The 2019 NBA offseason has been one for the history books. With a plethora of talent on the move, headlined by the Los Angeles Clippers’ recent acquisitions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, it appears that nobody’s position on a roster is safe anymore.
With George on the move and the Oklahoma City Thunder primed for a rebuild, all speculation points to Russell Westbrook as a key trade candidate. However, Westbrook isn’t the only player in the league that could be moved prior to the start of the season.
Here are five other potential players that could be dealt in the coming months.
With the Oklahoma City roster teardown in full effect, center Steven Adams could be the next casualty. This past season, Adams started in 80 games for the Thunder and averaged 13.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. A solid big man in the league, Adams could be a quality addition to a variety of contenders in both conferences.
For the Thunder, having just traded George and actively open to moving Westbrook, it doesn’t make sense to keep Adams. He’s currently set to make over $25 million for the next two seasons and would be great trade bait for the Thunder to bring in even more future assets. An OKC rebuild is clearly in the midst of happening and it remains very unlikely that Adams is a member of the Thunder come next season at this juncture.
After helping the Toronto Raptors win their first NBA title in franchise history, Kyle Lowry could be on the move just one year later. With Leonard announcing his move to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Raptors went from being Finals favorites again to a middle-tier team in the Eastern Conference Finals. At 33-years old, Lowry is heading towards the back end of his career. Although he’s beloved in Toronto and thrived during his time as a member of the Raptors, it may make sense for both sides to move on.
For Lowry, a trade from the Raptors to a contender gives him a chance to win another title in the last few years of his career. For Toronto, trading Lowry after his strong performances throughout the team’s playoff run will give them the most assets they could ever get in return for him. It’s been a good run for Lowry in Toronto, but nothing will ever top what they were able to accomplish this season. Now is the perfect time for both sides to move on and get what they want for the future.
Although he’s only 23-years old, Myles Turner has shown flashes of becoming an upper-echelon big man in the league. This past season, he averaged 13.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game for the fifth-seed Indiana Pacers. While the frontcourt of Turner and Domantas Sabonis is quite strong, the Pacers may look to deal Turner in exchange for a solid two-way wing to complement Victor Oladipoand ease his load coming back from an ugly injury that ended his 20198-19 season. This was made more likely in light of Indiana selecting foreign big man Goga Bitadze with their first pick of this year’s draft.
With Turner signing a four-year, $80 million extension in 2018, it would make sense for the Pacers to look to move him over Sabonis, who is still on his rookie deal. They wouldn’t move him for nothing, but if another team offers up a rotational and cheap wing who could make a difference come playoff time, they’ll have to at least think about it.
A name that’s been hovering in trade rumors for months now, Bradley Beal remains a likely trade candidate prior to this upcoming season. Although the Washington Wizards have remained consistent in their desire to keep Beal, their franchise is in a state of flux, and nothing is certain. With John Wall likely out for the entirety of the upcoming season, Washington will likely boast one of the worst teams in the entire Eastern Conference in 2019-2020. Instead of holding onto Beal and surrounding him with an awful supporting cast, it makes the most sense for the Wizards to deal him this offseason for a variety of future assets.
The Wizards plan to hold onto Beal at the moment, but with a variety of teams such as the Miami Heat looking to add another star, the Wizards may be offered a deal for Beal that will be too good to resist. All things considered, a hard reset may be the best thing for the franchise, especially since Beal’s lengthy injury history makes him a questionable foundation for their future.
At 34-years old, Chris Paul is under a max contract for the next three seasons. Arguably one of the worst deals in the league right alongside Westbrook’s, Paul is set to make upwards of $44 million in the final year of his deal after turning 36. Although the Houston Rockets have shot down rumors of turmoil between James Harden and Paul, it would not be surprising to see the Rockets try and dump Paul’s large contract. At that point, it’s just a matter of which team would be willing to take it on.
He’s not the player he once was, but Paul is still a top-tier starting point guard. This past season, he averaged 15.6 points and 8.2 assists per game. While Paul is aging and set to make a large salary for year’s to come, a variety of teams could be calling to add the experienced point guard to their current roster. It would take cap gymnastics, but Daryl Morey has never been afraid to gamble, and shaking up Houston’s core outside of Harden may be the only path towards a championship.