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What The #FancyStats Say About NBA Trade-Deadline Targets

Similar to what I did for the NHL’s most popular deadline-deal targets, here’s a table of the NBA players most commonly rumored as transaction fodder ahead of that league’s trade deadline, Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern time. I’ve sorted the players according to their long-term predictive Real Plus/Minus rating,1 and I’ve also included the offensive and defensive components of their RPM ratings.

Most of these players are quite unlikely to go anywhere; the list is simply a collection of names mentioned by various sources2 as potential trade candidates. It’s also worth noting that, even after including borderline-untouchable targets such as DeMarcus Cousins, the average player on the list has an RPM of -0.9. In other words, most rumored trade targets are below-average-to-bad players; otherwise they probably wouldn’t be dangled in trade talks.

But some of the players listed do have value or can at least fill a niche role. That’s why it’s always interesting to follow the moves on deadline day, even if zero hour is expected to be relatively quiet.


CORRECTION (Feb. 19, 2:00 p.m.): A previous version of the table in this article repeated some players. These duplicates have been removed. The current version was also updated to include seven new players.


  1. From the data set used to generate our NBA power rankings two Mondays ago

  2. Here are the sources from which the names were compiled:

Neil Paine was the acting sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.