Now more than ever, we are seeing numerous All-Star players request trades in order to be put in a winning environment. Last season, the headlines were dominated by Kristaps Porzingis getting moved from New York to Dallas and Anthony Davis requesting a trade out of New Orleans. Here we are predicting who will be the next All-Star to request a trade to a winning team.
Paul George: Can he coexist with Russell Westbrook?
- MVP-worthy stats: Last season, he averaged 28 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.
- Under a large contract: Last summer, George re-signed with the Thunder to a four year, $137 million deal.
- Thunder’s losing ways: The Thunder have been knocked out in the first round twice, since George joined the team two seasons ago. George could become frustrated with Russell Westbrook and the Thunder if he feels the franchise is not headed in a better direction.
- He has done it before: George is not a stranger to changing teams, forcing his way out of Indiana just two years ago.
Don’t get your hopes up: It is too early for George to call it quits in OKC. He just signed his new four-year contract with the Thunder last summer. When he first got to OKC, George said the city is “somewhere I can call home for years.” It is gonna take a lot more losing for George to want to part ways with the Thunder.
Blake Griffin: Motor city might be too small for the six-time All-Star
- Impressive Stats: Last season, Griffin averaged 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.
- In the Middle of Huge Contract: Griffin will be entering the third year of his five year, $171 million contract. Griffin signed his mega-contract when he was on the Los Angeles Clippers.
- Has switched Teams Before: The Clippers traded Griffin to the Pistons in the middle of the 2017-2018 season.
- Lack of Success: With Griffin on the roster, the Pistons have had little success. In the 2017-2018 season, the Pistons missed the playoffs. This season, they barely made the playoffs as an eight seed and got swept in the first round.
- Rumors Recently Swirled: There were rumors during February’s trade deadline that Griffin wanted out of Detroit. While Griffin denied these rumors, he admitted that he was frustrated with all the losses. In January Griffin said, “I’m frustrated. You should be frustrated. If you’re not frustrated, what are you doing playing basketball?”
Pay close attention to this: The Pistons are stuck in mediocrity and show no signs improving. If there is no improvement to the team or roster turnover, expect Griffin to want out of Detroit. Griffin can be used to get first-round picks and young talent if Detroit decides to rebuild.
Karl-Anthony Towns: Timberwolves struggles might force his hand
- Stats: Last season, the two-time All-Star averaged 24.4 points and 12.4 rebounds per game.
- Huge Extension Kicking In: Towns signed a five year, $190 million super-max contract extension with the Timberwolves that will kick in next season.
- Lackluster Franchise: Towns just finished his fourth season in the NBA, all four with the Timberwolves. In that span, the T-Wolves have only made the playoffs once thanks to the help of Jimmy Butler. When they made the playoffs, they lost in the first round. The Timberwolves are currently a mess. Towns could become frustrated with the franchise and their inability to bring success to Minnesota.
- Slim chance this happens: Towns is entering the first year of his five year contract extension. He does not have much leverage if he were to request a trade. However, Minnesota needs a serious roster makeover if it wants to be able to compete in the west.
The Conclusion: Aside from possibly Blake Griffin, do not expect many stars who are currently under contract to request trades. However, there are many stars who will be without contracts this summer and will look to sign with new teams in free agency.