When it comes to NBA trade rumors, it can be tough to sort out fans having fun on the internet from actual talk from league sources. However, there are a selection of players' names that come up quite often and seem more likely than others to be traded in the coming season. The Sacramento Kings' Rudy Gay is one such player that comes to mind, while Philadelphia 76ers star Nerlens Noel is another. Several other players are being mentioned as likely to have a new team in 2017, though.
As Fox Sports' Brett Pollakoff reported on Monday, there are nine NBA players most likely to be traded before the new year this season. Pollakoff mentions Nick Young, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Danilo Gallinari, Brandon Knight, Jaylen Brown, Greg Monroe, Ricky Rubio, and Nerlens Noel. All of these players have been mentioned in the rumor mills at some points and there are legitimate reasons for their current teams to shop for a deal.
Many of the teams those players are playing on currently are in rebuild mode. For example, the Los Angeles Lakers are starting to put together a respectable young team featuring future stars. Among them are D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and new draft pick Brandon Ingram. With that in mind, the team wants to establish a new identity, and it's believed that they may not want Young as part of that. So don't be surprised to see the Lakers send him packing as soon as they can. Recent reports such as one from Lakers Nation indicate that Young has looked good in the preseason thus far and that could boost his value in the eyes of trade partners.
Ricky Rubio is also on the list, and while he has some impressive skills as a point guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves, they just drafted a potential stud. Minnesota took Kris Dunn in the recent NBA Draft and he could become the next star for their team. That's what they're banking on and if Dunn gets it done, then Rubio is probably on the move. The team is similar to the Lakers in that they have a nice core of young future stars including Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Zach Levine.
Many analysts and fans might say that the Lakers and Wolves are closer to the postseason than a team like Philadelphia. In the case of the 76ers, they drafted the No. 1 pick in heralded college star Ben Simmons. He recently went down with an unfortunate injury for a good bit of the start of the season. The team has been part of trade rumors featuring Noel and fellow big man Jahlil Okafor.
The Sixers have a plethora of talents on their roster, but they're likely to move someone in order to get the right pieces in place for Simmons, the future star of their franchise. Noel is still young in terms of his playing career, and if he finds the right home, could be a valuable addition to a franchise. He's finally been able to get on the court for a season after injuries plagued his early playing days. Luckily, he seems like he'll be able to contribute to a team going forward and that makes him an attractive young talent.
Speaking of young talents, the Celtics drafted that in Jaylen Brown out of California. The Celtics are already a team that has been contending in the postseason the past few years. They've got plenty of talent in guard Isaiah Thomas and now forward Al Horford, along with their other roster members. Brown is a nice addition, but he could also be a valuable trade asset to bring the Celtics more veteran experience for the playoffs. There's already been rumors of Jaylen Brown being traded in a multiplayer swap.
Several other big names being mentioned include big man Greg Monroe of the Milwaukee Bucks and All-Star Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies. Both of these players are not only valuable trade bait for their current teams but could also provide a bonafide star for another squad in the league. Monroe has previously excelled with the Detroit Pistons in addition to Milwaukee. Randolph has become a veteran contributor over his career and should he to join any postseason contender, he gives them that extra boost.
When it comes down to it, these nine players have the highest probability of joining new teams for the 2016-17 NBA season. It should be interesting to see who ends up where, how well they fit in, and which teams benefit most after the annual trade deadline.
NBA fans, which of these nine players do you think will be traded first, or will they be involved in swaps for one another?
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