Star players who could be traded

The NBA draft is a crucial day on the calendar for all 30 teams. For up-and-coming clubs, it’s a chance to bring in new players who can help build a program. The draft this year is obviously no exception – front offices will be looking to land a franchise cornerstone for years to come.

Some organizations, however, may be a little antsier on draft night. Whether they are eager to make a splash or want to get a jump on rebuilding, making a trade during the draft can be key. NBA history is full of big trades on draft day.

Relationships fray, sour, or run their course in professional sports, and front offices and players may see the draft as the right time to begin a new chapter. Ahead of the 2022 NBA draft, there are a few players who could be on the move – let’s discuss.

Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana Pacers

Malcolm Brogdon

Malcolm Brogdon

(AP Photo / Darron Cummings)

The Pacers have floundered over the past few seasons despite having one of the stronger rosters in the Association. As such, the team hasn’t been a major playoff competitor but has also refused to fully bottom out. Indiana has the No. 6 pick in the 2022 NBA draft – good, but not great.

The Pacers are reportedly interested in moving up in the draft, perhaps to target Purdue’s Jaden Ivy. That might mean making a deal directly with the Orlando Magic or Sacramento Kings or maybe looping in another team to create the right deal so that Indiana can land a coveted higher draft pick.

The draft may be the right time to begin this process. Adding Tirese Haliburton has made Brogdon less essential in Indiana. Certainly, if the Pacers are indeed looking to move up, Brogdon could be the perfect trade chip for either the Magic or Kings, an established player who could help a young club elevate its profile. The Wizards and Knicks are reportedly interested in Brogdon, giving Indiana a little more optionality in a draft-night trade.

Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers

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What happens next for the Pacers is unclear. Indiana could tinker on the margins and see what head coach Rick Carlisle can do in his second season with the team. There’s a lot of talent on paper, but with the departure of All-Star Domantas Sabonis, the hierarchy and identity of this club is unclear.

Malcolm Brogdon could be the odd-man-out. But he is not the only candidate to be traded during the 2022 NBA draft. Turner has long been a mainstay in the rumor mill, and this offseason is no exception. His name has been tied to the Hornets, in particular.

Turner could also be a nice fit in either Houston or Orlando. Perhaps he is the trade chip Indy could use to move up in the draft order. Either way, if there’s one team to keep an eye on for a possible trade at the draft, look no further than the Pacers.

Julius Randle, New York Knicks

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The Pacers aren’t the only team that is probably a little restless going into the 2022 NBA draft. Surely the New York Knicks are hungry to return to the playoffs next season, and could be eager to make some noise. That may mean finding a new home for Julius Randle.

The ’21 -22 campaign was a tumultuous one for Randle and the Knicks, and questions about the strength and sustainability of that pairing remain unanswered. At the draft, the Knicks could try and flip the former All-Star for established talent to try and lead a postseason run next year. At the same time, New York may look to retool and bring in younger, high-upside players instead.

Whether at the draft or this summer, though, Randle’s days as a Knick appear numbered.

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

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The 2022 offseason could be a quiet one, but there are a few inflection points where things could really heat up. What happens next with the Utah Jazz is anyone’s guess, but after another disappointing postseason, changes may be on the horizon in the Beehive State.

Donovan Mitchell is likely a much more attractive player for opposing front offices to try and poach. The Jazz front office probably isn’t ready to call it quits on this relationship, meaning other changes are likely on the docket for Utah. Gobert is the most likely casualty in Salt Lake if big changes are in order.

The Hornets have been linked to Gobert and for good reason. Charlotte needs a defensive anchor much more than they need this season’s No. 13 pick. The framework for a trade on draft night is right there for the taking. The Bulls or Hawks could also get involved, especially if they want to get a jump on their summer plans.

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