In this article, I will present ten players, who have the greatest chances of being trading or bought out this coming offseason. More than likely, at least one of these guys will be moved after last night’s draft.
Ty Lawson: The Denver Nuggets were trying to ship Lawson out before the draft, to no avail. Lawson has always been at the bubble stage for his career. This means he always seems to be ready to break into stardom, but never pops the bubble, and stays at a good, but not great level. With the Nuggets selecting Emmanuel Mudiay in the 2015 NBA draft, Lawson is likely gone before the season starts. The Kings, Pacers, and Rockets, are all in need of an upgrade at point guard, and could build a package around their young players to try and obtain him.
Taj Gibson: Taj Gibson has had his name in trade rumors for quite some time, but this time seems to be the time he will actually be traded. The Bulls selected Bobby Portis in the 2015 draft, who is a stretch four, that is going to learn behind Gasol this year, before he takes over. Gibson, being an expensive role player, who wants to start, has quite a few suitors for his services. The Toronto Raptors are the main team linked with Gibson, and all three sides benefit. The Raptors are desperate for interior defense at the four, and Gibson fills the role, plus gives them veteran in the playoffs. Gibson would get the chance to start, as well stay on a playoff team. The Bulls would likely get Terrence Ross, as well as draft picks in return, and Ross would give them a perimeter threat, as well as another young wing to develop in their new offense.
Nerlens Noel: Nerlens Noel had a great rookie year, and did exactly what people expected of him. Unfortunately, the 76ers drafted Jahlil Okafor in the 2015 NBA draft, and most see Noel as the odd man out. I do not think this is the best decision as Noel can play the four, while Embiid and Okafor are centers. Okafor in my mind, should be on the trade block, but with his potential a lot higher than Noel, Noel will be shipped for guards. Boston has been linked very closely with Noel that past few days, and stacking their guard positions in the draft, and avoiding their biggest need of rim protection has to forecast to a trade of some sort. The 76ers are more than likely going to want a package centered around Marcus Smart. Smart is the best of the plethora of guards in Boston, so this would be a big blow to the Celtics, but their lack of rim protection needs to be addressed no matter the cost.
Roy Hibbert: Last night, after the Indiana Pacers selected Myles Turner, Roy Hibbert immediately opted into his player option, and that is when the Indiana Pacers put him on the trading block. Hibbert will be an expensive trade piece for teams wanting to obtain him. A few teams, who could be interested in Hibbert’s services are the Hawks, Knicks, Lakers, Bucks, and Celtics. All of thee teams have the cap room to absorb Hibbert’s expensive cap hit, but have little talent they would be willing to offer for Hibbert. The main trade piece for each team would be MIL-Henson, ATL-Schroeder, BOS-Smart, LAL-Clarkson, NYK-Grant. With the Lakers picking up Robert Upshaw, their need is lessened, and if Clarkson keeps up his production, he is a steal from the 2014 draft, and would be untradeable at this point in time. Smart is probably the most interesting prospect for the Pacers, as they need a new point guard. Boston has so many guards, and a need for a rim protector. I would expect of the five teams listed, Boston to try the hardest for his services, but would prefer Noel over Hibbert.
Marcus Smart: As stated in the previous two centers summaries, Marcus Smart offers Boston the best ability to get a rim protector. They drafted three guards last night, and they already had a crowded backcourt. Smart will most likely be dealt, and I think it will be to the 76ers. Noel for Smart offers great benefits to both sides, as the 76ers need at least one guard on their team, and the Celtics need a center. The Celtics could use either Rozier or Thomas as their starting point guard, and the other as the 6th man.
Terrence Ross: Terrence Ross is Toronto’s best asset they are known to be willing to trade. With such a huge need at the four spot, the Raptors will have to use Ross to address this if they want to be actual contenders in the Eastern Conference. Taj Gibson is the most linked player, and Chicago’s need for wing players, makes a trade very sensible for both sides. The Raptors could also look to target Kenneth Faried, as the Nuggets are looking to trade him, but the Nuggets have been reportedly wanting a lot for him, so the Raptors may stay away from him. The Raptors could also try to sign Paul Millsap, and keep Ross, but Millsap seems to have New York and Atlanta ahead of Toronto.
Kenneth Faried: When you are rebuilding, such as the Nuggets, your good role players need to be flipped for assets. Faried is a great energizer, rebounder, and offers highlight reel dunks, but is not a player to build your franchise around. Denver has been reportedly asking a lot for Faried, but I think as the offseason progresses their asking price will go down. Toronto, Indiana, and Washington could be possible landing spots for Faried. Indiana could be losing David West this offseason, and need a guy to bang in the low post, and do they dirty work. Toronto has a hole at the four, but their heart seems to be set on Taj Gibson. Washington has two older bigs, and could use some youth to the frontcourt. Nene also can be extremely unreliable, so getting a player to push him to be better could be beneficial for the Wizards.
Kevin Martin: The Timberwolves are in obvious rebuild mode, and should look to trade Martin to stockpile even more talent. Martin was having a great season prior to hurting his wrist. Martin still offers a lot for contending teams, from his volume scoring. Martin has been linked with the Cleveland Cavaliers as of late, but they do not have a lot to offer in return for him besides draft picks, which would be late first rounders. I think an offer of Cedi Osman and a first round pick could tempt the Timberwolves, but Martin is beloved by coach Flip Saunders, so he might not give him up that easily. Martin is more destined to be traded at the trade deadline during the season, but the Timberwolves will still get calls about him this summer.
Nikola Pekovic: Pekovic has been on the trade seat for the past few months. Pekovic is a good offensive center, but he is injury prone, and cannot defend the rim. With the drafting of Towns, the rise of Gorgui Dieng, Adreian Payne needing development, Pekovic seems to be the odd man out. Pekovic could still offer many contenders a veteran scorer. The hardest part will be finding a team to take Pekovic, as he is due more than $35.8 million over the next three seasons. A buy-out is more likely to happen than a trade, as it lets the Timberwolves free themselves from Pekovic, and then Pekovic can sign where he pleases.
David Lee: David Lee and the Warriors are in talks to trade Lee, as his salary is too high for them to afford with Green needing an extension. Lee was completely professional when he lost his job to Green this past season after he suffered an injury. When Lee got his time to shine in the NBA Finals, he did not look back, as he helped swing the momentum for Golden State. Lee still has to offer, and as an expiring contract, teams like the 76ers, Trailblazers, Nuggets, who expect to be bad next season, can absorb his contract, and then take draft picks as well to stock up on young talent. Getting rid of Lee hurts the Warriors, but with the drafting of Kevon Looney last night, the hit will hurt a lot less.