To reiterate: the criteria centers around talent, age, contract status, and ability to put asses in seats. Again this is NOT a ranking of the best players, it is a ranking based on who I believe the majority of teams would prefer if they could choose to acquire a player for their team along with their contract. Another thing to consider is that there are more rebuilding teams than legit contenders, so young players have more value to a larger amount of the teams in the league boosting their ranking.
The list is structured by categorizing players into tiers, which has similar players based on age, skill, and contract status. However, not all players in the same tier have the same value, so their actual ranking in the overall trade value list will be beside each player’s name.. When the series is over I will publish the whole list in order. Lastly, why did I rank the top 83 players? Because I wanted to.
Tier 13: Come on, It’s ______ Freaking ______! Some Desperate Owner Would Make His GM Trade for Him and Then Regret it When He Has to Cut a $40 million Check
73. John Wall
70. Blake Griffin
62. DeMar DeRozan
50. Chris Paul
And now we have the favorite players from your childhood, if you are a high school/college kid of course. All of these guys were elite and still are highly productive All-Star level players. However, some of these contracts just aren’t worth it. Paul is 33 and locked in at $160 million the next 4 years! I’m sorry, but unless it’s LeBron James, I don’t want to pay any player the full 35% max for his ages 33-37 seasons. DeRozan’s contract isn’t that bad, I just don’t think he’s that great when it comes to adding value to winning and there are guys in other tiers I’d prefer. Griffin and Wall are very similar despite playing different positions. Both are former number 1 picks, rely on otherworldly athleticism, have injury concerns, and make an absurd amount of money. What makes Blake slightly more valuable is that he making less money for fewer years and plays a position with more value. Never underestimate an impulsive owner who wants asses in seats or a GM whose about to be fired and needs a Hail Mary without caring about the team’s future. What’s up Stan Van Gundy!
74. Kevin Love
I was really looking forward to seeing the Kevin Love solo act for the first time since he was sequestered up in Minnesota. Unfortunately, he got injured four games into the season but not before he signed a 4 year, $120 million extension. Again, like DeRozan, his contract is not that bad. With the way the league is, $30 million per year could be the going rate for an above-average starter, but the fact that Love’s deal extends to his age 34 season, and he is already breaking down, does not bode well for his future value. I’m still sure some team would roll the dice on him, and I wouldn’t mind seeing OKC reuniting him with Westbrook like the old UCLA days. I wonder if Cleveland likes Dennis Schroder?
Tier 12: Miscellaneous Recent Draftees
75. Trae Young
57. Dejounte Murray
56. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
53. Lonzo Ball
52. Dennis Smith Jr
This is the point guard portion of the section and all of these guys have characteristics teams desire in a floor general. In terms of trade value, point guard has the least as it seems every team other than Phoenix and Orlando has at least one guy who can play the position at a high level. That means you need to be a Steph/Russ/Kyrie/CP3 level star to have the marginal value over a replacement that warrants a high draft selection, and later, a massive contract. Let’s put it this way, Mike Conley has been one of the best floor generals in the NBA for the past decade and has never made an All-Star team! I guarantee if you went to each of these players’ GMs and asked if they would be happy if they turned into Mike Conley, the executives would give emphatic “Yes!” Out of this group, Lonzo is the best facilitator, Murray is the best defender, Smith Jr. is the best athlete, SGA looks like he could be the best overall player, and Trae Young is… Oops sorry out of space.
80. Jonathan Isaac
72. Mo Bamba
64. John Collins
God love the Orlando Magic. Since the exodus of Dwight Howard, Orlando has made selections in the following slots: 2, 4, 5, 11, 6, 6. And with those picks, they took: Oladipo (and traded him for Serge Ibaka), Aaron Gordon (who should NEVER play the 3), Mario Hezonja (yikes), Sabonis (Also shipped for Ibaka!), Isaac, and Bamba. Maybe I’m giving the Magic credit they don’t deserve by having Isaac and Bamba on the list, but both guys have insane physical gifts and star potential. As for Collins, the kid just goes out there and grinds. Gritty player with a knack for the ball, he could be Tristan Thompson with a strong offensive game.
78. Josh Hart
67. Caric Levert
63. Buddy Hield
55. OG Anunoby
Hield was the centerpiece of the Boogie trade a couple years ago and has formed quite the potent backcourt with Fox. When I first made this I had Hart a little higher, and then I realized I fell into a media trap. Hart’s a nice player, but we all know the media is trying to inflate his, along with all the other baby Lakers, value so they can be traded for Anthony Davis among others. The trick won’t work on me, but Hart has actually been pretty good and VERY cheap. Who knows where LeVert would be if it weren’t for injuries. Earlier this season he suffered a gruesome ankle dislocation that looked worse than it was. Potentia l has LeVert here, and I genuinely hope he gets healthy and becomes the player I know he can be. Anunoby was a stud last year and will be a very solid rotational wing in the NBA for many years at the very least.
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