2023 NBA trade deadline: 50 players who could be traded, including Fred VanVleet, Zach LaVine, John Collins
The 2023 NBA trade deadline is Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. ET. This means that trade season is upon us. Already, there has been one notable swap — the Los Angeles Lakers acquired forward Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards on Monday in exchange for three second-round picks and Kendrick Nunn.
Next, the Lakers will probably trade LeBron James.
Just kidding! He’s not even eligible to be traded before the deadline, and you probably didn’t even read that because you came here for the list of names. I could have said that the Lakers are heavily rumored to trade James, Anthony Davis and four of their championship banners for the copy machine that was once (sort of) traded for Kyle Korver, and it wouldn’t matter one bit. Anyway, here are 50 trade candidates:
What’s going on in Utah?
The Jazz hit reset last summer, and now they have a boatload of draft picks and flexibility. They’re also hovering around .500, so it’s not like they’ve punted this season, but, if the price is right, they could part with some players that could help a contender.
In the short term, Conley is important to Utah’s offense, even though he hasn’t been particularly efficient himself this season. He is 35, though, and was initially acquired three-and-a-half years ago to take a team built around Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert to the next level. Utah’s timeline is different now, so Conley is a natural trade target for win-now teams, provided that those teams have the contracts to match. The money isn’t extremely onerous, given that his 2023-24 salary is not fully guaranteed, but that stipulation only matters if the team trading for him is happy to waive him (or reroute him) after the season — it becomes guaranteed 48 hours after the draft.
One of the many helpful players the Jazz added in the Gobert trade, Beasley is a high-volume 3-point shooter who can get buckets on the move, spotting up and off the dribble. At 26, with an affordable team option next season, the front office can reasonably demand a first-round pick for him … or simply keep him around and try to negotiate an extension or a new contract.
The key to appreciating Olynyk is to not think about him as a big man. He’s not much of a rim protector or rebounder, but he’s an extremely skilled offensive player who has been more efficient than ever this season, save for his 27 games with Houston after the 2021 trade deadline. It has been fun to watch the 31-year-old thrive as a handoff hub, floor spacer, scorer and ball mover in Utah’s offense, but it’s also fun to imagine him juicing the second unit in places like Golden State, Denver, Sacramento, Miami (again) or Phoenix. Maybe the Jazz can create a bidding war.
Clarkson has graduated from his sixth-man role this season, he has changed his game accordingly. On a per-minute basis he’s averaging more assists than he has since he was running point for the Lakers, and he’s scoring more efficiently than he has for the past couple of seasons. According to The Athletic, the Jazz love having the 30-year-old guard around and are interested in signing him to a contract extension. If they’re not comfortable with the price tag, though, then they can either trade Clarkson or risk losing him for nothing — he has a $14.3 million player option for next season.
I still can’t believe Utah was able to pry Vanderbilt away from Minnesota. He’s one of the league’s best energy guys because he brings so much more than energy — the 23-year-old is a hyper-versatile defender who loves to push the ball, pass on the move and scavenge for buckets off cuts and offensive boards. Vanderbilt is not a floor spacer, but, in a motion offense with shooting around him, he knows how to make himself a threat. The Jazz want a first-round pick for this former No. 41 pick, according to Yahoo Sports.
See also: Nickeil Alexander-Walker (RFA), Talen Horton-Tucker (PO), Rudy Gay (PO)
What is going on in Toronto?
Are the Raptors going to pivot? If so, what would that even look like? They’ve been perhaps the league’s most disappointing team this season, but they have options. They could decide to have a fire sale, add some size/shooting or do anything in between.
Typically, NBA front offices do not trade homegrown, 28-year-old All-NBA players unless they feel they have no other choice. Siakam hasn’t asked out, isn’t on an expiring contract and is in the middle of the best season of his career. If the Raptors trade him, they could get a wealth of picks and young players that, in all likelihood, will never turn into a player as good as Siakam. So why even entertain the idea? Because they might look at their theoretical paths to title contention with Siakam over the next few seasons, then look at their theoretical paths to title contention with more flexibility and a longer timeline, and decide that they’d prefer the latter.
