The NBA’s trade block is always quiet this time of year. Right before the season, there isn’t a single team that actively wants to do some kind of deal that ships a cornerstone elsewhere.
But as the season progresses and teams analyze their strengths and weaknesses, putting players on the trade block is the easiest way to try and remedy issues. If you’re a fan of trade rumors and what not, this year’s trade block has the potential to be insane.
We decided to look at which players need to be traded during the 2017-18 season. This doesn’t necessarily mean that players are bad or anything, they just possess some amount of trade value and having them on their team might be a bit superfluous. Whether they are a young player who can be flipped for a piece that can help now, or a veteran who is on a rebuilding team and should get the chance to join a squad with playoff aspirations.
A Portland Big Man
There are all the players Portland currently has logging minutes in the frontcourt:
- Jusuf Nurkic, Meyers Leonard, Zach Collins, Al-Farouq Aminu, Ed Davis, Noah Vonleh, Caleb Swanigan
That’s a lot of minutes for a lot of dudes who all bring something to the table. Even more interesting is that Nurkic, Davis, and Vonleh are all free agents after this season, while Aminu hits free agency next summer.
Seeing as how Collins and Swanigan are rookies, Leonard’s deal isn’t exactly appealing (three years, $31.7 million), and Nurkic looks like he might be a star who will be in for a big payday with the team next summer, the odd man (or men) out should come from the Davis/Vonleh/Aminu trio.
This isn’t a case of “Portland needs help,” mind you — although getting another point guard might not be the worst idea in the world — but rather they might as well try to get something back for any of three talented basketball players. At the very least, if the team thinks Collins and Swanigan are guys who can become impact basketball players, moving any of those aforementioned three dudes on expiring deals not named “Jusuf” would be smart for their further development.
Brook and Robin Lopez
The two Lopez brothers are in similar situations. Both are steady veteran big men who are currently on rebuilding teams that don’t really need a steady veteran big man. Neither Los Angeles nor Chicago are really going anywhere this season, and while providing intangible things like leadership will be valuable, the Lopez brothers would be more valuable on teams where their scoring (Brook) and defense (Robin) could help a contender.
While Robin is cheaper, Brook is the one on an expiring deal, meaning there are reasons for trading for either brother. Plus they’re radically different players, which has been the case since the two were at Stanford.
If a team needs a guy who can get the ball on the block, and get two points, Brook Lopez would be a tremendous addition. If a different team needs a big man who can rebound and protect the rim with a little scoring sprinkled in, there’s no reason to not kick the tires on Robin Lopez.