Trade rumor rankings: Bradley Beal, Christian Wood and more

The trade market is awfully quiet in the NBA right now but sometimes, that’s what happens right before we see a surprise trade go down.

After all, who would have thought the Boston Celtics would have traded Noah Vonleh as they did last week? Sure, it was a meaningless deal as Vonleh was waived by the San Antonio Spurs but still, you just never know for sure what’s going on behind the scenes in the NBA.

Below, check out our latest trade rumor rankings, where we rank the five players who have appeared most often in trade rumors over the previous week, as judged by appearances on our trade page.

Bradley Beal (Washington)

bradley beal
bradley beal

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Despite being under contract at least through 2025-26, the trade scuttle around Bradley Beal has started to rise again as the Washington Wizards sit at 17-23 with Beal sitting out due to a hamstring injury.

Action Network’s Matt Moore reported this week that personnel around the NBA have started to wonder if it’s just a matter of time until the former Florida standout asks for a trade from the Wizards:

Personnel around the league have speculated whether it’s a matter of when and not if Beal asks out, but Wizards President Tommy Sheppard has consistently shot down that idea. I mention it here because even teams with no reason to trade for Beal wonder where his future career intentions lie.

However, our own Michael Scotto said this week that Washington, despite the rumors, still plans to build around Beal:

While some around the league speculated that Bradley Beal could be flipped down the line after signing his max contract, Wizards management has planned to build around Beal and wants to retain Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma long-term if they opt out in free agency and find a fourth core player alongside their trio to build around and contend in the East.

It’s doubtful Washington will do anything too drastic this season with regard to Beal’s future but at some point, both parties might realize winning a championship together isn’t realistic and decide to move on.

Either way, the Wizards have to do a better job of finding talent through the draft, as missing so frequently with first-round picks has doomed them in the Beal era.

For the latest Bradley Beal trade rumors and salary info, click here.

Zach LaVine (Chicago)

zach lavine
zach lavine

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Although things are looking brighter for Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls of late, that hasn’t stopped the trade rumors surrounding his name.

Just this week, our own Scotto reported that the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks as teams interested in the explosive 2-guard.

Bulls insider KC Johnson also reported this week that LaVine has privately questioned his role in Chicago:

NBC Sports Chicago Insider K.C. Johnson said Bulls guard Zach LaVine “privately has questioned” his role standing amongst the franchise in a Monday edition of the “Bulls Talk Podcast.” “I sourced that out,” Johnson said. “The Athletic started it, and then I did some checking. Zach’s a professional, he’s a team player, but he’s got a lot of confidence in himself. “This is not like him being jealous of (forward DeMar DeRozan). He knows how good DeMar DeRozan is.”

With the Bulls having won seven of their last 10 games and with LaVine’s play improving over that stretch, we could see the scuttle surrounding him start to dissipate a bit as we get nearer the trade deadline. It seems unlikely an all-in Chicago team would choose to trade its best player, anyway.

For the latest Zach LaVine trade rumors and salary info, click here.

Christian Wood (Dallas)

christian wood
christian wood

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks big man Christian Wood has seen his game reach another level recently, as he has put up 21.3 points and 8.2 rebounds over his last six games, five of which have been wins for Dallas, while playing much-improved defense.

That has led the Mavericks to open contract extension talks with the talented power forward, according to multiple reports.

However, Marc Stein also reported this week that if Dallas can’t come to terms with Wood on a new deal, it could explore a trade for the 27-year-old:

If the Mavericks can’t come to terms with Christian Wood on a new contract, they are widely expected to explore the trade market for him before the league’s Feb. 9 trade deadline to prevent exposing themselves to the loss of another productive player without compensation on the heels of Jalen Brunson’s free-agent departure to New York. The Rockets, though, found that market limited until Dallas’ interest emerged before the draft.

Wood, on the final year of his contract, would certainly attract a ton of interest on the trade market if things get to that point, as his floor-spacing and shot-blocking are valuable tools for any modern big man.

For the latest Christian Wood trade rumors and salary info, click here.

Caris LeVert (Cleveland)

caris levert
caris levert

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers swingman Caris LeVert came up in a couple of trade rumors this week, both interesting to fans of the NBA.

First, Chris Fedor reported that people around the league believe LeVert to be Cleveland’s best trade asset right now:

Chris Fedor: I’ve talked to a few different people around the NBA and they believe that Caris LeVert is the best asset that the Cavs have in terms of a trade because he can help teams right now. And he can also help their salary because he’s an expiring contract. And beyond that, his salary number matches a lot of guys that are perceived to be available around the NBA.

We have to assume Fedor means LeVert is Cleveland’s best realistic trade asset because he couldn’t have meant the player averaging 12.6 points on 40.8 percent shooting this season is a better trade asset than a Year-2 Evan Mobley still on his rookie deal, expiring contract or not.

Regardless, Jake Fischer followed that up later in the week by reporting Cleveland is open to discussing trades for LeVert but can’t expect too much in exchange for the former Wolverine:

The Cavaliers do appear open to discussing LeVert, but moving him now would come at far lower value than the first-round pick and multiple second-rounders Indiana netted for his services a season ago. When Cleveland evaluates potential deadline acquisitions, LeVert will be the comparative barometer as to how much any possible starting-level addition moves the needle

LeVert is still just 28 and possesses a unique scoring ability, though the addition of Donovan Mitchell and the development of Darius Garland has sort of made him the odd man out in Cleveland, so a trade could do LeVert some good, production-wise.

For the latest Caris LeVert trade rumors and salary info, click here.

Jae Crowder (Phoenix)

jae crowder
jae crowder

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Yet to play a minute this season, Jae Crowder remains the likeliest player to be traded by the deadline, though we’re not sure when or to where that will happen.

This week, Fischer reported that the Phoenix Suns have remained steadfast in their want of a playoff-caliber rotation player in exchange for Crowder:

A smaller salary player, such as Jae Crowder, would seem to make sense on the surface, although Phoenix has stood its ground on Crowder, sources said, demanding a playoff-caliber player in return.

Brian Windhorst, meanwhile, reported that the Suns have looked into three-team deals for Crowder and that they might have to lower their standards if they want to find a deal for the veteran swingman:

The Phoenix Suns apparently drive a hard bargain at the negotiating table. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported at the 28:17 mark of his Hoop Collective podcast Thursday that it’s “challenging to do trade business with the Suns.” One example is the ongoing Jae Crowder situation. “On the Jae Crowder front, one the issues is that there isn’t a straight-up trade the Suns have liked for him, so they’ve tried to do these three-team trades,” Windhorst said. “…They may have to lower their standard.”

Finally, the Miami Herald reported the Heat continue to have interest in their former player, but only if he were to be bought out by Phoenix, which doesn’t seem all that likely at the moment.

We’ll see how this saga ends, but there’s no doubt Crowder can help playoff teams with his shooting and toughness on defense. His value on the trade market might just not be as high as Phoenix believes it to be.

For the latest Jae Crowder trade rumors and salary info, click here.

Story originally appeared on HoopsHype