The NBA is right in the middle of the 2017 off season. At this time of year, the league is constantly swirling with rumors and dream team possibilities. NBA fans end up getting all excited, thinking that their favorite player or favorite team is going to make the leap into contention. We all think up the craziest trades and free agent signings that can take them to the next level. And with the NBA draft, those trade possibilities become even more real.
But in reality, these blockbuster deals rarely happen. We occasionally get a deal like Paul George to the Thunder or Chris Paul to the Rockets. But more often than not, the players most in need of a move end up staying put. Both players and teams get stuck in the mud. They’re set in bad situations, due to either poor player personnel or poor financial decisions over the years. Great players get hung up on teams in the midst of a rebuild and teams get caught in between the lottery and contention. The rumors we hear most often revolve around these players and teams.
And every off season there are certain players that we would love to see get moved. But their team is either too stubborn to deal them or they end up signing an inexplicable extension with a poor team. But we can keep dreaming, and we will. In the list below we detail the 15 NBA players most in need of a new team, and where they would fit best
15 Dwyane Wade: Miami Heat
When Dwyane Wade signed a deal with the Bulls, he was not under the impression that they would be tanking in his second year. The Bulls just shipped off their best player for some weak assets and haven’t done anything to suggest they will turn their fiasco around soon. Wade is 35 years old and running out of time. Though he could still have a couple effective years left, just preferably not in Chicago.
One possible destination would be a reunion with the Miami Heat. The Heat have a couple things going for them at the moment. First of all they are in the weak Eastern Conference. And second, they have some young pieces to build around. If Wade could squash the beef with team president Pat Riley, and that’s a big if, then they could team up again in South Beach.
14 J.J. Redick: Oklahoma City Thunder
Yes, Redick just signed a one year contract with the 76ers, and yes it was worth $23 million. But that can't be where Redick really wants to end up. Philadelphia is looking up. They have some bright young stars to build around and they play in the weaker of the two conferences. But they are nowhere near a championship yet.
A guy like Redick wants to win and win now. The sharpshooter has the perfect skillset to provide scoring as a role player or off of the bench. One team that severely needs this is OKC. They just traded for Paul George, but they do not have any role players who can score on a consistent basis. Redick would be a perfect fit next to that powerful OKC duo, stretching the floor and knocking down shots.
13 Carmelo Anthony: Houston Rockets
The Knicks are a disaster. Since Carmelo got there, they have never been the contenders that he expected them to be. And once Phil Jackson became president, he dug them an even deeper hole. The only thing that they have going for them is young forward Kristaps Porzingis, and that’s not enough. It would be best at this point for the aging Melo to take a leap elsewhere.
One potential landing spot is with the Houston Rockets. The Rockets made a big offseason splash in acquiring Chris Paul in an attempt to compete atop the Western Conference. In an already explosive offense, Anthony could add another dimension as the No.2 option behind
MVP candidate James Harden. After All, they are going to need all the firepower they can get.
12 Evan Fournier: Cleveland Cavaliers
Evan Fournier is essentially a poor man’s Lou Williams. Still young, Fournier has improved the last couple years, averaging around 16 points per game. Unfortunately, he is stuck on a Magic team going absolutely nowhere. Fournier is the type of player, like Williams, that can provide a scoring spark off the bench for a contending team.
A team that could use such a spark is the Cavaliers. LeBron James was crying all of 2016 about needing more playmakers on the roster. In reality, they just need some more guys who can put the ball in the hole. Fournier would come in and play a similar role to current Cavalier, J.R. Smith. This provides LeBron with another scorer off the bench who can score in bunches and is young enough for the Cavs to keep around post LeBron era.
11 Deandre Jordan: Dallas Mavericks
Things are falling apart for the Clippers. Perennial all star and leader Chris Paul left for Houston, and forward Blake Griffin cannot stay on the court. Owner Steve Ballmer will continue to make moves, as he did in signing Jerry West on, but it may be too late in the tough Western Conference. The best move for Jordan would be to get out while he can.
Back in 2015, Jordan reportedly signed a contract to join the Dallas Mavericks. For the second time, I am calling for a reunion, kind of. Owner Mark Cuban is a go getter. And right now, they need someone to step into the fold as Dirk Nowitzki is near the end of his fantastic career. With Harrison Barnes and young guards Dennis Smith Jr. and Wes Matthews, the mavericks need a big man to fill the middle. Like two years ago, that could be Jordan.
10 Kyrie Irving: Denver Nuggets
Cleveland at this point in time is the perfect fit for Kyrie Irving. He gets to play alongside the best player in the world and compete in the weaker of the two conferences. Unfortunately, Kyrie wants to be the man. After hearing his name in trade talks over the offseason, Irving wants out. And relationship does not sound like it is going to be repaired anytime soon.
Of the numerous possible destinations for the young point guard, the Denver Nuggets could work the best. They already have a budding star in Nikola Jokic and just signed veteran forward Paul Millsap. With a talented young core, the Nuggets can afford to trade some pieces to acquire Irving. In doing so, they will get the one dynamic piece that could launch them into the Western Conference conversation.
9 Kent Bazemore: Sacramento Kings
The Hawks are officially in tank mode. They unloaded Dwight Howard and let Paul Millsap walk, leaving the cupboard pretty dry. Their next step is going to be to lose, a lot. If role player journeyman Kent Bazemore wants to avoid that situation, now is the time to get out. Bazemore is an effective, probably cheap option for many teams who need wing help.
