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Top trade candidates on each NBA team this season

NBA executives are beginning their due diligence for the upcoming trade market with December 15th approaching, the first day players who signed offseason contracts can be traded.

Below is the latest intel HoopsHype has gathered on the top trade candidates for all 30 NBA teams.

Atlanta Hawks: John Collins and Bogdan Bogdanovic

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Following the four-year, $95 million extension with forward De’Andre Hunter, rival NBA executives believe Atlanta will likely have to part with either forward John Collins, swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic, or center Clint Capela to avoid looming luxury tax concerns next season.

With former sixth overall pick Onyeka Okongwu waiting in the wings, executives seeking frontcourt upgrades are monitoring the trade availability of Collins and Capela. Collins is shooting a career-low 23.4 percent from three-point range and averaging 12.4 points, his lowest scoring output since his rookie season.

Of the three players listed, Bogdanovic is the most available, according to rival executives. Bogdanovic is owed $18 million this season and has an $18 million player option for the 2023-24 season.

It’s also worth noting that the Hawks are among several teams who’ve expressed interest in Suns forward Jae Crowder on the trade market.

Boston Celtics: Danilo Gallinari

Danlo Gallinari rebounding the ball
Danlo Gallinari rebounding the ball

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Most executives around the league don’t see the Celtics making a trade with the continuity of their young core. Should Boston want to tinker with its roster and improve its rotation depth, Danilo Gallinari’s $6.48 million salary can be used as a trade filler.

Brooklyn Nets: Joe Harris

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Brooklyn entered Sunday’s game ranking last in contested rebounds per game (11.6) and contested rebound percentage (28.7 percent), per NBA.com.

“The Nets need an upgrade at center with Joel Embiid, Bam Adebayo, Robert Williams, and other centers lurking in the East,” an NBA scout told HoopsHype. Other Eastern Conference centers not mentioned include Jarrett Allen, Brook Lopez, and Clint Capela.

If the Nets are going to upgrade their frontcourt, it could come at the expense of one of their shooters, Joe Harris or Seth Curry.

Harris’ $18.6 million salary makes him a potential salary filler should Brooklyn look to swing for the fences for a notable frontcourt upgrade such as John Collins or Myles Turner. Otherwise, Brooklyn could wait until the buyout market to add a traditional center for cheaper.

Curry is entering unrestricted free agency this summer. The Nets have a cheaper option in Patty Mills on the books for $6.8 million next season and promising young bench scorer Cam Thomas waiting for a more consistent opportunity.

Charlotte Hornets: Gordon Hayward and Kelly Oubre

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With Miles Bridges’ legal troubles and LaMelo Ball’s injury to start the season, the Hornets have struggled to compete and are near the cellar of the Eastern Conference.

Given Gordon Hayward’s age (32) and salary ($30 million), he’s a prime trade candidate for a Hornets team that looks closer to rebuilding than a playoff-caliber team going forward.

Kelly Oubre, who’s averaging a career-high 19.2 points per game, is also another name executives are watching. Oubre is in the final year of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Some around the league question whether Charlotte will want to spend to retain him in free agency.

Charlotte was also far apart during rookie-scale extension negotiations with forward PJ Washington, as previously reported on HoopsHype. After gauging the market on Washington’s value last season, Charlotte is expected to do so again leading up to the trade deadline.

Chicago Bulls: Coby White

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As noted on the most recent episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, given Coby White’s declining role and production for the third straight season, rival executives believe he’s a trade candidate for the Bulls.

After failing to agree to a rookie-scale contract extension, White will be eligible for a $9.9 million qualifying offer and restricted free agency this summer.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Cedi Osman

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When the Cavaliers expressed interest in acquiring Suns forward Jae Crowder, Cedi Osman’s name came up in the trade talks, league sources told HoopsHype. It’s not the first time, nor the last, his name will likely come up in trade talks leading up to February’s trade deadline.

With the recent insertion of Lamar Stevens into the starting lineup, Osman is now seeing less playing time behind Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, and Stevens.

Osman’s $7.4 million salary can easily fit into most trade discussions. Next season, Osman’s salary declines to $6.7 million, which could appeal to teams.

