Tuesday May 10, 2022

We are hitting the homestretch of the portion of the NBA season where players can be dealt, with the trade deadline coming on Feb. 10, under two weeks away.

As such, today, we are ranking another 10 players who have made the most appearances on our Trade Rumors Page over the past week.

Without time to waste, let’s jump right in.

Eric Gordon (Houston)

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With the Houston Rockets in their second season of a full rebuild, it’s almost surprising 33-year-old Eric Gordon hasn’t been traded by now. That could change over the coming weeks, however, with Gordon’s name popping up in a scuttle of late.

Local media in Houston has made it seem, however, that it’s going to take a decent offer to pry Gordon loose from the Rockets.

First, The Athletic’s Kelly Iko reported the following:

The Rockets have received a number of offers for the veteran wing, sources tell The Athletic, but all have been turned down. Barring an offer that simply can’t be ignored, it’s becoming more likely that Gordon remains in Houston past the deadline.

The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen then reported:

At 33, Gordon would seem to be on a different timetable from a core crowded with teenagers. Though talks so far have been at most exploratory, offers could come later. The Rockets would have to determine not just how they feel about the deals that might be available but how they compare offers to what they believe they could get before the draft or in the offseason.

That could be posturing by the Rockets’ front office, using the media to drive up the asking price on Gordon. Either way, it hasn’t stopped teams from taking interest in the veteran 2-guard, as our own Michael Scotto reported recently that the Cleveland Cavaliers are keeping tabs on Gordon.

With Gordon shooting 44.5 percent from three this season and providing scoring off the bench, he should be a hotter commodity over the coming weeks.

For the latest on the Eric Gordon trade front, click here.

Myles Turner (Indiana)

Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner has been a common name in trade rumors lately. This week, he addressed the rumors with ClutchPoints:

Trade season in the NBA can be a very stressful time. It’s not a video game or a fantasy league. You can’t trade someone and they’re available to play tomorrow. Professional athletes aren’t avatars, even though their size and abilities make them seem unreal. “I would say the first time I’ve dealt with trade rumors was probably like four years ago,” Turner continued. “I didn’t know what to think of it. As the summers progressed, I kept hearing more things, and that stuff was almost getting done.

Either way, the prospects of a Turner trade got much more complicated with the big man being sidelined with a foot injury.

Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus reiterated that this week, though he did mention the Charlotte Hornets as a possible landing spot for the shot-blocker:

Indiana saw several teams (such as the Mavericks) back off Turner after his foot injury. That could give the Charlotte Hornets an easier path to the Pacers center. The Hornets could try to build a package around veteran Gordon Hayward, who is believed to still favor Indiana (where he played for the Butler Bulldogs), or PJ Washington and Mason Plumlee.

Turner may not be the most consistent scorer or rebounder, but his abilities as a rim-protecting floor-spacer make him unique and could make him coveted he proves to be healthy ahead of the trade deadline.

For the latest on the Myles Turner trade front, click here.

Paul Millsap (Brooklyn)

With news coming out this week that the Brooklyn Nets and Paul Millsap agreeing to part ways in order for him to find a bigger role elsewhere, speculation arose that the Nets could be shipping him out in a trade.

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According to our own Scotto, Brooklyn is actually looking for solid assets in exchange for Millsap, which could be a lofty goal considering he has averaged 3.4 points in 11.3 minutes this season. Either way, Scotto reported:

Brooklyn wants an asset of some kind for Paul Millsap, whether it’s another veteran who can help them win now or a future second-round pick, I’m told. The Nets hit on drafting Kessler Edwards in the second round of the draft, and he’s a name to watch for his two-way deal being converted into a standard NBA contract following the trade deadline and buyout market.

Millsap likely can still help out a playoff-level team off the bench with his defensive versatility and leadership, but anyone expecting prime Millsap to return after a trade is likely in for a rude awakening.

For the latest on the Paul Millsap trade front, click here.

