With every offseason that comes, star players surface in NBA trade rumors with the potential of being dealt to new teams. Whether it’s through a rumored request or public displeasure with the front office, player empowerment in this new era has allowed more superstars to dictate the direction of their future than ever before.
Biggest NBA Trade Rumors
With that being said, let’s take a look at three current superstars who have been the subject of recent NBA trade rumors and predict the outcome of their current situations.
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
Simmons is no stranger to trade rumors, having been the subject of them during the past couple of offseasons despite being a perennial All-Star and former number one overall pick. While Simmons certainly has the tools to be a generation talent, his offensive deficiencies have greatly held back his overall potential. At 25 years old, time is running out on Ben Simmons to improve his offensive game, and this past season showed minimal signs of his offensive improvement.
Evidently, both he and the 76ers feel that it’s time to move in a different direction, with his recent trade request likely bringing an end to his tumultuous time in Philly. With four years and $147 million dollars remaining on his current contract, it’s going to be challenging to trade him. However, I believe a trade will be executed prior to the season’s start, with the Timberwolves, Kings, and Warriors emerging as frontrunners.
- Prediction: Simmons is packaged in a blockbuster deal to the Timberwolves for D’Angelo Russell and future assets
Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers
It feels like Lillard has come to the same point that James Harden was at last year. He’s tired of coming up short year after year, and feels that maybe it’s best for him to move on and maximize the final years of his prime. The main problem? Lillard is still under contract for four more seasons after signing a supermax extension during the 2019 offseason.
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) August 25, 2021
Regardless, if he wants out, Portland will likely honor his request. After all, he has done his best to try and bring Portland a title for the first time since 1977. To me, this feels too similar to the Harden situation to ignore, and I believe that Lillard will inevitably exit Portland at some point in the next year.
- Prediction: Lillard plays out the season in Portland before working with the Blazers on a trade to send him to a contender next offseason
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
Siakam, similar to Lillard and Simmons, is under contract for three more seasons before hitting free agency in 2024. However, unlike those two players, Siakam’s window in Toronto still seems to be wide open as we head towards the future. Despite a down year in 2020-21, Siakam still averaged 21.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 4.5 APG in a year where Toronto spent most of the season on the road.
With the departure of franchise icon Kyle Lowry this past offseason, this team is officially Siakam’s. He’s going to have a full offseason of rest and recovery, hopefully returning back 100% healthy for a young Raptors squad looking to make some noise in the east. At the end of the day, recent trade rumors have been more about other teams reaching out to the Raptors regarding their franchise player than the Raptors offering his services.
So what’s the bottom line? Siakam isn’t going anywhere.
- Prediction: Raptors keep Siakam, shutting down any future trade offers for their franchise player