Year in and year out, big names get traded or moved during the offseason, either because their prime is coming to an end, because the team doesn’t have enough money to keep them, or just because they’re in no position to compete and it would be safer for both parties to end their relationship.
This season we saw this happen with Paul George, Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, and as we head towards the end of the campaign, we can already see that happening again the very next offseason.
Sadly, we don’t see great names moving this offseason, or at least not as big as the aforementioned, but still, let’s take a look at the top 5 stars likely to be dealt during this upcoming summer.
5. Hassan Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside is quite injury prone and thinks he’s way better than he is, he’s actually kind of hurting his team, especially during key stretches and close games, and he hasn’t hesitated to prove his discomfort with this situation, even stating that “several teams need a starting center”. Also, with Bam Adebayo’s surge, he’s kind of expendable right now.
4. Marc Gasol
Marc Gasol was one of the most likely candidates to be traded this offseason but the Grizzlies didn’t move him as they were supposedly refusing to kickstart their rebuild mode, but truth to be told, they have absolutely no incentive whatsoever on keeping an aging veteran that doesn’t want to be a part of a rebuilding process and desperately craves a ring before retiring.
3. Mike Conley
Mike Conley Jr spent most of the year in the shelf with an Achilles injury, but if (when) the team deals Gasol, they’re also likely to try and move their starting playmaker as well.
Moving Conley is going to be quite tricky, though, as he’s still owed a lot of money and isn’t the most appreciated player in the league despite his outstanding two-way game.
2. Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker was already in the trade block this season, and he’s stated that he’s tired of not making the playoffs. Michael Jordan praised him a lot and stated that they weren’t going to just give him away, meaning they’re expecting some nice value in return for Kemba.
With the Hornets looking like a mess and he entering his prime, it would be better off for both of them to just move on.
1. Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic is an offensive stud that can put 20-10s with great ease but is a horrible defender, quite slow, unathletic and with absolutely no awareness when it comes to protecting the rim.
Also, the Magic are rebuilding and are unlikely to hand him a max contract extension so they will be smart to deal him before he just walks away for free, although his value isn’t quite high, to begin with.