Within his early breakdown of the 2019/20 trade market, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today notes that the Nuggets may make young role players like Malik Beasley and Juan Hernangomez available, especially if they can include them in a package that nets them an impact player.
Zillgitt also wonders if Thunder point guard Chris Paul would consider waiving his 2021/22 player option, since eliminating that final year from his contract would make him a far more appealing trade chip to teams looking to retain long-term flexibility. Of course, waiving that option would cost Paul a guaranteed $44MM salary for ’21/22, and there’s no guarantee he’d recoup more than a fraction of that amount on a new deal. So that scenario looks like a bit of a long shot for now.
Here are a few more stories focusing on the NBA’s in-season trade market:
- Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report spoke to a handful of current and former NBA executives to evaluate teams’ needs and players’ value in advance of the February trade deadline. One former general manager thinks it may take more time for teams to become sellers, since sub-.500 teams hold playoff spots in each conference. “I don’t think any of these teams [outside of the top eight] are scared,” the former GM said. “It’s going to take longer for teams to lose confidence that they have a chance to fight for eighth. … We’ll see more separation [in the standings] closer to February.”
- According to Pincus, several executives believe the Pacers will eventually seriously consider trading Myles Turner, since he’s not considered a great long-term fit alongside Domantas Sabonis. Turner was viewed as the more valuable asset last season, but Sabonis has been better so far this year.
- Sean Deveney of Heavy.com identifies several newly trade-eligible players who are worth keeping an eye on as February’s deadline nears, including Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell, Bulls forward Thaddeus Young, and several Knicks veterans. We singled out many of the same trade candidates on Monday in our own look at players whose trade restrictions lifted on December 15.
- John Hollinger of The Athletic explores five questions that could shape this season’s trade deadline, such as just how serious the Nuggets and Mavericks are about their short-term chances to contend.