NBA Hoops

11 Wildcard trade candidates ahead of the deadline

Mike Conley Jr., NBA

As the NBA trade deadline fast approaches, there has been plenty of reporting and speculation about who could be moved in the next couple of weeks. Although there has been surprisingly little player movement in the lead-up to the trade deadline, that probably has a lot to do with the tightly packed standings, with 23 of the 30 teams either above .500 or within three games of .500.

Now that we are nearly 50 games into the NBA season, teams have a much better idea of where they stand and what the course of action is for their franchise. Some players are, of course, more likely to be traded than others. On the other hand, there are a few players who may be available, but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether they will actually be traded or not.

If several of these wildcard trade candidates are actually dealt ahead of the deadline, then it could trigger a number of other deals that could change the NBA landscape. With this in mind, let’s examine 11 wildcard trade candidates that could be moved at the NBA trade deadline.

 

Mike Conley (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

NBA Trade Candidate: Mike Conley

At first glance, it seems hard to believe that Mike Conley would be a wildcard trade candidate at this point in his career. Despite that, he actually is. Conley’s playing and leadership have been key to helping the rebuilding Utah Jazz surprise the NBA this season. However, the Jazz are in a difficult spot. They are slightly under .500 and face a tough battle to even qualify for the play-in tournament.

Conversely, they are definitely out of tanking range, with the four worst teams in the NBA all having at least eight fewer wins. Without a realistic shot at the number one pick and the playoffs, the decision to trade Conley could be a bellwether.

If he is moved to the Los Angeles Clippers or the Minnesota Timberwolves, each of whom has expressed interest in trading for him, then the Jazz could be open for business. That appears increasingly likely, though it’s not 100% certain at this point.

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