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NBA / Jul 23, 2010 / 10:00 am

On the Move: 10 NBA Stars Most Likely To Change Teams

Carmelo Anthony, Dime #53

LeBron James‘ departure from Cleveland seems to have set off a reaction in the NBA. After LeBron officially left his hometown team, in what was seen by many as the ultimate betrayal, other stars have been not-so-subtly expressing their desire for a change of location.

While there are still many throwback franchise players as my colleague Austin Burton wrote the other day, just as many, if not more players are likely to jump ship via trade or free agency. Here are 10 stars who won’t finish their career with the team they play for now:

1. Monta Ellis — Ellis is a great fit for the Warriors and their offense. He possesses incredible quickness and great scoring instincts. Even though he fits in well in Golden State, he has publicly grumbled about the team on a couple of occasions and been mentioned in trade rumors frequently. While I don’t see him leaving while Don Nelson is still the coache, once Nellie and his offense retire, Ellis will probably be on his way out of town.

2. Chris Paul — Ever since going to LeBron’s Skills Academy in Akron, the once-classy CP3 has been doing his best impersonation of “The King.” For a guy who was so instrumental in bringing the Hornets back to prominence in New Orleans after Katrina, and someone who has given a great deal to that community, I’m surprised at his actions recently. He let LeBron’s team of advisers, including “Worldwide Wes,” shop him around the League despite being represented by another agency, then left his original agency shortly thereafter for LeBron’s management firm — and now has done everything short of publicly demand a trade. There is no way the new Hornets’ brass suddenly gets CP3 on board with the team’s direction, and with his injury history, the Hornets will trade him ASAP while he’s still healthy.

3. Danny Granger — While the Pacers’ last star, Reggie Miller, spent his whole career in Indiana, Granger won’t be doing the same. Danny has not requested a trade, and signed a five-year contract extension in 2008, but his future is not with the Pacers. In his entire career there the Pacers have: (1) failed to find a remotely decent second scorer to relieve some pressure of him, (2) been decimated with injuries, and (3) now face possible relocation in a few years. All this will eventually catch up to Granger, and get him into another uniform.

4. Carmelo Anthony — There is a reason Anthony has not signed the three-year, $65 million contract extension the Nuggets have offered him. That extension is a lot more money per year than Anthony could make after the new CBA goes through, so his hesitance to sign indicates he is at least seriously considering a new team. I suspect Anthony won’t take the extension, and will sign elsewhere next summer.

5. Andre Iguodala — Reports are that Iguodala is on the market, which is only somewhat surprising. With Jrue Holiday’s impressive showing in Summer League and Evan Turner now on board, Iggy may be seeing the ball a lot less in Philadelphia. For a player who needs the ball in his hands a lot to be effective, he will be better suited somewhere. He has a ridiculously expensive contract, but someone will take his talent even if it is overpriced.

6. Tony Parker — Parker is not the biggest star on his team, but he is still a star nonetheless. Rumors have it that Parker wants to be traded out of San Antonio (with New York as a possible destination) and that the Spurs have been shopping him. With George Hill emerging as a very good point guard, it is only a matter of time before he becomes the starter in San Antonio. The only question with Parker is will he be traded this year or just sign elsewhere as a free agent next summer.

7. O.J. Mayo — The Grizzlies signed Rudy Gay to an $82 million contract this summer, and Mayo has had similar production to Gay in his short career. When Mayo becomes a restricted free agent in two years, I assume he will want the Grizz to give him close to what they gave Gay, but that would be fiscally irresponsible and overpaying at its finest. With incoming rookie Xavier Henry on board (assuming his contract issues work out), I figure by the time Mayo becomes a free agent, Henry will be ready to take his starting spot.

8. Richard Hamilton — Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace (after a short time away) are the only three Pistons remaining from the team’s most recent glory days where they reached the Eastern Conference Finals for six straight seasons. Despite being a loyal citizen and key part of the Pistons’ teams of the 2000’s, Hamilton has been shopped heavily the last few years. With Ben Gordon on board at $11 million per season for the next four years, and Rodney Stuckey going nowhere, Hamilton won’t finish his career in Detroit.

9. Kevin Love — With Al Jefferson now gone, Love becomes the face of Minnesota’s franchise. While some might see that as a role to embrace, Love probably doesn’t see it that way. The Wolves have no direction whatsoever and in the ultra-competitive Western Conference, and no hope of a playoff berth any time soon. As soon as Love becomes a restricted free agent in two years, he will get out of Minneapolis as fast as he can.

10. Gilbert Arenas — Arenas has burned too many bridges in the Wizards organization to stay there long-term. He called out Ernie Grunfeld last year, and was portrayed as a pariah after his locker room gun incident. With John Wall now clearly the face of the franchise, the Wiz are building their team around him, and while they might try to showcase Arenas early this season to increase his trade value, he won’t be there for much longer.

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  • Heckler

    Richard Hamilton at #8 has played on different teams already (Detroit, Washington). why is he on the list? he didn’t start his career in detroit.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Heckler — Read the intro. “Here are 10 stars who won’t finish their career with the team they play for now”

  • Boom DIzzle

    When the face of your franchise is Kevin Love, you might as well call it quits.

    KAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHNNNNNNNNNN!

  • Heckler

    NO player in the NBA (anymore) is ever going to play with one team their entire career. unless your name is kobe bryant, timmy duncan or paul pierce, you going to play for more than 1 team.

    dwyane wade will wear another uniform one day. so will yao ming. so will derrick rose. blake griffin. john wall. all of them.

