Here is our first trade value watch, where we look at the recent transactions and contracts given and see how they affect certain players.
Stock up: Kevin Durant
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Even before: Kevin Durant made a trade request, the thought of cashing out on him in a deal and going in a different direction must’ve crossed the minds of the Nets front office. Now thanks to the Rudy Gobert: trade, the Nets have to be excited on some level about the return they could get for Durant. Several reporters are already hyping out the eventual deal to be the mother of all trades.
The Jazz extracted the maximum of four first-round picks (three unprotected and one Top 5 protected) that a team could move per the Stepien rule, as well as two recent first-round picks and several solid veterans. Is it possible the Nets get more than that? Maybe not, especially since Durant is almost 34 years old and has had durability issues these past three seasons. But the Gobert return should at least represent the floor of what the Nets will get for Durant.
As we discussed last week, Durant’s preferences do not make the most optimal offers against teams like the New York Knicks or New Orleans Pelicans. For example, the Suns could offer up to four first-round picks in 2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029 like the Jazz, but there’s a good chance those picks might not be so valuable if they’re getting Durant. But where that offer lacks potentially quality picks, it could make up for that with great players like Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridgesand: Cameron Johnson.
Stock down. Bradley Beal
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)
The Wizards re-signed Bradley Beal to a five-year, $251 million contract this week, which had been expected for months. While the NBA world had enough time to prepare for this moment, we weren’t quite prepared for all the extra stuff Beal got in his contract as well.
For starters, Beal received a no-trade clause, which puts him on a high exclusive and prestigious list: of players to get one. However, if either side wants a change of scenery down the line, Beal’s chances of getting traded in the future went down significantly. His $50 million annual average salary will already tune out potential suitors while the no-trade clause would allow Beal to control his destination, limiting potential returns for the Wizards.
Beal also got a 15 percent trade bonus, which, in fairness, there’s a good chance that gets voided if he ever gets traded since he is already making the maximum. But if the salary cap rises significantly, which is possible in 2025 when a new TV deal is due, then his trade bonus could get his salary on par with the new maximum. And to top it all off, he got a player option for the 2026-27 season. Beal got absolutely everything he could negotiate in his favor.
Stock up: Andrew Wiggins
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Andrew Wiggins playoff performance not only raised his individual stock but also any long versatile wing player. In a free agency market where many solid rotation players are getting squeezed for the veteran minimum, teams reserved spending power for players like Lu Dort, Jae’Sean Tate, PJ Tucker, Otto Porter Jr., Joe Inglesand: Gary Payton II. On the trade market, they’re still worth a premium Royce O’Neale just getting traded for a first-round pick.
Wiggins may not be quite a $33.6 million player, but in the playoffs, there were moments when he was worth more. It goes to show how valuable wings are and how their playoff viability makes them worth their expensive price tag. It’ll be interesting to see what Wiggins gets in an extension if he agrees to one. It’ll be even more interesting to see what he would get on the open market if he reaches free agency next season.
Stock down. Jalen Brunson and Anfernee Simons
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This year’s market proved to be fruitful for young guards such as: Yes Morant and: Darius Garland getting maximum contracts. The expectation that they would receive these deals boosted the market for sub All-Star guards like Jalen Brunson and: Anfernee Simons. Both players received contracts of at least $100 million over four years, which could limit what their teams can get for them in a trade in the future.
Brunson had one phenomenal postseason where he very much played like a $26 million annual player. Simons had a breakthrough midway through the season with an amazing 27-game stretch. It feels like both players were signed to lucrative above-market deals after small sample sizes and little-to-no competition in the market, especially Simons given his restricted free agent status.
Both players still have a ton of upside and room to grow, and these deals could look favorable years from now in a rising cap environment. But in the short term, these players’ respective teams could have a hard time moving them if they need to.
Stock up: Scottie Barnes (honorable mention)
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Scottie Barnes gets a special shoutout for being the consensus prized jewel of a potential Kevin Durant trade. The idea that the Raptors would “go all-in” for Durant because they went “all-in” for Kawhi Leonard is flawed. There’s a huge difference between trading a likely perennial All-Star and potential future Hall of Famer and what the Raptors gave up for Leonard. The whole Durant trade discourse revealed just how high the NBA world is on Barnes.