The NBA season is now in full swing and the NBA trade deadline is rapidly approaching. With that said, the NBA will soon be experiencing an abundance of roster moves, as teams now understand if they are contenders are not. Trade deadline moves are extremely important and leave a lasting impact on everyone involved. Yet it also is extremely important to note that not every trade during this time frame ends up being beneficial for the buyers. Like in every sport, there are risks with each trade that is made. After this season ends, we are also in preparation for one of the best free agent classes in recent memory. Superstars like LeBron James and Paul George may end up finding a new home this summer and that is something we need to pay attention to.
With all that has been stated, in this article we will be looking at eight NBA players who will be traded this season and seven players who will sign with new teams this summer. It is important to note that many of these players will be joining these teams for specific reasons, with many of them being the desire to win and/or receive a high salary. Ultimately, it is up to the preferences of the specific player in each instance. At the end of the day, these next few months in the NBA could end up being absolute game changers for the league. As an NBA fan, I am quite excited to see if these predictions come true!
Nonetheless, let’s take a look at eight NBA players who will be traded this season and the seven free agents who will changing teams this summer!
15 Trade: DeAndre Jordan (Cleveland Cavaliers)
It is hard to believe that the Los Angeles Clippers were once one of the top teams in the Western Conference and legitimate contenders. Yet, after horrible management and years of playoff failures, the Clippers have now found themselves in an inevitable rebuilding phase yet again. With that, DeAndre Jordan will most likely opt to leave them this offseason and join a true contender.
The Los Angeles Clippers have a big decision to make with DeAndre Jordan. It appears that they currently are trying to resign him, but it will take a lot of money and term to get it done. They should not allow themselves to lose Jordan for nothing, but they also seem to not be too enthusiastic about letting them go. If Jordan hits the market, it is very easy to believe he will be joining Cleveland. It has been in the rumours for months already.
14 Signing: Lamarcus Aldridge (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Lamarcus Aldridge will be one of the top free agents available in during the 2018 NBA offseason and rightfully so. Aldridge is a five time all star who still is one of the most dominant players on the court every time he plays. He is a bit underrated because he spent his best years playing on a team with a smaller market, the Portland Trail Blazers. Yet, he truly is the real deal.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are a team that could look at bringing Lamarcus Aldridge in because they are trying to win now and could use some more star power on their roster. The Thunder have never been the same since Kevin Durant left them for the Warriors, so bringing in a player like Aldridge would be a step in the right direction. Expect to see it this summer.
13 Trade: Anthony Davis (Boston Celtics)
The New Orleans Pelicans are in an extremely tough decision with their roster and they need to make changes now. They have a franchise player in Anthony Davis on their roster, but it may be time to move him. There are no indications that Davis is willing to continue his career with the Pelicans long term and the Boston Celtics are the team that should jump on this opportunity.
The Boston Celtics are realistically the only team that have enough extra assets to make a deal for Davis and still have enough depth. Although the Celtics would need to part with Al Horford to acquire Davis, it would be a major upgrade in not only skill, but age as well. Davis will be in his prime for many more years while Horford is only getting older. Expect to see the Celtics pick up Anthony Davis very soon.
12 Signing: DeMarcus Cousins (Washington Wizards)
DeMarcus Cousins is going to be one of the hottest free agents available this offseason and most likely will be given a massive deal by whoever he chooses to sign with. Although Cousin’s career has been fairly controversial thus far, he is legitimate star when he is on his game and easily can be a team’s top player. It is unlikely that he will return to the New Orleans Pelicans next season as well.
The Washington Wizards need to jump the gun and sign DeMarcus Cousins this offseason. The Wizards have an outstanding superstar on their roster in John Wall and clearly are on the rise in the Eastern Conference. Yet, if the Wizards want to separate themselves as legitimate contenders, they need to bring in star power and DeMarcus Cousins could reasonably be their guy.
11 Trade: Brook Lopez (Chicago Bulls)
The Los Angeles Lakers are by far one of the worst teams in the NBA this season and that should not surprise anyone. They are in the midst of a very important rebuilding period and need their young stars, like Lonzo Ball, to develop into superstars in the league. With that said, they are going to be very active as sellers at the trade deadline this season and one player on the move will be Brook Lopez.
Brook Lopez is a strange case because he definitely is not the same star he once was, but he could very well have some value left. One team that could look to go after him is the Chicago Bulls, even though they are rebuilding as well. Lopez’s twin brother, Robin, is one of the key players on their roster and could use the help from his brother for their rebuild. Stranger things have happened so keep an eye on this.
10 Signing: Isaiah Thomas (Philadelphia 76ers)
The Cleveland Cavaliers were put into an extremely difficult position this offseason when Kyrie Irving publicized his trade request from them. Yet, for losing a young and superstar player, the Cavaliers managed to get some strong assets from the Boston Celtics. The best part of the deal has definitely been Isaiah Thomas. Yet, Thomas has made it clear that he wants a max deal this offseason and that likely will not happen from Cleveland.
If Isaiah Thomas does hit the open market, it is apparent that he will be going mostly for the money and it is understandable. Thomas’ value right now is at its peak and there is no certainty that he will be able to maintain it for long. The Philadelphia 76ers should jump on the opportunity to get him because he could be a strong leader on their roster and help carry them to being legitimate contenders.
9 Trade: Julius Randle (Dallas Mavericks)
The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of work to do when it comes to changing up their roster and one player who most likely will be on the move is Julius Randle. Julius Randle trade rumours have been one of the most talked about ones in the league thus far this season. Randle very well could benefit from a change of scenery because it has been reported that he is not very popular in the locker room.
