Image by: Jeff Chiu/AP
The offseason is already off to a great start. The Phoenix Suns picked up another star recently, as they acquired Bradley Beal. Beal was drafted by the Washington Wizards in 2012, and he remained with them up until the trade. Now, he has a fresh start (and a change of scenery) and is in a better position to win.
This offseason could have its share of moves, and by the start of next season, there may be some big names in new uniforms. Here are three players that could be traded in the near future.
1.) Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is one of the NBA’s top players. He goes on the court, and night in and night out, he gives it his all. He can compete with the best of them, but his team is in a strange space. The Portland Trail Blazers are a rebuilding team. After making the playoffs consistently from 2014 to 2021, the Blazers are in a different space.
They were a lottery team this year, and currently hold the third pick of this year’s draft. And one of the biggest topics around the league is what the Blazers will do with that pick. Will they draft a young player (to build around)? Or, will they use that pick in a trade and bring in a player like Bam Adebayo (whose name came up as a target for the Blazers)? Regardless, the Blazers have some tough decisions ahead of them.
Damian Lillard has played for the Blazers his entire career. He is often called one of the NBA’s most loyal players. There is a chance Lillard stays with the Blazers, but if they fully commit to rebuilding, Lillard could be on the move. As it stands, the Blazers are not interested in moving Lillard but anything can happen. It will be interesting to see what they do.
2.) Deandre Ayton
Deandre Ayton is a talented center. He was the first pick of the 2018 draft, and since then he has been solid for his team. A center with his skill is hard to come by, and the Phoenix Suns made a good move when they drafted him. But it has come to a point where he may longer fit with them. A lineup of Deandre Ayton, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant sounds great, but is it realistic? Is there a way for the four of them to mesh without any issue? It is hard to say.
Ayton could be on the move, and it may benefit both parties. Ayton has a chance to join a team where he is more of the focal point than he is at Phoenix, and depending on what move they make, the Suns have a chance to add some depth outside of Beal, Booker and Durant. So, keep an eye on Ayton and what happens next.
3.) Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson has some controversy off the court at the moment, but he is a young, talented player. A healthy Williamson can make an impact on any team he plays for, and after dealing with injuries and obstacles, a change of scenery could be necessary.
If Williamson stays healthy, and the New Orleans Pelicans decide to keep him, they hold onto a solid core. Williamson will play alongside CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram. This core did well for the Pelicans last season, as they had their first over .500 season in five seasons. Or, if Williamson goes elsewhere, he has a chance to turn things around (for himself). There is a chance Williamson is traded, and wherever he lands, he can make an impact.