With free agency trade at a complete standstill, this year might have been the only time since a long time to not have much signings going on. Especially when it comes to big names like Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, there have been no conclusions on that end. Yes there have been some players who have been going around. But those signings are not a franchise altering change.
One of the trades which has gone down as franchise altering was the Rudy Gobert trade to Minnesota. Compared to last 5 years where so many changes had occurred to a roster, this year has been especially bland. Till now Rudy Gobert and Dejounte Murray are the only All-Stars to have changed places. This is not particularly a bad thing which means that teams are trying to retain their players. There are basically 2 reasons why this flow of the market has stopped.
Kevin Durant’s request for a trade
It can be said that some players cannot be traded instantly rather the return for those players would literally cost an entire roster. Kevin Durant is one of those players and teams do not know how to go about the situation. Durant had also requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets franchise yet no one has stepped up.
When Durant requested his trade, the whole league took a step back and starting figuring out way they could land Durant. There were other teams who were waiting for the superstar to move so that they can rearrange their roster accordingly. This waiting game has been going on since Durant voice his request. But there was one organization who took advantage of this silence.
Danny Ainge strikes again
The Utah Jazz had dispensed off Rudy Gobert who was apparently the major source of their backlash. So they trade him to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The return that they had received for the 3-time DPOY was enormous.
The Jazz in return got Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler (No. 22 pick in 2022 Draft), 2023 first-round pick, 2025 first-round pick, 2026 pick swap, 2027 first-round pick and 2029 first-round pick. The Jazz got three key role players, 2 disposable players and 5 first-round picks, just for a single defensive All-Star who hasn’t made it past the 2nd round of the playoffs.
As usual Danny Ainge did it again as he did it in Boston. Most importantly, witnessing this completely stunned the rest of the league. Since then, franchises started asking more for their All-Star players which has been the reason for this halt.
It is a wonder when the teams will start shuffling for players or will there even be a trade going down. This will lead to chaos towards the end of the free agency and it would not be surprising to see teams make some panic choices.