Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard and more

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With the 2022-23 NBA season fully wrapped up, we now enter a period of potential player movement coming up, one that could feature a lot of big names being traded, as the 2023 free-agent class isn’t anything to write home about, meaning teams looking to improve will likely attempt to do so through trades.

We’re already starting to see some more prominent names being mentioned in the latest trade rumors around the NBA. Today, we take a look at the five players who have appeared most often in trade scuttle over the previous week, as judged by appearances on our Trade Rumors page.

Check them out below.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

One interesting name on the trade market this summer is Deandre Ayton, as it’s hard to pinpoint what the Phoenix Suns might do with the former No. 1 overall pick: Trade him now when his value is at a pretty low point or allow new head coach Frank Vogel, an expert in getting a lot of defense out of his bigs, to try and mold him into being a winning player.

We did learn this week that the Portland Trail Blazers have had an interest in Ayton dating back to the most recent trade deadline (via Yahoo! Sports):

Portland has valued Suns center Deandre Ayton in the past, sources told Yahoo Sports, but Phoenix is too asset-strapped for any realistic chance of prying Damian Lillard from Portland should the Blazers’ franchise player ultimately seek to play elsewhere this summer.

But that was rebuffed by Phoenix sports talk radio host John Gambadoro:

Ayton has three years left on his contract, peaking in 2025-26 at $35.6 million, so that may scare prospective suitors off this offseason. Phoenix might be better off running it back with Ayton at the 5 and hoping Vogel can extract more impact out of him.

For the latest Deandre Ayton trade rumors and salary info, click here.

chris paul

chris paul

After conflicting reports came out last week about what the Suns plan to do with Ayton’s teammate Chris Paul this offseason, it appears Phoenix is hitting the phone lines and trying to find a trade for the future Hall of Famer prior to the June 28 guarantee date on his contract.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania said as much recently on FanDuel TV:

The confusion from the original report about the Suns deciding to waive Paul, which may have been premature or perhaps even tactical in nature, did spur some interest in Paul around the league, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

The Phoenix Suns have received trade interest on Chris Paul since it was reported that he would be waived by the team if he remained on the roster at the end of his month when his $30.8 million becomes guaranteed. “It spurred on a flurry of trade talk and trade calls to Phoenix centered around Chris Paul,” said Adrian Wojnarowski ahead of Game 4 of The Finals on Friday.

Wojnarowski would expound, stating that teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors could have interest in Paul if he hits free agency.

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Regardless, Vogel, for his part, says he’s excited about the prospect of working with Paul while stating that the Suns have not waived him… yet.

Paul did recently say he ‘absolutely‘ wants to stay in Phoenix but the decision is ultimately not up to him.

If a team does trade for Paul, his contract for 2024-25 is fully non-guaranteed but has a guarantee date of June 28, 2024, so he could get picked up as a one-year rental, albeit a very expensive one.

For the latest Chris Paul trade rumors and salary info, click here.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

After all of the off-court drama surrounding Zion Williamson’s name over the past week – we won’t get into it here but you can look it up for yourself –  and due to his inability to stay healthy or even in shape, the New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly, and rightfully, exasperated with the former No. 1 pick.

Marc Stein reported the situation has reached a point where the Pelicans would consider trading Williamson if it meant moving into the Top 3 of this year’s draft and a chance to acquire potential star guard Scoot Henderson:

I heard this week from one well-placed observer who is convinced that the Pelicans would indeed consider dealing Williamson away if it meant they could draft Henderson, pointing to a rising level of exasperation within the organization regarding Williamson’s ongoing availability issues and overall approach. My read, at this juncture, is that the Pelicans are less inclined to consider trading Brandon Ingram in the same scenario.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst followed that up by stating he doesn’t think Williamson’s trade value is all that high right now but that the non-guarantees on his contract could make him more appealing:

The Pelicans are attempting to move up in the draft to select Scoot Henderson, which means they are almost certainly open to trading away Williamson. “I don’t think his value is sky high right now,” said Brian Windhorst. “But he has a contract that protects the Pelicans or whatever team from further injury. It’s not fully guaranteed. Obviously, his value in January was a lot higher after another injury plagued season.”

