We’re just five days away from the NBA Draft. It’s an exciting time in the league, as they recently announced the start of the regular season is December 22nd. Normal action in basketball draws near, but let’s refocus on the present. Draft day is on the horizon, and that means the first trades of the NBA offseason are also on the horizon. These trades can’t become official until after the Draft, but teams are still able to agree in principle. So, without further adieu, here are some players that are likely to be traded on draft day.
Featured image credits: Valley of the Suns, The Denver Post
- Chris Paul
Potential suitors: New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns
CP3 is probably the most likely to be traded on draft day. Rumors have been circulating for the past month, most of them involving the three teams I listed as suitors. He’s on a huge contract, so the team that takes him will have to either have a lot of flexibility or take some current contracts off their books by trade. The Knicks and the Suns have flexibility, but the Bucks would have to move Eric Bledsoe and probably someone like Brook Lopez as well. Regardless, expect Chris Paul to be on a new team before next season.
- Russell Westbrook
Potential suitors: New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic
Russ should also be on the move this offseason. Recently, it became known that he wants out, leaving the Rockets in a tough position. Like Chris Paul, Westbrook has a big contract that’ll make it tough for teams to trade for him. Nevertheless, the Knicks (again) and the Clippers are said to be interested. If Chris Paul goes to the Knicks, expect the Clippers to be the main suitors. I threw the Magic in there because they’re a point guard away from competing. A year after leaving the Thunder, Russ should be on a new team again in 2021.
- Victor Oladipo
Potential suitors: New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers
Apparently, Oladipo asked multiple players if he could play on their team. While they were playing. The Pacers were already looking to trade him, so that should just about force him out of Indiana. The Knicks (again, again) have been linked to Oladipo. According to an anonymous NBA GM (via NBA Analysis Network), the Mavs and Lakers are the other two suitors. It’s clear he wants to leave, and I don’t think the Pacers will even want to keep him.
- Gordon Hayward
Potential suitors: Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs
The Celtics are gonna be active on draft day. They have three first rounders and a glaring need for a big man. Hayward probably will also be on the trade block. The tricky part is we don’t know if he’ll opt into the final year of his contract, but I’ll assume he will because it’s worth more than he’ll make anywhere else. So, a trade involving Hayward would likely be a sign-and-trade. According to NESN, the C’s and the Pacers have discussed a trade involving Hayward and Myles Turner, and the Spurs and the Jazz have also been mentioned in league rumors. So, one thing’s for certain, Hayward’s future in Boston is uncertain.
- Rudy Gobert
Potential suitors: Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls
Gobert killed Utah’s team chemistry when he contracted and spread COVID all the way back in March. Donovan Mitchell also tested positive, leading to a rift between the two stars. Could Gobert be dealt after all that? I think it’s a possibility. The Celtics could really use him. Maybe a Hayward for Gobert deal could take place. Bleacher Report also added the Bulls and Mavs as trade ideas for Gobert, and I thought those would be great fits as well. Gobert is the least likely member of the list to be traded, but don’t be surprised if he’s mentioned in more rumors.