With the trade deadline fast approaching for the 2015-2016 season, I will take a closer look at the names that have been filling up the rumor mills, and could be suiting up for a new team.
Rudy Gay: Gay is an interesting trade target for any team to look at. He has been known throughout his career as a gunslinger, but he has turned it around a bit this season, especially the past ten games, where he is shooting 55.4% from the field. Along with improved shooting efficiency, Gay is under contract for at least one more season, and possibly two if he opts into his player option for the 2017-2018 season. Sacramento is still in the heat of the playoff battle for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, so unless a major losing streak hits them, Sacramento is not likely to move the forward.
Ryan Anderson: Almost daily we hear a new team inquiring about New Orleans forward, Ryan Anderson. With New Orleans not having a lot of talented young players, you would think their best option would be to flip the forward for the best package. With a recent surge in overall play, New Orleans is right back in the thick of things for the Western Conference playoffs, and as poor of a decision it would be to chase the playoffs, New Orleans looks destined to do this, making Anderson less likely to be moved.
Tyreke Evans: For teams looking for an upgrade on their wing, Tyreke Evans might be a better option than Rudy Gay. Evans is cheaper, only has one season left on his contract after this season, better three point shooter, and better playmaker. Evans just turned 26 this past September, so some team could see him as a build around player, most likely the third wheel. A team like Chicago could use Evans to become the consistent contender we thought they would be at the start of the season. Evans could fetch a nice pile of young players for the New Orleans to use to build around Anthony Davis.
Jrue Holiday: At the beginning of his career, Jrue Holiday was seen as having the potential to be a superstar at the point guard position. Holiday still shows flashes, but his injury prone body leaves many teams nervous of trading for him. Holiday is still under a reasonable contract for this season and next, and there is a few teams starved at the position, who could take a chance on him. Of the three Pelicans listed, Holiday is the most likely to be moved thanks to his inconsistent health, and the high likelihood New Orleans targets Kris Dunn in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Hassan Whiteside: With rumors swirling Pat Riley is not sold on Whiteside being a max salary player this coming offseason, Riley could look to add more flexible pieces. One of the options could be flipping Whiteside for Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks. This gives the Hawks a potential building block, and the Heat a reliable center to improve their overall play on both ends of the court. The Los Angeles Lakers are also extremely interested in the shot blocking machine, and Riley could exploit the desperate Lakers for one of their young talents to build around. Whiteside still seems to have maturity issues, so any team looking to take the risk on him will have to work these things out.
Jeff Teague: There are rumors starting to swirl that the Atlanta Hawks could be looking at starting over. Even if these rumors are not true, moving Jeff Teague makes a ton of sense for the Atlanta Hawks. Dennis Schroeder is only 22, and his skill set is improving every game, and it is time to decide to make him the permanent starter. Jeff Teague is still a good point guard in the league, but he has his limitations. Teague has one year left on his deal after this season, and it is only $8 million, a very good price for his skill set. Teams starved for better point guard play like Utah or Milwaukee could look to inquire about the veteran guard. Milwaukee is the best bet for a trade, since they did offer him a contract back when he was a restricted free agent.
Al Horford: Going off the rumors of the Hawks looking at a possible rebuild, what would be a better way to start this, than flipping one of the most underrated centers on the last year of his deal. Horford has been great on both ends of the court for his entire career, and will most likely continue to be an affordable contract even after this season. With teams such as Miami, Indiana, and Boston looking to upgrade their center position before the playoffs, Horford could be an interesting addition, and one that could propel them into contender status.
Markieff Morris: Markieff Morris is an interesting trade target for anyone to look into. After his disagreement with the trading of his brother, Morris has not performed well enough for any team to rescue him for the Suns. Morris is under contract through the 2018-2019 season(ranging from $8-8.5 million a season), so he is a good role player for an up and coming contender looking to help their bench, or make a cheaper upgrade at their power forward position. If Morris is traded to another team outside of Detroit, one has to wonder if his attitude issues will still be a factor, or if just escaping Phoenix will make him happy. Teams like Houston, Indiana, New York, or Portland could use for their playoff pushes, but with his value so low, Phoenix may not get the return they were once hoping for.
Kevin Martin: Martin is having a down season for the Timberwolves. As well as being very inefficient this season, Martin has also dealt with nagging injuries the past few seasons. Martin is so liked for his consistent career of being able to stretch the floor for whoever he has played for. Martin still has another year on his deal, and for a contending team looking to add another scorer and perimeter threat, Martin could be the cheap addition they are looking for. With career lows since his first two years in the league, Martin’s value has never been lower, but ridding themselves of the veteran is the best solution for the young Timberwolves.
Ty Lawson: The Ty Lawson experiment was a complete failure for the Houston Rockets. Although the value for Lawson is extremely low, anything will be an upgrade for the lost point guard. Lawson still has another year on his contract for $13.2 million, so it would be a financial gamble for whoever inquires about him. The latest rumors were of the Milwaukee Bucks looking into the availability of Lawson, but those talks were extinguished quickly. New York and Utah could be among other teams interested in the point guard, as they are looking for upgrades at the position. With how poor this season has been, it is hard to see anyone biting on Lawson at the trade deadline.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17