John Wall (Photo : Getty Images)
The NBA trade rumors have picked up steam as some teams are being lined up on the tanking line this early.
The first quarter of the season has yet to finish but pundits are already placing some teams out of the playoff bubble. While this is premature, they do have sound arguments.
The Dallas Mavericks are dead last in the NBA standings and they automatically get recommendations to tank. While team owner Mark Cuban has vehemently denied this, Paul Flannery of SB Nation explained why Cuban cannot openly admit that his team is indeed looking past the current season.
"It's tough to tell your fans that all hope is lost in November, and it's especially tough when you've got a Hall of Famer still on your roster. It's real easy for us to sit up here and tell teams that they need to go out there and lose a bunch of games. We're not the ones on the hook for ticket sales and advertisers," Flannery declared.
If the Mavericks should tank, there are suggestions that they trade off Dirk Nowitzki to a contender. This may sound unacceptable but Nowitzki was really hoping to win a second career title when he decided to return. Still, his unexpected injury does contribute to the Mavericks woes.
The Mavs don't have too many tradeable assets and tanking may just be the option for them to get young talent. The NBA Draft is unfamiliar territory for Cuban but in taking risks to pursue free agents, he is left with an imbalanced roster short on young, promising talent.
It would be a big blow for the Washington Wizards if they decide to tank right after signing Bradley Beal to a huge contract, but they would have no choice if they keep losing.
If they decide to run that course, the player they should trade is John Wall. In theory, stars like him should not be traded but given the friction with Beal and the mounting frustration, it could snowball into an uncontrollable situation.
Trading off Wall could bring maximum returns for the Wizards and they could even send off one of their regrettable contracts (Marcin Gortat, probably).
The Orlando Magic is at a crossroads once again. They wanted to take a leap but they have may made a "miscalculation" with the Serge Ibaka trade, as Justin Rowan of Hoops Habit noted.
If they decide to tank, the Magic can let go of Ibaka himself but since he's an expiring contract, Nic Vucevic may be an option. Either way, they need to give more time and space for Aaron Gordon to develop. This may result in taking more losses-but that is the point of tanking.