Kyle Kuzma Drawing Interest From Knicks, Suns, Mavs, Hawks
2023 NBA Trade Watch: Best Available Wings and Their Top Landing Spots
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Organizing the chaos with the NBA’s Feb. 9 trade deadline drawing near can be challenging, but breaking the gossip, rumors and analysis by position can help manage the madness.
While lines have blurred recently, it’s reasonable to split players into three groups: ball-handling guards, wings and bigs. With guards out of the way, the focus shifts to wings. These delineations can be subjective, with some guards often playing without the ball (Eric Gordon, Alex Caruso, etc.) and modern-era bigs operating on the wing. For our purposes, small-ball bigs like John Collins, Jarred Vanderbilt and P.J. Washington will be left off the list.
It’s an inexact science, but the following list includes NBA wings bandied about on the trade market. Some are likely to move, while others are TBD.
While many executives don’t expect as busy a trade deadline as last season, there’s enough potential action for a good half-dozen deals.
Pistons May/May Not Cash out Bogdanović
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The Detroit Pistons extended Bojan Bogdanović almost immediately after acquiring him in the offseason from the Utah Jazz, and the forward has flourished with a career-high 21.5 points per game.
Turning 34 in this April, Bogdanović doesn’t fit the age range of the team’s young core, but he’s set to earn just $20 million next season, followed by $19 million (with just $2 million guaranteed) for 2024-25. With health and development, the Pistons hope to make the playoffs next year, and Bogdanović may be a vital part of that equation with his floor-spacing sharpshooting.
Still, the team is open to conversations and could deal the veteran forward at the right price. Several franchises are interested, though it’s unclear how many will give up enough to get the Pistons to pull the trigger.
Interested parties are believed to include the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns, among others. The goal for Detroit would be first-round draft compensation or younger talent that can help the team start to win consistently next season.
An unprotected first several years down the road (2027 or later) for an older veteran is risky, especially for the Lakers and Mavericks, who only have their stars under contract for so long. But if buyers don’t give enough, the Pistons will hang onto Bojan Bogdanović past the deadline.
Additionally, Detroit has signaled the team intends to keep Alec Burks into next season. The Pistons are believed to have Hamidou Diallo available.
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Many teams covet Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma, but the franchise seems to be taking a Bradley Beal-like approach, paying whatever they need to keep a talented player.
But if Kuzma makes it clear he desires a move, the Wizards should be able to get a strong return. The New York Knicks have plenty of draft picks and young players (Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Cam Reddish, Jericho Sims, etc.) to entice Washington.
Per various NBA sources, other teams that have eyes on Kuzma include the Atlanta Hawks, Suns and Mavericks. While the Lakers were also linked to Kuzma, the Rui Hachimura trade with the Wizards likely signaled an end to that flirtation.
The smart money has Kuzma sticking through the season, opting out of his final year at $13 million and cashing in with a large new deal in D.C.
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The Toronto Raptors are expected to make some changes, but it’s unclear how far they’ll go. Interested teams hope players such as OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam will become available. If they do, it will be at a significant price in players and draft compensation.
More realistically, the team will look to relocate Gary Trent Jr., who is expected to decline his $18.8 million player option for 2023-24 for a longer, lucrative contract. The Lakers and Suns might make sense.
If Anunoby were available, he’d have a list of suitors too long to name, given he’s under contract for another season plus a player option ($19.9 million) for 2024-25.
Siakam is a little more complex at a pricier $35.4 million salary with $38 million due for 2023-24. The Mavericks could be a suitor. One executive suggested the Warriors give up their younger players (James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and/or Moses Moody) along with Draymond Green to the Raptors for Siakam and others.
Fred VanVleet could also be on the move, but his situation is detailed on the guard list.
Reddish to Relocate
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The Knicks took a gamble last year in picking up Cam Reddish (giving up a protected Charlotte Hornets first) in late January from the Atlanta Hawks. He hasn’t blossomed in New York and is back on the block at a diminished price.
Look for Reddish to relocate to the highest bidder at a price similar to what the Lakers gave to Washington on Monday for Hachimura (three second-round picks and an expiring contract in Kendrick Nunn)—though that may be optimistic.
The Miami Heat are very close to the luxury tax line ($150.3 million) and may not be willing to take on the extra money with Dewayne Dedmon ($4.7 million) out for salary purposes with Reddish ($6 million). While competing executives think the Heat might give up Caleb Martin in a deal that makes Miami appreciably better, Reddish may not be enough motive. To date, the Heat haven’t found takers for Duncan Robinson.
