Trade rumor rankings: Anthony Davis, Julius Randle and more
After a brief hiatus, we’re back with another installment of our NBA trade rumor rankings series, where we rank the five players who have appeared most often on our Trade Rumors page over the past week, as there’s just too much to talk about on the trade market for us to stay away much longer.
From superstars playing on the most popular teams in the league to two talented players suiting up for a small-market team that is still early on in a rebuild, this week’s edition has plenty of intriguing names as part of it.
Let’s jump right into the action.
Anthony Davis (LA Lakers)
We start off with the biggest name on our list this week and a somewhat surprising one, as it would be downright shocking if the Los Angeles Lakers, struggling as they might be, actually went through with trading Anthony Davis, the 1B to LeBron James’ 1A in the franchise’s current iteration.
And yet, that’s what ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported to be a possibility just this week:
The Los Angeles Lakers will keep their options open to improve the roster in the offseason, which includes potentially trading Anthony Davis, as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst predicted Tuesday on Get Up: “I think it will be something that’s discussed,” Windhorst said of a Davis trade (3:20).
Davis remains one of the best big men in the league and an absolutely disruptive two-way force, but the best ability is availability as they say, and too often over the past two seasons, the former Kentucky standout has found himself on the sideline in street clothes during Lakers games.
Could that actually lead to a Davis trade out of Los Angeles?
Unlikely, says Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer:
Jake Fischer on a potential Anthony Davis trade: I don’t think they will (trade him) at all, from what I’ve been told and the fact that what they gave up to New Orleans to get him… I mean the Lakers went all in on pairing Anthony Davis with the Bron for as long as that pairing could stand and I’d be shocked if it came to a close this offseason.
But crazier things have happened in the NBA, and with James still fending off Father Time, the Lakers may feel motivated to shake things up to make another run at a championship with the GOAT candidate before his game does start to fall off.
For the latest on the Anthony Davis trade front, click here.
Russell Westbrook (LA Lakers)
The Lakers were unable to trade Russell Westbrook by the deadline this year but there’s little doubt the purple-and-gold franchise will attempt to do so again this offseason.
And perhaps the fact that Westbrook will be in the final year of his monstrous contract in 2022-23 (he’ll still be the league’s fourth highest-paid player next year at $47.1 million) could make a trade for the triple-double machine more feasible this summer.
Or maybe not, says Marc Stein, who reported last week that there’s no appetite league-wide for a Westbrook trade:
Marc Stein: I haven’t heard of any team that has changed its appetite for taking Russell Westbrook in via trade.
Further, Fischer added that we can rule out the New York Knicks as a potential suitor for the explosive point guard:
A new report indicates that the New York Knicks are not interested in the idea of adding Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report spoke with Marc Stein and indicated that the Knicks’ lack of interest has been evident for a while. ”I pitched the idea to Knicks people time and again going back to the deadline, and they have no interest,” Fischer said. “… Everything I’ve heard is that New York is trying to grow this group as it is and mix and match a few parts and move forward.”
Still, perhaps by adding future draft capital or a player like Talen Horton-Tucker to the pot, the Lakers may be able to get out from under the Westbrook trade this summer. It may be their best hope for a quick turnaround back towards contention next season.
For the latest on the Russell Westbrook trade front, click here.
Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana)
There’s no doubt the Indiana Pacers are currently in the midst of a rebuild, a transition that was signaled by the trade of Domantas Sabonis. And considering the player they got back for Sabonis, Tyrese Haliburton, is so promising and plays the same position as one Malcolm Brogdon, that has led to a lot of speculation that Brogdon could be the next player shipped out of Indiana this offseason.
Our own Michael Scotto reported as such just this week:
Several executives believe Indiana will certainly be open to trading him this offseason as the Pacers look to build around their young backcourt core of Tyrese Haliburton and Chris Duarte. Some executives believed his contract extension and being under team control for three seasons looking ahead makes him more appealing. Others were scared off and a little bit on the fence due to his injury history.
