NBA AM: Where Are All The NBA Trades?
Where Are The Trades?: With NBA Pre-season games getting underway over the next week, there continues to be very little movement on the trade front outside of the now complete Chris Paul trade that landed him with the Clippers and the on-going Dwight Howard circus which seems to have no end in sight.
There have been questions on the status of some of the notable trade candidates, so let’s look at the status of each of the notables:
Andre Iguodala: The word from the 76ers side of things is that they are not interested in trading Andre Iguodala. He’s been rumored to be the odd man out for about a year now, but new ownership is not at all concerned about cutting costs and the last thing they want to be seen as with fans is cheap.
There is a tremendous amount of duplication in Philadelphia, but it seems the Sixers are content to have some excess especially considering how slow second year swingman Evan Turner was to adapt to the NBA game. Thaddeus Young got a new multi-year deal so it still seems inevitable that Iguodala is traded at some point, it just does not seem like it will be anytime soon.
The edict from new ownership is “win” and the belief is the 76ers will win more games with Andre on the roster than traded off for the parts other teams have offered in the past.
If Andre is eventually traded, it does not look like it’s going to happen anytime soon, and when Andre is moved it won’t be for spare parts from other rosters as this new ownership group is more than OK with the roster costs of their new franchise.
Monta Ellis: Had the Golden State Warriors landed Chris Paul, Monta Ellis would have been traded. With Paul in LA with the Clippers the Warriors are sticking with Ellis as their lead dog and it’s unlikely that will change at any point in the season unless Ellis and first year head coach Mark Jackson butt heads.
Warriors sources continue to gush over Ellis’ ever growing maturity and that most of the issues the team had with Monta are distant memories. The Warriors have fielded calls on Monta all summer, so there is tremendous trade interest in him, but in the end it seems Monta is staying in the Bay Area.
The Warriors feel like they have a playoff team as constructed, so it’s unlikely they explore moving Ellis until it becomes clear that they are not who they think they are.
Ellis could be a deadline deal if things go badly in Golden State, but if the team is winning games you can cross Ellis off the list unless he’s linked to major chip like Dwight Howard or Deron Williams – that’s the kind of value the Warriors place on Ellis.
Josh Smith: To say Josh Smith is tired of taking the blame for all of the Hawks problems as a team is an understatement. But rather than come into camp and complain, Josh dropped some 20 pounds and has been killing it in training camp.
The Hawks have marveled at Josh’s drive and motivation and have moved him to the small forward spot to better utilize his athleticism. The Hawks seem pretty happy with where they are in the grand scheme in the Eastern Conference and are reluctant to break that up, which is why the team has turned away overtures on Josh.
Like Golden State, it would take a serious player to get the Hawks off the dime on Smith, and as long as the Hawks are in the hunt for home court in the East and Josh continues to lead by example, Hawks sources said recently that moving Josh just didn’t make sense for what’s possible in return.
If the Hawks struggle, or implode as a team that could change, but after a full week of camp no one in Atlanta is talking trade, they are talking playoffs and as long as the direction of the team stays that way Josh will stay with the Hawks.
Marvin Williams is another story.
Tony Parker: The San Antonio Spurs shopped Tony Parker pretty hard around the draft but ended up using George Hill to complete their trade with Indiana that landed them Kawhi Leonard’s draft rights.
The Spurs have been linked to a number of things involving Tony Parker, but as the Spurs wrap the first week of camp the word from San Antonio is Parker is as secure as anyone on the roster and the team is not at all interested in trading him.
That’s a good line, and for now that seems to be where the Spurs are, but as other names hit the market closer to the trade deadline, it’s hard to imagine the Spurs not getting into the Deron Williams hunt especially if the Nets cannot add a significant chip.
It does not seem Tony Parker is going anywhere soon, but as the Spurs continue to look for life after Tim Duncan, don’t be surprised if its Tony Parker that’s the centerpiece of a deal, but it wouldn’t be a liquidation it would be for a real roster upgrade.
Dwight Howard: For Magic fans the Dwight Howard saga is an ever changing rollercoaster of sound bites from “I have always wanted to win here…” and “I love this city, there is no other place I’d rather be than Orlando” as the peaks of the coaster to yesterday’s “It still stands” trade request.
