Isaiah Thomas played through an injured hip, which still plagues him to this day, had his tooth knocked out during the 2016 NBA Playoffs, and played through a personal incident. All for the Boston Celtics to win. Yet, he was still traded away. This proves the NBA is a business first and foremost. With the 2018-219 season in full swing, teams now know more or less which players they want to leave on their roster and those they would rather not have.
The NBA season has already brought us one blockbuster trade in which the disgruntled Jimmy Butler was traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Philadelphia 76ers for a trade package headlined by Robert Covington and Dario Saric. While it's unclear if Butler will resign with the 76ers in the 2019 NBA offseason, it's clear that the 76ers are more dominant with him than without him.
The acquisition of Butler is far from the only trade that will take place in the 2018-2019 (in fact, other trades have already taken place such as Kyle Korver landing in Utah in exchange for Alec Burks and two future second-round picks). Here, we take a look at the ten biggest names on the trade block and ten teams that will make offers for these players.
20 On The Trade Block: John Wall
John Wall's massive four-year $169,344,000 contract extension goes into effect in the 2019-20 season. Wall's salary increases annually and in the final season of the extension, 2022-23, Wall will be making an exponential $46,872,000. Despite Wall not being mentioned alongside the league's upper echelon Point Guards such as Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook, he is still one of the game's most dominant floor generals. Furthermore, if Wall had a contract which were not paying him such a substantial dollar figure it's highly likely he would already be calling a place other than Washington D.C. home. Nonetheless, Wall will have suitors.
19 Which Team Will Make An Offer: New York Knicks
The New York Knicks have been rumored to be interested in acquiring John Wall in a trade package which would include some combination of the likes of Damyean Dotson, Tim Hardaway Jr., Enes Kanter, Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina. The Knicks will certainly not give up all these players but these are some players that the Wizards are reportedly interested on from the Knicks roster. With Kevin Durant's impending free agency in the 2019 offseason, the Knicks will do any and everything in their power to make their roster more attractive in the hopes of landing the two-time NBA Champion, "KD."
18 On The Trade Block: Otto Porter Jr.
When the Washington Wizards drafted Otto Porter Jr. third overall in the 2013 NBA Draft the hope was that he'd be the third piece to form a big three in the nation's capital alongside the backcourt duo of Bradley Beal and John Wall. While Porter Jr. is certainly a skilled player who hasn't hit his potential as of yet, he's more of a complimentary player as opposed to a superstar. The swingman is rather streaky and there are nights where he looks fully capable of scoring at ease and others where he looks like he couldn't buy a bucket. The Wizards know their current core is an outside playoff contender at the very best and a rebuild is absolutely necessary.
17 Which Team Will Make An Offer: New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans arguably need depth along with a small forward more than any team in the league. The team's current starting SF is Wesley Johnson who very well may be the worst starting SF in the league. Outside of , Jrue Holiday, Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle (and perhaps E'Twaun Moore) the team has no firepower. However, the team does have three extremely talented players in the front court- Davis, Mirotic and Randle. The Pelicans should focus on upgrading the three position by acquiring Porter Jr. in a trade headlined by either Mirotic or Randle as the team is not lacking at the four position.
16 On The Trade Block: Bradley Beal
What a shocker. Another Washington Wizard! Quite frankly, literally everyone on the Wizards roster is up for trade. Beal just happens to be the most attractive asset to the vast majority of franchises. Unlike his backcourt teammate, John Wall, Beal's contract concludes at the age of twenty-seven where he will be making $28,751,775. Beal's contract is one franchises may even depict to be a steal which gives the Wizards power in regards to asking for assets from teams. Beal is one of the league's most prolific scorers and a trade out of D.C. is not just best for him, but best for the Wizards franchise as well as it'll put a rebuild into drive.
15 Which Team Will Make An Offer: Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers may possess the most trade assets out of any ball club in the NBA today. The Lakers have promising youngsters with tremendous upside such as Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. The Lakers also have intriguing veterans such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Javale McGee. Depending on how impatient the Lakers are with the youngsters progress (it's practically a guarantee that at least one will need to be involved in a trade for Beal) the Lakers may decide it's best to pull the trigger and bring Beal to "The City of Angels" in order to contend sooner rather than later.
