With the NBA season inching closer to the ever-important NBA trade deadline in February, teams on the cusp of a championship or those looking to shed cap space will be reaching for their phones. The NBA trade deadline is February 18, 2018, but that hasn’t stopped the NBA trade rumors mill from churning. The trade deadline is a time for teams who are losing to shed contracts for cheaper players and future draft picks. For teams that are winning, it’s best served to gain pieces for a title run.
Here are 10 players with expiring contracts who can help a title contender reach their goal.
Brook Lopez, Los Angeles Lakers (C)
The Lakers may want to really consider moving Lopez. While Lopez is still young (28), he doesn’t offer much on the defensive side of the court. His scoring has taken a hit this season (12.8 points), and his high salary could put the Lakes in a bad spot if Paul George and LeBron James are the main targets this offseason.
DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans Pelicans (C)
The situation with Cousins is a tough one. The Pelicans would love to bring him back, however, affording him might be a problem. If the team continues to walk the line of 8th seed or below, they might be forced to trade Cousins or Davis and start over.
Greg Monroe, Phoenix Suns (C)
The Suns snagged Monroe in the Eric Bledsoe deal, and while he has carved out a spot in the rotation, Monroe is not a fit in Phoenix. According to Bleacher Report, the Cleveland Cavaliers will make a run for his services to shore up a thin frontcourt.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Los Angeles Lakers (SG)
The Lakers are not making the playoff this season. With that said, trading Caldwell-Pope must happen this season. There is no reason to let him play this year out when the Lakers can possibly get something in return for him.
Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers (PF)
One of the young guns on the team and very soon will be the second of that “Next Gen” squad to be dealt. The Lakers are moving on with Kyle Kuzma and Larry Nance Jr. which leaves no room for Randle.
— theScore (@theScore) December 16, 2017
Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks (PF)
Sometime next year, Parker will play his first game for the Bucks this season. For the Bucks’ sake, they hope it’s before the trade deadline. While the team could use his scoring, their payroll might not able to afford him. Moving Parker for a few picks are or serviceable bench player is their best option.
Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics (SG)
What will the Celtics do with Smart? The Celtics are winning now and messing with that chemistry after the Gordan Hayward injury may have negative results. However, a Smart trade could bring in another solid reserve.
Tyreke Evans, Memphis Grizzlies (SG)
It’s safe to say that Evans has found his scoring touch again this season with the Grizzlies. For the Grizz, this is a good thing. The team is headed nowhere this season, and while Marc Gasol is on the blocks, the Grizz would be wise to add Evans to the pile as well.
Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic (PF)
How far are the Magic willing to go with their star players? Over the years they have not done too well when it comes to contracts, and if that’s the case, then teams should start calling about Gordon.
Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers (C)
The Blazers could find themselves in a world of hurt by the trade deadline. Last season, the Blazers were in desperate need of a post player. If not for an injury, they might have contended for a championship after the Nurkic trade. However, this season has been the complete opposite. The chemistry is gone and Nurick might be out the door as well.