With December 15 officially upon us, trade restrictions for a vast majority of free agents signed over the past summer are officially off the table. This means teams can now wheel and deal some of the players they signed last offseason, which will put trade talks into the next gear ahead of the deadline. Here’s a look at some of the players most likely to be moved this NBA season.
Julius Randle, New York Knicks
Randle hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2020-21 season, where he shot 41.1% from behind the arc and was named an All-Star. The contract is an issue but the player can still be a starter on a contending team. The Knicks are adamant they can compete this season so they will want something big in return for Randle if a deal gets done. Expect there to be some conversations surrounding the combo forward as we get closer to the deadline.
Bojan Bogdanovic, Detroit Pistons
Bogdanovic is the perfect trade chip, even though he signed an extension with the Pistons. He’s a versatile player performing at a high level on a rebuilding team, which makes the trade negotiation possible. Detroit can recoup good value for him and contenders will be willing to pay up. Bogdanovic will be the subject of a lot of trade rumors over the coming months.
Buddy Hield and Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
There’s been a Hield-Turner package floated around for the Lakers specifically, but Indiana can likely get solid returns for both players. Hield is a useful wing player while Turner is starting to emerge as a force down low. The big man is an expiring contract, while Hield has another season left on his current deal. If the Pacers keep winning they might hold onto both guys. Otherwise, the rebuild will be on.
Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls
The Central division continues to be highlighted here. The Bulls won’t deal Zach LaVine and will be hesitant to part with DeMar DeRozan, but Vucevic is on an expiring contract and simply hasn’t moved the needle consistently enough when it comes to winning games. He’ll be valuable to a host of contenders and should help the Bulls re-stock the cupboard.
Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre Jr., Charlotte Hornets
Almost everyone on this team outside LaMelo Ball is attainable, but Rozier and Oubre Jr. hold the most widespread value in the NBA. Rozier’s efficiency is terrible but he’s a scorer who can get hot at a key time in the playoffs. Oubre Jr. is a switchable wing who can bolster any bench. Both should attract attention in the coming months.
Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz
Conley just came back from a knee injury, so the buzz might be cooling on him for now. Clarkson continues to be an awesome scorer and can fit in a starting lineup or come of the bench. He’s got a player option and will almost certainly opt out, so he basically becomes an expiring deal.
Jae Crowder, Phoenix Suns
It’s easy to forget about Crowder since he basically quit on the team ahead of training camp. Will other organizations view him as the missing piece in a championship rotation or a malcontent who will run at the first sign of adversity? Crowder has experience in the Finals, which is always a plus. The fits might not be there at the moment but he could be a nice consolation prize for a contender who misses out on Bogdanovic or Hield.