14 On The Trade Block: Markelle Fultz
First thing's first, Markelle Fultz is a big name for all the wrong reasons. Drafted number one overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2017 NBA Draft, Fultz's NBA career has primarily revolved around whether he knows how to shoot a basketball. This isn't a case of "watch out when he gets a jump shot" a la teammate Ben Simmons but rather a literal case of does Fultz know how to shoot the basketball. Fultz has fallen out of favor in Philadelphia and is no longer rumored to be in the team's long term plans. A exit from Philly is best for the 76ers and especially for Fultz himself.
13 Which Team Will Make An Offer: Phoenix Suns
Once upon a time not long ago the Phoenix Suns had three point guards on their roster who were all capable of being named All-Stars and two of which (the latter two) have already been named All-Stars- Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas. Today, they've resorted to moving shooting guard Devin Booker to the point guard slot. The Philadelphia 76ers have been rumored to have interest in Trevor Ariza. A swap for Fultz for Ariza straight up should do the trick. The Suns are not contenders in 2018-19 which bodes well for Fultz ability to develop and the 76ers are contenders which allows Ariza to contend for another NBA Championship.
12 On The Trade Block: Jaylen Brown
Don't look now but the Boston Celtics are winning. Furthermore, the Celtics have an abundance of talent in the backcourt which is spearheaded by Kyrie Irving but also includes the likes of Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart and the forenamed Hayward who can play the two if needed. The Celtics may decide that Brown is expendable and decide to deal him for assets for more gaping holes. This seems llikely to happen by the time the trade dealine rolls around.
11 Which Team Will Make An Offer: Orlando Magic
Danny Ainge was rumored to have been heavily interested in moving up in the 2018 NBA Draft in 0rder to draft Texas Center Mohamed Bamba. Ainge was unsuccessful in that endeavor and Bamba was drafted sixth overall by the Orlando Magic. Similar to how the Celtics have an influx of talent in the backcourt the Magic have a load of talent in the front court- most notably Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic. Due to this, it's been hard for Bamba to log playing time. This is a trade that benefits both squads as the Celtics will have a formidable big man to one day (perhaps soon) take the reigns from Al Horford and the Magic will have another form of offense who very well could become the team's high point man night in and night out.
10 On The Trade Block: Kevin Love
The fact that Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert thought that the Cavs could contend without LeBron James is almost as laughable as the letter he composed in "Comic Sans" font upon James departure on July 8, 2010. Fast forward to two months into the NBA season and I think it's safe to say that Gilbert now realizes that a full rebuild is needed in Cleveland. Enter Kevin Love. Love is inked with the Cavaliers up until the 2022-23 season, when he will be thirty-four years of age. The Cavs may very well become contenders five years from now but now is the time to let the young players get as much playing time as possible and to send Love elsewhere.
9 Which Team Will Make An Offer: Utah Jazz
In the 2017-18 season the Utah Jazz took the league by storm and shocked everyone when they grabbed the fifth seed in the Western Conference and upset the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. After Gordon Hayward had decided to take his talents to Boston most had pegged the Jazz to finish at the bottom or near the bottom of the league. Instead, they did the exact opposite. Unfortunately, the 2018-219 season has been a rocky road for the Jazz thus far. The Jazz could put together a package featuring the likes of Dante Exum and Derrick Favors to potentially acquire Kevin Love.
8 On The Trade Block: Terry Rozier
In the case of Terry Rozier, it isn't a matter of if he will be traded but rather when he will be traded. Rozier's Rookie contract concludes at the end of the 2018-19 campaign and he's made it known that he desires to be a starting point guard in the NBA. Unfortunately for Rozier he plays behind one of the league's most dominant PGs in Kyrie Irving. The Celtics will not have the cash to pony up to retain Rozier's services and the fact that a starting role is by no means guaranteed to him this is a divorce that is just growing closer and closer day by day.
