The fun of the NBA offseason is rapidly approaching and with that comes the expectation of trades, especially for star players. An underwhelming free agency class and a restrictive salary cap landscape will establish the conditions for teams to pursue trades to make roster changes.
A particular faction of the NBA trade block that will be fascinating to monitor will be the ‘buy-low’ candidates. There are a variety of different causes for a player to experience a decline in their trade value, but they each provide an opportunity for trade suitors to capitalize.
The simplest is simply a major injury that causes a concerning pathway to live up to the value of their current contract. A prime example of this is Victor Oladipo with the Indiana Pacers.
Sometimes the expectations for a player coming out of the NBA Draft are quite high but a player simply fails to live up to it. For example, Aaron Gordon has been afforded a large role with the Orlando Magic throughout his career, but just hasn’t developed into a high-level talent.
Other times, an older player could receive one last big contract from the wrong team— making it impossible to live up to expectations. Al Horford has experienced this with the Philadelphia 76ers to the fullest extent imaginable.
Let’s take a look at five trades featuring NBA standouts that have experienced recent declines in trade— serving as a buy-low opportunity for a potential suitor.