One team that could use him is the Kings. You may think that the Kings are also in tank mode. Wrong, they have officially left the tank, and entered the rebuild. The King's accepted their fate a year ago, dumped DeMarcus Cousins and started piling on the young assets. After recruiting a few veterans to quicken the learning curve, the Kings will be moving forward, not backwards. Bazemore can provide a cost- effective wing on a young team in need of that position.
8 Demarcus Cousins: Phoenix Suns
Demarcus Cousins is one of the most talented, yet volatile big men in the NBA. Currently paired up with Anthony Davis, the two make an interesting duo in New Orleans. But after last season, one has to wonder whether a twin tower combo like that can work. Let’s assume that it won’t.
In that case, a destination that could work for Cousins is in Phoenix. The Suns have slowly begun developing some talent in the West, but need a couple big names to really get them going. Pairing Cousins with young guard Devin Booker and rookie Josh Jackson could do just that. With a young core there to attract more upcoming free agents, that is a team that could potentially move up the ranks in a loaded Western Conference.
7 Avery Bradley: New Orleans Hornets
Avery Bradley is the type of player that every team would love to have. Not only can he knock down some shots and score as an effective sidekick, but he also plays lockdown defense. Unfortunately, Bradley was just shipped off from Boston to Detroit in order to make room for the incoming Gordon Heyward. And nobody wants to be stuck in Detroit right now.
One team that could use Bradley’s hard- nosed attitude is the Pelicans. New Orleans has a decent core with Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and for the time being, Demarcus Cousins. What they lack are effective wings. Bradley would provide them with a perfect role player who can shoot and play defense. Adding that toughness is exactly what this fringe playoff team needs.
6 Jahlil Okafor: Brooklyn Nets
Jahlil Okafor just needs a change of scenery. The Duke big man had an effective rookie season, but saw his playing time go down in year two amidst injuries and off the court troubles. The 7’6ers are growing and look to be heading in another direction. With Joel Embiid now the centerpiece and incoming rookies Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz waiting in the wings, Okafor is being forced out.
A good spot for Okafor to jumpstart his stalled career could be in Brooklyn. The Nets are in a full rebuild. They just traded for promising point guard D’Angelo Russell and have the cap space to try and lure some future free agents. Pairing Okafor up with Russell could be good for both 2015 draft products, as both are looking for a fresh start to their NBA lives.
5 Kristaps Porzingis: Charlotte Hornets
Kristaps Porzingis was the mystery man of the 2015 NBA draft. But that didn't last long at all. Porzingis is a bonafide superstar in the making. As a young player, he is in danger of having his career swallowed up by the current disaster that exists with the New York Knicks. With Melo seemingly on the way out and no young talent around him, Kristaps would be better off elsewhere.
One perfect fit could be with the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets are constantly toeing the playoff line. They have a playmaking point guard in Kemba Walker and just dealt for big man Dwight Howard. However, they lack a true scoring presence from the forward position. Pairing Kristaps as a stretch four threat with Kemba Walker in pick & rolls could be deadly. Throw in underrated forward Nicolas Batum, and they are young enough to eventually threaten the Eastern Conference.
4 Courtney Lee: Washington Wizards
Courtney Lee is another player who needs to jump off the Knicks sinking ship. The Knicks are going nowhere fast, and Lee is a player whose services could be used elsewhere. Melo is leaving, and Porzingis is the only real known talent left on the roster. There’s just no reason for Lee to sit around on a tanking team.
The team that could use him the most is the Washington Wizards. The Wizards are already close to competing for an Eastern Conference title. The backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal is electric, but the bench needs help at the wing position. Lee could immediately come in and be their most effective guard off of the bench, pushing them closer to the top of the East.
3 Andre Drummond: Milwaukee Bucks
Even though the center position is slowly disappearing in the NBA, Andre Drummond remains effective. The big man is still young, and one of the most powerful forces on the boards in the league. But the Pistons are doing him no favors. They have a limited pool of talent and do not appear to be acquiring much more.
A team that could actually use Drummond is the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks have a young core made up of young forwards Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker. Plus rookie of the year guard Malcolm Brogdon. Big man Greg Monroe never fit and should be on his way out soon, opening up spot a center for Drummond. This team is not too far from competing in the East, and with a force like Drummond down low, they could speed up that process.
2 Myles Turner: Portland Trail Blazers
The Pacers were in a respectable position to compete in the Eastern Conference had the recruited some help for Paul George. However, they failed to do so, forcing George to look elsewhere. They finally pulled the trigger on a trade, but only after turning down much better ones. Now talented young forward Myles Turner is stuck with minimal talent around him with zero chance of competing in the Eastern Conference.
The best thing for Turner would be to run away from Indiana and relocate in Portland. The Blazers have a great young backcourt with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. However, they do not have a threat down low who can score the basketball efficiently. Turner is a young player with the ability to score on the block. A pairing of Turner with this young backcourt could develop into an effective trifecta.
1 Mike Conley Jr.: San Antonio Spurs
Mike Conley is annually one of the most underrated players in the NBA. He has spent his entire career in Memphis, and had a good run there. Playing alongside Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, they were a consistent playoff threat virtually every year. But each time they fail to become a championship contender. Conley is getting no younger, but would provide the perfect veteran presence on a contending team.
The perfect destination for Conley would be the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs are right at the top of the Western Conference, but need improvement in order to compete with the Warriors and the Rockets. Alongside the Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge duo, Conley would provide what Tony Parker no longer can. Conley is a smart player with the ability to score and play defense, fitting in perfectly with Popovich and the Spurs.
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