Like Siakam, VanVleet is one of the biggest success stories in franchise history and hasn’t turned 29 yet. Unlike Siakam, he is all but certainly going to be a free agent in the offseason — he has a $22.8 million player option and is in line to make more than Toronto is allowed to offer him on an extension. VanVleet’s efficiency has dipped this season while dealing with back issues, but, if the front office can find other ways to field a deeper, more balanced roster, he could still lead the next Raptors team that makes a team playoff run. If Toronto isn’t prepared to pay market value to retain him, though, it has to consider its trade options.
The Raptors have been offered three first-round picks for Anunoby before, per the Toronto Star, and everybody wants 6-foot-7 stoppers who can dribble, pass and shoot, especially if they happen to be in their mid-20s. Anunoby, who turns 26 in July, doesn’t dribble, pass or shoot at an incredibly high level — he has made 31 percent of his non-corner 3s in the past two seasons — but he can use his strength and speed to overpower people on offense and might be the league’s best on-ball defender.
Trent can fill it up from 3 and midrange, and at his best, he’s an active, disruptive perimeter defender with a knack for deflections. He’ll surely turn down his $18.6 million player option, so Toronto needs to weigh his Bird rights against whatever’s out there on the trade market. This year’s offense is heavily dependent on his shooting, but, if the Raptors decide to go the full fire-sale route, then that won’t matter.
What would this unconventional player look like on a more conventional team? Was his 2020-21 shooting (38.3 percent from deep on 3.9 attempts per game) just an aberration? Even though Boucher is 30 years old — I’m not lying; he didn’t start playing organized ball until he was 19 and didn’t sign a standard NBA contract until he was 26 — there is some intrigue here. He’s on a declining contract, and potential suitors know for sure that he’ll bring energy, block shots and create second-chance opportunities.
See also: Malachi Flynn, Thaddeus Young, Otto Porter Jr., Khem Birch
What is going on in Chicago?
The Bulls made a win-now move two deadlines ago, and they went all-in the following offseason. Already, there’s a case they should start over or at least try to get some of their flexibility back.
LaVine just signed a max contract, and he’s had a weird season — he started slowly, coming off knee surgery, then rounded into form in December, but he hurt his hand on Jan. 11 and his 3-point shooting has suffered since. When the Bulls’ season was at a low point, The Athletic reported that LaVine wasn’t seeing eye to eye with the organization and had met privately with DeMar DeRozan multiple times to talk through their on-court issues. If Chicago trades LaVine, who turns 28 in March, it could, in theory, either use the stuff it gets back to build a more balanced team around DeRozan or move the other guys on this list and start from the bottom.
DeRozan has been even more efficient in his second year with the Bulls, and, if they were to make him available, they could ask for the moon — he has clearly outplayed the three-year, $81.9 million contract he signed in 2021. On a related note, DeRozan will be eligible for a four-year extension worth more than $150 million in the summer. If Chicago isn’t sure whether or not it wants to offer it to him, then it must consider its trade options, either now or after the season.
Speaking of extensions, Vucevic is eligible for one right now. In December, both ESPN and Yahoo Sports reported that there were no negotiations about this taking place. If he is not extended, then the 32-year-old center will be an unrestricted free agent in July. And while his jump shot has been much more reliable than it was last season, his value is not nearly what it was when the Bulls traded for him a couple of years ago. All of this means that he and the team are in an odd place — in assessing potential trades, the front office must think more about what he’ll cost to retain than about what it gave up to get him.
Just about every contender would love to have Caruso, and the same goes for the middle-of-the-pack teams that are trying to climb up the standings. As the deadline approaches, will Chicago fit in the latter category? If not, then there is logic in trading him. Caruso is flat-out one of the best defenders in the NBA, and his contract is one of the biggest bargains there is. Should the Bulls decide that they aren’t that concerned about where they finish this season, they’ll pit his suitors against each other and see how much they can get.
