As the doldrums of the NBA offseason continue, two of the biggest names on the trade market this summer have had their immediate fates decided, with Kevin Durant agreeing to rescind his trade demand and remain with the Brooklyn Nets and Donovan Mitchell somewhat surprisingly getting dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers for draft capital along with Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and other assets.
Still, a few big names remain on the trade markets and have been mentioned in scuttle as of late, so we decided to return for another edition of our Trade Rumor Rankings series where we rank the five players who have appeared most on our trade page over the previous week.
Let’s go ahead and jump right in.
Mike Conley (Utah)
With Mitchell and Rudy Gobert departed, it’s beyond clear that the Utah Jazz are set to begin a full rebuild, one that will be in its early stages in 2022-23. As such, the team has no use for veterans like Mike Conley, who’s now 34 and coming off a pretty poor campaign by his previously high standards.
Last season, Conley averaged 13.7 points, his lowest amount since 2011-12, to go with 5.3 assists and 1.3 steals on 43.5 percent shooting, 40.8 percent from three. Those shooting percentages do indicate Conley might have something left in the tank, the question is: Will teams think he has enough left in his prime to justify taking on his contract, which will pay him $22.7 million this upcoming season and $24.4 million the year after?
That remains to be seen, but one report this week did mention the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in various Jazz veterans, including Conley:
The Lakes have some interest, I'm told, in the Jazz vets who could be traded (Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic). But the Lakers also want to preserve cap space for next summer and aren't that interested in taking contracts beyond 2022-23. Bogdanovic on expiring.
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) September 2, 2022
The Athletic’s Tony Jones also reported that the Jazz will now pivot to entertaining trade talks for Conley, among their other veterans:
The Jazz are, according to sources, also engaged in trade conversations around its remaining pieces, namely veterans forward Bojan Bogdanovic, guard Mike Conley and guard Jordan Clarkson.
We’ll see where those talks go, but it would be rather surprising to see Conley on Utah’s roster by the time training camp begins. He simply doesn’t fit the team’s timeline anymore and contenders will be interested in acquiring him to help boost their chances of a deep playoff run.
For the latest Mike Conley rumors, click here.
Cam Reddish (New York)
It hasn’t been easy for Cam Reddish to find the right role to show off his complete game since reaching the NBA, with the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks unable to offer him a large enough usage rate to prove why he was so highly thought of as a draft prospect.
That has led to a new report this week out of New York indicating Reddish may want out of the Big Apple in order to find a bigger role elsewhere (via the New York Post):
As the Knicks enter their third month negotiating with the Jazz on a Donovan Mitchell package, they might want to consider making sure Cam Reddish is part of a September deal. The Post has learned Reddish wants a change of scenery from New York after he was traded there in January and didn’t initially crack the rotation to build confidence. An NBA source said Reddish is looking for a larger role.
That same report mentioned the Lakers as having an interest in Reddish (because what halfway decent player are the Lakers not interested in these days?) while also stating that Reddish was cautious about a move to the Knicks to begin with, knowing that the team already has a young star to build around in RJ Barrett, Reddish’s former college teammate at Duke.
For what it’s worth, Reddish denied the trade request on Instagram this week:
Cam Reddish has NOT requested a trade pic.twitter.com/1YdXd1bL34
— KnicksMuse (@KnicksMuse) September 1, 2022
Regardless, it’s hard to see how Reddish finds a path to more minutes and usage on a Knicks squad that already has solid young talent playing the same positions as the former Blue Devil.
For the latest Cam Reddish rumors, click here.
Jordan Clarkson (Utah)
Another Jazz veteran who will undoubtedly receive interest on the trade market is former Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson, a certified bucket-getting ball-handler who can provide lots of crafty scoring off the bench on contender-level teams.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has already mentioned Clarkson as one of the players who will be considered coveted trade assets for Utah:
Utah still has coveted veteran trade asserts, including Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley Jr. They'll approach an Oklahoma City-esque haul of draft assets once they're done dealing. Jazz consider Markkanen, Sexton and Agbaji keepers for their rebuilding roster.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 1, 2022
Could a Laker reunion with Clarkson be in the cards this offseason? It certainly appears possible, with Los Angeles already being mentioned as having an interest in the former Mizzou standout.
