It’s time for another installment of our trade rumor rankings series, an important one considering it’s our first with under one month to go until the Feb. 9 trade deadline.
For those unfamiliar, in our trade rumor rankings series, we rank the five players who have appeared most often in trade rumors over the past week as judged by appearances on our trade rumors page.
Although many expect a quiet trade deadline with so many teams in the running for a playoff spot, it’s always smartest to expect the unexpected in the NBA with regards to trades.
With some very interesting players to discuss, let’s jump right into the action.
D’Angelo Russell (Minnesota)
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Minnesota Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell first made waves this week when he unfollowed the team on Instagram, something that could only be newsworthy in the modern NBA but something that does bear mentioning.
Then, Jake Fisher reported that Russell’s name is one that has come up in trade chatter around the league, though he himself hasn’t asked out of Minnesota:
Jake Fischer on D’Angelo Russell: I have not been told that he has asked out, I didn’t see that anywhere. I don’t believe he’s unhappy in Minnesota either. But his name di lui is definitely a name in trading chatter as we approach February 9, and lui it’s been involved in trade talks since the summer.
Fischer then reported later in the week that the Miami Heat are one team interested in Russell, which was corroborated by Darren Wolfsona local Minnesota reporter, just today:
The Heat have in fact registered interest in D’Angelo Russell, source told Yahoo Sports, but a direct deal for Lowry would appear unlikely. Lowry is just a few months away from entering the final season of his own contract worth roughly $30 million in average annual salary, and it’s hard to imagine Wolves officials being eager to extend the aging guard another exorbitant payday when he becomes extension eligible this summer — putting Minnesota in the exact situation it faced with Russell last July
With how poorly Kyle Lowry has played this year and with Russell being on an expiring deal, it makes complete sense why Miami would be interested in such a swap, especially considering the Heat rank bottom 10 in scoring efficiency this year, an area in which Russell could help provide a boost.
Nevertheless, Wolfson said himself he doesn’t see Russell getting traded prior to the deadline, so we’ll see if this story amounts to anything.
For the latest on the D’Angelo Russell trade front, click here.
Jalen McDaniels (Charlotte)
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It may be hard for non-Charlotte Hornets fans to know this considering how poor the team has been all campaign, but Jalen McDaniels is quietly emerging a solid young player, a swingman averaging 10.8 points and 4.8 rebounds while providing stingy defense on the other end.
Teams around the NBA have taken notice, apparently, as Shams Charania reported this week that the Phoenix Suns, among various teams, have shown trade interest in McDaniels recently.
However, Pheonix-area radio host John Gambadoro countered that by saying the Suns haven’t had discussions regarding McDaniels:
Nonetheless, Charlotte doesn’t have very many bright spots this season – it would be beyond surprising to see them decide to trade McDaniels before he hits free agency this summer. In the modern NBA, McDaniels has a role on a good team, and if the Hornets want to at least contend for the playoffs anytime soon, they’ll need to keep promising young talent like the San Diego State product around.
For the latest on the Jalen McDaniels trade front, click here.
Zach LaVine (Chicago)
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Zach LaVine has come up in trade chatter some this week, though nothing truly concrete or groundbreaking.
First, Chicago-area beat writer Joe Cowley discussed LaVine’s relationship with head coach Billy Donovan being somewhat strained, though workablewhich could affect what the Bulls do at the trade deadline with regards to LaVine:
According to a source, while the LaVine-Billy Donovan player-coach relationship is still very workable it remains somewhat strained in the wake of a Nov. 18, late-game benching in which Donovan chose to ride out the final minutes against Orlando with LaVine out of the game. … Where this could get interesting is where are the Bulls come Feb. 9 when the trade deadline hits the Association? As well as he’s been playing since mid-December, LaVine’s trade value has not been higher at any point this season than it is now. Does executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas believe enough in LaVine and this team to stay pat or even be a buyer? The next three weeks might go a long way in determining that, especially if the Bulls can stay hot over a soft part of the schedule.
Then, Marc Stein mentioned the Los Angeles Lakers – this might be the farthest we’ve gotten in one of these articles before talking about the Lakers, actually – as preferring to keep their first-round picks in case a player like LaVine comes available.
With LaVine now eligible to be traded, starting today, we’ll wait to see if something happens on his end. But now that the Bulls have turned things around of late, it would be beyond shocking to see Chicago deal it’s All-Star 2-guard.
For the latest on the Zach LaVine trade front, click here.
Myles Turner (Indiana)
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After years on the trade market without finding a deal for him, would it not be surprising – if not hilarious – to see the Indiana Pacers finally trade Myles Turner this year, now that he’s playing the best basketball of his career?
It doesn’t appear like that will be the case, as reports indicate Indiana and Turner are discussing a contract extension. However, a report this week did state that if extension talks don’t culminate in a deal, the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors would be interested in trading for the former Texas standout:
If Myles Turner’s contract talks ultimately stall, New York and Toronto have registered interest in recent transaction cycles, sources said. The Knicks hold a trove of first-round draft capital to spend, although the recent performance from Mitchell Robinson may quell any of New York’s attempts to upgrade its frontcourt. The Clippers remain a legitimate successor for Turner as well, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Fischer did continue on to say that Turner, who was formerly looking forward to hitting unrestricted free agency, would now “welcome” a long-term future in Indiana with how well things are going now.
Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle went so far as to tell collected media this week that he has no interest in trading Turner, though it was in a joking manner:
Anything can happen in the NBA, but Turner looks like one player safe with the team he’s currently on.
For the latest on the Myles Turner trade front, click here.
John Collins (Atlanta)
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Cooler heads have appeared to prevail in Atlanta, with reports this week stating that the asking price for John Collinswho’s been available seemingly forever, is starting to come down, which could lead to a trade for the former Wake Forest Demon Deacon (Street The Athletic):
After all these years of John Collins trade rumors, executives who have spoken to the Hawks about acquiring the veteran forward recently have indicated that the asking price has — understandably — declined significantly this time around. As I detailed in my recent conversation with Collins, the combination of his large contract and his declined production of him is hardly helpful in terms of his modern-day value of him. In some scenarios, the Hawks are merely asking for a quality player in return (and not a first-round pick), according to league sources.
Fischer reported that the Pacers are a potential landing spot for Collinswho could form a fun pairing with the much-improved Turner while also mentioning the Washington Wizards and Utah Jazz as potentially interested parties.
Fischer went so far as to state that the parameters of a potential deal between Utah and Atlanta for Collins would be the athletic big man heading to the Jazz in exchange for Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt.
Sam Amick reported earlier in the week that Collins would actually welcome a change of scenery. Hard to fault him about that considering the constant trade chatter around him and the Hawks’ struggles this season under chaotic management.
Of all the names mentioned here today, Collins is undoubtedly the likeliest to be traded prior to the deadline. Keep an eye on this situation.
For the latest on the John Collins trade front, click here.