The NBA transfer market is quiet this time of year, with preseason kicking off. However, potential NBA trades are always on the table for certain teams with certain players, even if we’re more than four months before the trade deadline, which is usually the busiest time of the year.
Either being a misfit in the current system, too expensive to keep as teams keep shuffling to avoid the luxury tax or simply being a good player on a team that’s trying to rebuild with young and cheap newcomers, here are the 6 most likely to be traded NBA players during this season.
Omer Asik, Houston Rockets - The Rockets are going to try and use Asik as either a backup to Dwight Howard and sometimes in a twin-tower situation just to appease him about the reduced playing time compared to last season, when he played 30 minutes a night. He can be a starter for most teams in the league, and his cap hit is $8.37 million for each of the next two seasons. If the Rockets have a chance to get a backup center to Howard and something else to help them in their title push, they might finally agree to let the big man go, like he asked for once Howard was signed.
Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies - Randolph did have a strong postseason against the Clippers and Thunder, but it’s hard to ignore his scoring to 15.4 points per game, and that he’s making $17.8 million this season before a player option of $16.5 million coming in 2014-2015. It might make Randolph quite hard to move, but a team like the Kings, with plenty of wing options the Grizzlies are craving for, might be willing to to take a chance on Randolph and pair him up with Cousins in the frontcourt.
Marcin Gortat, Phoenix Suns - One of the more obvious choices, as Gortat is unhappy in Phoenix since Steve Nash left, and he doesn’t seem to fit the concept of the new young team for Jeff Hornacek to coach. His numbers have dropped this season (11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds), but it’s hard to believe that with his expiring contract of $7.7 million no team will be taking a chance on him at some point during this season.
Andre Miller, Denver Nuggets - A very durable player even at his age (37), Andre Miller is making $5 million this season and $4.6 million in 2014-2015. The Nuggets have Ty Lawson, Randy Foye, Evan Fournier and Nate Robinson in the backcourt, which means it’s getting quite crowded there for a team that’s trying to go young. This season won’t be as successful as the previous one, which might push Miller to try and make his way to a contender on the final years of his career, and the Nuggets should be happy to oblige.
Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics - Danny Ainge is saying that Rondo isn’t going to be traded, but he’s also saying the Boston Celtics aren’t going to tank. Right now, there doesn’t seem to be any hope for eve na decent season for the Celtics, with or without a healthy Rondo. At some point, this rebuild means getting rid of a point guard who might be one of the best in the NBA, but not good enough to be the number one player in terms of leadership. To start filling it with great potential, Rondo will be moved eventually.
Arron Afflalo, Orlando Magic - Afflalo averaged 16.5 points per game last season for the Magic, but no one really notices him on the worst (last year at least) team in the NBA. He’s making $7.75 million in each of the next two seasons before a player option for $7.9 million comes into play in 2015-2016. Plenty of GMs like his defense and shooting (38.3% career three point shooter), and at some point, the Magic, building a young team around, well, no one at the point, are going to try and use him, and probably Glen Davis as well, to acquire more draft picks or other young pieces.