Mon, 02 Oct 2023

Dealer's dozen: Best fits for 12 NBA trade deadline targets

Field Level Media
03 Feb 2023, 06:55 GMT+10

Big names and All-Star resumes could be up for grabs with the NBA trade deadline only one week away.

The Feb. 9 deadline might not include LeBron James, but the Los Angeles Lakers are thought to be in play for several teams. The expiring contract of Russell Westbrook, plus a few valuable draft picks, are ample ammunition for general manager Rob Pelinka to start his shopping.

Not all of the players rumored to be on the block are moving.

However, the All-Star Break represents a common measurement marker in the season when owners and general managers determine the direction of their teams.

Here are 12 players who could be on the move:

Hawks SF Bogdan Bogdanovic

Age: 30

Contract: $18M this season; $18M player option next season

Best fit: Mavericks.

He's not quite right yet, but showing signs of life following offseason knee surgery. A 3-point marksman teetering on his worst shooting season, Bogdanovic was originally drafted by the Suns. He would fit well with the second unit lagging in production but might be an even bigger hit as the primary catch-and-shoot option next to Luka Doncic.

Hawks F John Collins

Age: 25

Contract: $23.5M this season; $25.3 in 2023-24; $26.6M in 2024-25; $26.6M player option in 2025-26

Best fit: Jazz.

Born in Utah but well-traveled as a military child, Collins suits the Jazz system. He's also versatile enough to be an asset to more than a third of the teams in the league, which is why Atlanta won't sell from the bargain bin.

Suns F Jae Crowder

Age: 32

Contract: $10.2M this season

Best fit: Heat.

Who doesn't want playoff experience, 3-point range and an expiring contract? The Sixers and Bucks are interested. Crowder has close allies on both rosters. He hasn't played in a game for the Suns this season and should come at a reasonable price.

Rockets G Eric Gordon

Age: 34

Contract: $19.6M this season

Best fit: Memphis.

The Grizzlies are plotting depth and matchups for the postseason, and while Gordon might be older than most sharpshooters, he still can deliver from distance. A spread small-ball lineup of Dillon Brooks, Desmond Bane, Tyus Jones and Gordon would be serious weaponry. Gordon does have a non-guaranteed $20.9 million deal for next season. The salary becomes fully guaranteed in the event his team wins the NBA title.

Nets G Joe Harris

Age: 31

Contract: $18.7M this season; $19.8 next season

Best Fit: Kings.

Harris isn't the 3-point lock he was two seasons ago because of multiple ankle surgeries. If asked to play a reserve role and catch fire on occasion, Harris remains more than capable. He inched back over 40.5 percent on 3-point tries with his second double-digit scoring night of the week on Wednesday.

Pacers G Buddy Hield

Age: 30

Contract: $20.5M this season, $18.6M next season

Best fit: Knicks.

Hield is shooting better than 40 percent on 3-pointers and can carry an offense for stretches when called upon. The serious doubt that complicates this scenario is whether the Knicks can get someone, anyone, to bail them out of the Evan Fournier contract.

Wizards F Kyle Kuzma

Age: 27

Contract: $13M this season; $13M player option

Best fit: Nuggets.

A sagging second unit ready to part with Bones Hyland if the right deal emerges, Denver would become a nightmare with size and scoring at every position if Kuzma can be pried away from the Wizards. Complicating matters, Kuzma has been on a serious tear since Washington dealt Rui Hachimura and salary isn't a burden -- yet.

Hornets G Terry Rozier

Age: 28

Contract: $21.5M this season, $23.2M next season, $24.9M 2024-25, $26.6M player option in 2025-26

Best fit: Lakers.

Charlotte could accept Jumpman's Russell Westbrook in return and hope to score in free agency. Then again, Rozier is rolling through a career year and the Hornets would be wise to insist on more than the down-the-road lottery picks the Lakers have to offer as a deal sweetener.

Timberwolves G D'Angelo Russell

Age: 26

Contract: $31.4M this season

Best fit: Bulls.

Russell stays put unless Minnesota finds a sweetheart deal on a point guard, which isn't out of the realm of possibility in a multi-team deal. Bulls reserve PG Coby White isn't likely enough to make it happen. But after torching the Warriors and holding their own against the top teams in the West this week, the Wolves are only three games out of the No. 3 seed entering Thursday's games. That makes them far more likely to ride with Russell the rest of the season.

Sixers F Matisse Thybulle

Age: 25

Contract: $4.4M this season, restricted free agent in July

Best fit: Warriors.

Golden State needs defense on the wing and Thybulle gets tiny morsels of playing time these days with the Sixers. He's not the next Andre Iguodala and averages less than 3.0 points per game, but his energy and effort on defense, in addition to rebounding skills, could be game-changing for the stall-prone Warriors.

Lakers G Russell Westbrook

Age: 34

Contract: $47.1M this season

Best fit: Clippers.

Much has been made of Westbrook's rebound as a Sixth Man with around 16 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds per game but the Lakers still need more efficiency from the position. The Clippers would need a Brinks-sized deposit to take Westbrook off the Lakers' hands, but a chance to restock draft capital exhausted to add Paul George and Kawhi Leonard is enticing.

Warriors C James Wiseman

Age: 21

Contract: $9.6M this season, $12.1M next season

Best fit: Blazers.

A virtually clean match on salary for small forward Josh Hart, the Blazers could be fortunate to add Wiseman and a few draft picks to push Portland into the next phase of rebuilding. Adding Hart, and the aforementioned Thybulle, would bring defined role players in needed spots for the defending champion Warriors without costing them a cent beyond this season.

--Field Level Media

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