The Next NBA Stars to Change Teams

NBA

There could be some significant player movement on the horizon, including some star players.

Here are the most likely big-name players to be on the move next season.

KYRIE IRVING

Kyrie Irving isn’t an easy player to hold onto, but Dallas wouldn’t have traded Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and three picks so that Irving could play one quarter of a season and then bounce.

The thing with Irving though, is that he by far the most unpredictable player in the NBA. He’s missed games due to his vaccination status, he was banned for sharing an antisemitic film, and most importantly, he wanted out of every team he played for before arriving in Dallas. So it’s safe to say nothing is guaranteed with this man.

Of course, the payoff with Irving is his ability on the court, which is highlighted by his incredible scoring and ball-handling. Irving is averaging 27.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists on 49.1 percent shooting from the field this season.

There have long been rumbling that LeBron James wants to reunite with Irving in LA, and this will be the single biggest thing to watch in the offseason. It’s worth noting that Dallas can offer Irving more money due to having his Bird rights.

JAMES HARDEN

The James Harden to Houston rumors just won’t quit. This is despite the 76ers having MVP candidate Joel Embiid and plenty of other talent as well. Harden even took less money so that Philly could fill out their roster with talent.

But Houston is Harden’s home and according to The Athletic, those familiar with Harden’s thinking say “he’s as serious about as a possible return now as he was when he left town.”

If any team were to poach the 33-year-old, Houston has the cap flexibility to do it and it’s widely expected that they will pursue him if he declines his player option.

Harden is averaging 21.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 10.8 assists on 45 percent shooting from the field and a career-high 39.8 percent from three.

Related Article:  NBA Exec Says Dejounte Murray Could Replace Steph Curry at Golden State

Better still, the Sixers are 33-10 since Harden returned from injury, the best record in the league over that span.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK

After losing his first five games with the Clippers, Russell Westbrook has won his last three and the numbers are starting to stack up in his favour.

The Clippers’ offensive rating is 117.1 when Westbrook is on the court and 109.6 when he’s off. That’s the difference between having the second-best offense in the NBA and the second-worst.

Westbrook’s deal runs out at season’s end, and the Wizards, Heat and Bulls have all shown interest previously. Then again, the Clippers may have the edge if they want Russ back due to being located in his hometown of LA.

BROOK LOPEZ

Brook Lopez just keeps evolving, having gone from low-post threat to three-point marksman to defensive force.

Lopez has been playing out of his skin and clearly the back injury that was causing him so many issues isn’t hindering his performance anymore.

A Defensive Player of the Year candidate this season, the 34-year-old is averaging 15.4 points and 6.7 rebounds along with a career-high 2.5 blocks and impressive 44 percent from three.

As he hits free agency this summer, he is likely to field offers far exceeding the $13.9 million he’s making right now, which is bad news for the Bucks.

KRISTAPS PORZINGIS

Kristpas Porzingis has made comments that give Wizards fans every reason to be nervous.

“What frustrates me the most is when we have been down or we’re not playing our best basketball and I don’t feel like we want it” Porzingis said. “ I hate that.”

Regardless where he ends up, Porzingis won’t come cheap considering he is averaging a career-high 22.9 points to go along with 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

-->