NBA trade rumors: Anthony Davis, Mike Conley among 42 players who could be moved before Feb. 7 deadline
Will Anthony Davis be among the players to get dealt before the upcoming trade deadline?
NBA trade rumor season is here, with the Feb. 7 deadline just around the corner. The good teams are trying to solidify themselves for the playoffs, the bad teams are trying to create bidding wars for their veterans and the Chicago Bulls are simply trying to avoid agreeing to buyouts. (C'mon, Bulls, just free your mascot-fighting center already.)
Aside from Anthony Davis, the most interesting names right now are still Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. These guys have defined the Memphis Grizzlies for about a decade, and they desperately wanted to bring their team back to the postseason this year. That's not going to happen, and now it looks like we're going to have to get used to them . Whatever happens, long live the Conley-Gasol pick-and-roll.
Here is a look at Davis, that Memphis duo and a whole lot of other players who might be moved:
There's Davis, and then there's everybody else. Even if you reflexively roll your eyes when you hear that the "landscape of the league" is about to change, you have to admit that his mere availability has major implications for several contenders. Before his trade demand last week, the Pelicans' public position was that there was no way they would trade their franchise player -- even for Beyoncé. Things have changed, obviously, and now everybody's asking the same questions: Will New Orleans trade him before Thursday or wait until the draft order is set and Boston can join the party? Will he force his way to the Lakers or wind up somewhere else? What do the Pelicans actually want for him?
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Memphis is looking for young talent, draft picks and salary relief as it rebuilds around Jaren Jackson Jr. Gasol and Mike Conley had a "private conversation" with Grizzlies owner Robert Pera relatively recently, and it isn't difficult to figure out why this is finally happening now. Memphis' season has gone off the rails, and its plan to make the playoffs has all but officially failed. The front office is now in an awkward position with Gasol, who is 33 years old and has been unable to sustain his strong start to the season while playing through back pain. He is too important to the organization and the city to dump his contract, and it is not clear that he will command the kind of return that would make a trade feel worthwhile. This is all complicated by the fact that Gasol has a $25.6 million player option next season.
Two years younger than Gasol and producing at a higher level, Conley is the more valuable of Memphis' longtime cornerstones. Any team acquiring Conley, though, would have to be willing to pay him $34.5 million in the 2020-21 season. This take might be too sentimental, but if the Grizzlies do end up trading him, I'd like to see Gasol go with him.
I am utterly astonished that Vucevic has kept this up. More than halfway through the season, the man is averaging 20 and 12 and was named to the All-Star team despite the Magic's record. He has never been more efficient, had more offensive responsibility or rebounded better than this, so it wouldn't be crazy if he stayed put and Orlando tried to re-sign him in the summer. Given that he could walk for nothing, though, it would be crazy if the Magic didn't at least listen to offers. And those offers should be more appealing than they were in previous seasons.
As a Sixers optimist, I didn't really want to put Butler on this list. I've been encouraged by the way he, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have played together, and I think they could be a championship-caliber core as long as they have the right kind of supporting cast. That said, if Philadelphia isn't confident about its chances of re-signing Butler or is hesitant to pay him the kind of money that he will demand, it absolutely must explore trading him, optics be damned.
Love would be a lot more interesting to discuss if he was healthy, but he still merits inclusion here. He signed a four-year, $120 million contract extension last summer, and it never felt like he was likely to be in Cleveland when it kicks in at the start of next season. I just wonder whether or not there is a front office out there that can either talk itself into the idea of Love regaining his form by April or is willing to make a move for him regardless.
The Pelicans are telling teams they don't want to trade Holiday, according to ESPN, but, man, they should at least consider it. He has played so well for the past couple of seasons that his $26 million salary looks totally reasonable, and, even if the organization doesn't want to go Full Process, New Orleans must know that he has more value than anyone on the roster outside of Davis. If he was 23, his age when the Pelicans acquired him, I wouldn't even bring this up, but the man is in his prime, turning 29 in June, and they should be making moves based on building something sustainable over the next five years.
It would only be a rental, but imagine this dude on the Sixers or Jazz. Mirotic, 27, fit wonderfully next to Davis when healthy, but, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the Pelicans made him -- and the next two guys on this list -- available days before the superstar's trade request went public. Everybody loves stretch 4s, so I'd be surprised if they couldn't at least get a couple of second-round picks for him.
