Russell Westbrook, Tyrese Maxey and more:

With just four teams remaining in the running for the 2022 NBA championship and both conference finals series winding down, an exciting offseason in the basketball world is right around the corner.

As such, we thought it was time for another edition of our trade-rumor rankings series, where we rank the five players who have appeared most on our Trade rumors page over the previous week in order of appearances.

With such big names to discuss, let’s jump right into the action.

Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana)

Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports:

The Indiana Pacers are in the midst of a rebuild as evidenced by their trade of: Domantas Sabonis: for: Tyrese Haliburton:. That move could lead to another this offseason, as: Malcolm Brogdon’s: name is one that has appeared consistently in trade rumors recently after the strong of Haliburton has him looking like the leading lead guard of the future.

Two weeks ago, Bleacher Report’s: Jake Fischer: reported that the Pacers are expected to explore Brogdon’s trade value this offseason.

That was followed up this week by the: New York Post’s: Marc Berman: reporting that the New York Knicks are an interested party for Brogdon’s services:

The Pacers are at a crossroads, trying to figure out if they are totally rebuilding or going for it next season after trading Sabonis to Sacramento in a big package that landed young point guard Tyrese Haliburton, among others. Haliburton’s addition has made the Pacers evaluate the future of their incumbent point guard, Malcom Brogdon, whom the Knicks have some interest in as he’s a better defender and with more size than free agent Jalen Brunson. Brogdon is 6-foot-5 but comes with a heavy contract. With the Knicks desperate for a playmaking point guard, the Pacers hold two potential targets in Turner and Brogdon.

Despite injury troubles, Brogdon is a very solid starting-level guard, one who averaged 19.1 points and 5.9 assists last campaign.

For the latest on the Malcolm Brogdon trade front, click here.

Donovan Mitchell (Utah)

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports:

It should not come as a surprise, not with Utah set to host next season’s All-Star festivities, that the latest reports on the Donovan Mitchell: trade front indicate that the Jazz do not have plans to trade their All-Star 2-guard.

The first report came from: Deseret.com’s: Sarah Todd:who reported that if Utah had to choose between deal Mitchell or: Rudy Gobert:they would likely prefer to trade the latter, but that the team is still looking to keep both players.

That was followed up by Fischer, who stated that Mitchell is expected to remain in Utah as the guard is committed to the team that drafted him.

Still, if things change on this front, look for teams like the Knicks and Miami Heat to have a keen interest in the 25-year-old scorer.

For the latest on the Donovan Mitchell trade front, click here.

Tyrese Maxey (Philadelphia)

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports:

In what should come as a relief to fans of the Philadelphia 76ers, the franchise is reportedly deeming Tyrese Maxey: untouchable on the trade market, or at least close it.

That’s according to a report from: Kyle Neubeck: of the: Philly Voice:who wrote as such just this week:

Already this offseason, we’ve heard some “star hunting” type rumors regarding the Sixers, and I’m not here to tell you that they’re out of the star business in general. If Morey thinks their path to contention rests on acquiring another big-name guy, he will figure out whatever needs to be done in order to get that guy in the building. Is he going to use Tyrese Maxey to make that happen? The signs point to no. “Maxey is as close to untouchable as you could be,” a source told PhillyVoice over the weekend.

That stance makes sense, as Maxey appears to be a star in the making at the 2-guard spot for the Sixers, so why trade him for an older player on a much more expensive salary who might not even get Philadelphia over the championship hump?

Daryl Morey: spoke about Maxey recently when talking to the media, too, saying that he believes the former Kentucky standout has All-Star potential:

Things of this nature in the NBA can change in a heartbeat, but for now, look for Maxey to stay put with the 76ers, as he looks like a potential cornerstone franchise for Philadelphia.

For the latest on the Tyrese Maxey trade front, click here.

Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia)

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports:

How quickly things change in the NBA, as just a few months ago, Matisse Thybulle: was considered borderline untouchable in trade talks for: James Harden:. Compare that to today, when the Australian swingman’s poor playoff showing made him nearly unplayable in the postseason, causing the Sixers to change their tune.

Neubeck reported as such just this week (via the: Philly Voice:):

Thybulle is certainly not untouchable and the Sixers would entertain moving him, but the idea that they would dump him strictly for salary reasons (as has been reported elsewhere) does not carry any weight. Thybulle is extension-eligible this offseason but is poised to make under $ 4.5 million this year, a number that would hardly make a dent in the tax bill if they shipped him out.

Moreover, Sean Deveney: of: Heavy: mentioned the Chicago Bulls as a potential suitor for Thybulle:

The Sixers could look to get off Matisse Thybulle’s contract to create some wiggle room under the luxury tax, which looms large over the mentioned offseason, and one team with known interest, according to league sources, is Chicago. Bulls GM Marc Eversley has had a fondness for Thybulle going back to early in his collegiate career at Washington, and was instrumental in pushing the Sixers to acquire him in the 2019 draft.

The defensively-lacking Bulls would make a lot of sense for Thybulle, whose ability to jump passing lanes and pick pockets make him a very solid off-ball defender and a positive-impact player overall, despite his offensive limitations.

For the latest on the Matisse Thybulle: trade front, click here.

Russell Westbrook (LA Lakers)

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports:

There has been a lot of talk on the: Russell Westbrook: trade front lately, so let’s just get right into it.

According to: The Athletic’s: Johan Buva:the Los Angeles Lakers are now leaning towards keeping Westbrook, as opposing teams are still asking for a first-round pick to take on the former league MVP’s contract, even despite him being in the final year of his deal:

As The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported last week, the Lakers are now strongly considering the possibility of keeping Westbrook because of the hardball stance the league is currently taking in trade negotiations. Teams have been demanding the inclusion of at least one first-round pick to take on Westbrook’s massive expiring contract, according to league sources. Rival teams know how much of a public trainwreck last season was for the Lakers, and they’re not looking to do Los Angeles any favors by helping them off of Westbrook’s contract.

The Lakers remain firmly opposed to adding a first-round pick to the pot just to trade Westbrook, according to Buva.

Veteran NBA scribe: David Aldridge: also recently broke down a potential Westbrook trade in a way only he can (via: The Athletic:):

Even if you offer him (in a trade), what are you, realistically, going to get back? I told them this too – you’re going to get some contracts you probably do not want, and they’re going to go (chronologically) past his contract. You’ve really got to think about that. Are those players you’re going to get back, are they going to really help you? I said, talk to him. Whatever happened (this season), how can you make it better with Russell? How can you make it more comfortable? So they’ve got to figure all these things out. Take him out, take him to dinner or sit him down. How can this thing be better? ‘Cause if he’s going to be there, it’s got to be better. I guess whoever they name, that’s the first thing they’re going to have to do. And you can not sit down once. You’re going to have to sit down for a week or two to try to figure that thing out.

What’s more, according to: Sam Amick:as the Lakers continue their search for a new head coach, candidates are reportedly being asked how they would use Westbrook in their offense, a sign that the team could be looking at keeping the veteran triple-double machine on their roster, at least through the first half of the season:

The notion of Russell Westbrook remaining part of their program is seeming more real all the time. Despite the widely held belief that the Lakers would find a way to trade Westbrook before the start of next season, sources say their coaching candidates have been asked to discuss how they would use him in their system during interviews. The takeaway for candidates, it seems, is that maximizing Westbrook’s presence after his disastrous 2021-22 season is considered an important part of this job.

However this story unfolds, expect to keep hearing Westbrook’s name in trade scuttle, as the Lakers remain the league’s most interesting soap opera.

For the latest on the Russell Westbrook: trade front, click here.

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