While it would be very interesting if players had to stay with the same team for their entire career, that certainly is not how professional sports go in the United States as players are being moved left and right like pieces of a chess board. A guy might be putting up great numbers and loved by all of the fans, but could be moved to make cap space for an up and coming off-season. As we have seen in the NBA a lot lately, great players are moving teams more than we have ever known. This offseason will most likely follow the trend of summers before, as the landscape of the league has looked very different from one season tip-off to another.
The NBA is a league that empowers their star players far more than any other professional sports league, as players now seem to call the shots in how they build teams. The latest instance of LeBron James and Anthony Davis possibly tampering only highlights that. This summer, it will once again be a story of how players will not only follow the money, but also follow the possible rings.
In this article, we will be looking at 21 NBA players, all of them we expect to be moving teams next season. Seven of them will be guards, seven of them forwards, and seven of them will be centers. As always, feel free to leave any comments you have on this article in the comment section below, as we always love to hear feedback on our articles.
Here are 7 NBA guards, forwards, and centers who will be on different teams next season. Enjoy!
21 Guard: Kemba Walker
Possible teams: Knicks, Bulls
Kemba Walker has been one of the best guards in the league for a long time now, and fans are finally beginning to see that as he is having his best season to date in Charlotte this year as he has been able to put up big numbers consistently. Walker is easily the best player on the Hornets, and the team doesn't look like it has a plan moving forward other than to ride his talents. Walker will be a free agent this summer, and will be moving to teams where his skill set can be used to compete for a championship.
20 Forward: Kevin Durant
Possible teams: Clippers, Wizards, Spurs
Kevin Durant joined the greatest NBA team of all-time about two years ago, and it still is one of the most controversial decisions made in the league in a long time. Durant has been very successful in Golden State, winning both of his Finals series against LeBron James and winning Finals MVP both times. However, the team hasn't looked as dominant as it has in the past this season, and when Curry went out with injury, the team struggled seriously despite Durant putting up big numbers.
Durant still has time to gain some real respect when it comes to winning championships, and he will be changing teams this summer to join a team that hasn't won it all without him.
19 Center: Anthony Davis
Possible teams: Celtics, Lakers, 76ers
Anthony Davis is one of the most dominant players in the league, and since being drafted first overall back in 2012, Davis has not disappointed the Pelicans in the slightest. What is disappointing in NOLA is the fact that the team has really struggled to win games steadily, and it feels as though they don't have a real plan of attack for winning a championship. Getting DeMarcus Cousins to pair up with Davis last season looked intriguing, but Cousins is now on the Warriors which will make things all the much harder. The Pelicans need to trade Davis this summer for some young players who would create a solid core rather than a one-man army.
18 Guard: Markelle Fultz
Possible teams: Hornets, Grizzlies, Wizards
The curious case of former first overall pick Markelle Fultz continues, as it looks as though he will be trying to make a return for Philadelphia before the playoff begins. This was surprising to read about, because Fultz had originally said he wanted to be traded and get a fresh start on a new team, but he still can be seen on the Sixers sideline on any given game. It seems that this season, Philadelphia won't be spending time looking to trade him, but I don't see him coming back next year for the team that has been waiting for him to make plays for two years now. Fultz will be in a new uniform next season for that fresh start he is looking for.
17 Forward: Kawhi Leonard
Possible teams: Clippers, Lakers, Knicks
Kawhi Leonard is showing everyone why he was considered one of the best players in the league a few years ago, as he is really playing great basketball for the Toronto Raptors. He has been able to leap right into the rotation this season and put up big numbers in route to a leading record in the East, and you may be thinking why he wouldn't want play for the Raptors again next season.
When Leonard was trying to leave the Spurs, he made it clear he wanted to play in a few big marquee spots such as Los Angeles. He was then traded to the Raptors, and he is just playing his spectacular game here for one season before finding his way to another franchise.
