The NBA will see a decent amount of movement as the trade deadline nears and there’s usually a good idea which players will be going to new teams. The trade rumors have been swirling for months and will only intensify closer to the deadline, so here’s a look at the players who are most likely to be dealt. We’ll list each player in tiers and give a description of what he can bring to a contender.
Starters/All-Star caliber players
Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks
Murray has slipped defensively since his Spurs days but remains a strong offensive talent who could bounce back on the defensive end with the right cast around him. We’ll see if Atlanta breaks up the backcourt it had high hopes for.
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
The market on LaVine has cooled, largely because the Bulls have done better without him and he’s had two injuries already this season. We’ll see if a contender is ready to take a chance on LaVine returning to his 2020-21 form.
D’Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers
Russell’s ability to hit the triple is important for the Lakers, so he could survive the deadline. The injury to Gabe Vincent also helps his cause. However, the Lakers do need to improve defensively at the point of attack and could opt to downgrade slightly offensively if it means a bump up on the other side of the ball.
Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors
It’s clear something needs to change in Golden State. Jonathan Kuminga reportedly wanted out but has seen more playing time since and has done well. Wiggins has underperformed drastically from his 2022 Finals performance and has a salary that the Warriors can move to get multiple pieces back. I’m not sure he gets dealt but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is noise around him throughout the week.
Fringe starters/Key rotation players
Jerami Grant and Malcolm Brogdon, Portland Trail Blazers
Portland seems content to hang on to Grant, but Brogdon is almost surely going to be dealt. He serves little purpose to the Trail Blazers as a rotation guard, especially since they already have prospects in the backcourt who need more playing time. Brogdon has played in big playoff games and brings experience to a contender.
Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks, Detroit Pistons
Bogdanovic would be a great addition to any contender struggling to score, while Burks would be some nice backcourt depth. The issue here seems to be Detroit’s unwillingness to make a deal. The Pistons reportedly aren’t shopping either player, and there haven’t been calls from contenders. We’ll see if anyone decides to make a move here.
Dorian Finney-Smith, Nets
Finney-Smith has faded into the background with Brooklyn. He’s a versatile defensive body at 6-7, 200 lbs. and is connecting on 38.3% of his perimeter shots. He’s a low-cost option for contenders who might miss out on the likes of Brogdon or Bogdanovic.
Tyus Jones, Washington Wizards
Jones has been bad defensively this season, although that can be explained by Washington’s porous overall defense. He’s been solid on that side of the ball otherwise. Jones is also shooting 40.3% from deep and averaging 6.3 assists per game. He’s going under the radar because of the team he plays for, but he can definitely help a contender even if he comes off the bench.
Buddy Hield, Indiana Pacers
Hield is only on this list because he did have a trade request at the beginning of the season. He’s probably come off that request by now, especially with Indiana making a trade for Pascal Siakam and performing well. Still, we’ll see if he pushes for a move as the deadline nears.
Jakob Poeltl, Bruce Brown and Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have already sent Siakam and OG Anunoby out, with Poeltl and Trent Jr. still remaining as veterans possibly on the way out. Toronto might have a hard team dealing Poeltl since he’s on a long-term deal but he could help a contender that is soft in the interior. Trent Jr. and Brown are both technically expiring deals, and both could be important bench players on a contender.
Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets
Hayward is hurt right now, and him being sidelined indefinitely with a calf issue doesn’t bode well for his prospects to be dealt. He’s a buyout candidate if he doesn’t get traded, but the injury situation has to be sorted out first.