With the trade deadline approaching and the mid-point of the NBA season getting closer and closer, it’s time to take a look at the NBA trade candidates 2023.
NBA trade candidates 2023
This has been a surprising season, to say the least, with teams that were supposed to tank actually looking quite solid and vice versa. So, as franchises look to get better, multiple stars are likely to be up for grabs and available for trade. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the NBA trade candidates 2023.
20. Gordon Hayward
It’s safe to say that Gordon Hayward is no longer a star in this league. In fact, he could be a guy you could use as an example to have NBA buyouts explained, as he’s likely to be bought out if the Charlotte Hornets are unable to find him a new home.
But as much as his career has declined due to injuries, he could still be a valuable presence on a contender, especially coming off the bench. He’s likelier to be dealt as a fill-in for salary-matching purposes, but don’t sleep on him and his versatile offensive skill set.
19. Christian Wood
It wasn’t shocking to see that Christian Wood is one of the likely NBA players available for trade. He seemed like an afterthought for the Dallas Mavericks, as they traded for him just to bring him off the bench, and they didn’t even tell him beforehand.
Wood is by no means a star, but he’s a productive big man who could be efficient in limited minutes in the second unit. He can be serviceable on both ends of the glass and is a guy who doesn’t need to get a lot of touches to get his points.
18. Buddy Hield
Buddy Hield was included in nearly every single possible NBA trades for 2023 before the start of the season. However, the Indiana Pacers have fared much better than expected, which is why they might decide to hold on to him for the remainder of the campaign.
That won’t stop other teams from inquiring about his availability, though. Buddy Hield is perhaps the best volume three-point shooter in the league, not named Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. He’s not on the cheapest deal, but he would still be under team control for another season.
17. Mike Conley
Everybody expected the Utah Jazz to blatantly tank for Victor Wembanyama, but that hasn’t been the case thus far. Even so, it seems like it’s just a matter of time before they ship their veterans away and look to gather even more draft picks for the future.
Mike Conley doesn’t fit the Jazz’s timeline by any means, and they would be better off giving Collin Sexton more minutes. Conley is a respected veteran, solid playmaker, and underrated shooter and defender who could help multiple contenders.
16. Nikola Vucevic
Shortly after joining the Chicago Bulls, Nikola Vucevic was already mentioned as one of the possible NBA trade targets, and for very good reason. He can’t get a stop to save his life, is on an expiring deal, and his offensive game has regressed as well.
The Bulls jeopardized their future to get Vucevic on board, although that may have helped them sign DeMar DeRozan. Even so, they would be better off blowing up the roster and starting back from scratch, and Vucevic should be the first man out.
15. Kyle Lowry
The Miami Heat brought in Kyle Lowry to take some playmaking duties off Jimmy Butler. But the sharpshooting point guard has been quite bad since arriving in South Florida, and it’s become evident that the best years of his career are far behind him.
Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra are reportedly digging deep into the market to get another star, and Lowry should be included in nearly every trade for salary-matching purposes. And who knows? Maybe, all he needs is another change of scenery to be back to his best.
14. Jakob Poeltl
Jakob Poeltl‘s name has been brought in on multiple potential NBA trades as of late. The San Antonio Spurs have proven that they don’t care about winning games this season, so he, Doug McDermott, and Josh Richardson could and should be traded.
While not a superstar or an athletic freak, Poeltl has proven to be a serviceable rebounder and a very good defender, especially in the pick-and-roll. Multiple teams looking to add an interior presence have already inquired about the Austrian big man.
13. John Collins
Once again, John Collins is one of the likeliest NBA trade candidates 2023, or at least it seems like that. He’s been rumored to be on his way out for years now, with multiple reports of a potential feud between him and franchise star Trae Young.
Even if that’s not the case, the fact that the Hawks have never denied all the trade talks surrounding Collins proves that they don’t value him enough. He’s still young and is one of the best combo/forwards in the league in terms of scoring and rebounding.
12. Myles Turner
Myles Turner entered the season as one of the likeliest NBA players available for trade. He even sat out multiple games early in the campaign, with people speculating that the Indiana Pacers were trying to keep him fresh and healthy to trade him.
But so far, so good for the Pacers. They’re fighting for a playoff berth, and Turner has developed some nice chemistry with Tyrese Haliburton. So, even though he might walk away as a free agent in the offseason, they might decide to hold on to him.
11. Kyle Kuzma
Kyle Kuzma claims that leaving the Los Angeles Lakers has allowed him to flourish. He no longer has to play behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis, which has obviously helped his numbers. However, ironically, he’s still likely to decline his player option.