Tyrese Haliburton (Sacramento)

The Sacramento Kings appear to be open for business ahead of the trade deadline, which makes considering their record (18-32) and the expensive, veteran salaries they have on their payroll.

One player who it would be shocking to see moved by Sacramento, however, is Tyrese Haliburton, who has shown a lot of promise in just two seasons. Bleacher Report reported as such this week:

Many believe the Kings are still the front-runner for Simmons, though any deal could come down to the wire. Sacramento’s lone keeper is believed to be Tyrese Haliburton, though it would take a significant bounty for the Kings to give up on Fox. Sacramento won’t pay Fox, Simmons and Harris but isn’t likely to part with Fox if Harris is in tow with Simmons.

Haliburton voiced his loyalty to the Kings, too, just one day ago, telling the media:

A promising young player who wants to make things work in Sacramento, the Kings would likely need a monster offer from anyone in order to move Haliburton. It’s hard to see that happening.

For the latest on the Tyrese Haliburton trade front, click here.

De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento)

Haliburton’s backcourt partner, De’Aaron Fox, is another player whose name has popped up a lot in trade talk lately, but like Haliburton, it would be surprising to see him get dealt over the coming weeks.

Still, it just feels like there’s a slightly stronger chance of Fox getting moved than Haliburton considering his stagnation this year and the fact he’s signed through 2025-26 and making an annual average salary of $32.6 million until then.

Recent reports state that the Kings would prefer to build around Fox and Haliburton, but if a move for someone like Ben Simmons, who we’ll discuss more later, comes up, then all bets are off.

Philadelphia 76ers shot-caller Daryl Morey even recently discussed the prospects of a deal between his team and the Kings:

There has been a lot of talks recently about Simmons and the Kings, specifically when it comes to De’Aaron Fox, but there is no guarantee that a deal gets done despite Morey’s connection with Kings GM Monte McNair. Morey on that situation: I can tell you that for sure, there are deals with the Sacramento Kings that I think would work. Will those deals ever happen? I have no idea. Are there just trade deals with the Kings? Probably not. Is it multiple teams? Probably, but for sure there are deals that are possible that would go over our line.

Although a blockbuster is possible, Fox getting dealt prior to the deadline still seems like a long shot.

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For the latest on the De’Aaron Fox trade front, click here.

Ben Simmons (Philadelphia)

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

The latest intel on Ben Simmons indicates that the Sixers may be opting to keep their star point guard through the rest of the season before trying to move him again this offseason, for a star-level name.

Who could that target be?

According to reports out of Philadelphia, it could be one James Harden:

James Harden or bust? That’s the feeling around the NBA as the 76ers search for ways to end the Ben Simmons saga. The Sixers are looking to trade Simmons, who has yet to play this season after requesting to be moved in August. “At the end of the day, it’s Harden all the way,” said a league source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They want Harden whether they get him now. Whether they get him on a forced sign-and-trade this summer.”

Harden and Joel Embiid could prove to be a scary duo, and allow the former league MVP to have a larger role than he does currently with the Nets.

Our own Scotto also reported that the Hawks and 76ers discussed a Simmons deal before talks fell apart:

The 76ers and Hawks briefly kicked around a trade of Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris for John Collins, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari, league sources told HoopsHype. However, those talks stalled quickly, with Atlanta uninterested in Harris and unlikely to be able to flip him to a third team.

At the end of the day, it looks like this drama could drag out into the summer, once rival teams are more willing to swing a major move that they might not want to make right now, with the playoffs looming not all that far away.

For the latest on the Ben Simmons trade front, click here.

Russell Westbrook (LA Lakers)

The major story on the Russell Westbrook trade front this week came courtesy of Stein, who reported that the Los Angeles Lakers could have one suitor if they do decide to move the former league MVP point guard, and that’s the Rockets, who have a seemingly immovable salary of their own, John Wall’s:

I have been advised that I should amend my previous characterization of the Lakers’ finding a Westbrook trade from outright impossible to extremely unlikely. There is at least one team out there that would take him, league sources say, if the conditions are right. That team, surprisingly, is the Houston Rockets.

