Latest posts by John Alfes (see all)
- Alfes: Five most intriguing players in 2019 NBA Draft class - June 12, 2019
- Alfes: Finding a fit for UCF’s Fall can be a challenge - June 3, 2019
- Horton-Tucker, Norvell Jr. return to Chicago, where love of game began - May 21, 2019
Thursday, Feb. 7 — the day the NBA Trade Machine crashes, the day Twitter users obsessively refresh their feeds every few seconds, and the day basketball fans get a taste for how the second half of the season could unfold.
Once 3 p.m. ET rolls around, the stage will be set and the complexion of the NBA will change.
Here is a look at 20 players who could be on the move later this week…
- Anthony Davis
Contract: 2 years, $52.5 million ($28.7 million player option for 2020-21)
Aside from DeMarcus Cousins, general manager Dell Demps has failed in pairing Davis with another transcendent star. The Celtics, Lakers and Bucks are still looking for someone to team with Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, but putting together a trade package for one of the game’s best is no easy task. A ‘handful’ of teams are reportedly on Davis’ list for long-term deals, so this could just be a matter of which of those teams is willing to part with the most assets.
Potential Destinations: Lakers, Celtics, Bucks, Knicks, any team on ‘The List’
- Nikola Mirotic
Contract: 1 year, $12.5 million
With an expiring contract, Mirotic — if healthy — could provide an immediate boost to a playoff-bound roster. He is averaging career-bests in points (16.7), rebounds (8.3) and points per 100 possessions (117), with a recent calf injury being one of the few downsides to a deadline deal.
Potential Destinations: 76ers, Jazz
- Marc Gasol
Contract: 1 year, 24.1 million ($25.6 million player option for 2019-20)
When Gasol inked a five-year, $113 million max contract with the Grizzlies, his intentions were to be part of a winning franchise. Memphis, just like the Pelicans, has failed in doing so. Gasol, 34, is not having his best year, and his player option could make him more of a rental — an obstacle to getting a trade done by Thursday.
Potential Destinations: Spurs, Trail Blazers
- Mike Conley
Contract: 2 years, $63 million ($34.5 million player option for 2020-21)
It feels like the end to an era in Memphis, which likely means that Conley, too, could be on the move. The Ohio State product has done nothing but re-establish his value after undergoing season-ending left heel surgery last campaign. His 26.9 usage rate in 2018-19 is a career-high, and only eight other point guards in the NBA average 20-or-more points per game.
Potential Destinations: Jazz, Pistons
- Kevin Love
Contract: 5 years, $145 million
The Cavaliers are in no rush to play Love after his left toe surgery, as they are likely hoping to lock up a top-three pick in this year’s NBA draft. The Trail Blazers’ run-and-gun, transition style fits Love’s outlet-passing ability perfectly, but he just signed a long-term deal and reportedly there is mutual interest for him staying in Cleveland.
Potential Destinations: Trail Blazers, Nuggets
- Aaron Gordon
Contract: 4 years, $80 million
Gordon is playing a career-high 33.7 minutes per game while shooting a career-best 34.9 percent from distance — a sign that his skillset is evolving. Rather than just dunking and bruising for baskets in the paint, Gordon is stretching the floor, taking on a larger workload and giving a balanced, versatile effort on offense (1.3 offensive win shares) and defense (1.8 defensive win shares) this year. His de-escalating contract is attractive to any team in need of a budding star.
Potential Destinations: Trail Blazers, Kings, Nets
- C.J. McCollum
Contract: 3 years, $82.5 million
McCollum has taken a step back in 2018-19, registering career-worsts in three-point percentage (35.9 percent) and defensive points allowed per 100 possessions (113). Portland is still a top team in the West, but most of that has to do with the contributions of Damian Lillard (7.6 win shares), Jusuf Nurkic (5.4) and Al-Farouq Aminu (4.1) — not so much McCollum (3.8).
Potential Destinations: Magic, Cavaliers
- Tobias Harris
Contract: 1 year, $14.8 million
Harris on the trading block sounds familiar — really, really familiar. The seven-year veteran has swapped teams on six different occasions, so he might be a little tired of hearing these rumors and speculations. Regardless, he is having the best season of his career on an expiring contract, while the Lakers are about to leap past his Clippers for the West’s No. 8 seed. Seven years in the NBA could equate to seven trades in the NBA for Harris.
Potential Destinations: Jazz, Nuggets
- Nikola Vucevic
Contract: 1 year, $12.7 million
Is Mo Bamba the answer? If so, then the Magic need to consider moving on from Vucevic. If not, re-signing Vucevic to a lucrative deal still feels unlikely for a team that last made the playoffs in 2011-12. While Anthony Davis is undoubtedly the biggest name on the frontcourt market, Vucevic — who recently landed an All-Star Game selection — is arguably the best value.
Potential Destinations: Lakers, Celtics, Spurs
- Otto Porter Jr.