16 Center: Marc Gasol
Possible teams: Blazers, Kings, Clippers
Even though Marc Gasol, until recent years, was never considered the best Gasol brother in the NBA, he has had a great NBA career when it comes to individual statistics. As a player, he may just be a tad bit more talented than Pau, but Marc has not done any damage in the playoffs during his career and has never won an NBA championship like his brother has done multiple times. Marc is loved in Memphis due to his consistent play, but he may be on a new team next season as it's obvious the Grizzlies are in need of a rebuild, as they have seemed to just tread water over the past few years.
15 Guard: Kyrie Irving
Possible teams: Knicks, Spurs
The Boston Celtics have looked disappointing this season, as the team looked really good in the playoffs without both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, so fans obviously expected a healthy roster for this season to dominate. Things haven't gone that way for Boston, and while they are still winning a fair share of games, they don't look as good as people thought they would. Gordon Hayward doesn't look like the same player he did in Utah at all, and the young guys haven't seemed to take the next step yet. Irving has looked very solid, and with the reports already going around about him leaving this summer, the Celtics' play hasn't helped them to keep Kyrie.
14 Forward: J.R. Smith
Possible teams: Lakers, Rockets
J.R. Smith, who could also qualify as a guard in this list, has had his moments in the NBA, as he was a pretty good player with both the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks earlier in his career. A high-flyer and three-point shooter, Smith was also a solid piece in LeBron James' second era in Cleveland. With The King gone to Los Angeles, Smith has had a very bad season with his shooting percentages in the low 30s. The Cavaliers have a lot of moves to make before they will be considered a contender again, and trading J.R. Smith will be one of the first steps they need to take.
13 Center: Hassan Whiteside
Possible teams: Lakers, Knicks
Hassan Whiteside is easily one of the most dominant defensive centers in the NBA when he wants to be. The problem with Hassan is not his talent, it's his motor, and the Heat have not always been happy with the way he has played for them. He only played a handful of minutes against the 76ers in the first round of the playoffs last year, which just shows they can't always lean on him to produce. Whiteside will be on a different team next season, where he may put up great numbers or really lose his way.
12 Guard: John Wall
Possible teams: Heat, Pistons, Pelicans
John Wall has been the face of Washington basketball for years now, and that time has come to an end. The Wizards started this season on a very poor note, and while they have been able to climb out from the very bottom of the league record-wise, the Wizards need to make a change – a big one. John Wall has just decided to have surgery on his heel, and he will be out for the rest of the 2018-19 NBA season. That means we may have already seen his last game as a Wizard.
Once Washington finds someone who could absorb his max contract once it kicks in next year, John will be used in one of the many trades the Wizards make this summer in order to revamp the team for years moving forward.
11 Forward: Carmelo Anthony
Possible teams: Nuggets, Lakers, Warriors
Carmelo Anthony is basically out of the NBA as of now after falling out with Houston, which is probably not how he expected his career to be going at this point. Melo is, for sure, one of the greatest NBA players of all-time when it comes to scoring the basketball, as he really was something to see in both Denver and New York.
While some people are saying Carmelo Anthony's career in the National Basketball Association is over, I believe he will be on a new team next season. A lot of teams will be staying away from him for next year, but definitely, a few select rosters will have a spot for this legend.
10 Center: Rudy Gobert
Possible teams: Clippers, Bucks
Rudy Gobert is one of the best defenders in the league at center and is having a career year on the offensive side of the ball as well. He is playing very well, but the Jazz as a whole has been disappointing, as they were able to go toe to toe with the best teams in the league last year, but they are out of the playoff seeding so far for this year. Gobert has said he expects a new and improved Utah Jazz team for the new year, and if they continue to play how they are, they won't be making the playoffs. Gobert could seriously be in a new jersey if he decides to not accept a contract from Utah.
9 Guard: Dennis Smith Jr.
Possible teams: Heat, Suns, Nets
Dennis Smith Jr. was a steal for the Mavs in the 2017 NBA Draft, as he played great for them at the point last season as a rookie, and is continuing to put up good numbers in his sophomore season. The reason he will be on another team next year doesn't really have anything to do with his play, but more of the play of his new teammate, Luka Doncic. Doncic has been outstanding and has overshadowed Smith Jr., and reports are surfacing that the Mavs are interested in trading Dennis Smith this offseason to create a better lineup to surround Doncic.
