Trades are what gets the NBA world talking and what makes teams better or worse. There's always lots of trade rumors over the NBA season and the offseason! Some are true whilst others, are not so true.
Here is my list of 3 NBA trades that I think will happen before the NBA trade deadline.
Rudy Gay to the Oklahoma City Thunder?
Rudy Gay is a star in Sacramento and is loved by the fans but in recent years there hasn’t been a lot of success for the King’s, something that fails to motivate players and makes them want to play elsewhere in pursuit of the all-important prize - an NBA Championship. In the past three years, the Kings have failed to make the NBA playoffs even though they have had players like Rajon Rondo and Marco Belinelli come and go, without any major success.
So far this season the Kings have started off with a 9W-16L record which leaves them 10th in the Western Conference, two places short of a playoff spot. It seems like it’s just going to be another average year for the Kings, one where they’ll end up with an okay record but inevitably they will miss the playoffs yet again. The attempt at building a team around All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins has failed and it’s now time for the King’s to look at the bigger picture, moving on to start the rebuilding process and let star players go to free up money.
DeMarcus Cousins looks set to leave Sacramento this season. With Cousins on the way out as soon as possible, there has been talks of a move that would send Rudy Gay to the Oklahoma City Thunder. This would work out great for the Thunder who are looking for a small forward to try to fill the hole that former MVP, Kevin Durant, left when he signed with the Golden State Warriors during the Summer.
So far this season Gay has averaged 18.6 ppg, 3.0 apg and 6.2 rpg. They’re good stats and he would definitely be contributing to a playoff cause over in Oklahoma if the trade were to go ahead.
The Thunder have been showing some interest on the topic but it makes sense for both teams. The Thunder would gain a valuable asset to help the push for the playoffs and beyond while the Kings could gain some young talent to help rebuild. If Gay joined the likes of Westbrook, Oladipo and Adams in Oklahoma, they could become an even stronger force in the West, and push for an NBA Finals spot even quicker than the rate that the Thunder are going at now.
It will be interesting to see how both teams work together to make the deal happen. Only time will tell though so we’ll just have to wait and see.
NBA Trade Rumors around DeMarcus Cousins
There has been speculation about Cousins heading elsewhere and this seems to be the time that the plans are going to be put into action. So far this season Cousins has averaged 28.3 ppg, 3.6 apg and 10.9 rpg, averaging a double-double every game. The King’s seem to be frustrated with Cousins and the ‘build a team around Cousins’ plan definitely hasn’t worked so all indications lead towards a move elsewhere for Cousins.
Some possible destinations for Cousins could be:
The Cleveland Cavaliers: a simple trade could send Cousins to the Cavs in exchange for Kevin Love who doesn’t seem to be playing to his maximum potential in Cleveland where he is regarded ‘the third star’, below both LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. The trade would make sense and both teams would get a great deal out of it.
The Washington Wizards: another option for the Kings and Cousins to think about is linking DeMarcus back up with former University of Kentucky teammate John Wall. Beal and Gortat could go to Sacramento in the deal and leave Cousins and Wall to become a dominant duo in the NBA.
The Phoenix Suns: The Suns are the last option I’m going to talk about in this piece. The Suns could make a move to reunite Cousins with former Kentucky teammate, Eric Bledsoe. The Suns could offer up Brandon Knight, Alex Len and some draft picks or other role players to make the deal happen. This would benefit the Suns as they would acquire some top talent in Cousins while the Kings would acquire some young talent and some Draft picks to bring in future, talented players.
Trade talks are set to begin as soon as the start of December so we will probably see Cousins being traded pretty soon. It’ll be interesting to see where Cousins ends up and how he can affect his future team.
Nerlens Noel being pushed out the door?
Noel has been the center of trade talks for awhile now. The Philadelphia 76ers have currently three All-Star potential Center’s in the team, with all of them capable of starting but there’s just not enough room for all 3.
Joel Embiid has been marked as the next savior for the 76ers and already this season we have seen him doing impressive things so the chances of Embiid leaving Philadelphia soon is close to 0%, it’s just not going to happen! Jahlil Okafor seems to be loved by 76ers fans also so there will not be much of a chance of him leaving anytime soon either. That leaves only Nerlens Noel as the only possible candidate to leave Philly.
Noel is set to return to the court in the near future as he is currently out injured but there has been teams like the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics looking to add his talent to their rosters. Last season Noel averaged 11.1ppg and 8.1rpg in 67 games for the 76ers so he has proven himself to be a good player and he can be even better as he matures and grows older (currently 22 years old).
Nobody is sure though where Noel will go or when he will leave Philly but it is a trade that I would bet on happening before the trade deadline as the 76ers look keen to ship Noel and bring in other talented players to help the 76ers get better.