NBA trade rumor rankings: Kevin Love at No. 1

We have arrived at Part Five of our trade-rumor rankings series, where HoopsHype ranks players based on the amount of times they’ve been mentioned in our Trade Rumors Page over the prior 14 days.

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With the trade deadline less than a month away, rumors regarding player movement are starting to get more and more common. And it should only get busier as we closer to Feb. 7.

Over the last 14 days, the most commonly cited players in trade rumors include a former NBA champion, a current MVP candidate, one All-Star and two potentially productive bench pieces.

Without further ado, let’s get into which five players have been mentioned most in trade rumors over the last two weeks.

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5. BRADLEY BEAL

Since his backcourt partner John Wall got shut down, Bradley Beal’s play has reached another stratosphere.

In that seven-game stretch, the St. Louis native is averaging 28.1 points, 5.1 assists, 2.3 steals and 3.4 triples nightly while leading the Washington Wizards to a 4-3 record, no easy feat considering how the team’s season had gone to that point.

There haven’t been too many murmurs regarding Beal on the trade market recently, but his name has come up just enough for him to find himself on this list.

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Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix believes teams will start ramping up their efforts to land the star 2-guard…

…while Sporting News’ Sean Deveney reported that the Toronto Raptors may have interest in going after Beal:

“There’s been chatter about the Raptors pursuing Wizards guard Bradley Beal, but Washington wants two players and two draft picks for him, according to sources.”

All in all, it’s doubtful we see the Wizards shooting guard get dealt this season, even if the team continues to struggle. Especially not with Washington (somehow) only three games out of a playoff spot in the East.

Beal is simply too good of an asset – performing at an elite level while under contract for another two years after this one – to move.

4. ANTHONY DAVIS

After steam really picked up a few weeks ago regarding Anthony Davis and a potential trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, things have quieted down recently.

The latest on that front, though, came courtesy of New Orleans Pelicans owners Gayle Benson, who said despite her love for AD, if he wanted to leave, the team couldn’t hold him back (via Larry Holder, of The Athletic):

“I think they’re young, and we’re going to invest more money and get the big players and do everything we can to keep Anthony (Davis) here. I really like what we have in place. I really like Anthony, but if he wants to leave, you can’t hold him back. But I always keep in touch with people that we lose, like Benjamin Watson. When he left, I kept in touch with him, and now he’s back. And then you understand it. Adrian Peterson too. A lot of people that left, I don’t ever hold grudges with people. Even as angry, well it wasn’t so much angry but disappointed as I was with his family, I don’t wish anybody harm. I think God takes care of things and he’s taken care of that situation.”

Regardless, no matter what happens over the coming weeks, there’s next to no chance New Orleans deals Davis by February’s trade deadline.

If something were to come to fruition, it’ll happen this coming offseason, when the Pelicans will have their first chance to offer Davis a monster extension. It’ll depend on what Davis does with the extension offer: if he turns it down, he will almost certainly get traded in the summer of 2019; if he accepts, he’s not going anywhere for a very long time.

If a deal were to eventually go down, there are some who believe that outside of the Lakers or the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers could make a lot of sense as a potential trade landing spot for the superstar big man.

3. JABARI PARKER

With roughly a month to go until the trade deadline, things are very much up in the air regarding Jabari Parker and the Chicago Bulls.

Some believed he would have gotten traded by now, but at the moment, it appears that Chicago is in a holding pattern with their Duke product swingman. At least, that’s the vibe everyone got from Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and the comments he made to NBA.com:

“‘We were all on board with (signing Parker),’ said Paxson. ‘That’s all in the past. We’re not even going to worry about that. With the situation the way it is, we’ll look and see if Jabari gets an opportunity.This thing will be fluid. We have a month until the trade deadline. A lot can happen. We feel really good about getting something done a month early. It’s all in building a team. Given where we were at and where we are at today, trying to roll the dice on a young talent (like Parker) is not a bad thing. A lot of teams have had success doing that. The one thing that we continue to do and we think we’re on the right track with is if something doesn’t work, it’s not going to be a long-term issue for us. We’ll continue to operate that way.’”

In Chicago’s last 12 games, Parker has seen action just once, for fewer than 15 minutes, in which he went 2-for-8 from the field.

Nevertheless, overall, Parker is averaging 14.8 points per game this season, to go with 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists nightly, and despite how much his contract is worth (two years and $40 million), the fact that his second season contains a club option on it should help the Bulls find a taker for the talented forward.

If nothing else, Parker could provide a team with some scoring, potentially off the bench depending on the situation, so it shouldn’t be that for Chicago to find an interested suitor by the deadline.

2. ENES KANTER

Around two weeks ago, Enes Kanter got benched as the New York Knicks opted for a youth movement, and since then, steam has picked up regarding the Turkish big man and a potential trade.

Since becoming a reserve, Kanter is playing just 22.1 minutes nightly. But even so, he’s still putting up and impressive 11.8 points and 11.0 rebounds per contest in that span, proving that he could very much produce regardless of his role. Undoubtedly, contenders are taking note of that, especially those that could use a low-post scorer off the bench.

Nevertheless, it’ll be tricky for the New York to find a trade for Kanter. We’ll let the New York Post’s Marc Berman explain why:

“NBA sources say Kanter can help a playoff contender but a trade will be difficult because of his $18 million expiring contract. The Knicks would need to get back that money in expiring dollars to protect their cap space. Kanter has to decide if he would be willing to accept a buyout and take a little less to play for a playoff contender.”

So unless the Knicks are able to find a matching salary from a contender that is also on an expiring deal, it’ll prove tough to find a trade for Kanter.

Regardless, Kanter admitted himself he would rather not get traded, as he likes being a Knick.

We’ll just have to wait and see how this one plays out, as the Kanter-Knicks dynamic is presently a very tricky one.

1. KEVIN LOVE

As of Jan. 8, Kevin Love himself said he’s still not able to run due to the toe injury that has had him sidelined since late October.

And yet, that hasn’t stopped the Cleveland Cavaliers big man from consistently being named in trade rumors over recent weeks.

Thanks to The Athletic, we know what Love thinks about the prospects of getting dealt:

“‘We’ll see,’ Love said, when asked about the prospect of a trade. ‘If not, we will wait until summer. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ve said all along I’ve wanted to be here. I’ve said this too, it’s a business. We saw that last year at the deadline. I had never seen so many guys traded from a team really ever.’

What’s more, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Chris Fedor trading Love isn’t high on the Cavs’ list of priorities wrote that at the moment.

Either way, it’s obvious that Cleveland is at the beginning of a massive rebuild, as evidenced by the youth movement they’ve undergone, their trade of Kyle Korver and banishment of JR Smith, and ridiculous 8-34 record.

So what sense does Love make on their roster?

Love’s future salary – worth four years and $120.4 million – will make him quite hard to deal, especially when factoring in his age (30) and injury history. But if he can get healthy and prove he’s still a borderline All-Star caliber talent, there’s a chance the Cavs will be able to find a deal with him.

It just likely won’t happen by the upcoming trade deadline.

You can follow Frank Urbina on Twitter: @FrankUrbina_

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