Like Mirotic, Randle is on an expiring contract -- technically, he has a $9.1 million player option next season, but picking it up seems unlikely -- and should be targeted by teams needing frontcourt help. The difference is that he's 24 and more of a 5 than a 4 -- he is making a career-high 31.8 percent of his 3s, but only takes 1.9 of them a game. I wonder how prospective suitors will weigh his career-best numbers against the fact that he needs the ball to be effective and will be expecting a raise in the summer.
The floater king has had a perplexingly up-and-down season, but should still be considered a rotation-caliber player for playoff teams. Unlike the previous two Pelicans directly preceding him here, Moore is not on an expiring contract, so any team that acquires him will owe him $8.7 million next season. Depending on the team's plans for this offseason, that can be seen as a feature or a bug.
Ball is here as a stand-in for every Lakers young player. He is not on the block, exactly, but they desperately want to acquire Davis, so they have to be willing to ship some combination of him, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac and Moe Wagner -- plus some combination of the expiring contracts of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley -- to New Orleans. Despite the fact that Ball would become the Pelicans' starting point guard in this scenario, his camp reportedly would prefer he lands in Chicago or New York somehow, per the Los Angeles Times' Tania Ganguli.
It is no secret that the Jazz are interested in Mike Conley, which would obviously be bad news for Rubio's future with the franchise. The New York Times' Marc Stein reported that Rubio would be on the way out in a Conley deal, but you have to wonder where exactly he'd end up. Sure, he could play out the season in Memphis, but he is in a contract year and would be more useful on a team with realistic playoff aspirations.
Ross' numbers don't look quite as crazy as they did during his scorching November, but he's been damn good in the new year, too. He will be a free agent this summer, and if Orlando is no longer trying to make the playoffs by the trade deadline, it might as well try to create a bidding war for his services. Just about every contender could use some help on the wing.
Prince might not be a huge name, but he's a versatile 25-year-old wing who has, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe, been made available because the Hawks value their flexibility and don't want to deal with his restricted free agency. Good wings with upside are hard to find, and the ideal version of Prince would provide high-level defense at multiple positions, reliable shooting and medium-usage playmaking -- a perfect fit just about anywhere. Any team willing to give Atlanta what it wants, though, would have to be confident enough in Prince becoming the best version of himself that it isn't worried about matching a lucrative offer sheet this summer.
The longest-tenured Hawk was in trade rumors last summer, and it's no mystery why: Atlanta is rebuilding, and it owes him $19.3 million next season. If he was on a smaller or sooner-expiring contract, Bazemore would be an extremely hot commodity. As is, the 29-year-old wing would be a sensible addition for any playoff-caliber team, but not necessarily one that would compel a front office to send the Hawks much of value.
The max deal Wesley Matthews signed in 2015 expires in July, which is why he is now a member of the New York Knicks. He is not a part of their long-term plans, though, which means there are already (reportedly!) a bunch of contenders hoping he'll be bought out. This would make sense, but the Knicks are saying that this is not the plan. At this point, I guess this is the right thing to say: They might as well try to trade him for another expiring deal and get something — a second-round pick, cash? — in return.
The Knicks are talking up Jordan as someone who can mentor Mitchell Robinson and make their historically terrible defense less terrible. I'll bet he's available in trades and is an interesting buyout candidate regardless of what they say, but it's worth thinking about what Jordan's priorities are. In New York, he can keep starting and putting up numbers in a contract year. Elsewhere, he could play meaningful games. I keep thinking he'd be a perfect backup for Clint Capela in Houston.
You could almost pencil Favors in on this list the day the Jazz signed him to that unconventional contract last July. Favors' deal is essentially expiring, as his $18 million salary next season is fully non-guaranteed. Given that coach Quin Snyder has cut his minutes and the team has been so much better offensively with Jae Crowder in Favors' place, it feels like it's time for Utah to finally move on from the two-big look. Potential suitors could come from one of two camps: teams that want to clear salary and teams that are interested in paying him $18 million next season. Either way, the Jazz should be looking for players who they believe fit better than Favors -- they want to solidify themselves for the playoffs, not lose depth while fighting for position.
In mid-December, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Sixers wanted a good first-round pick in any Fultz deal, but I honestly have no idea how a prospective trade partner is supposed to weigh the risk and reward here. The upside that he showed in college was undeniable, but that version of Fultz has little resemblance to the version that has actually played in the NBA. If his shot is salvageable, Philadelphia's front office could look foolish for selling so low; if it isn't, then it needs to move on and get whatever it can in return.
