The NBA trade deadline approaches February 19, and it is always impossible to predict. There are always talks about possible blockbuster trades but they are rarely executed. That does not stop everyone from talking about the possibility.
Players with off-court concerns like Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins, Ty Lawson and Markieff Morris lead trade rumors. Meanwhile, notable names struggling on their current teams like Lance Stephenson and Jeff Green hope their names enter trade debates. Veterans who have played at their team for a while are not safe from the discussion either, including Joakim Noah and Zach Randolph. Kevin Martin and Brandan Jennings have also seen their names in trade rumors due to diminishing roles. Plus, there is the occasional salary dump talked about like David Lee or Joe Johnson.
Here are three NBA stars whose names are not big in trade rumors, but they should be. These stars could shake-up the entire league on a new team. Plus, their current employer could net a nice catch for said player.
Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
Oladipo dominated the USA Basketball showcase this past offseason, and he seemed headed for stardom. The 2013 rookie of the year lacks a true position as a combo guard for the Magic. Oladipo is not the same playmaker as starting point guard Elfrid Payton, so the Magic have him playing the sixth man role. However, many teams could use Oladipo’s ability to score. His numbers have not dropped this season, despite playing off the bench.
Orlando gives no indication of wanting to trade Oladipo, unless it is for something great. However, Orlando should call one of those tanking teams. They could leverage a team looking for a star, before Oladipo loses anymore value. Oladipo is young enough for a team not in the playoff hunt to build around. The Magic could demand a package centered around another notable bench scorer, a backup point guard or a true shooting guard.
Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets
Faried brings the type of high-energy play that would thrive on almost any NBA roster. The Nuggets are only two games out of the final playoff spot, and Faried could get them a player that puts them over the hump. His name has been on-and-off the trade block for the past couple of seasons.
It is time Denver deals Faried for a package of assets. Even though the Nuggets are technically in the mix, they need to continue building around Emmanuel Mudiay and some of the other young players. Faried has four years and more than $12 million per season remaining on his deal. That is a lot of money for a player averaging 12 points and 8 rebounds a game. Faried is not the only player making a lot of money on the Nuggets, but he might be the easiest to move compared to Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari. One of those three needs to get traded, because they will not win a Championship anytime soon.
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Love signed with the Cavaliers to be a key part next to Lebron James. However, James knows from his Miami Heat days that it takes more than star power to win a NBA title. The Cavaliers already ditched their head coach and now it is time to ditch their biggest defensive liability. It makes sense that Love should be traded for a bunch of players that fit James and the Cavs better.
Boston and Detroit are two names that surfaced, due to their need for scoring and cupboard of assets. Either of those teams would kill at the opportunity for Love. However, it is not logical that Cleveland would help build another power in the East by dumping Love. A trade happening comes down to Cleveland wanting to finally give-up on the Love experiment in Cleveland.
As with most trade rumors, it is more likely these players stay with their current teams rather than get traded. However, they are major dark horse candidates for getting dealt. Their current teams should cash in the assets while they still can. Kevin Love, Victor Oladipo and Kenneth Faried should get sold off at the trade deadline to the highest bidders.
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