets have experienced annual crash landings in the postseason, which Sixers fans can relate to. But you can’t simply blame the star players in either situation. The Sixers’ duo has had great success together, and in their own ways, play an efficient brand of basketball. The problem is the lack of an offensive initiator who can generate plays in the half-court to elevate their strengths.”
So although we could see a major move come out of Philadelphia at some point with Morey at the helm, don’t expect one over the next few weeks.
For more on the Joel Embiid trade front, click here.
With a returning John Wall and an improved core around the All-Star backcourt, including Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura, don’t expect the Washington Wizards to even consider the possibility of trading Bradley Beal ahead of 2020-21.
Team general manager Tommy Sheppard said as much in a recent podcast appearance:
Sheppard expressed in detail how the relationship between him and Beal remains strong and that Beal has not asked to be traded. “Brad absolutely has been committed to us. Last summer, he signed an extension with us. I think we’re absolutely committed to him. The biggest thing we ask for each other is ‘hey, let’s go win,'” Sheppard said. “He and I have been a straight line of communication throughout the offseason. He’s really excited for next season. He hasn’t given any indication whatsoever on that and I wouldn’t expect to hear about it from anybody but him. He and I have always been straight-line, Grant. And I think he’s as committed to D.C. as he always has been.”
Washington will have to start winning again – and soon – for Beal’s mind on the matter not to change, but for now, the University of Florida product appears fully committed to making things work with the Wizards.
For more on the Bradley Beal trade front, click here.
The basketball world paused for a brief moment when Shams dropped the following nugget on us on Tuesday, stating that the Sixers, led by Morey, would be interested in a trade for James Harden:
"I'm told Philadelphia is expected to be interested in and pursue James Harden"
— Stadium (@Stadium) November 3, 2020
Of course, the report became a bit of a meme on NBA Twitter, considering that Philadelphia being interested in Harden isn’t that newsworthy… unless the Houston Rockets were to be open to such a move.
Well, for now, that’s not the case, as it appears Houston is adamantly opposed to any potential Harden deal, and rightfully so. Why trade an MVP candidate in the midst of his prime when it’s nearly impossible to acquire players of that level?
The only other way a Harden trade could become plausible is if the player himself requests a deal, but right now, Harden hasn’t made any public indications that he’s unhappy in Houston.
Behind the scenes, however, there’s some noise that the former league MVP wasn’t thrilled with the Rockets’ selection of Stephen Silas as the franchise’s next head coach, with Harden reportedly favoring Tyronn Lue or John Lucas to win the job, according to a report from The New York Times’ Marc Stein:
“And Houston didn’t hire either of the candidates Harden endorsed the strongest to replace D’Antoni: Tyronn Lue and John Lucas. Rival teams are thus already wondering: a.) how perturbed Harden is, and b.) how long before the Tilman Fertitta-owned Rockets seriously entertain trading him?”
Nevertheless, it would take a whole lot for us to get from where we are now to Harden actually demanding a trade, so Rockets fans don’t have much to worry about… yet.
For more on the James Harden trade front, click here.