Professional athletes in all sports can get restless after a period of being on one team for too long. There are a few reasons for this. One would be the player isn't in favor of the direction team management is moving. Whenever a decision is made in the organization ownership believes they are making it for the good of the team, completely disregarding how players feel about the move.
In the NBA today, because of the high salary cap, players are joining together to create "Super Teams" and dominate the league. Most players will get tired of being on a bad team especially when a super team is in their own division. Instead of sticking it out for the team to eventually turn it around, players may demand a trade for an opportunity at earning more money or playing on a more successful roster.
In the Eastern Conference a majority of teams are in the shadow of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The same thing goes for teams in the Western Conference because of the Golden State Warriors. This offseason, when the Warriors added scoring champion Kevin Durant to their roster, it became clear they are prepared to defend their Western Conference title for many years to come.
There are no guarantees in sports. Just because an organization gathers a bunch of talent to play on one team doesn't grant them a free pass to the playoffs. However, in basketball, with the acquisition of a few new players or a coaching change, teams can turn into championship contenders overnight. There are probably players in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference and the Central Division of the Eastern Conference who are bitter about the monopolies that have been created within their own division. The truth always comes out about players being unhappy about their current playing situation.
Here are the top 15 NBA players who can't wait to be traded.
15 Taj Gibson - Chicago Bulls
It was a great time to be a Chicago Bull back in 2009. When power forward Taj Gibson was drafted from the University of Southern California with the 26th overall pick he was in for a streak of success. Just two seasons after he was drafted Derrick Rose was named league MVP and the team reached the Eastern Conference Finals.
Over the last four seasons Gibson has been through a lot in the Bulls organization. The powerful front court which consisted of himself, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng has since broken up. Last year the Bulls decided to take things in a new direction by firing Tom Thibodeau and replacing him with Fred Hoiberg of Iowa State.
The move backfired as the Bulls missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008 under Hoiberg. That very same season Noah, Rose and center Pau Gasol left the organization. It will be no shock when Gibson skips town next.
14 Rudy Gay - Sacramento Kings
It seems like a dream come true to have Rudy Gay and Demarcus Cousins on the same team. You would think it would be as lethal as a Shaq-Kobe combination. However Cousins would pose more of a threat from field goal range.
Still the dream of the Kings being a great team has turned into a nightmare. Since being traded to Sacramento in December of 2013 the Kings have failed to reach the playoffs or finish the season with a winning record.
Just when things started to look up for Gay, the Kings fired head coach Mike Malone after 24 games, a large majority in which Cousins was sidelined with injury. It's no surprise Gay wants out of Sacramento. The unstable environment ownership keeps on creating will make any player want to skip town.
13 Jahlil Okafor - Philadelphia 76ers
Playing for the Philadelphia 76'ers has turned into playing in the "Land of the Lost". Besides the fact that it's nearly impossible to establish a successful winning culture, all their superstar players end up getting hurt sooner or later.
When center Jahlil Okafor was drafted third overall by Philadelphia in 2015 it would be a complete 180 shift from the culture he was used to. Just two months earlier Okafor was a national champion under Coach K with the Duke Blue Devils. In his first season with the 76'ers Okafor only won 10 games.
It's complicated for Okafor to find a role in Philly having to split time with Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. It's no secret Philadelphia will not be able to keep all three big men long term. If any of them have to go it will most likely be Okafor, and there will certainly be no love lost.
12 Harrison Barnes - Dallas Mavericks
When forward Harrison Barnes was up for a contract extension with the Golden State Warriors everyone was sure they'd resign him. When Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder announced he would be signing with the Warriors the team had no choice but to let him walk in free agency.
Barnes landed the big bucks with the Dallas Mavericks when they signed him to a four year deal worth more than $100 million. Adding barnes to the mix with Wesley Matthews and veterans Deron Williams and Dirk Nowitzki would be a lethal combination in the tough Western Conference.
