The NBA season has officially come to a close, so that means the offseason can begin to ramp up. With the draft less than 10 days away, teams are going to begin looking for ways to acquire new talent. One of the most popular ways to bring in a star is by trading a good draft pick to a team that is looking to rebuild. So, as the draft approaches, let’s look at some big names that could be on the move soon.
1. Damian Lillard
The situation surrounding superstar Damian Lillard is complicated. Lillard was vocally unhappy with the Trail Blazers this past season, and the issues surrounding the hire of new head coach Chauncey Billups seemed to make things a little worse. Lillard spoke to the media following a Team USA practice where he said,
“That’s not true. I haven’t made any firm decision on what my future will be.”Damian Lillard – Post Team USA Practice
This response, although dismissive, does not close the door on a potential trade happening this offseason. Specifically, the excerpt about the lack of a decision leaves the door at least slightly cracked for an exit.
Lillard could be a key player in a team that is simply one piece away from winning it all. As he has shown before, Lillard does not care about the size of the market. He just wants to win. If Lillard is not traded during the offseason, I feel he may be gone by the deadline.
2. Ben Simmons
Yes, Simmons had a not-so-great showing in the playoffs. That does not make him any less talented of a player. the majority of Simmons’s mistakes in the postseason were mental errors. All he needs is the right coach to get him out of his own head.
When Simmons is on his game, he can easily provide you with a triple-double. His passing and rebounding need no work at all, and his scoring can be phenomenal at times. If Simmons can escape the mental errors, he could be enough to push a playoff-caliber team to the next level.
3. Brandon Ingram
No, Brandon Ingram has not been made readily available by the Pelicans, but it has been rumored that New Orleans is willing to move him for the right piece. If a team is looking to enter a period of building around a young team, a good place to begin may be BI.
Any team that wants to add Ingram will likely have to give up a lot to receive him. It has been rumored that the Pelicans have offered his name in a Damian Lillard trade, so it may need to be of that caliber. Another stipulation with a Brandon Ingram trade would be that the team acquiring the All-Star forward may also have to take on the contract of either Eric Bledsoe or Steven Adams.
New Orleans has a plethora of picks and young talent, so a blockbuster trade is not off the table with this squad. If there is a team looking to move off of a star, New Orleans may be the ideal destination.
The NBA offseason is one of the most exciting times for fans. Whether it is a trade or free-agent signing, everyone spends a lot of time checking social media for the latest news. This offseason is setting up to be one for the ages, and I for one cannot wait to see how it unfolds.
Who are your top 3 trade targets? Let me know on Twitter @j_vlosich and in the comments below!