As Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka pointed out, the trade market in the NBA should be picking up now that we’ve reached Dec. 15. The reason for that belief is that most players who signed contracts this past offseason became eligible to be traded, opening up more possibilities.
This doesn’t mean that teams will be in a rush to move on from players who they just added, but there definitely could be some intriguing possibilities available. The Lakers themselves have two players who become eligible in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tyler Ennis.
Caldwell-Pope is a big part of the rotation, so him being moved seems highly unlikely. Ennis has struggled to find a spot in the rotation, however, and could be included in a small deal should the Lakers want to.
Additionally, there are some marquee players who are trade-eligible, but won’t be moved. That includes the likes of Paul Millsap, Gordon Hayward, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant. Others are more likely to possibly be shipped out.
Chief among them is Dallas Mavericks center Nerlens Noel. Because he signed his qualifying offer, Noel can veto any deal. Additionally, he recently underwent surgery for a torn ligament in his thumb so he will be out for a few weeks.
But he received little playing in Dallas before the injury, so he presumably would be open to waiving his no-trade clause if the right deal came along. Noel was recently linked to the Lakers, so maybe the team could look at him as another potential big who brings rim protection and athleticism they’re lacking.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose can also now be traded. Like Noel, Rose is also dealing with an injury and it is unknown when he will be back. Should that clear up however, Cleveland could look to move on seeing as how they have thrived without him and have Isaiah Thomas returning soon as well.
The Lakers reportedly were interested in Rose during the offseason, but considering his subpar play and thoughts of retirement, they, and other teams, don’t figure to have much interest now.
There are plenty of other options as well at all positions. Point guards such as Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison, Jeff Teague, Mario Chalmers can be moved. Wings like Dion Waiters, Tyreke Evans, Aaron Afflalo, Rudy Gay, Jamal Crawford, Tony Allen, C.J. Miles, Jonas Jerebko and Ian Clark are potential trade chips.
And so too are big men such as Dewayne Dedmon, Willie Reed, Zach Randolph, and Aron Baynes. They may not be the notable names fans look for when thinking about trades, but these types of moves can turn out huge.
Considering Pelinka and Magic Johnson are always looking at ways to improve the Lakers both immediately and in the long-term, it would not come as a complete surprise should they complete a trade in the near future.
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