    I cant imagine a single player who will not be traded or sign somewhere else for more money at some point. any point.

    LETS NOT ACT LIKE WE’RE GOING TO BE SURPRISED.

    if the GREAT MICHAEL JORDAN played for another team other than the Chicago Bulls, expect every/any other player to do the same at some point. either by their choice or their teams choice.

  • Heckler

    @ Austin–

    I read it. but why is richard hamilton on the list? it seems foolish to me to list a player as not finishing with his current team, when he didnt START with his current team. alls it does is let you know the player has been moved before (by team or their own choice).

    why not list yao ming? or deron williams? or andrew bogut?
    why list a player who has ALREADY switched teams? what reason is there to believe they wont switch teams again?!!?

  • Scott

    @Heckler

    Read the title of the post homey.

    I disagree with the Granger part. Maybe years down the road, but if Indiana could piece together a team, he seems like he has the Durant mindset where he likes where he’s at, and if they do the team right he’d stay for a long time.

  • SJ

    Granger isn’t going anywhere. He’ll be a Pacer for a long time, possibly his entire career. The Pacers aren’t going anywhere, either. They’ve got Lance and Paul to help with the scoring load, and as long as they keep Troy Murphy, they’ve got a solid 18 and 10 guy in him (assuming no injuries). They just need to get their PG issue straightened out and they’ll be set. Expect a good year from Indy and a return to the playoffs. Yup, I said it.

  • bobby stew

    Michael Jordan did only play for one team. He even made his last career shot in Utah as his Bulls beat the Jazz. I don’t count his “scrimmaging with the team he owned” as real basketball. I’m in denial.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Heckler — You’d have to ask Marks. But personally I think Rip gets traded/leaves before any of the guys you mentioned, plus he qualifies as a star, which is why he’s on the list.

  • We-It Athletics

    @AB
    Reasons why I think Rip would be a nice fit in Orlando

    He’s a veteran guard with a ring..balance out their youth
    He would be the perfect mentor to J.J Redick(their games our similar as far as moving without the ball to get their shots)
    He would be more willing to mentor J.J..(Vince really his that type of player)
    He actually attempts to play Def.
    He could be their STEADY locker room guy Van Gundy been looking for

  • ReddiRed

    @ We-It Athletics:

    ok, how would you make that work…….
    as a Pistons fan, I feel you, but, what does ORL have that we could use? Maybe Gortat….. but the contracts don’t match. We don’t really want undersized Bass as we have that in Maxiel.

    I do agree with your logic, but I don’t see how those 2 teams could make it happen without bringing another team in the trade.

    The pistons actually need to trade Rip, Tayshuan, Wilcox, and Maxiel and try to get good big out of the deal.

  • futuristic handgun

    CLEARLY, you guys just pull articles like this out of your AZZ!!! Danny Granger isn’t going anywhere. Dude is like the owner’s son. He’s balls deep in the organization. Get yall shyt together Dime.

  • Sporty-j

    Why wont DWade play his whole career with the Heat Heckler??? We are a loyal organizatin no matter how old he gets and we are not like the Bulls who took Jordan away from us all and broke up there dynasty for no reason when Jordan could have easily ruled the league for 2 more yrs. Also if you think Lebron would let the Heat get reed of his man crush just because he 3yrs older than him, your crazy. Lebron came to the Heat because of DWade and because he wants to have the time of his life with DWade. Pat Riley would be hated even more than Lebron in Cleveland if that was to happen and he would never be safe living in Miami and do you think Bosh and Lebron would resign if Wade was not resigned after there 6yrs are up?. That was a stupid statement even though Jordan would give his right arm to have Wade on the Bobcats…

  • Bobb23

    I dont understand the perception that Iguodala is at best with the ball in his hands. I watch almost every game and it seems like he is at his best when he is not dominating the ball. I think he fits with turner and holiday very well.

  • K Dizzle

    I don’t usually agree with Sporty J but DWade ain’t goin nowhere. He’ll retire in Miami…

  • Manu14

    quote: “With George Hill emerging as a very good point guard”
    Are you kidding me? Have you even watched the spurs?
    Do you know Hill averaged less than 2 ast/game as a starter?
    He is a great versatil guard, can help at the point WHEN Ginobili plays next to him, but HE IS NOT A PG!!!

  • Stunnaboy09

    Agree with Manu14, Hill is years away from being a floor general, he’s great offensively and defensively but when it coems to dishing the rock? WHOOLE nother matter. He needs to play with a ball dsitributer (Ginobili, Roy, Wade etc) to be fully effective.

    Where the following guys should go

    10. Arenas – Orlando (preferably for VC)
    9. Love – Stay in Minnesota
    8. Rip – Orlando or Washington
    7. O.J. Mayo – Stay in Memphis or Chicago
    6. Parker – Pacers (or New York if CP gets traded somewhere else)
    5. Iggy – Clippers
    4. Melo – Stay in Denver or NY
    3. Granger – Stay in Indiana
    2. CP3 – Orlando or New York
    1. Ellis – Golden State or Cleveland (If they want to play Run-n-gun then trade Moon/picks to GSW for Monta)

  • samir patel

    Tony Parker is the best player on that list!!!!!!! YEA I SAID, better than chris paul 3 X champion better!! GO SPURS GO!

  • D-NICE

    Damn I thought Iggy on tha raps would be really nice but on tha clippers,they would do DAMAGE!!!!!