Last week’s NBA Draft set the stage for what promises to be an active offseason around the league. We already know how things might have changed for free agency after the draft.
It’s now time to look at NBA players who now have a better chance of being traded following the draft.
From an expensive wing in Atlanta who has been on the trade block for some time to a future Hall of Fame guard in Houston, here’s a look at 10 of those players.
Kent Bazemore, Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta flirted with the idea of using one of its initial three first-round picks to rid itself of Bazemore’s bloated contract. The 29-year old shooting guard is owed $19.27 million next season.
Though, he’s also an expiring contract. That could be attractive to other teams, especially if Atlanta is willing to take on a longer-term deal. It’s not like he’s terrible, either. Bazemore averaged 11.6 points last season and has proven to be a consistent threat from the perimeter.
Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves
The decision to trade up for Jarrett Culver in the NBA Draft might very well expedite Wiggins’ departure from Minnesota. Sure one of them could play the two, but the potential emergence of 2018 first-round pick Josh Okogie complicates things further.
Wiggins’ regression and bloated five-year, $147.7 million contract makes a trade hard. The Wolves would have to take on other bad contracts to make this work. But they need a big next to Karl-Anthony Towns. It’s also important to note that new Wolves president Gersson Rosas has not closed the door on this possibility.
Dion Waiters, Miami Heat
Waiters is one of multiple Heat players we expect the team to put on the block this summer. Unlike the contracts of Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside, Waiters could be of interest to other teams. He fell out of favor in South Beach with the organization believing the veteran was out of shape.
Even then, Waiters has averaged 14.0 points on 37 percent shooting from distance over the past three seasons. Look for the Warriors to potentially come calling should they re-sign Klay Thompson. The injured-player exception would enable Golden State to add Waiters while Miami cuts costs.
Josh Jackson, Phoenix Suns
A recent off-court incident allegedly involving his young son could impact Jackson’s overall future in the NBA. But if that were to pass, there’s no real reason to believe that the former top-four pick will return to Phoenix next season.
The Suns put both Jackson and T.J. Warren on the trade block ahead of last week’s draft. They moved Warren, only to add wings Dario Saric and Cameron Johnson. There’s legit no room on Phoenix’ roster for Jackson. He’ll also draw some interest after averaging 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds over the final couple handful of games last season.
Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder
It’s rather apparent that Oklahoma City is looking to move salary as a means to avoid the luxury tax in 2019-20. Dennis Schroder and Andre Roberson join Adams on the trade block. Out of the three, Oklahoma City’s starting center will receive the most interest.
Still only 25 years old, Adams has improved each season he’s been in the NBA. He averaged 13.9 points and 9.5 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the field last season. Despite a salary of a combined $53-plus million over the next two seasons, there’s value here. A team with cap room, like the Sacramento Kings, might come calling.
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
Seen as a potential franchise cornerstone following the Paul George trade, Turner has not necessarily lived up to the billing. He averaged 13.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in 2018-19, modest improvements from the previous season.
Now that the Pacers added yet another big in Goga Bitadze during Thursday’s draft, there’s a chance that Indiana might look to move the 23-year-old Turner. If so, there’s going to be a ton of interest in his services.
Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn’s draft made one thing clear. The team thinks it can land two top-end free agents, including Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving. Now just $2 million away from making that a possibility, the Nets are going to have to cut salary elsewhere. It’s certainly not going to come in the form of Caris LeVert or Spencer Dinwiddie.
That leaves Harris as the potential odd-man out. He carries a $7.7 million cap hit for next season. Given Harris’ production from out on the perimeter (47 percent from three last season), there’s value here. Maybe Golden Stat uses a potential injured-player exception on Harris. Heck, he could become part of a sign-and-trade should the Warriors realize Kevin Durant is leaving Northern California.
Hassan Whiteside, Miami Heat
Whiteside picked up the $27.1 million option on his contract for next season. He did so with the expectation of requesting a trade from a Heat team that has soured on the defense-first center. Sure Whiteside’s contract will be hard for another team to pick up. That’s until we realize it is an expiring contract.
The good news for Miami is that there’s going to be value in Whiteside on the trade market. Here’s a dude that’s averaged 14.5 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks over the past four seasons.
Lonzo Ball, New Orleans Pelicans
There’s still a chance New Orleans could roll with Ball at the point and move Jrue Holiday to the two-guard position. Alvin Gentry ran three-guard lineups a ton last season. Though, that was out of necessity. With a much deeper team following the Anthony Davis trade, depth won’t be an issue in 2019-20.
The acquisition of Josh Hart a long with Ball in the Davis trade complicates things further. As does New Orleans’ selection of two-guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker in the first round of last week’s NBA Draft. Will the Pelicans look to flip ball for another big to go with rookies Zion Williamson and Jaxson Hayes? We wouldn’t put it past front office head David Griffin.
Chris Paul, Houston Rockets
Paul might be denying it. Houston’s brass might be following suit. But let’s be clear for a second. There’s a rift between Paul and James Harden. It also doesn’t take a genius to figure out who is going to win that battle of egos. If the Rockets can find some team dumb enough to take on the remainder of Paul’s absurd contract, that’s exactly what we expect to happen.
Magnifying things further is the fact that Houston believes it has a real shot to land Jimmy Butler in free agency. That’s only going to happen if the Rockets can shed a ton of salary. It’s more realistic to believe Paul will be moved than the combination of Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker.