There was one trade everyone knew would take place this summer. On Tuesday, the Golden State Warriors finally pulled the trigger on it, sending David Lee to the Boston Celtics. This was a deal that was over a year in the making -- Lee's departure became inevitable once he was buried on the bench last season -- and finally happened to limit the Warriors' luxury-tax bill.
Still, there are several known commodities reportedly still available, and many of them will be moved. Some teams are still putting the finishing touches on their offseasons following an explosive (and expensive) opening week of free agency, while others are just trying to recover from unexpected losses.
Even with Lee's trade out of the way, there will likely be other significant deals completed before the end of the summer. We could even see a sign-and-trade or two from the remaining free agent crop. With the likeliest trade candidate of the summer finally in a new home, here's a look at the remaining big names rumored to be available.
There have been a lot of reports tied to Lawson's status in Denver, and the point guard added fuel to the fire during the draft when he posted a short video on social media saying "Told you, I'm going to Sacramento, bro" after the Nuggets selected Emmanuel Mudiay.
Lawson was already rumored to be on the outs in Denver before that situation, and this summer hasn't done much to fix the situation. The Nuggets haven't come out and said they would keep Lawson, and Mudiay was presumably drafted to take his place at some point. Every indication has been that Lawson's career with the Nuggets is at a crossroads that could conclude with his departure.
There have also been rumors about trading Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari, which shows that most of the team's current core isn't safe. Mudiay and big man Jusuf Nurkic appears to be cornerstones, but otherwise, guys like Lawson and Faried who were part of the last good Nuggets team seem to be available.
The tougher question is figuring out where Lawson might go at this point. The Kings were considered a logical solution with George Karl at head coach after the two spent so much time together in Denver. There have been rumors of dysfunction in Sacramento, however, with Karl's role in personnel decisions reportedly being part of the issue. The Kings then proceeded to sign point guard Rajon Rondo, which would seem to eliminate the possibility of adding Lawson.
Still, Lawson is probably the best player readily available via trade right now. He's just 27 years old, nearly averaged a double-double last season and has an affordable salary for the next two seasons. With Mudiay looking like the point guard of the future on a team in transition, Lawson will likely be in rumors until he's moved.
The Kings really, really shouldn't trade a young franchise player like Cousins ... and yet, it still seems like a possibility given the chaos that's surrounded Sacramento over the past few weeks. There were tons of Cousins-related trade rumors at the draft, many involving the Los Angeles Lakers. George Karl was reportedly pushing for a move.
Now the front office is being ran by former player Vlade Divac, and while it appears Karl's influence has been limited, a Cousins trade isn't out of the question. The Kings still probably aren't good enough to make a serious run in the Western Conference even after additions like Rajon Rondo and rookie Willie Cauley-Stein, and moving Cousins would be the easiest way to shake up the roster. Ownership certainly hasn't been shy about making against-the-grain decisions in the past.
Still, we're talking about an NBA All-Star big man on a long-term deal who hasn't even turned 25 yet. There might be rumors until the Kings and Cousins show everything is rosy, but it's not often you see players of this caliber traded in the modern NBA. The Kings have shown no public indication that they'd be willing to do so.
The Clippers seem determined to trade Crawford as they re-structure their roster without center DeAndre Jordan. This offseason has been a disaster for Los Angeles, with guard J.J. Redick publicly giving the team an "F" after losing Jordan to the Dallas Mavericks. Now it appears additional changes are in store.
The most obvious is turning Crawford into trade bait to improve the frontcourt. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat are two known suitors for the former Sixth Man of the Year, and it's certainly possible other teams might want a veteran guard who can hop off the bench and score 15 points in a pinch. Crawford has only become expendable in L.A. because of the addition of guard Lance Stephenson, who the team is banking on for a rebound after a disastrous season with the Hornets.
One possible option for the Clippers would be to send Crawford to Cleveland for the non-guaranteed deal of Brendan Haywood, which would give the team some new options. Haywood’s deal could be waived August 1, giving the team instant cap space, or it could be used to acquire an expensive big man to replace Jordan. Either way, that move would free the Clippers from their commitment to Crawford's $5.675 million salary for next season.