The Magic believe they can make the roster moves to keep Howard happy, and he has given them a glimmer of hope that he might stay. That was enough for the Magic to proclaim to interested teams that they were not taking offers on Howard despite being close enough to a deal with the Nets this week that Howard felt he was headed to New Jersey.
There is inevitability to all of this that Orlando will at some point have to trade Dwight Howard. He is not happy with the team. He wants to be elsewhere. He is torn over the emotional connection he has with Orlando the city, but he’d rather play for a team other than the Magic.
That’s real. And that’s almost undisputed.
The circus atmosphere surrounding Howard now will only get worse when the Magic start playing games, specifically road games where visiting media will get their shot at asking Howard the questions he’s been asked a hundred times already in Orlando.
The Magic have been as active as anyone in trying to trigger a deal with a major player, but like most of the names on this list teams just don’t seem interested in roster altering trades as they try and attack a 66 game season. Once teams realize who they are in the grand scheme trades may loosen up, but that’s also when it may become clear the Magic are not nearly as good in the East this year as they were last year.
The Magic say they are not trading or entertaining trades for Dwight Howard, but at some point that’s going to change. For now, expect Howard in a Magic uniform come Christmas Day. Will he be there on St. Patrick’s Day is something else.
Deron Williams: The Nets find themselves in the same situation as Orlando, however the story is a little different because Deron Williams made a brilliant tactical first strike on the media putting it out on the radio that he was “90%” sure he’d stay with the Nets beyond this year.
Now let’s be clear, that statement is in no way binding, nor is that statement truly believable, but it’s something Williams can point to every time a reporter asks if he’ll stay or demand a trade, so the “Is Deron Staying” story has no legs.
The truth is the Nets have been extremely aggressive trying to add pieces to the roster to keep Deron happy and for now, he sees the effort being done and is staying out of the process for the most part.
Some teams have called trying to pry Deron out of New Jersey and have been shut down, but as things get underway and the Nets find themselves without the help they promised Deron, when does the tone change?
The one positive for Deron is he is hearing players like Dwight Howard say they’d come to New Jersey/Brooklyn to play with him so that’s a little different than Orlando where star players are not saying “I want Orlando”, but in the end if the Nets cannot add to Deron when do they start fielding calls for him.
The Dallas Mavericks have made no secret of their desire to have cap room to go after Deron and they will not be the only ones.
The Nets say Deron is absolutely not available, but does that change at the trade deadline when the team is middle of the pack because the Nets couldn’t make the upgrades? Deron has made it clear he is opting out of his deal for the business reasons associated with a new long term deal.
He says he’s 90% sure he’ll stay; we’ll see if the Nets are buying that in March.
The NBA trade deadline is set for March 15th, so it’s not out of the question that one or all of these players are moved, but for now it seems the teams that are holding them want to see how far they can go in this compressed 66 game schedule before seriously exploring trades.
Chuck Hayes Heart Issue?: According to Sam Amick of Si.com new Kings forward Chuck Hayes was flagged during an echo cardiogram with an “abnormality”. He is going to undergo more testing to make sure the issue is nothing serious.
Hayes just signed a new four-year deal worth $21.3 million.
Sources close to the process, say it’s more a routine precautionary measure and that the outlook at this point is positive, but further testing will insure everything is as it should be.
An Unhappy Mr. Jackson: Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times is reporting that Bucks guard Stephen Jackson is not at all happy with his contract situation and it was his demands for a contract extension in Charlotte that got him traded on draft night to Milwaukee.
The 33-year-old Jackson, who will be 34 in April, wants a two-year extension from Milwaukee. Jackson already has two more years left on his deal worth $9.25 million this year and $10.05 million next year.
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement would allow for two more years and roughly $20 million to be added to his deal, which would push him to 36 when a new extended deal would expire.
Jackson has called a contract extension “mandatory” although it’s unclear if his demands are going to yield a new deal from Milwaukee. The Bucks have not openly discussed the situation with Jackson, prompting his frustration.
Contract extensions do not have to escalate each year so it’s possible the Bucks could add two years onto Jackson’s deal at a lower salary number, but who in the room believes that’s going to fly with Jackson?
Jackson forced his way out of Golden State after landing an extension, it will be interesting to see how he handles the Bucks situation if they do not engage on a new deal.
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