Cohen 8-Ball: When Could _____________ Get Traded?
January 20, 2013
Josh Cohen’s Analysis: One thing we have learned over the last several years is that it is very common for superstars – particularly ones that are either disgruntled with their current situations or envision greater financial reward elsewhere – to be on the trade block in the year leading up to free agency. We saw it unfold over the last two years with Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. And it’s inevitable it will continue to happen with upcoming star free agents.
Cohen’s Analysis: LeBron James set the tendency in 2010 when he decided to leave Cleveland and join Miami. The Cavaliers watched their superstar walk without getting anything in return. Now, teams are paranoid about the same ill-fated circumstance happening to them. While players, like Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, who both did not agree to extensions immediately upon getting traded, still explore free agency, it’s a position most franchises don’t want to fret. Recent trades have proven that it’s more beneficial to net gains than take a risk that their superstar will stay put. Orlando is very happy with what it got in return for Howard. CLICK NEXT to learn about other superstars who could theoretically get traded at some point under certain circumstances.
Cohen’s Analysis: Everyone wants to believe Kevin Durant would never dare consider leaving OKC. He is so beloved, so venerated and so treasured in that community that it seems like the perfect marriage forever and ever. However, we in Orlando thought the same thing about Dwight Howard. KD’s contract doesn’t expire until 2016 so there is absolutely no fret of tension building. But, if the Thunder fail to win the title this season and the next two, the spotlight on Durant will become so profound that it’s not unimaginable for the rumblings of him considering taking his talents elsewhere to be a real possibility. Just like it was in Orlando in 2011-12 with D12, 2015-16 could be the season where every sports discussion is related to Durant and whether he will be traded or simply leave OKC.
Cohen’s Analysis: If the rumors about LeBron James returning to Cleveland when he can become a free agent in 2014 are legitimate and the Heat fail to win a title this season, will Miami act desperate and shatter the nucleus this summer or in the middle of next year? There will be substantial spotlight, again, on James next season regarding his “next” decision. One would assume if Miami ever decided to splinter the Big Three, Chris Bosh would be the first one available on the trade block. It’s not been much of a discussion recently because the Heat claimed the championship last season. However, that can rapidly change if scrutiny returns.
Cohen’s Analysis: It was explored last season, but nothing ever materialized. Boston’s decision not to deal away Rajon Rondo allowed the C’s to return to the conference finals last year. Once again, however, they are inundated in the regular season and in contrast to the past few years, adversaries such as New York, Brooklyn, Chicago and Indiana appear more likely to advance further in the playoffs than Boston. If the Celtics are ousted in the First Round this year, don’t be surprised if Rondo is at the forefront of trade discussions this summer.
Cohen’s Analysis: With all the tension and turmoil brewing in Minnesota regarding Kevin Love, you have to assume there will eventually be serious consideration for the Wolves to explore a potential trade involving their All-Star power forward. While Minnesota claims it has no interest to trade Love at the present time, with the team desperate for a postseason spot this season, it still wouldn’t be shocking if he was dealt as early as this February’s deadline. Love is out until March with a hand injury. Should the Wolves make a move now, bring in a collection of assets and make a serious playoff push?
Cohen’s Analysis: Hypothetical: If the Lakers continue to struggle, miss the playoffs, Dwight Howard decides to bolt L.A. in the offseason and Pau Gasol and Steve Nash are clearly not upper echelon players any longer, should the Lakers do the inconceivable and consider trading Kobe Bryant before he could retire after next season? It’s apparent the Lakers are not the team we all anticipated when they assembled this star-studded roster. While allegiance and devotion are always important between team and franchise player, would it be in L.A.’s and Kobe’s best interest to part ways?
Cohen’s Analysis: While it sure seems Tim Duncan will never completely fizzle out from the class of elite, you have to assume there will be gradual decline as he approaches 40 years old. If the Spurs do not capture a fifth title by 2015, the year when Duncan will likely retire and when Tony Parker will be a free agent, will they explore moving Parker in the preceding season (2014-15). The Frenchman will be 33 at that point. It’s hard to gauge whether he will still be in his prime, but he may be an appealing target for a team on the cusp of championship contention.