NBA AM: On The Move At The Trade Deadline
Moved At The Deadline? Earlier in the week in this space we talked about some of the guys who’s contracts make them expendable, but there are a few other guys that shouldn’t get too comfortable in their current situations as they are likely on the move before the February 21st, NBA trade deadline. Here are some of the guys to watch:
Tyrus Thomas – Charlotte Bobcats
The Charlotte Bobcats would love to get out of the Tyrus Thomas business. To say it has gone bad in Charlotte between the team and the player is an understatement.
Sources close to the process say the team hopes new head Coach Mike Dunlap can reach Tyrus in a way that Paul Silas couldn’t, but the truth of the matter is that Tyrus is not in the long-term plan. If the Bobcats can find anyone who’d take him, they’d trade Tyrus tomorrow.
The problem with moving Tyrus is that he’s had some stomach related issues that’s caused him to struggle keeping weight on. Combine that with a poor attitude and a history of run-ins with coaches and that’s a tough sell. Tyrus is half the player he was when Charlotte overpaid him and with three years and some $26 million left on his deal, he may be unmovable. If this summer taught us anything, it’s that even the worst contracts can be moved, so look for the Bobcats to try and find a new home for Thomas, especially if he shows any signs of improvement as a player.
Daniel Gibson – Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs deny that they are “shopping” Daniel Gibson, but more than a few team sources say their club has had some level of contact regarding Gibson throughout the summer. With draft pick Dion Waiters expected to join super sophomore Kyrie Irving in the Cavs backcourt there may not be much of a role for Gibson and several teams have tried to engage Cleveland on a deal. As things settle in and the rookies in Cleveland find their way Gibson and his ending contract are likely on the move.
Gibson is owed $4.7 million this season which is a fairly easy number cap wise and if the Cavs can extract a draft pick or a roster part they want, you can expect Gibson will be moved.
Corey Maggette – Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons have been talking up Corey Maggette’s leadership but the truth of the matter is Maggette is not in the long-term plan in Detroit. If the Piston can flip his ending $10.9 million contract for something they like, you can expect Corey to be moved.
Corey is still a very serviceable player, and at the trade deadline when more than 70% of his contract is paid, he’ll cost $3.2 million in payable salary to clear $10.92 million.
Kevin Martin – Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets have tried to repair the relationship with Kevin Martin, but after trying to trade him over the last two offseasons, it’s clear Kevin’s time in Houston is short. With one season worth $12.43 million left on his deal, Kevin is the salary chip the Rockets will have to cash before the trade deadline.
The Rockets say Kevin is their guy, but when you look at the direction of the roster Kevin isn’t exactly a good fit.
Kevin has his flaws as a player, but when healthy, he is one of the most efficient players in the league in terms of scoring and getting to the line. The problem is his body can’t maintain his style of play and that’s going to be a problem in trying to extract real value out of Martin.
Larry Sanders – Milwaukee Bucks
The writing is on the wall for Larry Sanders. If he does not show up big in training camp he is likely out in Milwaukee.
Since the trade deadline last year the Bucks have acquired Ekpe Udoh and Samuel Dalembert. They drafted John Henson. Factor in a return of Ersan Ilyasova as a free agent and roster bigs Drew Gooden and Tobias Harris, there is not a lot of room for Sanders if he can’t show significant improvement.
The good news for Milwaukee is Sanders is still on his rookie deal and could be an easy sell if they decide to move him.
If Sanders struggles or is inconsistent in training camp he may lose his place on the depth chart despite how much Coach Skiles likes his intensity. Given the roster make up, Sanders could be dealt simply because he could return some value in trade.
Al Harrington – Orlando Magic
Sources near the Magic deny that Al Harrington was a throw-in in the Dwight Howard trade. There is a belief that Al could be a good locker room influence on Orlando’s cast of young bigs and that’s likely true to start the season. However, at the trade deadline you can bet that the Magic are going to try and off-load Harrington on a playoff team and try to dump the remaining years on his contract.
