In a piece published by The Ringer earlier this week, Kevin O’Connor conceded that “all is quiet on the mega-trade front, for now,” but wondered if there are a handful of situations around the NBA that could result in blockbuster trades over the course of the next 12 months.
As O’Connor notes, the trade market appeared to be primed for some significant deals earlier this summer, with the Bulls reportedly looked into moving Jimmy Butler, and names like Russell Westbrook, DeMarcus Cousins, and Blake Griffin popping up in the rumor mill as well. However, those players’ teams ultimately decided to stand pat, or even doubled down on investments in their stars — the Thunder signed Westbrook to a contract extension, while the Bulls opted to build around Butler after moving Derrick Rose.
None of those players will be on the move anytime soon, but O’Connor suggests that, if things don’t go well this season for some of those clubs, trade talks could materialize at the deadline or next summer.
For instance, if the Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo additions don’t work out well in Chicago, would the team consider embarking on a full-fledged rebuild and moving Butler? If the Thunder and Kings aren’t playoff teams this season, will those clubs look to fortify their rosters around Westbrook and Cousins, respectively, or will they explore trading him? Will Griffin’s impending free agency concern the Clippers, or will the team continue to be confident he’ll re-up? O’Connor also throws the Indiana Paul George into the discussion, suggesting that if George doesn’t sign an extension right away and the new-look Pacers struggle, PG-13 could become a trade candidate.
We’re still far away from any of those players genuinely landing on the trade block, and if those teams play well this season, speculation will die down. But if certain clubs are hit with a worst-case-scenario outcome this year, some intriguing players could become trade candidates.
What do you think? Will any of the players mentioned above become available, or be moved, by next summer? Is there another star player around the league that you expect to land on the trade block? Or will the 2016/17 league year be relatively quiet when it comes to trades?
Take to the comments section below to share your opinions on the possibility of a blockbuster NBA trade or two in 2016/17. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.