With less than a month until the clock strikes on the NBA's annual trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 20, the rumor mill is sure to be spinning at full capacity. Every team will participate in the ritual, though most will fail to pull a trigger on an actual transaction. The aim for each team varies; some are building for a springtime playoff push, while others are trying to position themselves for a brighter future. Names will buzz on and off the rumor radar, but which teams actually have the most to offer?
To answer that question, we ranked the trade asset for each of the NBA's 30 teams. We both voted on each team's top-five assets to establish a consensus. Players, draft pick and current-season cap space were all eligible to be ranked. Then, using Kevin Pelton's framework for assigning value to each asset type, along with three-year SCHOENE projections, the teams were ranked by the total value of their top-five assets. In each case, we attempted to evaluate the mindset of each general manager, asking two things:
1. Which of my assets would I like to move?
2. Which of those assets have actual value in the marketplace?
It should be noted that while SCHOENE projections involve expected asset performance, they do not take into account the cost of these assets; in other words, it does not take into account the difference between a high-salary, multiyear contract asset (e.g., Ersan Ilyasova) vs. a low-salary, short-term deal (e.g., Ed Davis).
Also, for the purposes of this exercise, we did not include assets that teams themselves would never consider moving, so don't scratch your head over why Kevin Durant doesn't appear as an Oklahoma City asset or how the Bucks' 2014 first-round pick isn't in play.
1. Brooklyn Nets | WARP value (of top-five assets): 58.4
Amin: Brooklyn's asset value is real, even if its championship chances aren't. Williams and Lopez are accomplished (albeit injury-prone) players who still hold value in the trade market, and Plumlee, Teletovic and "AK-47" are competent role players at value pricing.
Bradford: We both included Lopez as a trade candidate, but I didn't include Williams. I wrote about this previously, and it's even more true now that the Nets are playing so well: Brooklyn's best chance to win is now, and Lopez can't help them do that.