Clarkson averaged 16.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in 2021-22 and is having a strong summer representing the Philippines in FIBA competition.
For the latest Jordan Clarkson rumors, click here.
Bojan Bogdanovic (Utah)
The third key Jazz veteran who could see himself dealt this summer – who might be the strongest player of the bunch – is veteran swingman Bojan Bogdanovic, whose high-level shooting and underrated one-on-one scoring ability would fit wonderfully on any team with a championship in mind for 2022-23.
Bogdanovic might be a turnstile defensively and be nearing the end of his prime at 33 years old with a ton of miles on him from summers of FIBA play with Croatia, but there’s little doubt he’d provide a positive impact on a number of strong teams next season.
One potential landing spot for Bogdanovic is with the Phoenix Suns, who were mentioned by a local Phoenix radio host as having an interest in the veteran shooter:
The Phoenix Suns have interest in trading for Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic, Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported Thursday evening. Phoenix reportedly reached out to the Jazz about the 33-year-old following Utah’s trade of All-Star Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.
The Lakers were also mentioned as a potentially interested party for Bogdanovic.
Bogdanovic might not have the same level of star cache as some of the other players dealt this summer, but his pickup could be a sneaky fantastic move for a contender in need of scoring, shooting and size on the wing.
For the latest Bojan Bogdanovic rumors, click here.
Russell Westbrook (LA Lakers)
The lone star player who has remained a constant in trade rumors this entire summer without a move actually being made is Russell Westbrook, who checks in at No. 1 in today’s Trade Rumor Rankings yet again.
There’s been back-and-forth reporting on Westbrook’s future with the Lakers all summer.
On one hand, the team acquiring Patrick Beverley did make it seem more likely that Westbrook could be traded this offseason.
On the other, a report from the Los Angeles Times this week stated that the Lakers are comfortable with heading into training camp with Westbrook still on the roster:
Sources say the Lakers are comfortable heading into training camp with Westbrook on their roster, hoping new coach Darvin Ham can unlock increased intensity on defense while another season with James and Davis makes life easier on offense. The argument for that, of course, is if the Lakers can’t build into a true contender via trade this month, wait and handle it down the road either through free agency or future trades. A bad deal now that forces them to offload one or two future firsts wouldn’t dramatically raise the ceiling on this year’s team and handcuff them even more down the road, sort of a worst-case scenario for the organization.
Another report this week came from The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, who spoke to our own Michael Scotto on The HoopsHype Podcast and said Utah and the Indiana Pacers are Westbrook’s likeliest landing spots if the triple-double machine gets traded this summer:
Jovan Buha: As far as Westbrook’s trade market, I’ve heard Indiana and Utah are the two most likely destinations. I think Utah is, from what I’ve been told, more likely than Indiana. There are several permutations there with Indiana where it could be Myles Turner and Buddy Hield together or one of the two. I’ve heard the Lakers are still reluctant to include that second first-round pick. Maybe that’s something that changes closer to training camp. I know It would’ve changed if Kyrie Irving was still available. That would’ve been the one scenario in which the two picks would’ve been on the table. Aside from that, they’re looking at it like, can we do one first-round pick and a couple of seconds or one pick and a protected pick or pick swap?
Buha also said the Lakers are planning to ramp up trade talks for Westbrook as we get closer to training camp, although it remains unclear if they’re willing to get aggressive enough to include their two future first-round picks just to get rid of the enigmatic floor general.
Either way, it looks like Westbrook will be a Laker for the foreseeable future, at least.
For the latest Russell Westbrook rumors, click here.