See also: Coby White, Andre Drummond, Goran Dragic, Derrick Jones Jr.
John Collins is going to be on this list again, right?
You bet. And he’s not the NBA’s only perpetual trade candidate. It will be funny if these guys all stay put once again.
Collins’ usage has dropped below 17 percent this season, a career low, and, after a nasty finger injury last March, his 3-point shooting has declined, too. He’s been on the block forever, but it has never been more obvious that he needs to be on a different team, playing a different role. Utah and Washington have been among the interested teams, according to The Athletic, and recently he has also been linked to the Pelicans by Bleacher Report and the Pacers by Yahoo Sports. Indiana is an intriguing destination because it has a center that can both protect the rim and space the floor when Collins is a roll man … for now, at least.
Conveniently, Turner is having the best and most balanced season of his career. Just ahead of his free agency, he has mostly stayed healthy, made almost 40 percent of his 3s, increased his free throw attempts and generally been more assertive as a roller and a scorer. He has been so good that he might not even hit free agency. The Pacers can not only offer him a contract extension, they can use their remaining cap space to renegotiate the final year of his current contract, effectively front-loading the new deal by giving him a big raise immediately. Turner and the team talked about this before Christmas, according to The Athletic, and while Indiana has yet to meet his asking price, per Marc Stein, the nonstop trade chatter around him has cooled, per Yahoo Sports on Jan. 12. The Pacers have been on a tailspin since then, though, as a result of Tyrese Haliburton’s absence. Does this change their plans at all? And if they can’t figure out an extension, will they finally move Turner?
Gordon is the Rockets‘ lone holdover from the Mike D’Antoni era, and he’s the only player in their rotation who entered this season with more than three years of NBA experience. His numbers aren’t as awesome as they were last season, but the 34-year-old guard can still help a contender with floor spacing and playmaking. His $19.6 million salary this season is an impediment to a deal, but his $20.9 million 2023-24 salary is fully non-guaranteed. (One twist on that: It becomes fully guaranteed in the event that his team wins a championship.)
See also: Terrence Ross, Richaun Holmes
What about upcoming unrestricted free agents?
If a team doesn’t anticipate re-signing a player who is about to hit free agency, then it makes sense to move that player elsewhere, particularly if the team isn’t a title contender and can find a trade preferable to playing the sign-and-trade game.
Crowder hasn’t played a minute this season, but, hey, he should be fresh. Everybody knows what the 32-year-old forward can do; the tough part is figuring out a trade that makes sense for the Suns. Typically, a win-now team like Phoenix would be trying to acquire someone like Crowder, not move him. The front office doesn’t value draft picks the way everybody else does, and, depending on how encouraged it has been by Dario Saric’s recent play, might be trying to acquire someone with a similar skill set to Crowder’s. It’s all highly unusual, but Phoenix has to trade him and teams like Milwaukee, Miami, …. are all reportedly interested.
The 30-year-old Bogdanovic had knee surgery last May, and he’s missed 25 games for the Hawks this season. It’s unclear where he fits into the Hawks’ new brain trust’s vision, but if they think A.J. Griffin is ready for more responsibility and they want to put their stamp on the roster, Bogdanovic could be on the way out. In November, before Landry Fields replaced Travis Schlenk as their lead executive, The Ringer reported that the Suns were targeting Bogdanovic.
Hart is the type of player the Blazers need around Damian Lillard, but his strangely structured contract includes a $13 million player option for next season. Hart will likely decline that, so if Portland fears losing him (or isn’t prepared to pay market price to retain him) then it needs to look into possible trades. If he’s available, expect a number of contenders to call Portland.
