Allow me to prematurely welcome you to the summer of 2014! This is where valuable draft picks, superstar players and free agency are about to turn the NBA landscape topsy-turvy. This is where speculating/salivating over the possibilities has actually been more interesting than the conference finals so far. This is where the Cleveland Cavaliers hijacking their third No. 1 pick in four years in a loaded 2014 NBA Draft, where Bill Simmons throwing out some flashy trade theories and where everyone having an opinion on the Kevin Love sweepstakes happens. There’s no doubt that this summer could be a wildly entertaining affair.
With that in mind, there are quite a few big names floating around who could be involved in trades, and yes, there are names other than LeBron James, Kevin Love and Carmelo Anthony to talk about. The Miami Heat are a few losses away from blowing it up. The Brooklyn Nets are coming off a disappointing season after racking up a payroll that could sustain a third-world country for generations. The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are always in the hunt for signing sexy superstars for the sole fact that they are located in Los Angeles and New York.
However, as we see every single year, there are a few guys that teams should avoid like Andrew Bynum, I mean, the plague. The NBA is littered with stars, but not everyone has the fortune of being blessed with a clean bill of health. This is my list of five red-flag players that teams should avoid, if only because they haven’t proven that they can stay healthy through a full season in the last few years. Making this list is not a knock on their talent; just a reminder that acquiring a great player means nothing if said player is great at being stuck in the medical trainer’s room. These are the guys that everyone wishes the best for, while secretly assuming the worst.
NOTE: Obviously guys like Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant come to mind here, but we’re going to stick with guys that actually have a chance of being traded this summer. Can you imagine what would happen if the Chicago Bulls gave up on Rose and traded him? There’d be riots in the streets. That goes double for Kobe, even after signing him to that atrocious contract. Also, anyone who makes this list is not a player for their current team to give up on, it just means that other teams shouldn’t take the risk and invest.
SECONDARY NOTE: Eric Bledsoe almost made this list, but as a Phoenix Suns fan I’m in denial that A) Bledsoe’s knee surgeries in the last few years are worrisome and B) anybody wants to take him away from the Suns. Call it homerism if you want, but the five guys ahead of him on this list are better red-flag candidates anyway.