Dallas Mavericks: Dwight Powell

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Dwight Powell has regained his starting center role recently, but his expiring contract at $11 million will continue to make him a potential trade chip should Dallas find a suitable upgrade at center.

Denver Nuggets: Ish Smith

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Ish Smith has played for an NBA-record 13 teams and could add to his record total by February’s trade deadline. As noted by our HoopsHype salary cap expert, Yossi Gozlan, offloading Smith can reduce Denver’s luxury tax penalties by nearly half.

Due to the emergence of Bones Hyland, Smith is an expendable piece for the Nuggets but could add veteran experience to a depleted backcourt elsewhere.

Detroit Pistons: Bojan Bogdanovic

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When the Pistons extended Bojan Bogdanovic through the 2024-25 season, Detroit did so to give itself added optionality on a team-friendly deal with some financial security for the Bosnian forward.

With the team stuck in last place in the East, rival executives on playoff-caliber teams are monitoring Bogdanovic’s trade availability.

Veteran role players Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks are also trade candidates to watch closer to the deadline. Noel isn’t expected to finish the season with Detroit, HoopsHype has learned. Burks has gotten off to a torrid start since returning to the lineup and is expected to draw interest from playoff-caliber teams closer to the trade deadline.

Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman

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Golden State has had a championship hangover to start the season, but most rival executives don’t expect the Warriors to push the panic button yet and make a trade.

Some executives also believed James Wiseman was headed for a breakout season, but it hasn’t materialized thus far. After falling behind JaMychal Green as Kevon Looney’s backup center, Wiseman was assigned to the G League to get more playing time and focus on his development.

With the NBA’s highest luxury tax bill, Golden State must decide whether to continue being patient with Wiseman or move him before his trade value diminishes further.

Houston Rockets: Eric Gordon

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While Rockets guard Eric Gordon has been a consummate professional, locker room mentor to Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr., and contributor for the Rockets, some around the league with close ties to Gordon believe he’d prefer to play for a contender.

Gordon has been linked to several playoff contenders, including the Suns and 76ers. With Houston towards the cellar of the league, more playoff-caliber teams are expected to circle the wagon on Gordon.

As noted on our HoopsHype Rockets salaries page, Gordon’s contract for the 2023-24 season is not fully guaranteed. It becomes guaranteed if not waived by June 28, 2023, if he makes the All-Star Game before the 2023-24 season, or if his team wins the NBA title and he has played at least 500 minutes in the regular season or 750 minutes between regular season and playoffs during that championship run.

Indiana Pacers: Myles Turner

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Myles Turner is the top center on the trade market in the midst of averaging career-highs in points (18.2), rebounds (8.9), field goal percentage (.547), and three-point percentage (.400).

As he told HoopsHype in an exclusive interview earlier this season, Turner wants to earn All-Defensive First Team honors and display his All-Star talent level and explained how he can be a part of Indiana’s rebuild going forward.

Turner is one of the top unrestricted free agents heading into the summer of 2023 in our HoopsHype rankings and is seeking over $20 million annually, as previously reported on the HoopsHype podcast.

The Pacers must decide whether they’re willing to pay Turner that kind of money long-term or trade him before the February deadline. If they don’t, he could walk for nothing.

Los Angeles Clippers: Robert Covington

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The Clippers are arguably the deepest team in the league, and Robert Covington has been the odd man out to start the season. Due to his defensive versatility, ability to stretch the floor as a veteran frontcourt player, and moveable salary ($12.3 million), Covington is a player worth monitoring.

Los Angeles Lakers: Russell Westbrook

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Before the season, the Lakers offered a lottery-protected first-round pick and Russell Westbrook to the Spurs for Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott, HoopsHype has learned. The Spurs, however, wanted an unprotected first-round pick for taking on Westbrook’s salary with the expectation he’d be waived, which the Lakers were unwilling to do, and talks stalled.

Since Lakers coach Darvin Ham moved Westbrook to the bench, the former MVP has played with more joy and been more efficient. As a reserve, Westbrook is averaging 16.8 points on 43.6 percent shooting from the field and 39.6 percent from downtown, with 8.6 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game.

While some combination of Rob Pelinka, Myles Turner, and Buddy Hield has been trending topics on Twitter after each Lakers loss, many rival executives believe acquiring both players won’t make Los Angeles a contender in the West. Some executives believe the Lakers will stand pat and ride out the Westbrook experiment if he continues to produce off the bench.

