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5 Prominent NBA Centers Who Could Be Traded This Offseason, Which Teams Are Potentially Interested?

Tis the season for NBA player movement, whether through free agency or trades. While trade rumors are a big part of the NBA offseason, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports recently said five centers are being actively made available. A few of the players that Fischer mentioned are a bit surprising.

According to Fischer, Brook Lopez, Mitchell Robinson, Clint Capela, Walker Kessler, and Isaiah Stewart are the five centers that are being shopped.

5 NBA Centers Who Could Be Traded This Offseason, Which Teams Are Potentially Interested?

Meanwhile, Ian Begley of mentioned that the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, and New Orleans Pelicans are among the teams “closely monitoring” the big trade market. Here is a look at the five centers that could be moved via trades this offseason, as well as some intel.

Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee intended to avenge their first-round playoff in 2023 and reach the conference finals for the first time since winning the NBA title in 2021. But the Bucks had a difficult season as they fired first-year coach Adrian Griffin 43 games into the year and went 19-20 the rest of the way to finish third in the Eastern Conference with a 49-33 record. The 49 victories were the Bucks’s fewest in an 82-game season since the 2o17-18 campaign. The Bucks, without Giannis Antetokounmpo, were upset in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight year.

On Friday, Brian Windhorst of ESPN said on First Take that the Bucks may look to shake up their core. He iterated that the shakeup did not include Antetokounmpo or Damian Lillard. That would leave Khris Middleton and Lopez as potential trade candidates.

“There’s starting to be rumblings that (Bucks head coach) Doc Rivers is looking for a change or two to some of their core pieces. Not Dame or Giannis, but potentially looking at another maneuver they could make to alter their team.

The 36-year-old saw his numbers dip this past season after turning in a fantastic 2022-23 campaign. Still, Lopez is an excellent rim protector and solid defender overall. Offensively, he is a solid floor spacer and passer for a center.

According to Fischer, the Houston Rockets, who pursued Lopez last offseason when the 7-footer was an unrestricted free agent, told Lopez that he could be traded this offseason. Lopez will make $23 million as part of the two-year, $48 million deal he signed last season.

Michael Huff of Basketball Insiders mentioned the Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder could be suitors for Lopez.

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks

The Knicks have a decision to make at the five: Keep Robinson and potentially lose Isaiah Hartenstein via free agency, or keep Hartenstein and look to shed salary elsewhere. As Begley said, the Knicks are looking to sign Hartenstein to a long-term deal, as New York has called teams about Robinson.

Begley added that he doesn’t think the Knicks are fully committed to dealing the 26-year-old.

“Heard something similar to the Yahoo report on NYK’s Mitchell Robinson. In NYK talks about potential trades, Robinson’s name has come up. Don’t think NYK is fully committed to moving him but his salary (2 years left on 4-year $60M descending contract) is valuable potential deals.”

Robinson has been injury-prone throughout his career, appearing in 70 games once. The athletic 7-footer played in just 31 games and six playoff games this past season. While very limited offensively, Robinson is a talented defender, rebounder, and capable blocker.

Robinson has two years remaining on his contract. He will earn $14.3 million for the 2024-25 season and $12.9 million for the 2025-26 campaign.

Fred Katz of The Athletic doesn’t believe that the Knicks will make a move until they have Hartenstein in tow.

“I don’t think [the Knicks] would do anything with Mitch until they know for 100% certain that Hartenstein is coming back,” Katz said on his podcast “Katz and Shoot.”

Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks

Capela has been on the trade block for a while. The 30-year-old veteran has seen his numbers dip over the last three seasons. He is coming off his least efficient season offensively since becoming a full-time starter and has recently struggled on the defensive end. However, the 6-foot-10 big is still an elite rebounder and capable shot-blocker.

Capela will make $22. 2 million in the final year of his contract. This past season, he produced 38 double-doubles while scoring 11.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks. He shot 57.1% from the field and 63.1% from the free-throw line.

Memphis, Chicago, Washington, and New Orleans could pursue Capela, per Matt Moore of Action Network.

Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz

There is no confirmation that Utah will make Kessler available. The nearly 23-year-old, 7-footer didn’t make as much of an impact in his second season as he did in year one when he was third in Rookie of the Year voting.

Kessler is an elite defender, shot-blocker, and rebounder. In 64 appearances, he averaged 8.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks. He produced seven double-doubles while compiling shooting slashes of  65.4/21.1/60.2%.

Isaiah Stewart, Detroit Pistons

Detroit has an overload of talent in the frontcourt. Stewart has shown improvement in at least one area each year. But the 23-year-old is due $60 million over the next four years.

Stewart averaged 10.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists while shooting 48.7/38.3/75.3% in 46 appearances. Stewart, a terrific rebounder, is more of an offensive threat than a defensive ace. Honestly, he must improve on the defensive end of the floor. He produced five double-doubles this past season.



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