3 Surprising NBA Trade Candidates To Watch Closely

Jalen Green, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA Trade Rumors
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

For NBA fans, it’s one of the most exciting times of the year. It’s trade season. Soon, the deadline will be here. We should see a flurry of moves around the league sooner rather than later. 

Some deals have been in the works for a long time. Teams have been holding off until the deadline to make them, but the framework is agreed upon. Meanwhile, we likely already know what those trades may look like. 

On the other hand, some deals will come entirely by surprise. It happens yearly, and 2023-24 won’t be an exception. Here are three surprise trade candidates to watch as the deadline approaches. 

Donovan Mitchell 

OK, fine. Some people won’t be shocked if Donovan Mitchell gets moved. In all fairness, he’s been the subject of trade rumors for years to come. 

Still, we’d be surprised. The Cleveland Cavaliers are having another strong season. Mitchell is among the most talented guards in the NBA. The Cavs only traded for him recently. In all likelihood, they’d prefer to hang onto him. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers Updates

That’s what makes him a surprise candidate. Who knows? The Cavaliers could get ahead of any problems by moving Mitchell now. This should boil down to the internal information the team has about Mitchell’s preferences. Is there a more surprising candidate that could hit the market? 

Jalen Green 

Recently, Green has been the subject of rumors as well. It would certainly be shocking to see the Houston Rockets move him. Green was the first lottery pick they made to usher in their next era of basketball. Surely, they won’t cut ties with him already? 

Who knows? It’s fair to say that Alperen Sengun has surpassed Green. The two make for a potentially clunky fit. Green’s main advantage is speed. He may thrive in a transition-heavy team, but Sengun operates best at a slower pace. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jalen Green, Houston Rockets Updates

Perhaps that’s why rumors have suggested that the Rockets are trying to send Green, along with draft capital, to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Mikal Bridges. That would be a surprising deal. Still, there’s a more shocking trade candidate that could emerge on the market. 

Jimmy Butler

The Heat advanced to the NBA Finals last season. Butler carried a significant load to get them there. Surely, they couldn’t trade him now – could they? 

It’s hard to say. The Heat have been on a skid recently. It’s possible that this iteration of the team peaked last season. The Heat could opt to trade Butler before it’s too late to get anything noteworthy for him. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat Updates

On the other hand, they’d be chasing their tail. The Heat just acquired Terry Rozier. In all likelihood, they’ll stand pat or try to improve the roster around Butler. At the same time, we wouldn’t rule anything out. 

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