Memphis Grizzlies: Danny Green

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Memphis is expected to keep its young core intact and continue to try and build on its continuity and last season’s success.

Should the Grizzlies look to tinker with its rotation depth, Danny Green’s expiring contract could be used as a trade chip. As previously reported by HoopsHype colleague Yossi Gozlan and myself, Green’s $10 million salary will become fully guaranteed if he’s not waived by January 10, the league-wide cutdown date. Green’s guaranteed amount was increased to $6,964,781 to be traded to Memphis.

Miami Heat: Duncan Robinson

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With the emergence of Max Strus and Caleb Martin, Miami has made Duncan Robinson available in trade talks, league sources told HoopsHype.

Robinson is shooting a career-low 35.4 percent from the field and has moved to a full-time reserve role for the first time since his rookie season. He’s owed $57.49 million over the next three seasons if you include his player option for the 2025-26 season, as noted in our Heat salaries page.

Miami is just $163,000 below the luxury tax this season, as calculated by our HoopsHype salary cap expert Yossi Golzan. Next season, Miami is projected to be $19 million over the luxury tax. Moving Robinson and another player on the books for next season could get Miami below the tax.

Milwaukee Bucks: Grayson Allen

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Bucks guard Grayson Allen was discussed in trade talks for Suns forward Jae Crowder, league sources told HoopsHype. With Pat Connaughton set to return to action, Allen could become expendable for Milwaukee with the Bucks searching for frontcourt help.

Minnesota Timberwolves: D’Angelo Russell

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Following the blockbuster acquisition of Rudy Gobert, Minnesota’s draft capital is depleted after going all in to be a Western Conference contender this season.

The most coveted asset on the Timberwolves is forward Jaden McDaniels, according to numerous NBA executives. However, Minnesota has declined to move him in numerous trade offers over the years, has made him a full-time starter this season, and views him as a core member of the Timberwolves looking ahead.

D’Angelo Russell’s expiring $31.3 million contract is Minnesota’s most realistic trade asset to reshape the roster.

New Orleans Pelicans: Devonte’ Graham and Jaxson Hayes

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With Larry Nance Jr playing minutes at backup center, Jaxson Hayes has been banished to the bench. Guard Devonte’ Graham has seen his minutes cut in half compared to last season after becoming a full-time reserve.

The Pelicans will likely be over the luxury tax by $10 million next year. Trading Graham, cutting Garrett Temple, and not bringing back Hayes, who’s eligible for a $9.17 million qualifying offer, would get them below that threshold.

New York Knicks: Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, Evan Fournier

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Tom Thibodeau is on the hot seat with the Knicks, according to SNY’s Ian Begley, and so could his longtime point guard, Derrick Rose.

Given Rose’s diminished role this season, the chances of New York exercising his $15.6 million team option for next season and being a part of the future appear slimmer by the day. If Rose is traded to a contender looking to upgrade at backup point guard for future draft pick compensation, his contract can effectively be treated as an expiring deal.

Immanuel Quickley has also come up in trade conversations, according to multiple reports, despite a slow start to the season, shooting a career-low 35.6 percent from the field and 27 percent from downtown.

While Evan Fournier has fallen out of the rotation for the Knicks, New York is reluctant to attach a future first-round pick to move the French swingman at this time, league sources told HoopsHype. Fournier is owed $18 million this season, $18.86 million next season, and a $19 million team option for the 2024-25 season.

Miles McBride is another player NBA executives around the league believe is available, given New York’s logjam at point guard. McBride has shown flashes in the G League and Summer League action as a defender.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Mike Muscala

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Thunder center Mike Muscala is the team’s elder statesman at 31. With a lack of veteran backup centers who can stretch the floor, Muscala could be a trade target closer to February. When Muscala was a free agent, roughly 10 teams expressed exploratory interest in him before he re-signed with Oklahoma City, HoopsHype has learned.

Orlando Magic: Terrence Ross and Gary Harris

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After starting Orlando’s first eight games of the season, Terrence Ross moved to a reserve role. With a glut of young players vying for playing time, Ross’ time in Orlando could end by the trade deadline.

