The league could see a shift in big name NBA players on the move this season. Here are a list of potential candidates.
- Current Season Statistics: 28.7 ppg, 10.4 rbp, 1.1 blkpg
- Current Team Record: 7-11, 11th place in the Western Conference
- Possible Landing Spots: Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns
Cousins has been a leading member of the Sacramento Kings since being drafted by the organization fifth overall in the 2010 NBA draft. He has done nothing to disappoint; through his 433 career games with the team, “Boogie” has averaged 20.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks a game. Achieving a winning record is the only obstacle that continues to haunt him in Sacramento as he has been apart of a losing team every single year, with the Kings managing to win nothing above 33 games since 2010. It is evident that this is not going to change anytime soon as the team has gone through five coaches since the All-star center has been on the roster. Having made the All-NBA 2nd team last year, Cousins is starting to emerge as one of the game’s most elite big men. There is no question that the Kings need to start rebuilding now, but in doing so, this is arguably the time to part ways with their best player, and allow him to play for a team with potential to win while he is still at the top of his game.
Cousins and John Wall have reportedly discussed a Kentucky Wildcat reunion in Washington. Many would think that to be impossible given the salary cap situation, but a blockbuster deal could be brewing in the nation’s capital. Something along the lines of Otto Porter, Bradley Beal, and a handful of quality draft picks in return for Cousins and Rudy Gay might make sense for both clubs. This trade would give the Wizards a real chance to make a playoff run as well as allow the Kings a head start in the rebuilding process with proven young talent and draft choices.
I would speculate that the Suns are going to be right in the middle of many trade discussions this year with lots of young talent coming to play. This could result in yet another Kentucky reunion as Eric Bledsoe was also apart of the 2010 Wildcat team. I could see Alex Len and Brandon Knight being shipped to Sacramento along with a plethora of draft choices for the 26-year old star.
- Current Season Statistics: 11.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.5 blkpg
- Current Team Record: 4-14, Last place in the Eastern Conference
- Possible Landing Spots: Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers
Moving onto another Kentucky standout, Nerlens Noel was drafted sixth overall by the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2013 draft but was traded to the 76ers on draft night. He was projected to be the No. 1 overall pick leading up to the draft due to his abundance of talent in all aspects of the game, but his stock fell in the draft due to a torn ACL which would keep him out and prohibit him from having the immediate impact teams were looking for. Since recovering from the injury, Noel has turned into a fine NBA player averaging 10.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks a game for his career. At just 22 years old, Noel could fit nicely into an organization and help them win. Philadelphia is just not the right place with such an influx of young talent from recent drafts occupying their front court. There is simply not enough room for all of them, and Noel is the odd man out. It is time for the 76ers to part ways with the big man and maybe acquire some talent to assist the backcourt which could improve their chances at winning games.
As I mentioned in my previous Cousins’ trade discussions, the Suns are going to be in a significant amount of trade talks before it is all said and done. With tons of young talent on their roster (which appears to need just a few more pieces to click together), it would make sense to trade for a player like Noel, especially considering the excess of backcourt talent in the desert. If I were a GM, a potential trade would entail Nerlens Noel and Ersan Ilyasova for Eric Bledsoe and a draft pick. Although this wouldn’t be a blockbuster move, it would seemingly benefit both teams.
It is abundantly clear that Portland needs help with interior defense, and Noel could definitely fill in the gap for them. With tons of young talent in the backcourt, an addition like Noel could pay dividends for this team. It appears as though in order for this deal to be made, they would have to be willing to give up Allen Crabbe who the 76ers strongly targeted in free agency (which I don’t think would be a problem for Portland). The deal would probably be something along the lines of Noel and a draft pick for Allen Crabbe. The 76ers would have to be willing to take on the four year/75 million dollar deal Crabbe received this offseason, and the Trail Blazers would have to be willing to take on the injuries of Noel, but the deal could benefit both clubs.
Stay tuned for more NBA trade rumors.