The Mavericks have started with the worst record in the league falling to 10 games below .500. Barnes who was on the best team in NBA history last season has really fallen into the complete opposite situation of what he has been used to. It's unlikely Dallas will be able unload his contract in a trade but it wouldn't come as a surprise if Barnes requests one eventually.
11 Robin Lopez - Chicago Bulls
In the Summer of 2015 center Robin Lopez was very selective about where he wanted to play long term in the NBA. He made this clear when he stated if the New York Knicks went after Deandre Jordan in free agency then he would not sign with the team.
After one season in New York, Team President Phil Jackson shipped him off to the Chicago Bulls in a multi-player deal that brought Derrick Rose to the Knicks. Lopez clearly stated in the Summer of 2015 he was very particular about where he wanted to play, now in Chicago things are a circus.
Now playing alongside Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo and inexperienced coach Fred Hoiberg, Lopez sure isn't happy about his current playing situation.
10 DeMarcus Cousins - Sacramento Kings
Perhaps one of the best players to play on one of the worst teams is DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings. After one year playing at the University of Kentucky, Cousins took his talents to the big show as he was drafted fifth overall by the Sacramento Kings in 2010.
Since being drafted Cousins has developed into probably the best scoring big man the league has seen since the arrival of Tim Duncan in 1997. Every year since being drafted Cousins has raised his scoring average. Last year he had his best season yet averaging 26.9 points per game. This incredible performance earned him his second consecutive All-Star appearance.
Though Cousins plays like an All-Star, he doesn't act like one. Cousins has repeatedly expressed his displeasure with the Kings front office decisions. A record high six head coaches have taken the helm since Cousins has been drafted by the organization, this isn't a freak coincidence.
9 Tyson Chandler - Phoenix Suns
It was very surprising Tyson Chandler got another big contract after being traded from the New York Knicks and after having a lackluster season with the Dallas Mavericks. However when the NBA TV deal kicked in, in the Summer of 2015 teams were looking to spend big money.
The Phoenix Suns had just established an impressive backcourt with Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight and were looking for a dominant center to balance out their rotation. Chandler had a decent season but the Phoenix Suns finished first to last in the Western Conference with an abysmal record of (23-59).
Chandler has always been known for being a positive presence in the locker room. Though it's hard to stay positive when your team is always hurt and performs atrociously on the basketball court.
8 Sean Kilpatrick - Brooklyn Nets
The vision of the Nets move to Brooklyn and being an invincible force in New York sports has become of thing of the past. After trading away their entire franchise in the Summer of the 2013 for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry the Nets have struggled to keep their head above water.
In recent seasons the Nets have been struggling not only to win games, but to have competent players on their roster to compete on a nightly basis. This past offseason the Nets signed Jeremy Lin to a three-year deal, hoping he would thrive in Brooklyn as he did across the river at Madison Square Garden years ago.
This season has been a bust for Lin as he's been plagued with injuries. Fourth year player Sean Kilpatrick has taken advantage of Lin's injuries by earning a starting role and averaging over 16 points per game. He will surely look for any chance he can to skip town and avoid more years of agony in Brooklyn.
7 Lou Williams - Los Angeles Lakers
After winning Sixth Man of the Year in 2015 with the Toronto Raptors shooting guard Lou Williams was expected to sign a multi-year contract the following season. It was surprising when he ended up in Los Angeles with the Lakers, since they weren't a contender and he could have earned more money elsewhere.
In his first year with the Lakers, Williams averaged 15.2 points per game but wasn't part of a playoff run as he was with Toronto. Williams instead was a part of probably the most dysfunctional team the league has ever seen. Behind the scenes of Kobe Bryant's farewell tour there was a ton of drama between young players and the veterans. It was breaking news when first round pick D'Angelo Russell recorded his personal conversation with Nick Young.
The Lakers finished with 17 wins on the season. Williams has remained on the team even as they continue to draft young players to prepare for their future. When the opportunity arises Williams will surely be looking to leave Tinseltown.