His renaissance as a sixth man has been overstated — he has been less efficient in his new role than he was as a starter last year — but he is an important source of playmaking for this version of the Lakers. They could package him with their much-discussed unprotected 2027 and 2029 first-round picks, but, if they can’t find a trade that would give them a real chance of winning the championship this season, don’t be surprised to see Westbrook re-sign in the summer. If they’re planning to re-sign Hachimura, then they won’t have enough cap space to chase a big-name free agent, even with Westbrook’s $47 million off their books.
Beverley seems more likely to be traded than Westbrook, per ESPN on Jan. 26, and the idea would be pretty simple: Package his $13 million expiring contract with a pick or combination of picks to acquire a player who is signed beyond this season (or a young player they’re prepared to re-sign in the summer, like Hachimura).
In his third full season in Minnesota, Russell has had by far the most efficient season of his career. He’s on a $31.4 million expiring contract, though, and, according to Yahoo Sports, there hasn’t been any progress on a contract extension. If Minnesota isn’t completely committed to Russell and Anthony Edwards sharing the backcourt for the foreseeable future, then it might as well trade him. Otherwise, they will fall into the Bird Rights Trap.
Kuzma is effectively on an expiring contract because he’s outplayed his $13 million 2023-24 player option. There are teams that would love to trade for his Bird rights, but the Wizards are telling them he’s not available, per Yahoo Sports, having broadcast their intention to re-sign him in the summer when they dumped Hachimura.
In addition to missing games because of his back and his foot, Barton has gotten some DNP-CDs this season. His numbers are down from his Denver days across the board, and Yahoo Sports reported that, if he’s not traded, then he might even be bought out.
On the one hand, Reid is one of the best backup bigs in the league, and he’s had 27- and 29-point games when filling in as a starter. On the other, the Wolves currently employ Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert. Not only is he their best trade chip, but he’s also about to be a free agent and he’d be crazy to stay in this logjam.
Others: Dario Saric, Justin Holiday, Serge Ibaka
What about the restricted free agents?
Hachimura has already been moved, and others from the 2019 draft class could follow. One of them is a 23-year-old wing who was traded last season but never solidified a role on his second team.
The most coveted upcoming restricted free agent of the bunch, Washington got an extension offer of around $50-52 million over four years before the start of the season, per HoopsHype. That’s not a lot for a skilled forward who can switch, play some small ball 5 and make 3s. While Marc Stein reported on Jan. 21 that the Hornets are now much more interested in keeping him, they could still be worried about how high his price will go.
Reddish asked the Hawks to trade him, and, although he has denied asking the Knicks to trade him, it has been reported on two separate occasions that he wants out. Still just 23, Reddish has an extremely limited track record of being an efficient NBA player, and the whole league knows he wants the ball in his hands. Going from one logjam on the wing to another was a bad break, but at this point, he’s seen as an upside play. His value has dipped accordingly.
Thybulle’s playing time has greatly diminished, but at least he’s playing every night, which wasn’t the case earlier this season. He is still a force on the defensive end, and he is still being completely ignored when he spots up on the perimeter. As nice as his on/off numbers look, it’s difficult to imagine Doc Rivers’ coaching staff trusting him in the playoffs. He could use a fresh start, and the Sixers should try to turn him into someone they think can stay on the floor in a second-round series.
After being an every-night starter for most of the previous two seasons, Bazley’s playing time has been erratic. There’s a ton of competition in the Oklahoma City frontcourt, even with Chet Holmgren and Alexsej Pokusevski out, so it seems unlikely he’ll be in the mix next season. Bazley, still 22, has shown flashes of potential, particularly in the second half of 2021-22.
See also: Jaxson Hayes, Goga Bitadze
Who are the sellers selling?
There are players who are clearly worth more to winning teams than their current teams, provided that their current teams do not envision making a huge leap next year. (And even if they want to make a leap, improving their draft odds might be their best path.)
For a soon-to-be 34-year-old on one of the worst teams in the league, there has been a lot of buzz about Bogdanovic not going anywhere. The Pistons signed him to a team-friendly extension in October, and, if they are indeed planning to make a big jump next season, then bringing him back might make sense. It makes less sense, though, if teams are offering them high-value picks or young players that could conceivably be part of their core. Fun fact: In Detroit, Bogdanovic is scoring more than ever before and more efficiently than ever before.