The odds of Williamson getting traded now with his value as low as it is isn’t all that high but still, the fact we even have to have the discussion just speaks to how poorly the last few seasons have gone for the former Duke standout, both on and off the court.

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For the latest Zion Williamson trade rumors and salary info, click here.

Damian Lillard (Portland)

damian lillard

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

For those hoping to see the mythical unicorn that is a Damian Lillard trade out of Portland, it looks like you might have to wait just a bit longer, as Windhorst reported this week he doesn’t see a Lillard move happening this summer:

Brian Windhorst on if Damian Lillard will be on a different team to start 2023-24 season: Not at the start of the season, I don’t believe, as of right now. They publicly haven’t sounded like they want to trade him. I can tell you privately the Blazers aren’t interested in trading him right now either. I have to underline ‘right now’ because we’re in a fluid situation. … I am hearing nothing. Nothing from the Dame side. Nothing from the Blazers’ side formally that he doesn’t want to be there. I don’t see [a Lillard trade] happening right now.

Of course, there is some smoke out there that may be contingent on what the Blazers do with the No. 3 pick in the upcoming draft. Although there’s nothing concrete on the matter, the scuttle is that if Portland doesn’t trade that pick for a win-now player, then maybe Lillard might decide to re-assess.

The Athletic’s Sam Amick went into some detail about that just this week on the Five on the Floor podcast:

Sam Amick on if he thinks Damian Lillard will be traded this offseason: I’m gonna lean towards yes because I feel like… how deliberate star players are with their voice. And what I’m seeing from Dame right now, and the type of commentary and analysis coming either from him or reporters who are close to him, the tone of the discussion feels like two things: A) something you choose to do to apply pressure and make sure your front office trades the No. 3 pick for a very good player to make him stay, and B) to send the message that if you don’t [trade that pick], we’re gonna have to figure something out here. I’m currently not seeing or hearing of that type of trade. So it does feel like if they don’t move the pick for something that really moves the program forward now, then we’re gonna be talking about Dame a lot this summer.

On the other hand, a local sports radio host in Portland also reported this week that Lillard is currently recruiting players to join him on the Blazers.

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So truly, it’s anyone’s guess how this one will turn out, although the strongest likelihood is that Lillard continues to grind it out and chase that elusive ring with the Blazers.

For the latest Damian Lillard trade rumors and salary info, click here.

bradley beal

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The strongest buzz at the moment of a star player being traded this summer surrounds Washington Wizards 2-guard Bradley Beal, who, according to multiple reports, will work with Washington’s new brass in finding him a new home… if the Wizards decide to hit the reset button anytime soon.

Of course, the former Florida Gator only has that luxury of basically being able to hand-pick his next team because the team’s previous regime, led by now-fired decision-maker Tommy Sheppard, inexplicably granted Beal a no-trade clause – making him the only player in the NBA with one – on top of the $251 million on his contract, because maybe that obscene amount of money just wasn’t enough to seal the deal.

It’s clear why Sheppard isn’t around to make those types of decisions anymore, yes?

What we know so far is that the following teams have been mentioned as having an interest in Beal over the past 24 hours, via various reports:

While the following were mentioned as not likely to take part in the Beal sweepstakes:

In addition, the Miami Herald is reporting Beal isn’t trying to force his way to Miami or any specific team at the moment, though that could change as we get closer to next Thursday’s draft.

Nevertheless, this situation is moving along quickly with new reports on the matter seemingly coming out by the hour, making it difficult to give you all of the details in one sitting. What you can do, however, is click the link below and bookmark it to stay up to date on Beal’s future, which we highly recommend you do.

For the latest Bradley Beal trade rumors and salary info, click here.

Story originally appeared on HoopsHype

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