There is no doubt, it has, already, been a pretty big year for trades in the NBA. Because of that, league executives generally think it won’t be a blockbuster time at this year’s trading deadline, which comes along just two weeks from Thursday.
In the past two months, there have been nine trades involving almost 30 players and as many as 11 draft picks. That is an unexpectedly high volume of activity for this point in the season, and could sap some of the drama out of deadline week.
Still, there has been no shortage of trade discussions and players who have been undoubtedly made available. But, there are still some names on the trading block who have not close up a deal, and these names are:
Brook Lopez, Nets
The issues with Lopez—injury trouble, lack of rebounding, diminished production this year—are well-established. But he’s also a 26 year old who is capable of scoring 20 points on any night, and that’s valuable.
He has another year, at $16.7 million, on his contract, which means his trade destinations are limited to teams not seeking to be active in the free-agent market this summer. That was why the near-trade to Oklahoma City would have been ideal for both Lopez and the Thunder, and the Nets ultimately could revisit those talks. Of all the Nets available on the market, Lopez is easily the most moveable.
Lance Stephenson, Hornets
Stephenson has been on the block almost since the beginning of his Charlotte career, as hopes that he would mature and flourish with more responsibility on a new team were quickly dashed. Stephenson has been awful on the floor, making just 37.7 percent of his shots and 13.6 percent of his 3-pointers.
The injury to Kemba Walker might give the Hornets pause when considering making a move with Stephenson—a ball-handling combo guard—but make no mistake, if they can unload Stephenson and fill his shoes in the backcourt, the Hornets will do so. Talks with the Nets, obviously, crumbled, but there’s a chance something could be rekindled there. The Pacers and Knicks are also possibilities.
Goran Dragic, Suns
The Suns have loaded up on guards, and it seems that no matter how coach Jeff Hornacek handles the situation, someone is not going to be pleased.
While there has been nothing serious in terms of deals that have been close, as the Suns’ hold on a playoff spot in the West slips away, there is a sense that they’ll need to pull the trigger on something that can bring in the kind of perimeter-shooting big man they lost when Channing Frye left in free agency. Gerald Green (a free agent) is a trade possibility, but Dragic (also a free agent) would net a better return. The Lakers have wanted Dragic all year, but don’t have much to offer.
Greg Monroe, Pistons
Despite denials from Monroe and coach/GM Stan Van Gundy, there’s no question that the Pistons have been taking in offers for Monroe—an unrestricted free agent—and weighing what to do next.
Monroe has a no-trade clause that came as part of his signing a qualifying offer with Detroit, so he would have to OK any deal the Pistons make. Monroe has played well and regained his value since the waiving of Josh Smith, but the Pistons do risk losing him with no return in free agency this summer. The Knicks are a strong contender for him.
Roy Hibbert, Pacers
To no one’s surprise, Hibbert has been decidedly inconsistent this year, but has begun to bring his numbers around (11.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 45.6 percent shooting) and has certainly bounced back from last year’s debacle.
Hibbert has been quietly shopped going back to last summer, but he has a $15.5 million option on his contract next season that makes him a tough sell. source: sportingnews.com
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