It isn't all that often that the No. 6 pick in the draft comes up in trade rumors mere months into his career. This is what has happened with the 20-year-old Bamba, though: ESPN's Brian Windhorst recently said on a podcast that the Magic talked to the Mavericks about him in the context of a potential Dennis Smith Jr. deal. The Athletic's Josh Robbins, however, reported that the idea that Bamba is available is completely false, as Orlando still wants to develop him and Jonathan Isaac. (Sifting through the various reports and rumors as the deadline approaches is always fun!) Anyway, Bamba's appeal around draft time was all about his upside, so you would think that the Magic would be patient with him … unless another team offers them another young player they really covet.
It's a bit of a marvel that a shooter of Ellington's caliber could find himself getting DNPs, but that is the reality for this veteran. Miami has a crowded backcourt, and coach Erik Spoelstra recently said "it makes me sick to my stomach" to keep him on the bench. According to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson, the Heat have met with Ellington's agent, Mark Bartelstein, and discussed his future. Ellington told The Athletic's Shandel Richarson that it has been "really hard" to sit and watch, and this is especially true for a player coming off the best season of his career. His defense might be keeping him off the court for the Heat, but I'd love to see him on a contender, running off screens and making off-balance, contested 3s at a higher rate than almost anybody.
Do not sleep on Bullock as a nice pickup for buyers at this deadline -- he is an excellent shooter on a cheap ($2.5 million!) expiring contract. The Los Angeles Times' Tania Ganguli reported that the Lakers have reached out to the Pistons, who have not yet received the kind of offers that would make them consider moving him. Detroit's dilemma is exactly why no one wants to be where it is in the standings: ninth in the conference, having to figure out exactly how much a playoff berth (and all-but-certain first-round ouster) would mean to the organization. It's not hard to imagine the Pistons holding on Bullock, missing the postseason and then watching him walk.
Kanter is very obviously not cool with being out of the rotation -- as much as he loves New York, he wants to, you know, play basketball. The Knicks, though, are in the development business, so their top priority is not finding minutes for a guy who will not be re-signed in free agency. A split is clearly best for both sides, but New York isn't going to compromise its cap space by taking on additional salary in a trade. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported in January that the Knicks and Kings had discussed swapping Kanter and Zach Randolph.
The Bulls don't want to let the Golden State Warriors get their hands on veteran center Robin Lopez, according to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, who described Chicago as "adamant" that a buyout is not in the cards. It is possible that this is just posturing as the front office tries to find a way to trade him, and it is also possible that the Bulls will actually stand firm and force Lopez to stay for the rest of their meaningless season. He'd be a nice fit in Steve Kerr's system, though.
Parker is actually getting minutes again, but he's not long for Chicago. He even directly said he had thought about playing for the Jazz on a recent visit to Salt Lake City. The question now is whether or not the Bulls can get anything at all in return for him. A buyout here would not be particularly surprising, but if the front office won't do it for Lopez, I guess it would take this same hardline stance with Parker.
The Bulls are looking at veteran point guards like Ricky Rubio and Darren Collison so someone can push Dunn, per the Chicago Sun-Times. The 24-year-old guard still has potential, but he also has plenty to prove in terms of demonstrating that he should be considered their point guard of the future. Some of that could be on the dysfunctional Bulls, but it's not as if he hasn't had opportunities. Dunn has started for virtually his entire Chicago tenure.
In December, Caldwell-Pope's name swirled around: The Rockets reportedly wanted him, and the Lakers reportedly wanted to replace him with Trevor Ariza. According to the Los Angeles Times, Caldwell-Pope's agent, Rich Paul, actively worked on finding his client a new team. Now, with the guard back in the Lakers' starting lineup, it is unclear if a trade is imminent. He remains unreliable, however, and his 3-point percentage has fallen to 33.9 percent this season, which is in line with his career mark of 34.4 percent.
The Kings are one of the most fascinating teams right now, just barely out of the playoffs in a season where little was expected of them. They could use their cap space — they still have about $11 million — to add someone who helps their playoff push or to eat salary and acquire a pick. Cauley-Stein, too, brings options: They could try to package him in a deal that brings back a meaningful contributor, or they could dump him somewhere for a pick so they can avoid a potentially difficult decision in free agency this coming summer. As impressed as I am with his development, trading him would shock no one, as Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles are on the roster. ESPN's Zach Lowe reported that Sacramento is happy to talk to teams about Cauley-Stein.