Contract: 2 years, $53.2 million ($28.4 million player option for 2020-21)
Porter Jr. is another name that has taken a step back, with an offensive rating falling from 120 to 110 and a defensive rating rising from 107 to 110 — and a role moving from the starting lineup to the bench. The Wizards are still on the outside looking in, and an athletic, sharpshooting wing is usually a hot commodity in the NBA.
Potential Destinations: Mavericks, Jazz, Trail Blazers
- Jabari Parker
Contract: 1 year, $20 million ($20 million team option for 2019-20)
Bringing Parker home to Chicago has not worked out. The former No. 2 pick is scoring a career-low 100 points per 100 possessions, and allowing a career-high 112 points per 100 possessions. Three turnovers per game might be the icing on the cake. The Bulls have no reason to keep Parker, and a change of scenery would be beneficial for the once highly touted forward.
Potential Destinations: Lakers, Jazz
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Contract: 1 year, $12 million
The problem here is that Caldwell-Pope can veto any trade involving him — his agent is Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. If reports are true, though, then he could re-establish his value in Chicago via a trade for Jabari Parker. KCP has a career-high 53 percent effective field-goal percentage, but only a 16.8 percent usage rate and 23.9-minute-per-game workload — both his lowest since 2013-14. He needs to play more.
Potential Destination: Bulls
- Reggie Bullock
Contract: 1 year, $2.5 million
Bullock’s deal is shaping out to be one of the biggest bargains in the NBA this season. He is scoring a career-high 12 points per game, and, most importantly, proving he is a legitimate talent that should always have a place to play for the rest of his career. The Lakers have reportedly been linked to Bullock, but the Pistons are likely asking for more than what is being offered.
Potential Destination: Lakers
- Thon Maker
Contract: 2 years, $6.3 million ($4.8 million qualifying offer for 2020-21)
When the Bucks beat the Wizards this past Sunday, 131-115, Maker was the only active player not to log any minutes. As a former lottery pick that has lived in the shadow of Brook Lopez thus far, the demand for a trade — and larger role — is understandable. Maker wants a chance to prove himself, and a non-contending team gives him that opportunity.
Potential Destinations: Hawks, Suns, Bulls, Knicks, Cavaliers
- Brandon Knight
Contract: 2 years, $30.2 million
This is the epitome of a bad contract, as Knight just has not been able to stay healthy and make much of an impact during his limited time on the court. The Rockets are reportedly willing to attach a first-round pick in a deal for Knight, so the Cavaliers (Alec Burks) and Grizzlies (Garrett Temple) might be suitors to take on the deal for the sake of gaining an asset.
Potential Destinations: Grizzlies, Cavaliers
- Taurean Prince
Contract: 2 years, $5.9 million ($4.7 million qualifying offer for 2020-21)
Prince is scoring more points and allowing more points at the same time, while his minutes have decreased and offensive efficiency has increased. His role has never really remained the same this year (27 starts, eight games off the bench), with an ankle injury sandwiched in between. The Hawks are not prioritizing Prince in their plans, and a first-round pick could spark a deadline deal.
Potential Destinations: Trail Blazers, 76ers
- Jeremy Lin
Contract: 1 year, $12.5 million
If Atlanta’s goal is to “stay young” and “keep the books clean,” then trading Lin makes sense. Frank Mason III and Yogi Ferrell are far from ideal backup point guards for the Kings, and the same applies to Seth Curry and the Trail Blazers. Lin is shooting a career-high 46.9 percent from the field on a career-best 112 offensive rating — a high floor for any team looking to add depth.
Potential Destinations: Kings, Trail Blazers, Nets, Spurs, Jazz
- Enes Kanter
Contract: 1 year, $18.6 million
Kanter finds himself listed below the likes of DeAndre Jordan, Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson on David Fizdale’s depth chart. It has been an incredibly frustrating year for Kanter, and the fact that he is on an expiring contract severely hurts his value heading into free agency. With that said, an opportunity might open up if an organization sees a role for one of the league’s better rebounders.
Potential Destination: Kings
- Dewayne Dedmon
Contract: 1 year, $6.3 million
Similar to Lin, Dedmon is on a young team that has no reason to keep him. Dedmon has added the three-ball to his arsenal, and his willingness to spread the floor on offense while continuing to play premier defense makes him a worthy acquisition for teams bound for a middle seed in the postseason — perhaps a San Antonio reunion?
Potential Destinations: 76ers, Spurs
- Alec Burks
Contract: 1 years, 11.2 million
J.R. Smith is also on the trading block, but teams will likely prefer to add Burks, shed a bad contract and surrender a draft pick. Burks is finally healthy and putting up serviceable numbers, but his defensive rating rise from 109 to 117 is concerning. The expiring contract is what stands out most to other teams, and the opportunity to stockpile more picks is what stands out to the Cavs.
Potential Destinations: Rockets, Bucks