It is less than two weeks to go before the NBA lifts its restriction to trade newly-signed free agents in the recent offseason. With that, a lot of trade rumors are circling around the league and some of the names being mentioned in the mill right now are those of forwards Julius Randle and Derrick Favors.
Knicks Could Target Julius Randle In Midseason?
The latest Julius Randle trade rumors have brought up a potential trade between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks with the 23-year-old former Kentucky star as the centerpiece.
Maxwell Ogden of Fansided’s Daily Knicks suggested that the Knicks should take a closer look at Randle as the 2014 No. 7 overall pick is reported to be the “odd man out” in Lakers head coach Luke Walton’s rotation.
Randle has recently been upstaged by fellow youngsters Larry Nance Jr. and Kyle Kuzma in Walton’s eyes when it comes to playing time, prompting Ogden to say that it “doesn’t appear as though the Los Angeles Lakers will extend his [Randle’s] stay beyond 2017-18.”
Ogden said that Randle will provide “offensive versatility” that would fit the Knicks’ style of play with Kristaps Porzingis staying as the main man. He also said that Randle has enough size to bang bodies inside the paint and is skilled enough to attack the basket from 24 feet with his dribbling and agility.
However, Ogden noted that Randle still has to improve his outside shot to become more efficient in Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek’s system. Randle’s shot selection is excellent, though, as he shoots 56.4 percent from the field in 22 games so far this season.
New York is currently eighth in the East with an 11-10 record. It is one of the best starts for the squad in recent years. There are no indications that Hornacek is planning to alter his roster in the foreseeable future.
Jazz Looking To Trade Derrick Favors Soon?
There were also NBA trade rumors saying that the Utah Jazz would be looking to deal veteran big man Derrick Favors in midseason. Jared Woodcox of Fansided’s The J Notes said that Favors has become a “forgotten man” in Utah with the emergence of hulking center Rudy Gobert.
According to Woodcox, a number of Jazz fans think that Favors has become “expendable” in head coach Quin Snyder’s lineup. He cited Favors’ inability to properly “co-exist” with Gobert in the Jazz frontcourt, which has led to the aforementioned sentiments by Jazz supporters.
However, Favors has been recently silencing critics as the Jazz won five straight games, all without Gobert, who is out with a knee injury. Favors averaged 18.6 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 1.2 steals during the five-game span, proving that he is still a valuable presence on the court for Utah.
Favors is in the final season of his four-year, $47 million deal with the Jazz. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and there are no guarantees that he will stay in Utah. His recent performances may have increased his trade value all the more, and the Jazz could be forced to make a decision sometime soon.
More Trade Rumors
The Miami Heat are rumored to be ready to test the trade market this midseason, which is surprisingly a first for the multi-titled franchise.
In three decades of existence, the Heat organization has “never made a trade in December,” according to South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman. However, Winderman said that this season could be different for the currently struggling squad with three of their offseason free-agent acquisitions becoming available after the Dec. 15 deadline.
Winderman mentioned Dion Waiters, James Johnson, and Kelly Olynyk as potential trade pieces, with Miami presently toting an even 11-11 slate.
A couple of the Heat’s future first-round draft picks could potentially go to the Phoenix Suns as a result of their Goran Dragic trade in 2015. Thus, team president Pat Riley might try to explore the trade market value of the aforementioned veteran players as a way to improve their roster, per Winderman.