This time of year there are always names that are thrown out into the media that may be traded before the February deadline. This year, the season is ripe with NBA trade rumors. Some are just that — rumors – while some are actual, accurate reports. It may be too early in the season to even speculate who will be dealt to other teams, but those with the slightest idea about the current NBA know who is most likely to be moved or not. With that being said, here is my list of players that could possibly be moved before the deadline:
Omer Asik, C, Houston Rockets
Just a few weeks ago it was reports going around about an offer to the Rockets for their center Omer Asik and that offer came
from the Washington Wizards. The Wizards tried making a deal with the Rockets for Asik, but were rebuffed because the Rockets didn’t want to take Okafor back, according to Yahoo! Sports’ writer Adrian Wojnarowski. Houston and Washington did discuss a deal involving Asik, league sources said, but the Wizards unprecedentedly made a trade with the Phoenix Suns for their talented big man Marcin Gortat.
Asik has been a strange player for the Rockets. He’s sat out some games while playing others, but sources say he has requested a trade, according to management. Many people still expect Asik to be traded before the deadline. The Rockets are looking for an “impact player” in return, though they might settle for a high draft pick. The long-suggested Asik-for-Ryan-Anderson deal has been discussed, but is currently on hold, according to Wojnarowski.
Iman Shumpert, G/F New York Knicks
Shumpert is arguably the most talked about player in the entire NBA that appears to be on the “trading block”. The Knicks seem to have their main focus on trying to acquire more pieces to keep Melo in New York. That plan may be to get Kevin Love in free agency this summer or possibly even trade for him before then, but with the way he has been performing so far this season, that is highly unlikely at this point.
The Knicks are willing to do whatever it takes to keep Anthony, and that makes guard Iman Shumpert a movable piece. Shumpert is an excellent perimeter defender whose game on offense is improving—and he’s only 23 years old. We have all heard the rumors of a Shumpert-Faried swap, but those talks have died down significantly in these past few weeks. Still, expect some kind of deal to be done involving Shumpert. At this point, it’s just very unpredictable where he could possibly end up.
Dion Waiters, G Cleveland Cavaliers
According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, the Cavs’ brass has reportedly contacted a number of teams in the NBA about acquiring the second-year guard Dion Waiters. Cleveland has allegedly reached out to the Chicago Bulls about trading Waiters for Luol Deng, the Knicks in regards to Shumpert, and the Philadelphia 76ers about Evan Turner. The 21-year-old has averaged 13.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists through 13 games. Those are decent numbers, but he has the talent to do so much more than that. Maybe Waiters would benefit from a fresh start with a new team and new players around him and not have so much pressure as he does in Cleveland.
Luol Deng, F Chiacgo Bulls
The Deng trade talk is almost becoming an every-season rumor, and maybe this is the season where they finally pull the trigger on a deal.
According to ESPN’s Nick Friedell, Luol Deng is likely to be one of the top targets, as the veteran swingman is a prime candidate to be moved by the upcoming deadline. The 28-year-old is averaging 17.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game thus far in 2013-14, playing out the last year of his contract.
Deng understands that his $14.3-plus million expiring contract is a valuable commodity for almost every team in the league and that a flurry of whispers are about to surround him, but he doesn’t seem to be worried. If the right deal does come along for the Bulls, they will finally make the deal, especially now that Derrick Rose is out for the season. The Bulls have been historically stingy on spending, so if they don’t move Deng mid-season, there’s a possiblity they don’t re-sign him in the summer.
Evan Turner, G/F and Thaddeus Young F, Philadelphia 76ers
Recently, there have been reports of a possible trade that is “close” to being finalized, regarding the 76ers’ guard Evan Turner being dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers. According to CBS Philly, the Sixers are close to swapping Turner for Dion Waiters and an undisclosed draft pick. Another report from Fox Sports NBA reporter Sam Amico suggests that a Turner trade to the Cavs could be in the cards. With so much talk about Turner going to Cleveland that seems to be the most possible destination, but then again, we also thought the Shump-Faried trade was a done deal, so we’ll have to keep our eyes open.
Thaddeus Young wasn’t on many people’s list to be traded this season, but recently he has emerged as one of the most talked-about guys.. Thad hasn’t seen his offensive numbers jump in Brett Brown’s offense like his teammates have. The increased emphasis on outside shooting certainly plays a role in that. His field goal percentage is down as well, but teams around the league are all aware of his talent, so Young’s decreased numbers won’t scare off many suitors.
It will be exciting to see if anyone gets dealt before the trade deadline in February. This is just a small list of players that are not only on the market, but may be dealt very soon.