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NBA Trade Watch: Small Forwards

Dennis Chambers breaks down five small forwards who could potentially be moved at the trade deadline.

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Next up on the trade target series here at Basketball Insiders is the small forward position. After tackling the point guard and shooting guard positions, the wing players that could be up for grabs ahead of the Feb. 8 deadline come into focus. Though it’s not likely we see any superstar wings get moved over the next two weeks, there will be a handful of recognizable names and useful players that could be up for grabs to the right team. So let’s get into it.

  1. Stanley Johnson — $3,097,800

Since being drafted eighth overall by the Detroit Pistons back in 2015, Stanley Johnson hasn’t quite lived up to the billing of a top 10 pick. In Johnson’s defense though, many other lottery picks from that same year have left their selecting teams with something to be desired.

Nevertheless, Johnson’s name and flexible rookie contract appear to be finding their way into trade discussions, per Ian Begley of ESPN. For a team like Detroit, battling for a playoff spot, moving Johnson could recoup a piece that is more capable of helping in the now than the future. A move of that caliber could also rid the Pistons of wrestling with the idea of signing Johnson to an extension after his rookie contract, considering the lackluster start to his career.

Like many young players who don’t come into the league setting the world on fire, Johnson may be able to benefit from a change of scenery. Should Detroit actually move on from their 2015 draft pick, it will be interesting to see if Johnson can fulfill any of his expectations from a few seasons ago.

  1. Evan Fournier — $17,000,000

In the second season of his monster contract extension, Fournier has seen an expected jump in his production. The only problem is, the Orlando Magic are going nowhere fast with a number of players signed to big contracts, like Fournier.

Attempting to get younger and add some cap flexibility, Magic management could be looking to unload the 25-year-old Frenchman. Despite his hefty salary, Fournier brings desired traits to the table in today’s NBA. A more than capable shooter and scorer, the team willing to take on his money could acquire a valuable wing player without having to give up many consequential assets in return should Orlando be looking for a salary dump move.

Considering name recognition and salary number, Fournier could be one of the more notable wing players that wind up getting dealt over the next few weeks.

  1. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist — $13,000,000

Though Michael Jordan dispelled the notion that the Charlotte Hornets are trying to trade Kemba Walker, Adrian Wojnarowski reports that a handful of his teammates, Kidd-Gilchrist included, are certainly up for grabs.

Kidd-Gilchrist, a former second overall pick, has seen his playing time decreased to the lowest number since his second season in the NBA. Unable to develop a competent shot from the perimeter, the Kentucky product is an odd fit from the wing in modern basketball. Coupled with his contract that will pay him $39 million over the next three years, Kidd-Gilchrist is arguably more trouble than he’s worth at this point in time.

But there are desirable qualities in his game. A capable defender from the wing, along with a good rebounder for his position, Kidd-Gilchrist can fit the bill as a rotational stopper for a team that’s in a better position to compete in the postseason right now than the Hornets. Despite his lack of outside shooting, Kidd-Gilchrist is finishing around the rim at 68 percent, the highest mark of his career.

Moving on from the money will be a tricky hoop to jump through by Charlotte, but Kidd-Gilchrist’s name is certainly one to watch as the deadline draws near.

  1. Marco Belinelli — $6,606,061

With nothing to play for this season other than draft position, the Atlanta Hawks are looking to cash in on some of their useful veterans for future assets. One being Belinelli.

Our own Michael Scotto reported that the asking price for Belinelli and his expiring contract is a high second round pick. Considering Belinelli’s expiring contract and ability to shoot the basketball from beyond the arc, a team looking to add depth to their perimeter arsenal for a playoff push could benefit from the reasonable asking price.

A career journeyman, Belinelli is enjoying his highest shooting percentage from three-point range since the 2014-15 season and placed alongside more talented players in a better situation, that clip could have the opportunity to rise even further.

  1. DeMarre Carroll — $14,800,000

After being cast away to the Brooklyn Nets, Carroll once again finds himself in a position to be placed on a playoff contender. Providing valuable minutes to a Nets team that has played better than expected this season, it appears the team notorious for trades that sank their future could be looking to get some assets back for their spare parts.

Having the best season of his career at 31, Carroll looks like the wing player that was a key cog in the 60-win Hawks team from 2014-15. While he’s a useful player on the perimeter on both ends of the court, the problem with moving Carroll is dollars related. His big cap number makes an otherwise easy swap for draft compensation a difficult move this late in the game.

But should the Nets find a taker for the money, while swinging themselves a reasonable draft pick in return, Carroll and his current team could cash out on his best season yet for green pastures.

As we continue to dissect trade candidates here at Basketball Insiders, make sure to stay tuned for the upcoming features of available power forwards and centers.

Dennis Chambers is an NBA writer in his first season with Basketball Insiders. Based out of Philadelphia he has previously covered NCAA basketball and high school recruiting.

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