With NBA All-Star game quickly approaching it also means that the NBA trade deadline is slowly creeping up on teams as well. The NBA trade deadline is set for February 23rd, 2017, meaning that it is less than one month away. As always, a number of names have been thrown around in trade rumors.
Superstars, role players, bench players and future draft picks are all up for grabs. In 2016, the trade deadline was relatively quiet as no superstars shifted franchises. The most marquee trade involved the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic exchanging Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova for Tobias Harris.
Like any year, the 2017 season will see numerous players change locations. In addition, many players involved in trade rumors will also stay put, whether that be because their team cannot facilitate a beneficial trade for themselves or because the likelihood of them switching teams is nothing more than a rumor.
Here, we look at eight players that will be changing teams and seven that will be staying put at the 2017 NBA trade deadline.
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15 Changing Teams: Rajon Rondo
The talented conundrum that is Rajon Rondo currently sees himself embattled in a feud with yet another head coach. In his first year in Chicago, there was reason to speculate that the Bulls would be promising with the addition of Rondo and Dwyane Wade to join forces with superstar Jimmy Butler. That hasn't exactly turned out as expected. Instead, Rondo and Coach Fred Hoiberg have clashed and Rondo was even benched for five games due to his ongoing arguing with Coach Hoiberg. While the coach doesn't seem to possess the wherewithal to handle Rondo, there's another coach for certain that can and has controlled him in years pasts. Not to mention, his starting Point Guard is currently out as a result of thumb surgery. That coach is Doc Rivers. The Los Angeles Clippers would be a viable fit for Rondo as he's played in Rivers' system and he would have ample weapons behind the perimeter and inside the paint.
Prediction: Rajon Rondo is traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.
14 Staying Put: Hassan Whiteside
The self-proclaimed "Young Whiteside" signed a 4-year $98 million dollar deal in the 2016 offseason with the Miami Heat. While Whiteside received a huge and deserved raise, the Heat are currently Eastern Conference cellar dwellers. As a result, rumors about the Heat trading Whiteside have begun to circulate. Not only is Whiteside the Heat's most valuable commodity, but he is one of the league's best Centers. It's not that the Heat couldn't attract a number of suitors for the big man who continues to improve; it's that they wouldn't want to. Moreover, the Heat will never receive anywhere near equal value for Whiteside. Miami may be struggling, but they have promising young pieces in Tyler Johnson and Justise Winslow alongside Whiteside. The big man will stay put in Miami.
13 Changing Teams: Greg Monroe
The Greg Monroe signing in 2015 by the Milwaukee Bucks was looked at as a milestone move for the Bucks. Perennial All-Stars or even role players for that matter aren't exactly lining up to play for the Cheese State's franchise. Monroe has been a letdown for Bucks fans, however. He's averaging a career low 21.1 MPG in the 2016-2017, as well as a career low 6.8 RPG. The discomfort with Coach Jason Kidd likely still exists as Monroe was inexplicably benched for twelve games in the season prior. The Portland Trail Blazers have been searching for a big man to fill the void LaMarcus Aldridge left when he departed for the San Antonio Spurs. In addition, the Blazers have shown interest in Monroe in years past as well. Look for Portland and Milwaukee to work out a trade to bring the former Georgetown Hoya to the PDX.
Prediction: Greg Monroe is traded to the Portland Trail Blazers.
12 Staying Put: DeMarcus Cousins
On January 11th, 2017, DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins caught media members off guard when he said, "I love Sacramento. This is where I wanna be". The following day, CSN California's James Ham reported that Cousins' intent was to re-up with the Kings in the offseason on a max contract that would pay him a staggering $207 million. The Kings have toyed with the idea of trading Cousins for the past couple of years. On one side of the fence, you have an extremely emotional player whose emotions sometimes (err, usually) get the best of him. On the other side of the fence, you have arguably the most talented big man in the league who is a nightmare for opposition. Team owner Vivek Ranadive and General Manager Vlade Divac will not part with their prized big man as teams will be hesitant to offer many assets due to Cousins' poor attitude.