The one thing that may have saved Brogdon from getting traded this deadline was the fact that the extension he signed prevented the Pacers from doing so.
That extension, by the way, runs through 2024-25 and will pay the former Virginia Cavalier $22.5 million that season, so whatever team does want to trade for Brogdon will have to really covet the point guard’s skill set, as the money owed to him, his age (he’s 29) and recent injury history makes Brogdon look like just an average asset.
Still, when healthy, Brogdon is in the upper half of NBA point guards, as he can score, shoot, create, rebound and defend at decent-to-good levels, so it’s not like his contract is a total albatross, either.
For the latest on the Malcolm Brogdon trade front, click here.
Myles Turner (Indiana)
Despite some inconsistencies on the offensive end and on the glass, Myles Turner is still a very solid big man, particularly in the modern game thanks to his shooting and rim-protecting abilities.
As such, even though his season has been a wash (he’ll finish the campaign with just 42 games played), our own Scotto reported this week that rival teams still view Turner as a plus-asset, one that would be able to fetch back solid draft capital if he does get traded this offseason:
Michael Scotto: I spoke with four NBA executives who told me they believe Myles Turner can still get a protected first-round pick outside the lottery if he’s traded this offseason.
Scotto and veteran Pacers reporter Scott Agness also shared a list of teams who might show interest in Turner. Those mentioned in the podcast were the Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and the Lakers.
It’ll be interesting to see which direction Indiana decides to go in regards to Turner this offseason, as next year will be the final one on his current contract. They could opt to trade him or extend him, that situation is totally up in the air at the moment.
For the latest on the Myles Turner trade front, click here.
Julius Randle (New York)
A stir arose in the Big Apple this week as a report from the New York Post said that Julius Randle could try and force his way out of New York this offseason after the Knicks lost one of his biggest allies, assistant coach Kenny Payne, and that New York could try to shop him come summer time:
But some people around the league feel he’s acting in a “James Harden type of way” that suggests he wants a new place of work next season. Randle has lost his strongest ally in assistant coach Kenny Payne, his former mentor at Kentucky who left this month to be the head coach at Louisville. Some NBA sources believe the Knicks will shop Randle for a package revolving around a center if they lose Mitchell Robinson.
After that, Randle was booed by Knicks fans during his next appearance for the club. Randle responded to the rumors by vehemently denying them, first telling the media the following:
Julius Randle asked about unconfirmed WFAN report that stated he asked management for a trade after Monday’s game vs. CHI: “That’s just not true bro, it’s just not true. It’s just as simple as that.”
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) March 31, 2022
Randle would further go on to confirm his commitment to the Knicks (via, ironically enough, the New York Post):
Leading scorer Julius Randle reasserted his commitment to the organization and New York after Wednesday’s game, amid rumblings he could seek to force a trade in the offseason. Randle heard some boos during pregame introductions, but he believes the Knicks can get back to the playoffs next season following an admittedly frustrating year personally and collectively. “Yeah, absolutely, everything is a lesson, you learn from experiences like these and keep moving forward,” Randle said.
“Hey look. This is the best place in the league to play, and I’ve been just about every place. So I’m speaking from experience,” Thibodeau said. “This place is special. The fans are passionate, we know what basketball means to this city. “We’ve got to give them something to be proud of. We’ve got to come out, we’ve got to play hard. We’ve got to play for each other. We’ve got to play smart. And if we do that, sometimes — you could lose a game and play well. You’ve got to remember; the other team’s pretty good, too. Last year was different, was a different year. … But you’ve got to keep battling with it every day. And that’s where it lies.”
Either way, this Knicks season has been an abject disaster, so changes could be in store for the club. Might those changes involve a trade involving their All-Star big man, Randle?
We’ll find out this summer.
For the latest on the Julius Randle trade front, click here.