8 Forward: Otto Porter Jr.
Possible teams: Mavericks, Bucks
Otto Porter Jr. was selected third overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, and while he has shown potential throughout his career, he has not played like a top-3 overall pick. With the Wizards current roster sputtering to an end, Otto Porter will be one of the first players the Wizards move on from. As you read above, we have John Wall being traded as well as Washington is going to be moving on from most of their players besides maybe Bradley Beal. A few teams are interested in trading for Porter Jr., and he will not be a Washington Wizard next season.
7 Center: Tristan Thompson
Possible teams: Jazz, Bulls, Pelicans
Tristan Thompson is one of the few solid players left on the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he won't be in Cleveland for that much longer. The Cavs will have a busy offseason as they really try to re-tool the team without the talent of LeBron James, and Thompson is going to be one of the guys from the past they want to send off. After being drafted fourth overall back in 2011, Thompson's time with the Cavaliers is going to be over. The drama he brings to a franchise may scare some teams away from him, but he is talented enough to find himself a new team.
6 Guard: Elfrid Payton
Possible teams: Kings, Rockets
Elfrid Payton is only 24 years old but has played for three NBA teams, which isn't the best sign for him. He was drafted in the lottery of the 2014 NBA Draft, and while he has shown signs of being a really good all-around point-guard, he isn't a great option for many teams at this point in his career.
Currently on the New Orleans Pelicans, Payton has hardly seen the court due to injuries and is the secondary ball-handler behind starting two-guard Jrue Holiday, who's a natural point guard, to begin with. His stats aren't great, and with the Pelicans not being that good, Payton will be on a new team next season.
5 Forward: Luol Deng
Possible teams: Heat, Bulls
Yes, Luol Deng is still in the league, and yes, he is still making more money this year than someone would love to make in their entire life – $18 million, to be exact. Deng is currently on the Minnesota Timberwolves and is pretty much not playing at all like we have seen over the past few years for him. This is his last season where he will be making big money, and while that may not be the best for his bank account, it could help his career as a few teams could be open to grabbing him for next season for a reasonable price tag.
4 Center: Enes Kanter
Possible teams: Jazz, 76ers, Spurs
Enes Kanter is one of the most underrated players in the league due to his ability to put up scoring and rebounding numbers at a high rate. Currently playing a big role for the New York Knicks due to the fact Kristaps Porzingis has been shut down for the season. Kanter will be a free agent next season, and he may be signing with a new team as his role is going to decrease as Kristaps comes back into the rotation. Kanter is going to be a guy a lot of teams try to go out and get this summer, and he could be in for a nice payday this offseason.
3 Guard: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Possible teams: Clippers, Kings
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was one of the more exciting young prospects in the league while he was with the Pistons, and he now finds himself as part of the supporting cast to the new LeBron James era in Los Angeles. Pope is having one of his worst seasons of his career when it comes to scoring, and I believe Pope is going to end up signing with a new team this offseason. Pope enjoys getting minutes and points more than being on a contender as he is still trying to prove himself. Look for a team devoid of talent to give KCP a contract for far more than he's worth.
2 Forward: Nicolas Batum
Possible teams: Bucks, Thunder, Pacers
Nicolas Batum is a great all-around player in the NBA, and the Hornets have enjoyed having him as one of their players for a few seasons now. This will most likely be his last season in Charlotte however, as the Hornets should, and will, finally rebuild the team after being a good, but not great team in this league for years. Batum is a guy a lot of teams would like to add to their roster, and we will be seeing him in a different uniform next season. In the right role, he could be a big asset.
1 Center: LaMarcus Aldridge
Possible teams: Blazers, Raptors
LaMarcus Aldridge was a premier scorer during his time in Portland with the Trail Blazers, and while he isn't talked about as one of the best players in the league anymore, Aldridge has been very good for the Spurs for a few years. Aldridge left Portland to join San Antonio for one reason only, which is to win championships. With the Spurs losing all four of their key players from when Aldridge joined (Duncan, Leonard, Parker, Ginobili), Aldridge is going to make a move this summer to get him onto a contender where he may be able to win that ring he has been chasing.