The majority of trade talks and rumors in the NBA have quieted over the past month as the primary discussion in the basketball world revolved around the FIBA World Cup. Damian Lillard and James Harden trade rumors previously stole headlines, but even talks in regards to those players have slowed as well. However, discussions may begin to pick up steam with training camp drawing near.
Lillard and Harden are obviously the biggest names, but there are a number of different players who could wind up being traded fairly soon.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at five NBA players who are most likely to be traded next. Most of them have been attached to NBA trade rumors in the recent past.
5. Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls
Alex Caruso isn’t the first player fans will think of when it comes to Bulls trade rumors. Zach LaVine has been mentioned as a trade candidate this offseason, and even DeMar DeRozan has been discussed in rumors. That said, Caruso may be the likeliest option on the Bulls to be dealt away.
The 29-year-old guard is under contract through the 2023-24 season, and has a partially guaranteed deal for 2024-25. If Chicago wants to find max value for Caruso, though, trading him now could make the most sense.
NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Alex Caruso & Chicago Bulls Updates
The Bulls also happen to be in a peculiar position. One could easily argue they feature enough talent to contend. With Lonzo Ball expected to miss the season, however, Chicago has questions that still need answering on their roster. Dealing Caruso away could lead to the Bulls landing roster depth and/or impactful draft picks for the future.
Keep an eye on Caruso as the offseason continues on.
4. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
Would the Minnesota Timberwolves actually consider trading away one of their best players in Karl-Anthony Towns?
Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report put out a list of possible trade scenarios in early September. The article had the San Antonio Spurs landing Towns in a deal that saw Minnesota receive no shortage of talent/depth.
NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Minnesota Timberwolves & Karl-Anthony Towns Updates
It goes without saying, but that was just one trade idea. There are plenty of other teams around the NBA who would love to acquire a big man who can consistently knock down three-pointers.
The fact that Towns has been mentioned in various trade rumors during the offseason suggests a deal could come to fruition at some point soon.
3. Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
Pascal Siakam has been linked to various different teams in trades. The Toronto Raptors to capitalize on his value and losing him in free agency without receiving anything in return would be a nightmare scenario.
NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Pascal Siakam & Toronto Raptors Updates
As a result, Siakam is a trade candidate without question ahead of the 2023-24 season given his looming free agency following the campaign. There’s a chance Toronto may wait until the trade deadline. If a proposal comes their way that makes sense though, look for Toronto to consider dealing Siakam away.
2. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
We can’t make a trade list in 2023 without Damian Lillard. He’s been listed in trade articles for years now, but his decision to finally request out of Portland adds traction to the rumors. The concern for the Portland Trail Blazers is that Lillard only wants to be dealt to the Miami Heat.
Miami’s best player that could be made available is Tyler Herro, since Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo aren’t going anywhere. The issue is that Herro doesn’t make much sense for Portland.
NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers Updates
As a result, the Blazers have reportedly been looking to add an extra team to the deal. This would allow the Heat to trade Lillard to a different organization while still acquiring Lillard, and Portland could still receive fair trade value.
Either way, a Lillard deal will likely happen at some point and it could come sooner than one may imagine.
1. James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers
Finally, James Harden is the most likely player to be traded next amid his standoff with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Harden is a star who can completely change the dynamic of a franchise. Some organizations may be weary about acquiring him given his history of requesting trades. Additionally, he’s only under contract for the 2023-24 season after exercising his player option.
NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: James Harden & Philadelphia 76ers Updates
Still, this is James Harden we are talking about. If the 76ers are willing to lower their asking price, which they may have to since Harden doesn’t want to play in Philadelphia, then a deal will come to the surface.
The Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets are among the teams that have been linked to Harden. A Harden trade will probably be completed soon, the only question is which team will he end up heading to?