Burks is having the most efficient season of his career, too, and his per-36-minute stats (22.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.2 steals as of Jan. 27) are wild. His situation is similar to Bogdanovic’s, but he makes about half as much money, is two years younger and, since he’s a playmaking guard on the same team as Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Killian Hayes, he likely won’t fill a positional need for them next season.
The 27-year-old center has been a trade candidate for more than a year now. He signed such a team-friendly deal that the Spurs aren’t allowed to offer him an extension near his market value, and as he enters his prime they are in the early stages of a rebuild. He’s one of the league’s best rim protectors, an effective passer and handoff hub — 4.1 assists per 36 minutes this season! — with soft touch around the basket and, strangely, no touch at all from the free throw line. The Athletic reported on Jan. 17 that Boston and Toronto were interested in Poeltl. The Raptors’ interest in a reunion was reported last season, too.
As of Jan. 27, Rozier is averaging 25 points on 57.2 percent true shooting, plus 3.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.7 steals in the 2023 calendar year. Marc Stein recently reported that he could be a Suns target, and, back in October, The Athletic reported that the Lakers were interested in him and had discussed multi-team deals with the Hornets in the summer. Rozier will turn 29 in March, and he has three years left on his contract after this one.
Plumlee has quietly put up the best numbers of his career this season — per 36 minutes, he’s averaging 15.6 points on 68.2 percent true shooting, 12.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists — but he’s on an expiring contract and the Hornets have two young centers who need playing time. Let’s just hope that, if the soon-to-be 33-year-old gets traded, his next team continues to let him take lefty midrange jumpers.
Oubre had surgery on his injured left hand in early January, after which Marc Stein reported that Phoenix, Toronto and Cleveland had all been interested in him. He had previously been playing through the injury, which likely has something to do with him shooting 31.8 percent from deep before the surgery. It’s unclear what the Hornets can expect to receive in exchange for the 27-year-old forward as a rental, but if they don’t intend to invest in him going forward, they should move on.
Once again, Hayward has been productive for the Hornets when healthy, but, 50 games into the season, he has only made 24 appearances, thanks to a hamstring sprain and a shoulder fracture. He is owed $31.5 million next season, so he won’t have positive trade value, but if a team is confident in its training staff…
See also: Doug McDermott, Josh Richardson, Nerlens Noel (TO), Kenyon Martin Jr.
What can the buyers offer?
If win-now teams want to make win-now trades, they need stuff to trade. That means draft picks, usually, but it also means players who either are valued around the league or simply have contracts that make the math work.
The Celtics don’t need to make a trade, necessarily, but if they want to maximize their title odds, they have to try to package the injured Gallinari (and perhaps some smaller contracts) with some of their draft assets — they can trade their 2025, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks, plus six second-rounders — for a playoff-caliber rotation player. Recent reporting, including a Jan. 24 Bleacher Report story, indicates that Boston wants another center. While there are not a ton of minutes available behind Robert Williams III and Al Horford, it appears they would like some injury insurance.
Curry was inconsistent coming off ankle surgery early in the season, but he’s been lighting it up lately. While he is an incredible fit with the Nets offensively and he’s been vital for them during Kevin Durant’s absence, they’ve already seen the downside of playing him next to Kyrie Irving against bigger lineups in the playoffs. Brooklyn has its own 2027 and 2029 first-round picks (or its 2028 first-rounder) and five second-round picks available to trade, and The Ringer reported on Jan. 25 that Curry, Joe Harris and Patty Mills are all trade candidates.
Harris’ size makes him a better fit than Curry defensively, but this Brooklyn sharpshooter is owed $19.2 million next season. His trade value and future in Brooklyn are complicated by the fact that he’s coming off two ankle surgeries, missed virtually all of last season and has seen his playing time diminish with the arrival of Royce O’Neale. Harris shot just 31.8 percent from 3-point range in his first 20 games of the season but has shot 50 percent since, as of Jan. 27.