The reason why Haywood appeals to teams like Los Angeles as a possible trade chip is his contract, which includes a $10.5 million non-guaranteed salary for next season. That means a team can acquire Haywood in exchange for outgoing salary, then immediately waive him without it counting on their salary cap. For a team looking to shed money, like the Clippers with Crawford, acquiring Haywood in order to waive him would be one way to do that. It's also possible that a team could trade outgoing salary for Haywood, then used his non-guaranteed deal in order to acquire an expensive player who otherwise wouldn't fit into the cap.
The Pelicans point guard hasn't shown up in too many rumors, but he was tied to the Kings just before free agency last month. The team's new coach, Alvin Gentry, also said on Tuesday that Tyreke Evans will be "primarily a point guard" next season, leading to questions about what role Holiday will be left to fill.
"The style of play we’re going to have probably suits (Evans) better than any player on our team -- getting up and down the court, being able to drive the basketball, finding guys for the easy basket," Gentry told season ticket holders. "Those are going to be things that raise his game to another level. He’ll be primarily a point guard but we’ll also play him at the two and at small forward."
Gentry wasn't asked any questions about Holiday, but this adds to the idea that the point guard might not factor prominently into the team's plans anymore. That could leave a trade as a possible solution if the team wants to use its resources elsewhere.
However, Holiday's value is likely limited by his health. He has missed 90 games the last two seasons with leg injuries.
Joe Johnson, Deron Williams
The two expensive guards in Brooklyn both have been named as trade candidates this summer. The Cavaliers have reportedly been considering a trade of Haywood for Johnson, while Williams is one of the many guards who was rumored to be a target for Sacramento recently.
The massive salaries on both players complicates matters, but they also explain why the Nets would be happy to make a deal. Johnson is set to make nearly $25 million next season -- the second-largest salary in the league -- while Williams will get over $21 million this year and $22.3 million in 2016-17. With Brooklyn looking like a team destined to go nowhere special next season, moving some of that salary to start building something new might be an appealing option.
It takes two sides to finish a deal, however, and the Nets might be running out of suitors. A Johnson-to-Cleveland deal still seems possible, but who will take on Williams' contract with Sacramento out of the mix after signing Rondo?
Mario Chalmers, Josh McRoberts, Chris Andersen
The Heat have made Chalmers and Andersen "available for nothing," according to Grantland's Zach Lowe. Other names, including McRoberts and point guard Shabazz Napier, have also come up in trade rumors involving Miami. Given that the team currently is well over the luxury tax, it wouldn't be surprising if Pat Riley moved some pieces for additional breathing room.
Miami has been talking to Los Angeles about Crawford, so it's possible some of these players are also involved in those talks, though it's hard to imagine they would be enough to complete a deal. McRoberts, on the other hand, is actually a valuable piece, so a team would likely need to offer up a useful asset like a draft pick to make Miami interested.
The Suns already traded Markieff's brother, Marcus Morris, to the Detroit Pistons last week in order to clear cap space for a failed run at LaMarcus Aldridge. Now it's possible that the other Morris brother also leaves the desert soon as Phoenix considers offers for the talented 25-year-old.
One report says that Morris doesn't get along with head coach Jeff Hornacek, and after trading his twin brother, the Suns may be ready to move on. With an affordable $8 million salary for 2015-16 and a total contract of $32 million through 2018-19, Morris is one of the few available talented players who isn't saddled with a massive deal.
Phoenix could also likely handle the loss of another Morris after signing big men Tyson Chandler to a four-year deal. Chandler will likely take over as the starting center next season.
Before the Wizards fell short in their pursuit of David West, it was reported that the team was shopping Nene in order to free up cap space. While West eventually signed a minimum salary deal with the San Antonio Spurs, it's likely Washington is still open to moving the Brazilian veteran's contract if there's a taker.
Nene is set to make $13 million in 2015-16, the final year of his deal, and moving his salary would give the Wizards far more flexibility when it comes to the cap and luxury taxes. The team lost Paul Pierce and failed to sign West this summer, but still added pieces in Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson and Gary Neal, which have helped make Nene expendable.
Even at 32 years old, Nene can still be effective when he's healthy, but the nagging injuries are pretty much always around and he doesn't come cheap.
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