Great news: Noah Vonleh is having a breakout season, showing the rest of the NBA what he can do and making the Knicks look good for giving him a chance to play his game. The catch is that New York doesn't have his Bird Rights, and he's played so well that he could be expensive in the summer. The big question here: What is the market for a versatile big who appears ready to help a playoff team but can leave in July?
Thomas is in basically the same situation as Courtney Lee was before he was shipped out of town, but the forward played a bit more and he is owed $7.6 million next season. If healthy, he could fit in nicely on almost any playoff team, as he can theoretically play stretch 4 and guard four positions. Thomas had knee surgery in November, though, and it's not as if New York has made a consistent effort to showcase him since he was cleared to return. Smart teams will target him, if they believe that he can be his normal self by playoff time. Big if.
The combo guard was supposed to help the Grizzlies get back to the playoffs, but the front office is clearly going another direction now. He is on an $8 million expiring contract, and he is the kind of quietly effective role player who could help teams that need more of those. Philly and Houston come to mind immediately, but I'd like to see him on any playoff team that doesn't have a logjam in the backcourt.
A four-year college player, Green is turning 29 this June and doesn't make much sense in Memphis anymore. He is making $7.7. million and, like the vast majority of players on this list, will be a free agent in July. He isn't the stretchiest stretch big because he doesn't shoot a ton of 3s, but he has actually made 39.6 percent of them this season, an attractive number. At his best, his versatility at his position is reminiscent of Patrick Patterson a few years ago, but, like Patterson, his knee has not been cooperative with him lately.
Won't someone hang onto this guy? Holiday has bounced around the league like crazy, most recently going from Chicago to Memphis about a month ago. The Grizzlies were still trying to salvage the season at that point, though, and that is no longer the case. Teams who need a 3-and-D guy should inquire, despite his poor shooting in Memphis.
Any interest in an extremely athletic reclamation project? The Rockets clearly don't have confidence in Chriss contributing right now, as evidenced by his scant playing time, their decision to decline his fourth-year option and their acquisition of Kenneth Faried. He is only 21, though, so it would make sense for a rebuilding team to try to unlock his potential. (He publicly requested a trade through his agent the same day that Anthony Davis did.)
Knight is still dealing with knee issues, and, with Austin Rivers around, there isn't much hope for him when it comes to cracking Houston's regular rotation. It doesn't feel fair to say anything about his numbers since he is coming back from ACL surgery, but I will say this: If the Rockets can get a reliable wing player in exchange for Knight and a first-round pick, they should do it.
I don't need to tell you why a 30-year-old on an expiring contract with one of the league's worst teams is seen as a realistic trade target. The New York Times' Marc Stein reported last week that Sacramento was interested in him, and other teams in need of playmaking would be wise to check in with Atlanta.
It feels like Dedmon has made just about every 3-pointer he has taken lately, but I wonder how much this hot stretch will drive up his value. He will be seen as a rental for any team trying to add him, and the whole league knows he isn't in the rebuilding Hawks' long-term plans.
This is a man who called his team "too talented" and has struggled to find his place this season. That does not, however, mean that everyone has forgotten about Rozier's upside. ESPN's Zach Lowe reported that Phoenix and Orlando have tried to pry him away, and, if the Celtics aren't prepared to re-sign him in free agency, they need to figure out exactly how much they value having him around for this year's playoff run.
The Pacers have enough trouble making sure Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis get the amount of minutes they deserve, so O'Quinn has been the odd man out. Indiana doesn't need to move his $4.4 million contract, but you have to think he'd be available.
Like Rodney Hood, who was just traded to Portland, Burks is former Jazzman in Cleveland on an expiring deal. He had his moments in last year's playoffs, but any team trading for him would have to look past his poor performance with the Cavs.
You didn't forget about him, did you? Smith has been away from his team since November, and he is still owed $15.7 million next season. Cleveland will have to be creative to get rid of him without a buyout.
Parsons and the Grizzlies have essentially broken up, but he's still on the roster. It seems likely that they will try to get out of his contract in a potential Conley or Gasol deal, but this won't be easy -- he is owed $25.1 million next season, which, ugh. All of this is all particularly sad when you remember that it looked like Parsons was going to be Memphis' starting small forward at the beginning of the regular season, with a real chance to show the league he could still play.
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