11 Changing Teams: Nikola Mirotic
If the Chicago Bulls expect to get rid of Rajon Rondo they will have to sweeten the pot. Moreover, NBA franchises are aware that the Bulls don't want anything to do with Rondo, so they can take full advantage of acquiring another talent(s) in a deal for the former Kentucky Wildcat. Enter Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic is able to get buckets when given ample time on the hardwood. This was most evident in March of 2015 when he logged averages of 20.8 PPG and snagged 8.2 RPG as well. Mirotic has always been one of a number of Bulls with potential since he threw on the Windy City franchise's jersey. Playing around the likes of Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah cut into his minutes. Mirotic likely ends up wherever Rondo does, which makes the Clippers a strong possibility.
Prediction: Nikola Mirotic is traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.
10 Staying Put: Paul George
The Indiana Pacers were aggressive in the summer of 2016 as they added the likes of Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young to start alongside Monta Ellis, Paul George and Myles Turner. On paper, the Pacers looked to present one of the Eastern Conference's most balanced lineups. In reality, the Pacers have struggled as they currently boast a .500 record at 22 up and 22 down. Their franchise player, Paul George, has had his name come up in trade rumors this season due to the Pacers underachieving. The Pacers may be underachieving but George is still playing at a high level and is one of the game's best two-way players. And Indiana Pacers President and former Boston Celtic Larry Bird realizes this. Despite the Pacers' struggles, Bird will not entertain trading PG-13.
9 Changing Teams: Paul Millsap
The Hawks strategically placed Paul Millsap on the trade market and then decided to reverse course. By doing this, the Hawks' hope is and was to have interested suitors up their initial offer. With the Hawks leaning more towards rebuilding as opposed to competing and Millsap being their MVP, look for them to ship the former Utah Jazz Forward out of Atlanta. Not to forget, Millsap has an opt out in his 3-year $59 million deal he signed in the 2015 offseason. If the Hawks hold on to Millsap they risk losing him for nothing. The rumors of Paul Millsap to the Toronto Raptors have been going on since last year; this trade deadline it gets done. Millsap will be leaving the "Dirty South" to "North of the Border" to rejoin former Hawks teammate DeMarre Carroll.
Prediction: Paul Millsap is traded to the Toronto Raptors.
8 Staying Put: Jimmy Butler
The twenty-seven year-old Tomball, Texas native signed a five-year $95 million max extension with the Chicago Bulls in the 2016 offseason. "Jimmy Buckets" is having a career year for "the Second City" franchise as he is posting career high averages of 24.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG and 4.8 APG. In addition, Butler is also one of the league's most efficient players as he posts a PER of 25.78. Butler's name has been brought up in trade rumors throughout the season with Minnesota being named as a potential destination more so than others. The primary reason behind this is Butler's former Head Coach, Tom Thibodeau is now the man in charge in Minnesota. The Bulls may gauge the idea of trading Butler but in the end they'll stand pat as their asking price will not be met.
7 Changing Teams: Goran Dragic
When Goran Dragic asked for a trade out of Phoenix he listed the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and New York Knicks as destinations he wished to be traded to. He received his wish as his talents were more so dealt as opposed to taken to South Beach. However, Dragic apparently wants out now because the Heat aren't contenders. Yet, he listed the Lakers and Knicks, two of the NBA's worst franchises in 2015 as organizations he wished to be dealt to, the Orlando Magic are rumored to be interested in Dragic and have a logjam of talent that could be used to have Dragic ditch the black, red and white Miami Heat uniform for a black, blue, silver and white Orlando Magic uniform. Names such as Elfrid Payton, Mario Herzonja and Nikola Vucevic could interest Pat Riley and the Heat's brass.
Prediction: Goran Dragic is traded to the Orlando Magic.
