Early we gave you the one player Eastern Conference teams should deal before the deadline, now it’s time to check in on the Western Conference.
Dallas Mavericks: Nerlens Noel
While the Mavs may have traded for him last trade deadline, it has become evident that Noel doesn’t fit with this Mavs team. He cannot space the floor and shoot like most modern bigs and the Mavs are perfectly fine playing a small-ball lineup with Dirk at the 5 and Barnes at the 4. Noel is also an unrestricted FA next year and could get costly, so getting rid of him now may be the smartest move.
Denver Nuggets: Emmanuel Mudiay
After being picked 7th overall in 2014, Mudiay has largely underperformed. His starting spot has been taken by Jamal Murray and Gary Harris, who are better shooters and fit better within the offense. While he’s still young, he should still command value in the market.
Golden State Warriors: JaVale McGee
The warriors are a super team, but are always looking to get better. JaVale McGee has underperformed this year and the Warriors even looked to trade him earlier this year. The reason may be unknown why they were looking to trade him but a move could open an extra roster spot.
Houston Rockets: Tarik Black
I am not smarter than Daryl Morey. He is one of the best GMs in the league, maneuvering his way through the league rules to acquire Chris Paul last offseason. He is a master of the trade deadline and always has a master plan in mind. Personally, I feel they should trade Tarik Black, if anyone. He would have a little value on the market over other bench players and could open a roster spot. He could also land a trade exception, something Morey has been known to use and take advantage of.
Los Angeles Clippers: Sam Dekker
To start off, I think it’s too early to trade Griffin or Jordan. With an insane amount of injuries, there’s no knowing how good or bad this team is. Dekker was part of the somewhat underwhelming package that came from the Chris Paul trade. He hasn’t played incredible and with 2 point guards out with long injuries (Teodosic and Beverley), point guard is a position of need for this team. This trade can help the Clippers compete for a playoff spot.
Los Angeles Lakers: Larry Nance Jr.
Kyle Kuzma has surprised everyone with his fast growth, quickly taking over the starting spot and leaving Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. expendable. I went with Nance Jr. however, because he plays similarly to him, making it overkill to keep a watered down version of Kuzma.
Memphis Grizzlies: Marc Gasol
Whoa, hold up? Marc Gasol? The Grizzlies’ best player in franchise history? The heart and soul of the team? Yes, it’s a controversial move but it may be necessary. People may forget Memphis has been here before, trading Pau Gasol, Marc’s brother and star player at the time. The Grizzlies have been through a ton of turmoil throughout this season, firing their once promising head coach, in the process posting their worst record in years, angering the aging star. While his value is at its peak and young bigs such as Deyonta Davis behind him, why shouldn’t the Grizz clean house?
Minnesota Timberwolves: Cole Aldrich
Once a good signing, Aldrich has been benched to the point of no return behind Karl-Anthony Towns, Taj Gibson, and Gorgui Dieng. He is being paid 7 million and trading his salary can clear the way for Towns’ and Wiggins’ extensions.
New Orleans Pelicans: Solomon Hill
The Pelicans have been trying to shed Omer Asik’s awful contract for years to no avail, so he’s not on this list. Instead, Solomon Hill, another free agent overpay in the summer of 2016 should be on the trade block. The Pelicans are thin at the wing, starting E’Twaun Moore, who is only about 6’3” at the most at SF. Trading an injured Solomon Hill will create a trade exception and cap room to hopefully get a better wing player for a playoff run.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Patrick Patterson
Coming into the season, more was expected of Patrick Patterson. He was listed as a potential starter and still has the talent to start on a few teams. The Thunder should trade him to give him a change of scenery and maybe get a player who can contribute right way for a playoff run.
Phoenix Suns: Tyson Chandler
While Chandler has had his moments over the course of his career, he has gotten older and his albatross contract hasn’t gotten any cheaper. Dragon Bender, the fourth pick of 2016 draft is behind him and ready to play. Let’s be honest, the Suns aren’t going anywhere. With Chandler being in trade talks already, it may be a matter of when than should.
Portland Trail Blazers: Meyers Leonard
Meyers Leonard is an example of what not to do when signing a rookie to their second NBA contract. The Blazers took the bait, thinking his potential could justify his huge salary. We know that didn’t work out, but now the 4 seed Blazers are stuck with the contract and are unable to sign other players that could potentially help them more. Trading him to a non-contender would make a lot of sense.
Sacramento Kings: Vince Carter
There’s no turmoil between Vince Carter and the Kings, he was actually a welcome addition on the team lacking veteran leadership. In theory there would be no reason to trade him. The reason he’s here is because he’s most likely going to the Hall of Fame, while the Kings are going nowhere, why not trade him to a contender and get him a ring?
San Antonio Spurs: Danny Green
The Spurs team has made the playoffs for 20 straight years and don’t usually make trade deadline moves, but when they do they are small moves. With other players stepping up, its time to trade an aging Danny Green who is on a larger contract.
Utah Jazz: Derrick Favors
The Jazz have watched Favors grow up, as he is the longest tenured player on the team and has been there since his rookie year in 2010. Now may be time for him to go. The Jazz are caught in the middle of contending for a playoff spot and rebuilding. My prediction is that they will choose the latter and start to clean house to build around rising star Donovan Mitchell.