Later in the week, Stein added that Houston doesn’t want Westbrook to actually play for them, but would instead enter buyout talks with him.

Marc Spears added that he’s hearing the same as Stein about a potential Westbrook-Wall swap:

Marc Spears: “I was told that they have a couple on the table, several on the table, but the only one that’s really has some, you know, realistic potential to it is with the Lakers for Russ. They actually make, I don’t know if it’s nearly to the same dollar, but a similar salary, so you can trade them one-for-one without including anybody else. That 2027 Laker pick that you mentioned before, that first-round pick, seems to be pretty coveted, and I would expect it to be included in such a deal. But John’s in Miami. He’s been working out. He actually asked the Rockets for permission to be in Miami so he could be near his kids and focus on working out.”

Stein also added that the Lakers would not be adding a first-round pick in such a swap.

However, with Anthony Davis returning and the Lakers playing slightly better lately, maybe Los Angeles opts to try and make things work as presently construed.

We’ll find out over the coming weeks.

For the latest on the Russell Westbrook trade front, click here.

John Wall (Houston)

We covered most of the latest Wall rumors in the Westbrook section, but there were more this week.

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Iko, for example, reported that the other L.A. team, the Clippers, had an interest in Wall at some point:

The reality is that with two seasons remaining on his contract (and 2022-23 being a player option for more than $47 million), the pickings are slim. Houston has recently received calls from a handful of teams about potentially acquiring Wall, sources tell The Athletic, but due to the aforementioned contract constraints, rival teams continue to simply monitor the situation. One such team that had expressed genuine interest earlier in the season was the LA Clippers, sources say, but there is some confusion from an outsider’s perspective on the Clippers’ objectives heading into the deadline.

However, with the Clippers’ season likely being a wash now due to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George being injured, it wouldn’t make sense for Los Angeles to acquire Wall’s massive salary right now.

Either way, if the Lakers continue to struggle, look for Wall-for-Westbrook talks to potentially continue over the coming weeks, especially if Westbrook continues to prove to be a poor fit there.

For the latest on the John Wall trade front, click here.

James Harden (Brooklyn)

The big bomb of the week on the NBA trade market regarded Harden and a potential move over the summer. It started with a report from The Athletic, led by Shams Charania:

The 76ers continue to engage in trade talks around Simmons, who requested a trade and informed the franchise in October that he is not mentally ready to play again for the franchise and needs professional help for his mental health. But multiple sources, including people with direct knowledge of the team’s thinking and also from rival teams involved on the Simmons front, tell The Athletic that the 76ers are believed to prefer to wait in order to pursue Harden or another superstar in the offseason and thus want to save Simmons for that potential sign-and-trade rather than take what’s available on the current market.

The report continued:

Yet a year later, sources say Morey still has some optimism that he can finally find a way to bring Harden his way. More specifically, he believes that the nine-time All-Star and 2018 MVP sees the Sixers’ situation in a positive light. And while it may be counterintuitive, Embiid’s MVP-caliber play this season has inspired more patience among Sixers officials to make the right deal than it has pressure to get something done by the deadline.

Harden being able to be a team’s lead ball-handler and playmaker would be great for not just the bearded superstar, but for the NBA at a whole. It almost certainly won’t happen this season, as Adrian Wojnarowski reported recently

The Brooklyn Nets won’t listen to trade-deadline overtures for All-NBA guard James Harden, a resolve rooted in Harden’s repeated insistences to ownership and management that he’s committed to staying and winning a championship with the franchise, sources told ESPN.

…but this could be the drama of the offseason, finding out whether Harden will stick around in Brooklyn long-term or if he’ll finally reunite with Morey and Co. with the 76ers.

A Harden-Embiid duo?

Scary hours for the Eastern Conference.

For the latest on the James Harden trade front, click here.

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