We are currently in the first week of the 2016 NBA season, and while it might still be a little too early to think about trades, teams will have to start thinking about making some swaps sooner or later. Whether it's because of some miscalculations made during the offseason or players already wearing out their welcomes, big names are going to be thrown into trade discussions. This happens almost every season, so we shouldn't act surprised if we see a certain player's name getting mentioned in a potential trade rumor.
The first week of the new season is indeed a little early to start discussing swaps and losses, but bear in mind that almost every player here has already been the subject of trade rumors, with some of them appearing in trade talk as recently as this past summer. Others have been in these sorts of discussions for much longer than that.
Here is a list of the players who may potentially get traded this season.
DeMarcus Cousins is one of the best big men in the league and just so happens may be the best player on this list. He has been the subject of various "on-again, off-again" trade rumors for the last couple of seasons, but for now things seem to be quiet in Sac Town.
Kings Owner Vivek Ranadive had an interview with Sam Amick of USA Today where he was completely noncommittal. Ranadive describes Cousins as a young player who is hungry and wants to win, but says that he will ultimately leave Cousins' fate in the hands of Kings GM Vlade Divac.
The Kings are completely devoted to making it into the postseason for the first time since 2006, but that is a goal that will be easier to accomplish with Cousins than without him.
If Sacramento selects outside of the top 10 in the 2017 draft, then it will lose its first-round draft pick, which gives the organization some incentive to move Cousins and rebuild with some younger talent. Cousins is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018, and it would be easy to forgive him for wanting to try out the free agent market after having played for six different coaches through seven years with the Kings.
When LaMarcus Aldridge signed with the San Antonio Spurs as a free agent last season, he was expected to be the one who would replace the recently retired Tim Duncan as the team's premiere power forward, but Jackie MacMullan claims that sources have been telling her that Aldridge may not even be able to end the year with the Spurs, as their experiment has not worked out the way they had hoped it would.
The Spurs were able to start their season by dominating Golden State on opening night, with Aldridge looking pretty effective in that particular game. The Spurs have a shot at potentially becoming a 60-win team this season, so breaking up their lineup in any way would be pretty inadvisable.
For now, Aldridge being put on the trading block is a long shot prediction, but there will always be a possibility that this move could go down.
Rudy Gay has already made it clear to the Kings organization that he will be opting out of his contract at the end of this season and will not return. Gay has been pretty vocal about how unhappy he has been in Sacramento and has even gone as far as calling it "basketball hell." You can pretty much expect the Kings to start looking for a deal that will get Gay out of Sacramento, but the only problem is trying to get some fair value in return.
However, if the Kings are truly committed to changing the team's culture and achieving some success in the short term, then trading away a player who is clearly looking to get out would be the smart thing to do.
Greg Monroe has a player option that will allow him to become a free agent in 2017, so the Milwaukee Bucks may have a bit of a problem trying to trade him. Due to this option, Monroe will be a player that teams are just going to wait to sign, rather than giving up some of their assets to acquire him. This hasn't stopped trade rumors from persisting for most of the time that Monroe has been with the Bucks.
Monroe's stock might be a bit frosty going into the trade market because he is a big man that has the ability to score in the paint, but is not that great at protecting the rim or stretching the floor. The Bucks already have Miles Plumlee starting ahead of him and have a solid shot blocker in John Henson, so they should seriously consider ramping up their trade efforts since it is better to get a little bit of something in return instead of getting nothing at all.
[Featured Image by Rich Pedroncelli/AP Images]