NBA AM: Who Is Available In Trade – Part 2
Around The League In 30 Trades – Pt. 2: On Tuesday we took a look at the first ten teams in the NBA and who might be available in trade.
As promised, here is the second ten teams as we mark towards the 2012 NBA Trade Deadline on March 15th
Who Is Likely On The Move?: Dahntay Jones, Lance Stephenson, Danny Granger
Before we get too far on the Indiana Pacers, the word is Indiana is not looking to trade anyone. The Pacers are sitting on roughly $14 million in usable cap space and are willing to absorb a contract for a draft pick, but they are not overly engaged in anything on the trade front.
That said there is a belief that after two years of denying interest in trading Danny Granger, if the right upgrade-type offer were made the Pacers might actually listen.
The odds the Pacers do the dance with anyone on Danny Granger is slim, but as this young Pacers roster comes into its own, do not be surprised of the Pacers use Granger to land the missing piece-type player.
Pacers fans covet Boston’s Rajon Rondo and that may be a reach, but that’s the kind of upgrade it would take to get Indiana to get serious in Granger talks.
The Pacers would love to add a two-guard to the roster, and have been linked for two years to Memphis’ OJ Mayo. New Orleans’ Eric Gordon openly commented about how much he’d love to play in Indiana again, so watch that situation, too.
The Pacers have a mountain of future flexibility, so do not be shocked if they opt to sit out the trade deadline and see how far this team can go as constructed while looking at adding a couple of more pieces in the offseason.
Los Angeles Clippers:
Who Is Likely On The Move?: Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan
The LA Clippers are not likely going to make a trade in the next two weeks, however there are players on the Clippers’ roster other teams covet, so you never know what will get offered to the Clips that get them off the dime.
Mo Williams’ name gets mentioned a lot, however he has been extremely clear that he wants to stay with this team. Williams would love to get a contract extension from the Clippers but that does not seem to be a priority and that’s been a source of public frustration – don’t read that as Mo wanting out because that’s the furthest from the truth.
Eric Bledsoe and Randy Foye are easy trade chips; Bledsoe, because of his age and relatively cheap contract. Randy Foye because he can help a team right away and is an inexpensive ending contract.
The Clippers are not aggressively pursuing anything but have been linked to Orlando’s Dwight Howard. They are very much a dark horse in that race and almost a long-shot.
If the Clippers could flip any of the names listed above and get at Dwight Howard they would do it in a heartbeat. The Problem is that’s not the direction Orlando seems to be looking and unless it’s something that really upgrades the Clips; they look like they will stay where they are unless someone blows their skirts up with an offer that upgrades the team.
Los Angeles Lakers:
Who Is Likely On The Move?: Metta World Peace, Steve Blake, Luke Walton, Josh McRoberts, Devin Ebanks, Darius Morris, Pau Gasol
Lets be real for a minute… the deal the Lakers do is likely done with their $8.9 million Traded Player Exception.
They may pack in a young guy like Devin Ebanks or Darius Morris instead of giving up a draft pick, but that is likely the boldest the moves get.
If the Lakers could find a deal that sheds Metta World, Steve Blake or Luke Walton they would do those deals in a second… but those deals do not exist.
The long running Pau Gasol rumors come down to two things:
#1 – The Lakers would flip Pau Gasol to upgrade their situation. That either means uber elite point guard (see Rondo, Rajon or Williams, Deron) or a two-for-one deal where Gasol heads out and an on-the-rise point guard and a proven small forward come back.
#2 – Moving off the contract is real. The Lakers are not nearly the free spenders they are made out to be. They are always looking for ways to cut costs, so off-loading the problem years of Gasol’s deal is part of the motivation, but they are not dumping Pau Gasol.
Laker sources have been adamant in their assessment of Pau Gasol… The team still views him as an All-Star level player and the only way they would move him is if they got another All-Star in return. The Lakers understand Pau’s price tag is scary to a number of teams, but they say they have gotten enough offers on Pau to know they could move him if they needed to, but they are not ready to move him unless it return a real proven point guard.
The Lakers are not in the hunt for Orlando’s Dwight Howard according to sources on both sides, do don’t get your hopes up of Howard being a Laker in the next two weeks.