The Lakers, who tried to acquire Reddish last year, could still get involved, but the likelihood has reduced significantly after picking up Hachimura. New York is believed to covet Reggie Bullock out of Dallas for Reddish.
The Milwaukee Bucks have been offering wing Grayson Allen to multiple teams, per sources, for various players on the block, including Reddish.
The Knicks would also like to get out of Evan Fournier’s contract (owed $18.9 million next season with a team option for $19 million for 2024-25), but the buzz has been relatively quiet on the French shooter.
Pacers Open to Moving Hield
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Competing executives term Buddy Hield as having been available since the Pacers picked him up in trade from the Sacramento Kings last February.
The Pacers owe him another $18.6-$23.3 million for next season, depending on incentives. That’s not to say Indiana is desperate to get off his deal, but “open to it” is arguably the best way to term it.
The Lakers could still be a consideration—team executive Rob Pelinka is Hield’s former agent. The Pacers and Lakers have discussed a Myles Turner/Hield swap for some time, though Turner is still negotiating a potential renegotiation and extension with Indiana.
Even after the Hachmiura trade, the Lakers can still get to Hield’s salary with players like Lonnie Walker IV, Patrick Beverley and Damian Jones. If the Pacers are happy enough to come off his salary and consider Walker worth a tryout, perhaps the Lakers can get a deal done without needing to send draft compensation.
Where else could be a possibility for Hield is unclear, though one executive suggested the Mavericks with Dāvis Bertāns and Josh Green (and some level of draft compensation) to the Pacers. While Bertāns doesn’t have a favorable contract ($17 million next season), his 2024-25 salary (with an early termination option) is only $5 million guaranteed.
While some executives were skeptical that Dallas would move Tim Hardaway Jr., the Pacers are unlikely to covet the 30-year-old wing—and the Mavericks want more shooting, not just swapping out one deep threat for another.
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Jae Crowder and the Suns agreed to part ways via trade ahead of the season. Despite various flirtations with the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Raptors, Heat, Bucks and Lakers, nothing has emerged.
Look for closure before the deadline, though the Suns may not get as much as they had initially hoped since Crowder (32) is in the final year of his contract. Phoenix has more significant issues to resolve, notably the team’s sale from Robert Sarver to Mat Ishbia.
That deal is expected to go through in the next couple of weeks, which could impact the Suns’ direction at the deadline. Bigger picture, the team is looking for a long-term replacement for Chris Paul. It’s unclear if that will go down in the coming weeks, but Crowder could be a minor part of more significant changes in Phoenix.
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are among the few contenders in the East, but other teams don’t believe they’re especially hungry for a deal. Still, the Cavs could make a run at some of the previously listed wings, with Caris LeVert ($18.8 million expiring) the most likely to go.
Some wonder if the Denver Nuggets will part with Bruce Brown Jr. if the team doesn’t believe it can retain him beyond this season ($6.8 million player option), with Denver looking to add cost-controlled defenders.
Few expect the Golden State Warriors to part with their younger wings in Kuminga or Moody—though several competing executives think they should.
The 76ers are looking to add to bolster their chances in the Eastern Conference, but in the absence of a move to improve, look for the franchise to shop a wing like Furkan Korkmaz or Matisse Thybulle (or guard Shake Milton) to get under the luxury tax.
The buzz that Kenyon Martin Jr. wants out of Houston has diminished with him taking on a steady role on the Rockets this season.
The Orlando Magic are said to be open to a variety of moves, including parting with veteran wings Gary Harris and Terrence Ross. The Utah Jazz wouldn’t mind getting off Rudy Gay’s final season at $6.5 million (player option for 2023-24).
Others to keep an eye on include Jaylen Nowell (Minnesota Timberwolves), Jalen McDaniels (Charlotte Hornets), both Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson (San Antonio Spurs) and Malik Beasley (Utah Jazz). With a team option next season at $16.5 million, Beasley could make sense for the Cavaliers.
The Los Angeles Clippers are seeking a ball-handling guard and center but may have a few interesting wings to offer in veteran Robert Covington and younger prospects such as Amir Coffey and Brandon Boston Jr.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are perpetually a wild card. The Sacramento Kings are expected to keep Harrison Barnes, and the Portland Trail Blazers aren’t thought to be parting with Josh Hart (who has a player option after this season).
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