Trade deadline watch: Players who have improved their value

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The February 10 NBA trade deadline is right around the corner and we are starting to get a strong idea on who is and isn’t available. Here are some players who can probably be acquired that have also boosted their trade value this season.

We used ProFitX to view what these players should be earning based on their level of play, and evaluate if these players are in a position to earn such a raise with their current team.

Domantas Sabonis (Indiana)

domantas sabonis trade rumors destinations knicks celtics hornets mavericks
domantas sabonis trade rumors destinations knicks celtics hornets mavericks

Domantas Sabonis is playing like an All-Star caliber player for the third season in a row. He is significantly outperforming his contract with a Real-Time contract of $31.5 million. That is approximately what he would be earning this season if he was on a maximum contract. He will become eligible this year for an extension worth up to $75.4 million over three years. With the way he’s playing, he’s more likely to hold off on that for a bigger deal in free agency with more money and years.

Indiana has made everyone on their roster expendable but the expectation is that Sabonis won’t be moved. It would probably take an overpay to convince them to move on from him. The Sacramento Kings have been reported to have interest in him and could offer a package based on multiple first-round picks to pair him with De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. The Washington Wizards also are a team with plenty of flexibility that can offer multiple first-rounders for Sabonis.

Caris LeVert (Indiana)

Caris LeVert is another Pacer on the trade market that could be had. After a rough shooting start to the season, he’s since had one of the better offensive stretches of his career. He’s averaging 24.5 per game on 48 percent shooting in his last 10 games. His Real-Time Contract is slightly outperforming his actual contract, which shouldn’t be difficult to move with only one year left.

The Pacers are seeking a first-round pick and a young player for LeVert, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto. Several teams that could use LeVert’s scoring and secondary playmaking include the Cavaliers, Mavericks, and Pelicans. He will become extension-eligible this season so any team that acquires him can extend him for up to $101 million over four seasons.

Harrison Barnes (Sacramento)

Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings

Harrison Barnes is a player that many in the league believe can be traded for but Sacramento’s desire to be as competitive could keep him there. He is continuing off last year with another strong season with a declining contract that makes him more desirable on the market. His Real-Time Contract is outperforming his actual deal by $5 million.

Barnes is one of the few starter-level wing players on the market. A lot of the same teams and trade packages that work for Jerami Grant can apply to Barnes. His value is very high right now and it’s not out of the question that they could potentially get two late first-round picks for him. If the Kings trade for an All-Star like Ben Simmons or Domantas Sabonis, keeping Barnes to pair him with them could be a good idea.

Josh Hart (New Orleans)

Josh Hart signed one of the most uniquely structured contracts in recent memory. His three-year deal contains two non-guaranteed seasons including a player option on year three. This gives both teams an out on year three but the Pelicans will certainly guarantee Hart’s second season based on his recent play. He is playing with a Real-Time Contact of $18 million which makes his $12 million annual salary very desirable.

Hart isn’t explicitly available but he could be traded as part of a bigger consolidation deal. The Pelicans seem to be buyers after pursuing Kyle Lowry in free agency and could look to trade for a ball-dominant guard. They can get very aggressive if they are willing to include multiple of their surplus of first-round picks they’ve gathered over the years.

Montrezl Harrell (Washington)

Montrezl Harrell, Washington Wizards
Montrezl Harrell, Washington Wizards

Montrezl Harrell is having a minor resurgence and his most efficient season yet. The seven year veteran played a huge role in Washington’s great start to the season. He’s playing with a Real-Time Contract that vastly exceeds his $9.7 million salary. He will be eligible for a four-year, $76.2 million contract this offseason thanks to his Early Bird rights.

According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Wizards have made Harrell available in trade. That’s understandable considering he’s set to enter free agency and Thomas Bryant just came back, which creates a logjam at center. They could look to package him with some of their recent first-round draft picks for an upgrade at the wing.

Christian Wood (Houston)

Christian Wood, Houston Rockets
Christian Wood, Houston Rockets

Christian Wood is playing with a $24 million Real-Time Contract which would make his $13 million annual salary attractive to teams that need frontcourt help. It appears Houston is listening to offers on Wood, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

The emergence of Alperen Sengun has definitely made Wood expendable. Also, he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023. He will become eligible for a four-year extension worth $77 million. If the Rockets don’t want to commit to that ballpark it would make sense to move on from him now. Houston probably could extract more value for Wood now with another year left on his deal than as an expiring contract.

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