The NBA trade market could start heating up in 2016 and while players like Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins and Hassan Whiteside are unlikely to get moved, there are some major names that could be dealt at the deadline. Markieff Morris, Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Ty Lawson, Brandon Jennings and Jamal Crawford have all come up in trade reports and could be potential targets for teams.
The Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets are two teams that have not played to expectations this season and those two could consider making moves at the deadline. The Bulls remain one of the best teams in the east by record, but the team has not played with any consistency and that could spark some moves, as SI.com reports that the team could consider trading Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol or Taj Gibson at the deadline.
The Rockets got off to a dreadful start this season and they could look at bringing in some players and shipping out some players at the deadline. According to Marc Stein at ESPN.com, the team has considered making a move for Markieff Morris, who has fallen out of favor with the Phoenix Suns. Stein also reports that Ty Lawson could be an option to get traded, as he has not played well this season and his camp is reportedly "pushing" for a deal out of Houston.
Morris has fallen out of favor in Phoenix and he has been mentioned quite a bit in trade talk and it would not be a surprise if he gets moved at the deadline. The Bulls could move Noah, as he is heading into free agency, but right now he is injured and that could keep his trade value low. Gasol has an opt out and could get moved, while Gibson will be a free agent after next season and has been a target for teams since last year.
Dwight Howard came up in some trade rumors earlier in the season, but a deal is unlikely at this point. Reports have Howard unhappy in Houston and that he could opt out of his contract when he gets the chance, but Howard told USA Today earlier in the month that he wants to stay and that he "chose" to go to Houston as a free agent and wants to make things work. DeMarcus Cousins is another big name that got mentioned in trade rumors this season, but a deal with Cousins is looking very unlikely.
Vlade Divac said to ESPN that Cousins is "off the table" in trade talks and that the team is not looking to make a deal. Cousins was mentioned in trade talks over the summer and during the NBA draft, but the Kings have resisted making a move. Another major name that has come up this season, but is unlikely is Hassan Whiteside with the Miami Heat. Whiteside is heading toward free agency and while reports had the team considering a trade if they feel they can't re-sign Whiteside, Pat Riley came out to knock those down. According to the Miami Herald, Riley said that the team is not looking to move Whiteside.