The 11 Most Interesting NBA Trade Candidates
Now that practically every player in the NBA is eligible to be traded, expect the rumors and innuendo about swaps featuring stars to heat up.
PORTLAND, OREGON - NOVEMBER 30: CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers stands for the national anthem before the game against the Detroit Pistons at Moda Center on November 30, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Despite so much uncertainty swirling around his future in Portland, CJ McCollum has a pretty healthy perspective.
“I’ve always focused on controlling the controllables,” McCollum told The New York Times recently. “I can’t control any of the noise that comes with playing this game. I can say that as a basketball player you will be involved at some point in rumors regardless of the magnitude because you play a sport. The media kind of dictates the storyline. Success and failure also plays a role.”
He’s right about the media dictating storylines, but where there’s smoke there’s often fire. Now that we’ve reached, and passed, the magical date of Dec. 15, practically every player in the Association is eligible to be traded, so expect the rumors and innuendo about swaps featuring stars and consequential deals to drastically heat up in short order. More than a quarter of the way into the season, every front office has a pretty decent idea of what improvements need to be made or what assets should be shed, depending on each team’s unique situation. The wheelings and dealings are imminent.
Currently on the mend following a collapsed lung, McCollum is one of the most interesting names potentially available on the trade market as the Blazers struggle to put a team on the court that consistently competes and wins. Every NBA observer knows something needs to change in Portland, and with Damian Lillard giving us zero indication he wants to leave his adopted home since his loyalty to Portland should never be questioned, his sidekick is the logical choice to be shipped out in the name of reshaping and revamping a flawed roster.
But McCollum, of course, isn’t the only notable name potentially on the move before the trade deadline arrives Feb. 10, a week prior to the All-Star break. Many you already know. Some might come as a surprise. If we wrote about every NBA player linked to a trade rumor, our list would run 100 deep. But for now, we’ll settle on the 11 most interesting, intriguing, and enticing candidates, some easier to deal/acquire than others.