The trading season is always fun to watch, as some general managers run around throwing players and other assets in a fire sale, while others may make key deals that will set them up for contention or sure-fire tank mode. Either way, the league and its fans get to sit back and enjoy the show.
The Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves have already made trade headlines so far, with the Rudy Gay and Derrick Williams deal. However, there are many teams and more trades that are sure to come from now through the Feb. 20 trade deadline. Some surely will be trades that which no one saw coming, while others will ensue a facepalm across the nation. Some may fall under both.
Key dates this month regarding transactions are coming up, so we may see more trade movement sooner rather than later. Starting on Sunday, teams will have more trade options and next Thursday may apply a bit of pressure on teams to make another trade.
Dec. 15: The first day players who signed a contract this summer can be traded.
Dec. 19: The last day a traded player is eligible to be involved in a trade again this season before the deadline, meaning that players acquired on Dec. 20 and after cannot be traded for the rest of the season.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some players that may be dealt soon.
Omer Asik: The dates listed above apply for no one more than the Houston Rockets and Omer Asik. Reports say the team is looking to deal Asik by Dec. 19, which means that the team may not be looking right away for pieces that can return the immediate value that Asik brings, but at least assets that can help in the continuing search for a quality player. The hot rumor of a Ryan Anderson trade with the New Orleans Pelicans seems to be fading, but a starting-caliber center is not so openly put on the market that often. Some team will bite, so expect some action by Houston in the coming week.
Iman Shumpert: As one puzzle piece to the set of the New York Knicks’ mediocrity this season, Shumpert has been on the trading block for quite some time. Though he’s still young with potential to become an all-star, reports say the team may be content with J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. manning the shooting guard position. Tough for Shump, but he’s one of the few good contracts on the team as well, with two years and $4.5 million left on his deal. He was already offered to the Denver Nuggets for Kenneth Faried, but the team didn’t bite on that one. Expect him to be shopped around more for another piece – hopefully some frontcourt depth.
Evan Turner: A couple weeks ago, reports surfaced of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls possibly being new destinations for the Philadelphia 76ers forward. The Cavs lack a quality small forward, and Dion Waiters has been a name thrown around as someone to send back. It would be an obvious downgrade from Turner, who’s averaging 20.7 points and 6.6 rebounds this year, so it would be a big help in the 2014 draft. The Bulls need some scoring punch after losing Derrick Rose again for the year, and Turner can fill that void. The Bulls may be another team looking to blow it up, but once Rose is back, a Rose/Turner combo would be pretty interesting.
Kyle Lowry: Rudy Gay has already vacated from the Toronto Raptors, and it looks like Lowry is next. He has an expiring $6.2 million deal that surely Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri can flip into assets. The man has already dumped Gay and Andrea Bargnani, and Lowry may have the best case to be traded. A starting-caliber point guard, Lowry is averaging 14.8 points and 6.7 assists per game for Toronto this season. He has his scuffles with coaches at times, but the main thing will be his undoing in Toronto is the team in full-on tank mode.