The Whiteboard: What does the NBA trade market look like right now?

NBA Trade Rumors, The Whiteboard

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NBA trade rumors are slowly heating up but with James Harden now in Brooklyn, it’s hard to tell where the next big deal is going to come from. Today we’re taking a quick spin around the league to see where things stand.

Which players are actually on the NBA trade market?

According to Shams Charania, the New Orleans Pelicans have been “receiving calls on Lonzo Ball and J.J. Redick from interested teams and have shown openness to discussing both.” It’s hard to tell exactly where the Pelicans are right now but they have an interesting mix of players and future picks that could be packaged together if a top-tier player were to become available. Players like Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe have contracts that could be useful for salary matching. Brian Windhorst has also reported that the Pelicans are beginning to field calls on Bledsoe, specifically.

There was a report earlier this week that the Nets were “in active discussions” about a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for JaVale McGee. That was five days ago and nothing has happened since, so take it with a grain of salt. The fact remains that someone in the Cavaliers’ frontcourt is probably going to get traded before the end of the year. They currently have McGee, Jarrett Allen, Kevin Love, Andre Drummond and Larry Nance in the midst of a career-year. Drummond is an expiring and the Cavaliers probably don’t want to re-sign him with Allen in the fold. There has been talk that the Nets would like to grab Drummond on a buyout but it’s hard to imagine the Cavs couldn’t get something for him in a trade.

Which players are probably not on the NBA trade market right now?

Bradley Beal is the biggest prize on the hypothetical trade market right now and that’s not likely to change any time soon, given his obvious frustration and the Wizards’ woeful record. But he keeps saying he wants to win in Washington and Woj has said that teams don’t really think the Wizards are ready to listen to serious offers yet.

Kelly Oubre Jr. popped up in a rumor last week around a potential deal with the Pelicans. But comments from Steve Kerr made it sounds like this was vastly overblown and the Warriors aren’t actually interested in shopping Oubre right now.

Which NBA teams are looking to make a trade?

The Brooklyn Nets are the most obvious candidate, with their big man depth depleted in the James Harden trade. However, the lack of depth (and picks) means it’s also hard to facilitate another trade so their depth may end up coming later in the season on the buyout market.

The Pelicans are obviously exploring their trade options and with their playoff chances spiraling the drain, the odds of them making a deal go up considerably. However, they’re likely to be trying to maximize future value rather than pursuing any specific pieces so it will depend a lot on what other teams are interested in and willing to offer.

As mentioned above, the Cavaliers have a glut of useful big men and will probably be trying to flip one or two of them for something with more future value (and to clear center minutes for Jarrett Allen).

Short of teams leaping into the trade market if Beal becomes available, there aren’t a whole lot of organizations with short-term pressure to make a trade. Teams at the bottom of the standings will be keeping an eye on the fringe contenders looking for an upgrade, hoping to pounce and add future value. But unless Beal reaches a breaking point, we’re probably weeks away from things really heating up.

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