NBA / Jan 12, 2011 / 4:00 pm

The Untouchables: 10 NBA Players Who Will Never Get Traded (Until They Get Traded)

Blake Griffin (photo. Nicky Woo)

Ask LeBron, who in the eyes of many, somehow went from being the best player in his sport to the second-best player on his team. Or ask Vince Carter, who suddenly went from 20-5-5 per game to barely worth an NBA contract. Or ask Yao Ming, who went from franchise centerpiece to trade bait in the snap of an ankle.

The NBA is a “What have you done for me lately?” business, where you’re only as good as your last week. So in using the term “untouchable,” remember that nobody is truly untouchable. Everybody from Shaq to Wilt Chamberlain has been traded before, and superstars will be traded again. A bad enough injury, one too many postseason flops, an embarrassing off-court transgression — a lot of things can make a guy suddenly available where he once seemed unavailable. That’s why players don’t believe in “loyalty” to an organization like they used to, because they’ve all figured out that organizations are only loyal when players are useful to them.

The idea of untouchables came up in the Dime office again this week when reports surfaced that Blake Griffin had been targeted by the Nuggets in their Carmelo Anthony trade talks. Apparently, Denver contacted the Clippers a few times about sending them ‘Melo in a package for Blake, and the Clippers weren’t trying to hear it. At all. Who else holds off-limits status in the League? Here are 10 guys that won’t be traded anytime soon:

KEVIN DURANT, Thunder
Not only is KD one of the three to five best players in the League and on pace to lead the NBA in scoring every year until his arm falls off, he actually embraces the small-town atmosphere of Oklahoma City and has fallen in love with his team and his teammates. The Thunder wouldn’t trade him for anybody right now. Not even home state hero …

BLAKE GRIFFIN, Clippers
Hollywood hasn’t seen a star shine so bright on the scene so soon like this since Justin Bieber — and for once the town’s shiny new sports star isn’t a guy who plays for the Lakers. The Clippers have made some head-scratching moves in the past, but trading Blake won’t be one of them.

DERRICK ROSE, Bulls
Every team is looking for a great point guard to carry them through the next decade, and the Bulls have arguably the best in the NBA right now in Rose, who is also a beloved hometown product. D-Rose is at least the best scoring PG in the League and is in contention for his first MVP award.

KOBE BRYANT, Lakers
Not even if he demands a trade. It’s not so much that the L.A. front office has an undying loyalty to Kobe, it’s that they see how their fans are unshakable in their love for Kobe and they won’t ruin that (until they have to). Especially since Andrew Bynum hasn’t yet established himself as a dependable future-of-the-franchise type, Kobe is going to be The Man for as long as his body holds up.

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  • Max

    You have Hibbert and LMA on here, but no D-Rose?

  • Big B

    I would agree with you on everyone except Hibbert, i think there are a few trades that the pacers would bite on if they had to lose him.

  • Bizz

    The list is somewhat flawed I believe, as when you look at untradeables, I look at it as “when another team comes calling for your player, your GM hangs up the phone.” I don’t think LMA nor Hibbert, despite your reasoning, would be on this type of list ahead of Deron Williams, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Steph Curry or other names that have already been deemed untouchable by their franchise.

  • Bizz

    D-Rose was on the first page Big B

  • Bizz

    *sorry, Max

  • Mark Cuban

    You have to include the only other player besides Kobe to have a no trade clause….Dirk is not being traded.

  • Vinny

    Austin, Hibbert really? D-Rose for sure should be on this list. Tyreke Evans-maybe Dirk isnt getting traded.

  • Vinny

    oh my bad-rose is on there!

  • spswange

    when you think of it, there’s a lot of people that will not be traded…

    Dirk
    Pau Gasol
    D. Will
    Paul Pierce
    Tim Duncan

  • Adrian Zapata

    Tim Duncan?

  • ash

    dirk and kobe are the only players in the nba to have a no trade clause.

  • hahns

    haha when i saw hibbert on the list i knew austin had to have written it.

    i think if lma and hibbert are listed, you can add john wall

  • http://yesthenailinthecoffin.blogspot.com Snottie Drippen

    Interesting post. Can’t see how Hibbert is on here; if LMA was guaranteed to maintain this level of production, I may agree, but he’s very inconsistent, let’s see him keep it up. D-Will and CP3 are more locked in than LMA and Roy H. Amare is very, very good, but not close to untouchable. Like the thinking, though….

  • HoodedxSaints

    Dirk and especially Tim Duncan won’t be traded.