One rumour that makes a lot of sense when it comes to Julius Randle is that he may end up on the Dallas Mavericks. This would be perfect for Randle because, although he would be joining another rebuilding squad, it would provide him big minutes and the chance to play for his home city. This one makes a lot of sense and very likely could happen in the upcoming months.
8 Signing: Clint N'Dumba-Capela (Golden State Warriors)
The Golden State Warriors are the dynasty squad of this generation and will look to continue their quest as the league’s best for years to come. Stars like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are the main reasons behind their success, but they also have a lot of talent in all areas of the court. The Warriors understand the importance of solid depth and this offseason should provide them with more.
Clint N'Dumba-Capela could very well be an excellent fit for the Golden State Warriors because they could use another solid centre on their team. Although N’Dumba-Capela is not necessarily an elite talent in the NBA, he will be a player that will receive a lot of interest all over the league. Expect the power of the Warriors to lure him to join their dynasty and ultimately make a significant impact.
7 Trade: Evan Fournier (Detroit Pistons)
Over the past few weeks, Evan Fournier has been one of the most popular names on the trading block and it appears his time with the Orlando Magic is coming to a close. So far this season, the Magic have been one of the worst teams in the entire league. With that said, it is easy to understand why they are looking to part ways with players such as Fournier.
The Detroit Pistons have reportedly been extremely aggressive in their pursuit of acquiring Evan Fournier and it makes sense. The Pistons are having a fairly solid season this year and they could use a bit more depth on their roster. The Pistons want to show the NBA that they are legitimately a team on the rise, so they are making the right call by trying to bring in Fournier.
6 Signing: Avery Bradley (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Avery Bradley is a very reliable basketball who has the ability to be dominant on all sides of the court. Although he is not necessarily a superstar, he will be one of the popular free agents who hit the open market this summer. This season has arguably been Bradley’s best since he has joined the league because he has been given big minutes on his new club, the Detroit Pistons.
If Avery Bradley decides that he wants to move on from the Detroit Pistons, one team that may go after his services is the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves are definitely progressing as one of the better than average teams in the NBA, but they could use some more depth. Bradley would be a good fit for that team because he is still fairly young and has plenty of time left in his prime.
5 Trade: Tyreke Evans (San Antonio Spurs)
The San Antonio Spurs have been one of the most dominant NBA franchises for two decades now and are still contenders today. Although franchise player Tim Duncan has retired, the team has found ways to continue to win and be potential favourites of the Western Conference. For the Spurs to compete with the Golden State Warriors this playoff season, they will need to be active at the deadline.
The Memphis Grizzlies are reportedly shopping Tyreke Evans and the San Antonio Spurs need to jump on that. The Spurs could definitely use another all star on their roster because the Western Conference is extremely difficult this season. Although the price for Evans may be a bit steep, the Spurs are a club that needs to win as soon as possible. All their stars are getting older.
4 Signing: Paul George (Los Angeles Lakers)
The Los Angeles Lakers were extremely close to acquiring Paul George this offseason and truly could have used him. The Lakers are still one of the worst teams in the Western Conference this season and appear to have hit stagnation with their rebuild. Luckily for the Lakers, they have a ton of money and this year has one of the best free agent classes available. They need to bring at least one superstar.
Ultimately, it appears that the Los Angeles Lakers will Paul George because there has been mutual interest by both parties. George has openly stated that he would be honoured to play for Los Angeles, so it is likely that he will end up there. The Lakers are desperate for some star power on their roster and George is the perfect fit. It could be what helps the Lakers be a threat again.
3 Trade: Nikola Mirotic (Utah Jazz)
Nikola Mirotic has easily been the best player on the Chicago Bulls this season and one of the main reasons why they are actually seeing a turnaround right now. Yet, even with the Bulls doing better, Mirotic has made it clear that he does not wish to be a part of the team anymore and wants to pursue a new chapter in his career. With that said, Mirotic will definitely be traded this season.
There have been reports by numerous websites that the Utah Jazz are extremely interested in bringing in Nikola Mirotic and it makes all the sense in the world. The Jazz are trying to solidify themselves as legitimate contenders in the Western Conference and they could use a player of Mirotic’s skill. Because the deal has been discussed so openly, expect to see Mirotic in Utah.
2 Signing: Lebron James (Houston Rockets)
Is LeBron James going to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers? This is a question that cannot be answered until the summer, but there are signs pointing to both sides. Although the Cavaliers are one of the top teams in the league and a constant threat of winning the championship, James has not commented on wanting to stay or not. James wants to simply win and if the Cavs keep this losing trend going, it may result in him leaving.
If LeBron James hits the open market, the Houston Rockets may end up being the team that he will end up going to. James has made it clear that his intention is to retire with as many championships as he can. The Rockets have one of the best all around roster in the league and with James on their team, they would be untouchable. It could even result in the Golden State Warriors failing to make the championship.
1 Trade: Marc Gasol (Toronto Raptors)
The Memphis Grizzlies have never been able to put together a strong team around Marc Gasol since he became their top player and that is now going to hurt them. It is very unlikely that the Grizzlies will be able to retain Gasol’s services when he becomes a free agent, so now is the time to let him go. Due to all of this, Gasol is one of the top players available for trade this season.
The Toronto Raptors are on a tear this season and are the frontrunners to acquire Marc Gasol, if the Grizzlies decide to get rid of him. The Raptors definitely could use a legitimate star on their roster to help them become the best in the East. Both the Celtics and Cavaliers have their duo of stars, so the Raptors need to catch up if they want to be in the same class. That is where Gasol comes in.