An Allen-for-Crowder deal might have been close earlier this season, and in November Yahoo Sports reported that the Bucks had called several teams to gauge his trade value. It’s not clear how many minutes will be available for him if they’re at full strength deep in the playoffs, and Milwaukee could use his contract — plus either its 2029 first-round pick or one of the eight second-rounders it can trade — to try to add a Crowder/P.J. Tucker type or more athleticism.
Graham has played in all of the Pelicans’ games this season, but, with the emergence of Jose Alvarado and rookie Dyson Daniels, it’s unclear what kind of role he’ll play in the postseason. If New Orleans is looking to use its stockpile of picks to make an immediate upgrade, then Graham’s contract is the right size.
The Clippers are always trying to make midseason trades, and they can trade a 2028 or 2029 first-round pick, along with six second-rounders. Covington was fully out of the rotation earlier this season, but he’s still capable of knocking down 3s, getting deflections and protecting the rim ridiculously well for someone his size.
Are the Warriors prepared to admit they were wrong about Wiseman or at least wrong about being able to move forward with their two-timeline plan? He’ll turn 22 at the end of March, and Golden State can theoretically package him with a couple of first-round picks (and/or some of the five second-rounders it owns) to strengthen a rotation that clearly needs strengthening. In a Jan. 26 interview on 95.7 The Game, coach Steve Kerr said it was fair to ask if the Warriors owed it to Wiseman to either play him or trade him to a team that would. Kerr added that, while he hopes he can continue to coach Wiseman, he feels bad for Wiseman “because of the circumstances” and has told Wiseman as much.
Moody didn’t have quite the same expectations as the former No. 2 pick, but, when the Warriors drafted him No. 14 in 2021, it seemed like he’d be a plug-and-play wing. There have been some encouraging signs, particularly in his rookie season, but the 20-year-old has been unable to secure a regular spot in the rotation and, on Jan. 26, they assigned him to the G League.
See also: Danny Green (UFA), Garrett Temple, Danuel House, Shake Milton (UFA), Patty Mills (TO), Furkan Korkmaz
5 more names to watch
There are some players who aren’t on expiring deals, aren’t perpetual trade targets, don’t neatly fit into any of my other categories and should be considered trade candidates. Here are some of them:
It was predictable that Quentin Grimes would take Fournier’s starting spot, but who knew Tom Thibodeau would take him out of the rotation entirely? The 30-year-old wing is owed $18.9 million next season, and they’ve reportedly tried to package him with Reddish. According to The Athletic on Jan. 24, New York is uninterested in giving up assets to simply dump his contract.
Hartenstein was maybe the best backup big in the league last season for the Clippers but hasn’t been the same in New York. There isn’t room in the Knicks’ offense for him to be the facilitator he was, and he hasn’t had the same impact as a rim protector, either. With Mitchell Robinson sidelined, second-year big Jericho Sims is ahead of Hartenstein in the rotation, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the soon-to-be 25-year-old big man is flipped in the first year of his two-year deal.
Robinson is recovering from finger surgery, and the Heat have been trying to trade him for a while, according to Marc Stein on Jan. 21. There are plenty of teams that would love his movement shooting, but none that would be excited about paying him $19.9 million in 2025-26.
The Lakers rumors have quieted, but Hield, who has shot better than 42 percent from 3-point range this season, could still be worth more to other teams than he is to Indiana. The Pacers have such a glut of 6-foot-6-and-under wings that they could even trade…
Indiana picked Duarte No. 13 in 2021 and he had an encouraging rookie season, but his minutes (and efficiency) have already declined. With Bennedict Mathurin, Andrew Nembhard and Aaron Nesmith in the picture, Duarte is no longer off-limits in trade talks, Yahoo Sports reported on Jan. 12.
See also: Dewayne Dedmon, Derrick Rose