7 Which Team Will Make An Offer: Phoenix Suns
It's no secret that the Phoenix Suns need a point guard more than any other team in the NBA today. Considering that Danny Ainge is a master at fleecing teams (just ask the Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers), the Suns make for the ideal trade partner as they possess attractive young assets such as Josh Jackson and T.J. Warren and also are guaranteed to land a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft (we all know that Ainge loves his picks!). While it's unlikely that Ainge will be able to land the 2019 first round pick from the Suns he had shown an interest in Jackson prior to the 2017 NBA Draft. Perhaps he's still fond of the former Kansas Jayhawk?
6 On The Trade Block: Josh Richardson
Prior to Jimmy Butler having been traded to the Philadelphia 76ers from the Minnesota Timberwolves the Miami Heat were one of the most aggressive teams in trying to land Butler. The trade package that the Heat's head honcho Pat Riley had put together featured Josh Richardson along with a first round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Riley realizes that this Heat team isn't a contender despite boasting a slew of complimentary players such as Tyler Johnson, Kelly Olynk and Justise Winslow. Richardson is likely the Heat's most attractive trade piece and packaging him with another role player(s) from the Heat's roster could possibly yield the Heat a superstar.
5 Which Team Will Make An Offer: Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets Owner Michael Jordan is determined to assure that the face of the franchise Kemba Walker resigns in "Buzz City" once his contract is up after the 2018-19 sesson. Walker has made it known that he desires to stay in Charlotte. However, the Hornets do not have a roster which is anywhere near contending at the top of the Eastern Conference. Furthermore, the team lacks scoring asides from the forenamed Walker. The Hornets could look to package some of the team's young assets such as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Malik Monk and Cody Zeller in order to provide Walker with some much needed offense in hopes of further enticing him to remain with the franchise.
4 On The Trade Block: Hassan Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside is no stranger to trade rumors and the fact that the Heat have a young big man in Bam Adebayo on their roster makes him even more expendable. Additionally, Whiteside has seen his playing time fluctuate since last season as there are nights where he will barely log over twenty minutes. Depending on how Head Coach Erik Spoelstra is feeling, the forenamed Adebayo or Kelly Olynyk or Whiteside will get the bulk of the minutes at the Center position. The Heat have depth in the front court and jettisoning Whiteside for other assets would not just be good for the Heat in the long term but in the short term as well.
3 Which Team Will Make An Offer: Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers made it no secret during the 2018 NBA offseason that they had interest in Hassan Whiteside and were even rumored to have put together a trade package for the big man. The Cavaliers have a load of young assets that they could use as trade bait. For instance, center, Tristan Thompson seems to have regained his form and is playing like the double double machine he was prior to inking his five-year $82 million contract. Additionally, the Cavs also boast young players who have shown flashes of potential such as Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood and Larry Nance Jr. The Heat may just elect to shed Whiteside's salary and the Cavs will be happy to take his salary on.
2 On The Trade Block: Anthony Davis
The New Orleans Pelicans have done an absolute abysmal job at surrounding Anthony Davis with talent outside the likes of Jrue Holiday, Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle. As a result, it looks more and more likely that Davis will leave the Pelicans in 2020-21 free agency in search of greener pastures. The longer the Pelicans hold on to Davis the more his trade value diminishes. The Pelicans need to embrace a rebuild as they very well may have the league's weakest supporting cast. Instead of wasting Davis' prime the Pelicans should look to trade him to a team with young assets such as the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers.
1 Which Team Will Make An Offer: Boston Celtics
Quite frankly, all other twenty-nine franchises would make an offer for Anthony Davis. It's just that it will be hard to beat a package that the Boston Celtics could put together. With the exception of Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum, it's highly likely that Danny Ainge would make all other players on the team available for trade. The Pelicans would have the option to acquire backcourt talent such as Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart. The Pelicans could also acquire front court talent such as Marcus Morris and Al Horford. The Celtics also possess a litany of draft assets due to Danny Ainge's shrewd wheeling and dealing. Davis playing for the Celtics may be more likely than it looks on the surface.