3 NBA players most likely to be traded in 2024 

With the Knicks and Raptors kicking off the NBA trade season, these are the three players most likely to be traded first in 2024. 

Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards
Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Dec. 15 is called the unofficial start to NBA trade season, but in reality, that’s just a mechanical distinction. NBA trade season doesn’t usually begin in earnest until the new year, and even then, it isn’t until around the deadline the deals begin to flow. 

Why players get traded, and why Zach LaVine could be staying in Chicago

The most prominent name in the NBA trade machine this season has been Zach LaVine, but he isn’t one of the three players who’s most likely to be traded in 2024, and his absence is informative over who is present. LaVine has had a down season, is currently injured, and is owed $138 million from 2024-25 to 2026-27. 

LaVine is an excellent player, but his market, especially mid-season, has been lukewarm, and the Bulls have every reason to wait out a suitable offer. Teams only sell low when they have to, and the Bulls don’t have to sell low with LaVine. This doesn’t mean an organization won’t panic and offer a massive package for LaVine, but the chances are slim. 

What these three players all have in common is they’re inching toward free agency, they're healthy, they’re performing well, and their value isn’t at its nadir. Incentives drive organizations, and organizations drive deals. These are the three players most likely to be traded early in 2024.

3. Pascal Siakam

Pascal Siakam’s production has taken a bit of a step back this season as the Toronto Raptors have shifted more offensive responsibility toward Scottie Barnes. Still, the two-time All-NBAer remains an incredibly productive player. Siakam is a jack of all trades master of none star. He scores efficiently at solid volume, is a good playmaker, especially for a forward, and can defend multiple positions. Outside of 3-point shooting, Siakam is as malleable as they come. He’s a fit on any team that isn’t in desperate need of shooting. 

Siakam, 29, is in the final year of his contract, and the Raptors have already started a youth movement with their trade of OG Anunoby for RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley. While still a highly productive player, the Raptors are preparing for the future, and Siakam’s timeline doesn’t align with the rest of their roster. 

Any team looking to contend this season and in the immediate future could use Siakam. His ability to score, pass, and defend at the forward position is rare, and he is comfortable playing on and off the ball. 

Toronto’s return for Siakam could be a bit underwhelming. He’s entering the final six months of his deal, and any team that will acquire him will have to part with nearly $40 million in salary and be prepared to pony up a massive contract in the summer. While Anunoby netted the Raptors two young players and the Pistons’ 2024 second-round pick, the return for Siakam will probably come in a bit lighter. His price should be a first-round pick, depending on the quality of the matching salary. If the Raptors take on a bad contract, they could land an extra pick. 

Every team in need of an immediate upgrade should be seeing how much it’ll cost to pry Siakam from Toronto. The Golden State Warriors could be an interesting option if they don’t believe they can re-sign Klay Thompson and want to include his expiring $40 million contract. The Pacers have been linked to Siakam for ages and are a logical fit because of their desperate need for defense. After those two teams, the Sixers, Kings, Heat, and Hawks could all use Siakam to fortify their chances.