6 Staying Put: Eric Bledsoe
In 2014, the Phoenix Suns had a three-headed Point Guard monster as it had Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas on its roster. If Phoenix could have a do over they'd almost assuredly choose Thomas over the Point Guard they chose to keep, Bledsoe. It also isn't farfetched to say that they'd choose Dragic over Bledose either. Bledsoe's name has surfaced in trade rumors and his injury history has to be particularly concerning for the Suns. In fairness to Bledsoe, he has remained healthy this season and has played in and started all forty-four of the Suns games while averaging career highs in points, rebounds and assists. The Suns recognize Bledsoe as their franchise player and for this reason they will not look to ship him out of the "Valley of the Sun".
5 Changing Teams: Ricky Rubio
Ricky Rubio is no stranger to being involved in trade rumors, but the Minnesota Timberwolves have never pulled the trigger. With Tom Thibodeau now running the show in the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", the likelihood of Rubio being traded increases. The reason for this is simply due to Thibodeau being a strong proponent of emphasizing defense, something Rubio struggles with. Not to forget, the Timberwolves drafted promising Providence Guard Kris Dunn with the fifth pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. In addition, former UCLA Bruin Zach Lavine can also step in at the one slot. The Dallas Mavericks are in need of a lot and have ample cap space to take on Rubio's deal. Look for them to pry the Spaniard, Rubio, away from the Wolves.
Prediction: Ricky Rubio is traded to the Dallas Mavericks.
4 Staying Put: Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay had already informed the Sacramento Kings prior to the season commencing that he would likely not be returning to the team for the 2017-2018 campaign. As a result, the Kings should have done any and every thing to facilitate a trade for their disgruntled swingman so they would at least be able to get someone or something of value. On January 18th, 2017, Gay tore his left achilles tendon against the Indiana Pacers which means his season is all but done. Not only is his season done, but his Kings career (unless he's bluffing), is done as well. Worse for the Kings is that they not only won't receive a decent offer for the former UConn Husky, but they likely won't receive many, if any. Even if they receive an offer(s) it will be a lowball one. Gay will stay put in Sacramento, albeit on the bench.
3 Changing Teams: Iman Shumpert
2017 hasn't started off well for the Cleveland Cavaliers and franchise star LeBron James is clearly frustrated. On January 24th, 2017 James said of the new calendar year, "we need a f****** playmaker. It's been a sh**** 2017 so far". Earlier in the year the Cavs made quite the splash when they acquired sharpshooting Shooting Guard, Kyle Korver. The Cavs also have JR Smith who will be returning from injury towards the end of the season. The Cavs need a playmaker and they have an excess of Shooting Guards. Hence, they trade away their least valuable two. Shumpert has frequently been applauded for his defensive prowess which ensures he'll have suitors. The Milwaukee Bucks have a number of players capable of fulfilling all handling duties. Look for the Cavs and Bucks to work out a deal for Shumpert.
Prediction: Iman Shumpert is traded to the Milwaukee Bucks.
2 Staying Put: Carmelo Anthony
Recently, Carmelo Anthony noted that if the New York Knicks brass asked him to waive his no trade clause he would be willing to listen. Despite Anthony voicing that he'd be willing to listen, its highly unlikely that Anthony would actually go through with waving his no trade clause if the Knicks asked. Moreover, its hard to imagine Anthony having any teams he'd want to be dealt to sans the Cleveland Cavaliers (so he could play with his buddy LeBron James) or the Los Angeles Clippers (so he could play with his pal Chris Paul). Anthony loves New York and despite the Knicks struggles he's as committed to the Knicks today as he was on February 23rd, 2011 when he played his first game as a New York Knickerbocker.
1 Changing Teams: Wilson Chandler
In the 2015 offseason Wilson Chandler inked a four-year $46 million extension with the Denver Nuggets. The swingman is severely underpaid as a result of the new inflated cap and is having a career year with highs in the scoring and boarding departments at 16.2 and 6.9 RPG. He's also fairly young at twenty-nine years of age. Chandler's value is at an all-time high and teams will undoubtedly show interest. The Boston Celtics have a number of assets not just on their roster, but, they also have an allotment of draft picks. As a result, Danny Ainge could entice the Nuggets brass with a number of trade options. By adding Chandler, the Celtics could ideally use the former New York Knick as the scoring powerhouse of the second unit.
Prediction: Wilson Chandler is traded to the Boston Celtics.
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