Top 3 NBA Players Likely To Switch Teams Via Trades During The 2019 NBA Offseason
The 2019 NBA offseason is still a couple of months and rumblings about player movement are already getting a lot of traction. While the center of attention, for better or worse, will be the free agents, some prominent names would also generate a lot of attention. That said, here are the top 3 NBA players who could be traded during the offseason.
Lonzo Ball - Los Angeles Lakers
Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations, named Lonzo Ball as "the new face of the Lakers" franchise when Ball was drafted number 2 overall during the 2017 NBA Draft. Despite being riddled with various injuries in his rookie season, Ball lived up to the billing as he averaged 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 1.7 steals in 52 games.
This season Ball's averages have gone down but this is likely due to the arrival of LeBron James. In 47 games for the Lakers this season, Ball is producing 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.5 assists per game. The decline in his statistics may have been a direct cause by the reduced court time (and usage), from 34.2 minutes per game to 30.3 minutes per game this season.
However, the impact of the arrival of LeBron James merely amplified what some analysts suggest as underutilization of Lonzo Ball. Ball is a gifted playmaker with an above-average court-vision. With the Lakers now playing with James as the primary playmaker, the Lakers are taking away the characteristics that made Ball a special player.
Then there's LaVar ball. Lonzo's dad clearly isn't happy how the Lakers organization has been handling his son's career, especially being heavily involved during the ill-fated Anthony Davis negotiations with the Pelicans. While basketball analysts see the Lakers-Pelicans debacle as a double-edged sword for Lonzo, in which (1) New Orleans show that they seem to genuinely covet the younger ball, and (2) the Lakers may have shown that Ball is not as irreplaceable as the LaVar may have thought.
LaVar showed his displeasure by publicly announcing that he would prefer that his son is traded to a team that is in dire need of a point guard. The older Ball inferred that Lonzo would fit quite nicely with the Phoenix Suns. Of course, it is still possible that Lonzo would be traded to the Suns or to other teams this offseason but a lot of the Lakers' decision would be hinging on the future of Anthony Davis.
If Anthony Davis ends up with the Boston Celtics as most analyst expects, then Lonzo would probably remain with the Los Angeles Lakers. If the Pelicans finally decide to deal with the Lakers "in good faith," then LaVar Ball would finally get his wish and see his son playing for a different team next season.
Kyle Lowry - Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry has long been considered as one of the best floor-generals playing in the NBA. There is no denying that Lowry is a key part in the Raptors' scheme. Lowry and the former Raptor DeMar DeRozan led Toronto to five straight postseason appearances. In the franchise-best season, the Raptors were just two games away from an NBA appearance and were ousted by the eventual NBA champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Two seasons later, Lowry saw the departure of his close friend DeRozen who was replaced by Kawhi Leonard. It has been reported that Lowry wasn't happy with the trade. But being the professional that he is, the 14-year NBA veteran just shrugged it. Lowry is averaging 14.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 9.2 assists this season.
While the 32-year-old may be unhappy with the way the Raptors dealt DeRozan, his decision to demand a trade may depend on how the Raptors will do this current season, specifically during the playoffs. The Raptors are considered one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference and hailed as one of those teams who could give the Warriors a run for their money (if Golden State makes it to the NBA Finals). Also, if the Raptors fail to re-sign Kawhi Leonard or if the Raptors fail to drastically upgrade its roster in the offseason, there's a good chance that Lowry would be traded.
Lowry would surely attract a lot of attention if he is put into the trade block by the Raptors. Just a few weeks ago, the Raptors and the Utah Jazz have allegedly been in negotiation to swap point guards. Lowry has long been in the Jazz radar and if things go south in the north, then Lowry may find himself flying west. Or elsewhere for that matter.
Anthony Davis - New Orleans Pelicans
NBA fans already know the narrative (not to mention the timeline regarding Anthony Davis). Put simply: (1) Davis requested a trade from the Pelicans and names four teams as his preferred landing spot; (2) The Pelicans "listened" to trade packages; (3) The Lakers offered everything they had and got snubbed, accused the Pelicans for not negotiating in good faith; (4) Davis reveals that all NBA teams are an option if he gets traded; (5) Boston emerges as the favorite to acquire Davis; and finally, (6) the Lakers re-emerges as the top team with the highest chance of trading for Davis.
Of all the events that surround Anthony Davis before and after the NBA trade deadline, there is one thing that is clear: Davis wants to get out of New Orleans. The only thing unclear is where the All-Star forward will be playing come next season. That being said, Davis will not be in a New Orleans Pelicans uniform when the 2019-2020 season starts.