6 Serge Ibaka - Orlando Magic
Playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder has to be one of the best situations for a role player. Having two MVP caliber players on your roster in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook would give no reason for a player to want to leave.
That being said it must have been a shock when defensive superstar Serge Ibaka was traded to the Orlando Magic to clear up cap space for Kevin Durant to stay long term.It came as an even bigger surprise when Durant left to play with the Golden State Warriors.
Ibaka who thrived defensively in the Western Conference would surely dominate in the weaker Eastern Conference. It's been a slow start for Ibaka and the Magic. They're in the bottom half of their division and are on track to miss the playoffs.
It's probably not hard to guess that Ibaka wishes he was still on Oklahoma City or any other team for that matter.
5 Eric Bledsoe - Phoenix Suns
After being traded to the Phoenix Suns by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2013, Eric Bledsoe didn't need to wait long for a contract extension. Less than a year after the trade Bledsoe inked a five-year extension worth $70 million. The Suns didn't get what they paid for though as Bledsoe has battled numerous injuries over the past couple of seasons.
Over the past couple of years Bledsoe's name has been thrown around countless amount of times. Team ownership has not been shy about wanting to move their expensive point guard from their payroll.
Bledsoe averages nearly 20 points per game and is a tremendous athlete. Not only do the Suns continue to make poor player moves but they devalue their own talent as Bledsoe has witnessed first hand.
4 Wilson Chandler - Denver Nuggets
When the dust settled from the Carmelo Anthony trade players were shipped to all different locations. Though the big selling point for the Denver Nuggets from the New York Knicks was Italian scoring machine Danilo Gallinari another player is often under looked.
Wilson Chandler was a highlight real for the Knicks and was packaged with other players for Anthony. Chandler only played a partial season with the Nuggets and then went to China because of the 2011 NBA lockout. When he returned he signed a five-year contract with the team.
In recent years Chandler has been plagued by injuries but things are starting to change for the 2016-2017 season. He's been averaging more than 20 points per game and is leading the team in scoring. Chandler is coming up on the end of his contract and will most likely look for an easy out of the Mile High City with a trade.
3 Greg Monroe - Milwaukee Bucks
Big man Greg Monroe had a lot of offers in the free agency of 2015. However it was surprising when he went to the division rival Milwaukee Bucks from the Detroit Pistons. It all became clear when he signed a three-year contract worth $50 million.
The Bucks have expressed their displeasure openly about Monroe's poor performance since joining the Bucks. Alongside other great young talent like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kris Middleton the Bucks were supposed to be a growing threat in the Eastern Conference.
After missing the playoffs by a wide margin last season Bucks ownership made it clear they were looking forward to a future without Monroe. This can't make the power forward happy to hear. Though he's the sole person who's responsible for his level of play he turned down offers from other teams to come to Milwaukee.
2 Omri Casspi - Sacramento Kings
It must be a bit of a headache to play for the Sacramento Kings since this is the third player who has ended up on the list. Omri Casspi a sharpshooter of the Kings has been involved in trade talks from the start of the season.
New coach Dave Joerger has given Casspi very limited minutes this season which is strange since he averaged nearly 12 points a game last year. Also the Kings have struggled significantly this year, adding Casspi to the rotation really couldn't hurt their chances of winning.
Casspi's agent also represents Demarcus Cousins the centerpiece of the franchise. It would not be surprising if both players are traded around the same time.
1 Ricky Rubio - Minnesota Timberwolves
After Kevin Love was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers Ricky Rubio was all that was left from their original team. After two horrific seasons with the Timberwolves, Rubio has finally started to accumulate some talent around him with Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns.
It was a bright future for the Timberwolves, they just recently added Tom Thibodeau to their organization as head coach and President of Basketball Operations. However things weren't all bright for everybody. Rubio's head must have turned when they drafted Kris Dunn from Providence in the 2016 NBA Draft.
The Timberwolves already had Tyus Jones to back up Rubio at the point guard position. It gives Rubio a reason to look over his shoulder at Dunn who has a better field goal shooting percentage.
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