  • CTP

    You forgot Deron Williams.

  • http://dynastybball.wordpress.com/ sean.dynastybball

    Hibbert? Hibbert? We’re talking about Hibbert?

    So why is Coach O’Brien playing small ball and planning to limit Hibbert’s playing time in the process? Really ANY player is available if the right package is offered but I like the list if you had Deron Williams and drop Hibb

  • Average Jose

    JOHN WALL

  • where high ankle sprains happen

    ^ john wall in no way is untouchable esp with whats been going on with him this season thus far

  • EN FUEGO

    My man, Eddy Curry has got to be on that list. He’s so untouchable even his own coach doesn’t want to do anything with him.

    Okay, maybe his dick is touchable (just ask his driver).

  • hadoken

    @en fuego
    dare we say, that comment was on fire. eddy curry should now be called the “altar boy”

  • follow thru

    If the Heatles ever start feuding and it came down to a “him or me” situation, Wade would end up leaving town.

    AB, really? I mean we all know your love for LBJ but Miami is Wade’s town. He brought a chip there.

    let’s just put it as Bron will not be traded period. u don’t have to put D-Wade over as comparison.

  • imungloloupaw

    dirk
    TD

    no way those two ever play outside San Antonio and Dallas

  • Flying_Aussie_Dutchman

    Carmello…. OOOOOOOhhh

    – Tyreke Evans
    – Russel Westbrook
    – Kevin Love
    – Brandon Roy

    Good article.. More like these :D

  • Jim White

    Paul Pierce is by far the best player on the Celtics. No offense to Rondo, KG or Ray Allen. Can’t win without them. But, Paul Pierce is the best player on the Celtics period!

    Pop quiz: Name 100 point guards that could average double figures in assist passing to Paul, Ray, Shaq & KG.

  • JAY

    Hibbert = untradeable?? are you kidding??
    He’s a nice young center but he’s not untouchable.

  • JAY

    Just to add… I can think of a handful of other players who are more “untouchable” than Hibbert is.

    Wasn’t Hibbert name tossed around in trade rumours this off-season?? Lol. The #1 criteria for being on a list of untouchable players should be…
    “Was (insert name) rumoured to be moved within the past year?”
    If the answer is Yes, move on.

    One can argue, “those are just rumours”. This is true but a rumour proves he’s not untouchable.

  • big mo

    Brook Lopez…the nets have made it clear that everyone on the roster can be traded besides him…

  • JAY

    Good point big mo.

    Top-10-list fail.

  • Diego

    Inclusion of Hibbert just shows AB’s love for his adopted team, Indiana. No way Hibbert belongs on this list; he isn’t doing much this year and centers in East better than him?: Dwight, Horford, Amare, Noah, Bogut, Lopez, Perkins…. The list just keeps going. Actually, Hibbert seems to be doing less this year than last. Hibbert inclusion is totally out of wack.

  • top_gun

    Hibbert ? Are you nuts ? He started out the year strong but has been declining since. He’s not even a starter anymore and on top of that, he has to see a shrink because he’s mentally(and physically) soft.

    Westbrook should definitely be on that list. How often do you come across a defensive minded PG who’s able to score 20 points and dish out 10 assists ?

  • rainman

    Nash is pretty untouchable…

    Seeing as the team is not playing well but Management INSIST on keeping him UNLESS he demands a trade.

    if (pretty much)ANY of the above guys demand a trade, u gotta give it to em (maybe not kobe tho…we saw how that went lol)

    so u gotta put Steve on that list. Management WILL NOT trade him.

  • bookkwormmaster

    Agree with everyone on here about Hibbert. Moving on.

    I think LMA inclusion isn’t as far fetched as some are making it out to be. Dude has STEPPED his game up BIG TIME since my boy B-Roy went down.

    Here’s a few names I think should also be included or at least thought of:

    1. Dirk Nowitzki (even without his no-trade clause)
    2. Deron Williams
    3. Al Horford
    4. Manu Ginobili/Tim Duncan
    5. Tyreke Evans

  • sh!tfaced

    The New & Real Untouchables:
    -(players who will never be traded until the final year of their contracts as salary cap relief)

    1. Joe Johnson
    2. Elton Brand
    3. Amir Johnson
    4. Ben Gordon
    5. Baron Davis
    6. Chris Bosh
    7. Luol Deng

  • http://www.proform-coupons.com Proform Pete

    This is a pretty good list, but there is one major player missing. Deron Williams, for the Utah Jazz, is the best point guard in the league, and Utah would be toast without him.