Being a starter in the National Basketball Association is perhaps one of the most difficult milestones to achieve in this beautiful sport, and obviously staying as one has to be extremely more complicated for a lot of different reasons.
Consistency, age, talent, newcomers and even the results and future plans for the franchise you play for can take a toll in your playing time or future regardless of how well you play, and even their perceptions about your intentions in free agency can also influence the fact that you play or not.
So, despite having productive seasons and still being able to be an important part of the team’s scheme, we often see starters getting dealt away in exchange for young assets or to prevent them from walking away for free.
This season is going to show us some interesting trades before the deadline for sure, and today, we’re going to let you know about 5 starting players that are bound to be dealt at some point of the season.
5. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
It’s been quite a long time since we all expected something out of Michael Kidd Gilchrist, as he looked poised for stardom as a defensive specialist athletic freak that could become a major threat in the wings but failed to live up to that potential.
Now, MKG isn’t really a reliable source of anything at Charlotte and considering his proneness to get hurt, it’s safe to expect the Hornets to try and move him and some desperate team trying to get him as a high risk-high reward pickup, currently averaging 9.6 points and 4.4 rebounds without even attempting a single three-pointer through the season.
4. Derrick Favors
Derrick Favors has had to step up to fill the void left by the player that took his starting job a couple of seasons ago, as Rudy Gobert’s injury has been a major issue in both ends of the floor for the sluggish post Hayward Utah Jazz, and even though he’s been doing some solid work, the safest bet for Snyder’s team would be to deal him.
Favors has always thought of himself as a top-tier big guy and he’s very likely to bet on himself and try free agency the upcoming season to play for the biggest market, even with a lesser role. So, as one of the players with more value in their roster despite being set to become an unrestricted free agent, Utah could definitely get some nice assets in return for a PF/C averaging 12.4 and 6.1 boards on 53% from the floor.
3. Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler’s NBA career is coming to an end, albeit he still has the ability to own the glass, but he’s nowhere near as fast, strong and dominant as he used to be during his Dallas Mavericks tenure and that Defensive Player of the Year run he had over 5 years ago.
Chandler has absolutely no room in the Phoenix Suns roster and even though Alex Len is the one racking up DNP’s since Greg Monroe arrived in town, the obvious thing to do is part ways with the washed out veteran. Of course, it’s going to take some other stuff to make a team be willing to absorb his deal, so it’s very likely that Phoenix is going to have to send a couple of picks to get rid of him.
2. DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan’s name has been in the trade block all over the last week or so, as the slumping Los Angeles Clippers are most likely to tank through the season after Patrick Beverley’s done for the season and both Milos Teodosic and Danilo Gallinari are also on the shelf for some significant time.
Jordan hasn’t been as dominant below the rim this season and his block totals have diminished a bit, but he’s still a top-tier defensive big man that many teams would be delighted to acquire. Sadly, it seems like the Clippers are demanding a very high price for their defensive standout, but it’s just a matter of time before anyone makes a move, with Cleveland as the reported frontrunners.
DeAndre has a player option for the 2018-19 season and he will probably ask for a max contract next year.
1. Thaddeus Young
The Indiana Pacers got off to a very impressive start of the season after Paul George’s departure, and they have a very interesting roster going forward to the future but just don’t have enough experience and punch quite yet to be considered actual contenders in the Eastern Conference at the time.
So, if (when) the Pacers start racking up L’s, expect them to move their veteran players to give more run to their young boys, and the first man out of the team has to be Thad Young. Young has a lot of value as a veteran PF off the bench for a contending team, while the Pacers have been loving Domantas Sabonis’ performances ever since arriving from the Oklahoma City Thunder, and it would make a lot of sense for them to give him a long leash.