The Washington Wizards are a bit of a mess, as per usual, and Kuzma wants no part of a losing team, regardless of how much they pay him. So, with him likely to leave the nation’s capital as a free agent, they’re likely to try and get something in return and trade him before that happens.
10. Jordan Clarkson
Jordan Clarkson should be in the running for Sixth Man of the Year again this season. He’s one of the most explosive combo guards in the league and a guy who could be a starter in most teams. Still, he’s at his best when leading the second unit.
That’s why multiple contending teams are likely to reach out to the Utah Jazz and inquire about him at some point in the season. As we previously mentioned, they’re going to blow up the roster to add more picks to those they got for Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
9. Bojan Bogdanovic
Believe it or not, Bojan Bogdanovic is currently one of the best players available before the trade deadline. He’s embraced a veteran leadership role for the young Detroit Pistons, becoming a valuable asset for them on and off the court.
However, it’s evident that he doesn’t fit their timeline. And as much as they want to compete right now, they’re just not ready to take that leap, especially with Cade Cunningham out for the season. Notably, there should be no shortage of suitors for his services.
8. D’Angelo Russell
Once considered an All-Star caliber player, D’Angelo Rusell is now one of the top NBA trade candidates 2023. He hasn’t lived up to the expectations since arriving in Minnesota and was a major liability on both ends of the floor in last year’s playoffs.
The Minnesota Timberwolves hoped to bring out the best of the former second-overall pick by pairing him with his best friend, Karl-Anthony Towns. But now it seems like they would be better off with a pass-first, traditional point guard.
7. Pascal Siakam
The Toronto Raptors expected Pascal Siakam to step up and carry Kawhi Leonard‘s torch to become their franchise player. That never happened, and he kind of regressed from his career-best season. Even so, multiple teams would kill to have someone with his two-way skill set.
That doesn’t include the Raptors, though. They’re looking to get younger, lower their payroll, and add more draft capital to their portfolio. Siakam is a borderline All-Star player and perhaps their most tradeable asset, as he’ll be a free agent after next season.
6. Fred VanVleet
On the same note, the Toronto Raptors might take a similar approach with Fred VanVleet. He earned every single penny of that big deal he signed a couple of years ago, but they haven’t fared well this season, so his time up north might be over.
VanVleet will be 29 and making $22 million by the time his deal runs out. Those numbers are reasonable, and he’s proven to be an outstanding shooter and backcourt defender, so multiple point guard-needy team should be lining up to try and get him.
5. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook has saved his career this season. He’s proving that he can make a positive impact and that it doesn’t matter whether he’s starting or coming off the bench. As long as he gets his minutes and touches, he’ll continue to do his thing.
Of course, Westbrook won’t be able to live up to that massive $47 million contract, and he’s likely to be bought out if traded. Still, multiple teams should be interested in biting the bullet and absorbing his deal, as it might come with at least one first-round pick attached to it.
4. Deandre Ayton
The Phoenix Suns waited until the eleventh hour to finally give Deandre Ayton his money. But it was evident that they were trying to lowball him, and his feud with coach Monty Williams wasn’t a secret. They haven’t been at their best this season, so why not consider a move?
It became clear that Ayton was more than willing to leave the desert, and the Suns hoped they could get him or a suitable replacement at a discount. Multiple teams were intrigued by the possibility of landing the former first-overall pick, though he will have to approve any trade before the deadline.
3. Zach LaVine
As we already mentioned, it seems like the Chicago Bulls should just blow things up. Even if Lonzo Ball comes back and plays, which seems unlikely given all the reports, they will still be a flawed team and multiple pieces away from legit contention.
Zach LaVine is young and a very good offensive player. However, it doesn’t seem like he’ll ever be a number one scoring option on a championship team. Still, he might help to get the Bulls a couple of the first-round picks they’ve lost in recent years.
2. Bradley Beal
As happens every single season, Bradley Beal’s trade rumors have taken the internet by storm recently. The Washington Wizards are a mess, and they don’t have the personnel to turn things around. They’re just not good enough.
Beal is under one of the biggest contracts in NBA history, so matching that salary and absorbing that deal will be an uphill battle. Nonetheless, he’s an All-Star and one of the best offensive players in the Association, so someone will take that risk.
1. DeMar DeRozan
And last but not least, we find DeMar DeRozan as the best among all the current NBA trade candidates. He’s coming off an MVP-caliber season and hasn’t slowed down in the slightest this year, but that hasn’t translated into many wins for Billy Donovan‘s team.
The Bulls need to hit the drawing board and retool. Neither Coby White no Patrick Williams will ever be stars. Their scouting has been terrible, and the moves they’ve made haven’t paid off. It’s only right that they free DeRozan and allow him to thrive on a winning team.