The Ten Best NBA Players Who Could Be Traded
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…
1. Greg Monroe
– The Pistons made a very big mistake by signing Josh Smith to a long term contract valued at over 50 million dollars and with him playing poorly on the perimeter, the team has 3 choices; resign current starting power forward Greg Monroe and have 2 power forwards making over 50 million dollars, trade Monroe or just let Monroe leave in the offseason. The most obvious choice is trading Monroe, who although is an All Star caliber big man, is an excellent post scorer, rebounder and passer and can be the best big man on a contender and a 2nd option on an elite team. He has 18-10-4 talent.
2. Arron Afflalo
– Afflalo is playing at a borderline All Star level this season and is averaging 20 points per game and is the 1st option on his team, but he would be best as an elite 3rd option on a championship contender. He is an excellent shooter, scorer and defender and is the epitome of a 3 and D player, except one that can average 20 points per game. The Magic are rebuilding and for the right package, one of the league’s best starting shooting guards in the NBA can be traded for.
3. Paul Millsap
– 1st time All Star Paul Millsap is the perfect team player. He is undersized, but he is an excellent rebounder and offensive post player, who can play all the way to the perimeter. Do I think that he should be an All Star this season? No, but he is the best healthy player on the Eastern Conference team with the 3rd best record and is posting some big numbers. Regardless of his All Star status and Atlanta’s strong record, I think he is very likely to be traded because Atlanta is going to keep falling down the standings with the loss of their best player, All Star Al Horford and they have little to no chance to win a playoff series. Even if Horford was healthy, a trio of Horford, Jeff Teague and Millsap isn’t a contender and they would be wise to cash in on Millsap’s All Star season and one of the NBA’s best contracts and add some big pieces to continue to build towards contention.
4. Pau Gasol
– Gasol is a 6 time All Star, who has a 20 million dollar expiring contract and is on a porous team, which makes Gasol the perfect trade bait for any playoff team looking for the missing piece to become a title contender. If some team offers a similar expiring contract and assets or a star level player in the middle of a big contract that Los Angeles desires, Gasol will probably be moved.
5. Omer Asik
– Asik is one of the best rebounders and post defenders in the NBA and he should’ve been traded weeks ago, but his contract jumps from 8 to 15 million next season and there aren’t too many teams that want to pay that price. However, there are still some that would pay that 1 year premium for a franchise center and there is still a solid chance that he is moved.
6. Thaddeus Young
– Thaddeus Young is one of the best combo forwards in the league, but has settled in very nicely as a power forward. He is an excellent scorer with three point range, a solid rebounder and defender and he has one of the best long term contracts in the NBA and since the 76ers are rebuilding, if he is moved, it will be for young players and picks.
7. Anderson Varejao
– Varejao is one of the NBA’s best rebounders, is an excellent defender and a capable offensive player, but he is aging and injury prone, which is why he is rather low on this list. He is on a team that isn’t competing this season and they should trade Anderson Varejao while he still has value. He could be a starter on a number of strong playoff teams or an elite 3rd big man and he has a very fair contract, which makes him very valuable trade bait for the Cavaliers.
8. Evan Turner
– They 76ers have two choices when it comes to their excellent scoring, rebounding and passing wing Evan Turner; sign him and keep him as part of their long term core or trade him. If they choose the latter, they will have their share of teams interested, as he is an All Star caliber small forward, who is 25 and has just entered his prime. He is a free agent, so he isn’t the trade asset that teammate Thaddeus Young is, but he could fetch them a very strong package to help them keep rebuilding.
9. Kyle Lowry
– Many think that Lowry should be an All Star this season, but I still wouldn’t put him among the NBA’s top 10 point guards. This isn’t anything against Lowry, he is a very solid starting point guard, he just isn’t in the same class as the numerous superstar points that are currently in the league. He is a talented scorer and distributor and a plus defender and the Raptors would be wise to resign him as soon as possible, as he is a free agent this summer. However, he’s in the same boat as Turner, either they see Lowry as a long term part of their core and will sign him long term or he will probably be traded while his value is at its peak.
10. Dion Waiters
– Waiters has been in trade rumors since his locker room spat became public and although he isn’t the best fit in Cleveland next to Kyrie Irving, he is a strong NBA starting shooting guard or an elite sixth man, who could be a missing piece for a potential title team or a building block for another rebuilding team.