Harrington is a serviceable player and his deal isn’t crazy, so finding a taker for him might cost the Magic a draft pick, but given how many the Magic are sitting on going forward, offloading his contract money might be more important than a low level pick.
Harrington likely starts the season in Orlando, but in February he’s likely somewhere else.
Francisco Garcia – Sacramento Kings
It is hard to envision how Francisco Garcia has a role in Sacramento, but the reality is his $6.1 million contract is available and has been for some time.
‘Sisco has struggled to stay healthy and that’s going to be the biggest hurdle in moving him. In his seven years in the NBA he has never played 82 games and over the last three years he’s missed 17, 24, and 57.
The Kings are desperate for help at the small forward spot and used Tyreke Evans in that role last year. If ‘Sisco can get and stay healthy maybe there is a role for him, but if the Kings could offload the deal sources say they’d do it.
‘Sisco has two years left on his contract; however the final year is a team option, so in essence he is an ending deal and at the trade deadline he might have trade value regardless of his health.
DeJuan Blair – San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs tried to trade DeJuan Blair around the draft and could not find a deal they’d do. The odds the Spurs cut Blair outright are slim, but you can expect as roles get defined in Spurs training camp that DeJuan will be the guy they start to shop again.
Blair’s health issues have been well documented. He plays without ACL ligaments in his knee which marvels basketball executives, but also throws up serious red flags when trying to establish a real value for him, especially knowing he could go down at any time.
Blair has been working relentlessly this offseason knowing that he’s likely playing for another team. However with no trade deal in place now, he’ll report to Spurs camp, but you can bet if the Spurs find a deal for Blair, they are going to move him.
Blair’s contract is negligible in terms of trade value; he is owed one final year worth $1.05 million, meaning his final destination is more about what the Spurs get back for him.
Jose Calderon – Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have tried to trade Jose Calderon several times over the last two years, but this might be the year they can actually pull it off. Jose is entering the final year of his deal and at the trade deadline the Raptors will have paid more than 70% of the $10.561 million remaining on the deal.
The Raptors traded for Kyle Lowry this offseason and he is expected to be the starter, although the Raptors are saying roles will be defined in training camp.
With Jose at the end of his deal the Raptors will likely get something in return for him and given how bad that contract looked two seasons ago, that’s tremendous progress.
What the Raptors can expect in return is still very much up in the air, but what was once a huge liability might actually turn into a reasonable trade chip especially as the dollars owed start to get paid down.
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The Nets Staying Active The Brooklyn Nets continue to look at roster additions, although they have very little to offer beyond the NBA minimum.
The Nets brought in backup centers Eddy Curry and Hilton Armstrong for workouts and were said to be closing in on a deal with former King Donte Greene. However, he broke his ankle this week playing in a pickup game and is now out of the picture for the Nets.
The Nets have been linked to Josh Childress and Sam Young and are still talking to Damion James about returning. James’ agent says his client is still considering options and might make a decision this week after meeting with possibly one more team.
The Nets currently have 13 players under contract and roughly $81.8 million in salary commitments.
Seattle Still In The Mix? Chris Hansen’s quest to build a world-class venue in Seattle continues to move along with KING5 in Seattle reporting that Hansen’s company closed on another land purchase near the site of the his proposed arena.
Hansen’s company closed on a deal to acquire an additional half-acre of property near his proposed site at the cost of just at $8 million.
Hansen has been working on a deal to build a $490 million arena that would house a NHL teams, but could also be a desirable destination for a NBA team once the project gets underway.
The only NBA team without binding arena commitments is the Sacramento Kings. The Kings had been linked to a Virginia Beach arena proposal which is now considered dead.
Hansen’s proposal calls for some $200 million in public money, something King County has approved, however there are several more political and financial hurdles to be cleared before this project becomes a reality.
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