Veteran guard Gary Harris is also a trade candidate to watch, given his $13 million salary for next season is non-guaranteed, which effectively makes him an expiring contract for Orlando to dangle.

Philadelphia 76ers: Matisse Thybulle and Forkan Korkmaz

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Philadelphia is about $1.1 million over the luxury tax, as calculated by Yossi Golzan. Given their limited roles this season, Matisse Thybulle, Forkan Korkmaz, and Jaden Springer could each be trade candidates to help the 76ers avoid that luxury tax bill.

Phoenix Suns: Jae Crowder

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Jae Crowder is the player executives around the league are monitoring closely as the player most likely to be traded. Despite Cameron Johnson’s torn meniscus that’s expected to sideline him 1-2 months, there’s still no expectation Crowder will return to the Suns. Several teams, including the Bucks, Hawks, Heat, and others, have expressed interest in Crowder.

Landry Shamet could also be included in a Crowder trade package for a player with a higher salary.

Portland Trail Blazers: Justise Winslow

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Portland’s acquisition of Jerami Grant, the healthy return of Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic, and the rise of young players Anfernee Simons and rookie Shaedon Sharpe have helped the Trail Blazers become one of the top teams in the West.

Should Portland decide it wants to tinker with the roster and add a backup center upgrade, Justise Winslow’s $4.1 million expiring salary could be used to facilitate such a trade.

Sacramento Kings: Richaun Holmes

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Since a breakout campaign during the 2020-21 season, Kings center Richaun Holmes has seen his role reduced drastically two seasons later. Holmes is owed a combined $36.14 million, including his player option through the 2024-25 season.

Fellow backup Kings center Alex Len is also another trade candidate with an expiring $3.92 million deal for this season.

San Antonio Spurs: Josh Richardson and Jakob Poeltl

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As noted above, the Lakers offered a lottery protected first-round pick and Russell Westbrook for Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott before the season. However, the Spurs wanted an unprotected first-round pick that Los Angeles was unwilling to sacrifice, which led to talks stalling.

With the Spurs towards the bottom of the West, Richardson is expected to draw interest from playoff-caliber teams looking to bolster their backcourt before entering unrestricted free agency this summer.

Jakob Poeltl could join Myles Turner as the top centers on the trade market if San Antonio decides his projected free agency market will be too high this summer. The most San Antonio could’ve offered was a four-year, $58 million extension, but the two sides failed to agree before the season. With the league’s lowest payroll, San Antonio will have enough cap space to retain him. Teams looking for a center upgrade at the deadline will be closely monitoring Poeltl’s potential availability.

Toronto Raptors: Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby

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The two most notable Raptors players who could be mentioned in trade rumors this season are Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby should Toronto explore the possibility of adding a traditional center or making a blockbuster upgrade at shooting guard.

Trent has an $18.8 million player option for next season and is currently projected as one of the top free agents on the market looking ahead to the summer of 2023.

Toronto was unwilling to part with OG Anunoby for the seventh overall pick in the 2022 draft, according to multiple reports, but that won’t stop teams from coveting him. Anunoby currently leads the NBA in steals per game (2.5).

Toronto could get into the luxury tax next season, assuming Fred VanVleet and Trent opt out and re-sign for significant raises.

Utah Jazz: Malik Beasley

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Amid Utah’s surprising start to the season, Malik Beasley has led the NBA’s top-scoring bench unit in scoring (14.1 points) while shooting a career-best 43 percent from beyond the arc and 61.4 percent true shooting percentage.

With a $15.56 million salary this season and a team option for $16.52 next season, Beasley’s contract makes him a potential trade chip for Utah.

Jazz owner Ryan Smith is said to be a fan of Jordan Clarkson, HoopsHype has learned. There’s a palpable buzz around the league that Utah will look to sign Clarkson to an extension rather than trade him.

Washington Wizards: Will Barton, Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura

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After locking up Bradley Beal in July and a healthy start to the season from Kristaps Porzingis, Washington hopes to return to the playoffs.

The Wizards have Will Barton’s expiring contract ($14.38 million), young forwards Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura, and future draft compensation to dangle in trade talks to land an upgrade at another position.

You can follow Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) on Twitter. 

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Story originally appeared on HoopsHype