The NBA’s 2019 trade deadline is now less than three weeks away, and a number of the trade candidates whose names are popping up the most have something in common, as Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports tweets: They’re all on expiring contracts.
Smith identifies Dewayne Dedmon (Hawks), Jeremy Lin (Hawks), Jonathon Simmons (Magic), Wayne Ellington (Heat), Robin Lopez (Bulls), Enes Kanter (Knicks), Noah Vonleh (Knicks), and David Nwaba (Cavaliers) as those players cited most frequently in trade chatter. Of those eight players, Simmons is the only one under contract for next season, and his 2019/20 salary of $5.7MM is partially guaranteed for just $1MM. In other words, his deal can be viewed as a de facto expiring contract too.
Here are a few more notes and rumors on the NBA’s trade market:
- The Hawks appear willing to take on 2019/20 salary in trade discussions, according to Smith (Twitter link). A willingness to eat a bad contract in exchange for a more favorable asset could make Atlanta a team to watch in the coming weeks, since most teams around the NBA want to preserve their cap space for 2019.
- Smith names the Sixers, Nets, Magic, Kings, Rockets, Pelicans, and Clippers as the teams that appear to be most active in trying to upgrade their rosters (Twitter link). Besides gauging the trade market, these clubs are also keeping an eye on potential buyout candidates, Smith notes.
- The Wizards have shown “little appetite” for any trade that involves moving Otto Porter for a return heavy on future assets and cap flexibility, sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe. That stance aligns with comments on Thursday made by owner Ted Leonsis, who stressed that Washington continues to push for a playoff spot and has no plans to tank.