With the Feb. 8 Trade Deadline quickly approaching, Basketball Insiders is running a series of positional breakdowns for trade candidates; David Yapkowitz has already covered point guards here. In the series’ second installment we’ll be looking shooting guards. A glut of two-guards are seemingly up for grabs at this point in the season, but who are the biggest bargains and the most likely to be on the move? Take a look.
1. Tyreke Evans — $3,290,000
Tyreke Evans is the perfect trade candidate for the Memphis Grizzlies. Not only should he net them a significant return, but Evans’ contract — a low-cost deal that expires after the season — is easily movable.
Evans is in the midst of perhaps the best season of his career, and certainly one of his healthiest. Sporting averages of 19.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, five assists and one steal per game, the Sixth Man of the Year candidate can do a little bit of everything for a squad looking to add some punch off their bench as teams begin to look toward the postseason. The Grizzlies have been a wreck this season in the absence of point guard Mike Conley and, with Memphis likely gunning for draft assets as they look to retool and add youth to the roster, it only makes sense to move Evans while they can.
2. Lou Williams — $7,000,000
Like Evans, Lou Williams can do a little bit of everything and has been a major asset for the Los Angeles Clippers; he has been their best, most consistent player up to this point in the season. While his contract is a little heftier than Evans’, most teams wouldn’t blink at the opportunity to add Williams’ 23.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game averages to their bench.
The Clippers, with a record of 23-23, sit on the Western Conference playoff bubble and just a half-game back of the eighth seed. With just two weeks until the Trade Deadline, the Clippers may opt to hold on to Williams should they believe they can make a postseason run. But, should they stumble and decide to sell off some pieces, Williams could be one of the first to go. He very well could be the best addition of trade season.
3. Garrett Temple – $8,000,000
Garrett Temple isn’t nearly the same type of add that Evans and Williams are, but he is certainly an intriguing trade chip for the Sacramento Kings and a good bench add for any playoff contender.
Temple is currently averaging 8.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 36.7 percent from three. While he doesn’t provide the same offensive firepower that others can, he is a reliable shooter and is certainly capable of providing a spark off the bench. The Kings will likely be motivated to move him in order to get more minutes for younger players Bogdan Bogdanovic and Malachi Richardson, so he could likely be had on the cheap as well.
4. Rodney Hood — $2,386,864
Not many players that provide the same combination of low cost and high offensive upside that Rodney Hood does are currently available. Averaging a career-high 16.7 points per game on 41.3 percent shooting from the field and 38.6 percent from three (also a career-high) for the Utah Jazz, Hood can create his own offensive and can be a game changer off the wing.
A player that can start or come off the bench if need be, Hood could certainly be had for a more than reasonable price given his contract and the fact that the Jazz are actively trying to move him. For the playoff squad with an offensively starved bench on a tight budget, Hood could certainly be the play rather than more expensive options in Evans and Williams.
5. Jeremy Lamb — $7,000,000
With the Charlotte Hornets falling towards the backend of the Eastern Conference, head coach Steve Clifford needs to consider getting more minutes for rookies Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon. However, with the team unlikely to move Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb would seem the odd man out in the rotation should Clifford want to take a look at the younger guys.
Lamb is averaging career highs in points (14.1), rebounds (4.7), assists (2.3) and three-point percentage (36.1 percent) while playing just over 25 minutes per game. Like Hood, Lamb can start or come off the bench and can provide instant offense. Lamb has been impressive for the Hornets this season, and could definitely net them some draft capital to aid in a rebuild that they have seemingly been stuck in for more than a few seasons.
6. Jordan Clarkson — $11,562,500
Jordan Clarkson getting moved is almost an inevitability for the Los Angeles Lakers, who will likely look to position themselves to make a free agent splash next offseason. The only thing holding Clarkson and the team back, however, is his contract.
Clarkson is set to make over $11 million this season, with salary increases in both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. That doesn’t necessarily preclude him from being moved at the deadline, but it will be difficult for the Lakers to find a team willing to take on that kind of salary. Clarkson, averaging 14.4 points, three rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, can certainly be an effective scorer and playmaker off the bench. Moving Clarkson also clears up more minutes for rookie Josh Hart as well.
A plethora of shooting guards are available at this point in the season and, while these six may present the most intriguing options, there are plenty of others that could be moved. Make sure to check back with Basketball Insiders for the other positional breakdowns throughout the week and for the latest news and rumors as the deadline approaches as well.
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