Top Landing Spots for Key Names in NBA Trade Rumors

NBA Analytics Network

The unofficial start of the NBA trading season is upon us. December 15 is circled on the calendar for every front office in the league because that’s the date when a large portion of the players who signed up for free are eligible to be traded. Teams are preparing to make deals as we have already seen rumors of players that may be available.

One of the players who will get a lot of interest is Jakob Poeltl of the San Antonio Spurs. Poeltl is currently struggling with a contusion in his right knee, which has kept him sidelined for a week. He has yet to be approved for contact, but his market shouldn’t be impacted too much.

San Antonio has a very high asking price for Poeltl, which isn’t too surprising. Still only 27 years old, Poeltl is one of the top defensive centers in the NBA given the edge protection and elite rebounding he provides. Offensively, the Utah product is efficient and you can take some offense to him given his developing playability.

If he was traded, the Golden State Warriors would make a lot of sense given their needs in the frontcourt. In the end, however, Poeltl stays put. While no renewal was agreed before the season painted a picture of the sides not being on the same page, it could actually be the opposite.

Poeltl was limited to just a four-year, $58 million extension. A handshake deal could have been struck as the Spurs have more than enough cap room to keep him in the summer. San Antonio also feels that Poeltl is a good fit for Victor Wembanyama should they be lucky enough to win the NBA Draft Lottery.

LATEST NBA NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: Top updates on league talks

The other center who is a popular trade candidate is Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers. Turner has been in the trade bloc for years as the Pacers considered breaking up their jumbo front court. Had a foot injury not questioned his status during the 2021-2022 season, Turner could very well have been moving in place of Domantas Sabonis ahead of the 2022 NBA trade deadline.

The Texas big man is having a career season averaging 16.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.2 blocks in 29.6 minutes per game. He benefits greatly from the addition of Tyrese Haliburton to the point guard spot, as he shoots 55.5 percent from the field and 43.0 percent from 3-point range.

His value has only increased over the season as the Pacers can demand even more in a trade package and he lands a nice free agency contract. Indiana is 14-15 on the season, so they can go either way when it comes to saying goodbye to Turner or not.

LATEST NBA NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: Top updates on league talks

A strong argument could be made for either side, but with the limited center market, the Pacers might be able to cash in on the best asset. With Jalen Smith and Isaiah Jackson already on the roster, there’s depth to take on the moving Turner, who will end up with the Toronto Raptors.

This deal with the Raptors also includes another player who has been involved in some trade rumors in OG Anunoby. Toronto is reportedly open to trading Anunoby or Gary Trent Jr., knowing that big raises could lie ahead for both players and Fred VanVleet. To address their need for a big man and help manage their money, they trade Anunoby for Turner.

Those two players can be traded one-to-one and the money works, but other pieces, such as change, can be withdrawn. Anunoby has the profile of the kind of two-way wing teams want to build around, giving Indiana a long-term option on the forward. Reportedly, he wasn’t happy with his off-season role with the Raptors, but with the Pacers, he could be the No. 1 option.

LATEST NBA NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: Top updates on league talks

It wouldn’t be a commodity without mentioning the New York Knicks, who made major changes to their rotation this season. Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose and Cam Reddish are currently looking out as they are currently out of the mix for minutes as Tom Thibodeau cut the rotation to nine players and put young defensive dynamo Deuce McBride into the mix.

On more than one occasion, there have been rumors that Reddish would be available as he seeks a situation that will give him more consistent playing time. He could be used as a sweetener to move Fournier’s contract, and in that scenario, the Los Angeles Lakers make sense as a landing spot.

LATEST NBA NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: Top updates on league talks

Los Angeles needs as much shooting and defense as they can get and the Knicks duo provides both in spades. Fournier set a Knicks franchise record for three-pointers in a season during his first year with the team, while Reddish has shown he can be the best perimeter defenseman in a rotation. He is bursting with potential and joining a veteran roster led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis could be just what he needs to realize that potential.

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