If the Lakers are making a change, it’s likely coming with the TPE not Gasol, and the player being brought in is likely a Ramon Session, Will Bynum, Luke Ridnour-type of player.
Who Is Likely On The Move?: OJ Mayo
The Grizzlies have had a ton of injuries this year but are still winning games. The Grizz have won 8 of their last ten and are sitting in seventh place in the West.
Outside of OJ Mayo, who the Grizz know they cannot pay this summer. The team is not very active on the trade front.
There was some talk a few weeks ago that Rudy Gay was unhappy in Memphis, but sources close to Rudy say he has cooled off and is having fun winning after sitting out last season.
It’s highly unlikely the Grizz are involved in anything outside of an OJ Mayo deal.
OJ is scheduled to earn $5.6 million this year and will be eligible for restricted free agency next year with a qualifying offer of $7.3 million.
The team that trades for him needs to either covet him long term or be willing to risk losing him to a hefty free agent offer.
OJ has would-be suitors, hence why Memphis may have to deal him in two weeks.
The Grizz have a $70.6 million payroll this season, so dumping OJ for little in return might make the most financial sense. However with the groove the Grizz are in they may opt to hang on to OJ and try their luck with him in free agency.
Who Is Likely On The Move?: James Jones, Dexter Pittman, Mike Miller
The HEAT are not likely going to mess with the groove they have going, but sources close to the process say they are watching the Chris Kaman situation and if he gets bought out at some point they would pounce quickly. The problem with trading for Kaman is he is owed $14 million and the HEAT can’t get anywhere close to that in a reasonable way.
The HEAT would love to get some help in the middle and point guard is always an area of concern, but given how the HEAT keep rolling, its doubtful they get involved in anything serious. They just do not have the trade assets to get involved in the name game.
Who Is Likely On The Move?: Stephen Jackson, Beno Udrih, Carlos Delfino
There is no doubt the Bucks want to dump Stephen Jackson, the problem is he is owed $9.25 million this year and $10.05 million next year.
That’s going to be hard to move.
Beno Udrih is another name league source mention when talking about the Bucks, mainly because he is a very serviceable point guard that is owed $6.9 million this year and holds a team option worth $7.3 million next year. He is not as sexy a name as Ramon Session or Luke Ridnour, but for teams looking for guard help Beno might be the next best name on the list.
Carlos Delfino is likely not going to be moved, but league sources peg his game and ending contract as attractive to several teams especially teams looking for one more piece to the playoff puzzle.
The Bucks are four game back of New York for the 8th seed in the East and have eight games before the trade deadline. If the floor falls out from under the Bucks expect them to explore cashing in.
If the Bucks can string together some wins they may not be nearly as aggressive in cashing out the ending contracts of guys who may walk away in July.
Who Is Likely On The Move?: Martell Webster, Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph, Wesley Johnson, Luke Ridnour
The Timberwolves have a number of very tradable guys, however what they are looking for in return might be hard to extract – a starting two guard that can move the Wolves firmly into the playoff picture.
The Wolves historically flood the market with offers and ideas, so finding which ones are real and probable is not easy.
There is no doubt the team wants to trade Michael Beasley. He has some upside and he is actually maturing as a person and a player, but that’s not saying much considering where his maturity level started.
Wolves’ sources say they are not giving away their assets, joking that they lost too many games to get the guys they have to just flip them for little value.
Equally the Wolves are trying to move guys to move up in the West, meaning they want real players in return.
Minnesota is current one and half games out of the eight seed, so anything they do in the next two weeks will be about improving their odds of a playoff berth this year not dumping guys for future considerations.
New Jersey Nets:
Who Is Likely On The Move?: Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, Mehmet Okur
The focus of the trade deadline seems to be on Orlando’s Dwight Howard, however the real focus should be on Deron Williams.
If the Nets blink and trade Deron Williams before the trade deadline Dwight Howard likely stays in Orlando for another year.
The word around All-Star is that Deron refused to commit to Brooklyn long term when asked by other players. He apparently wants to keep his options open because of the uncertainty surrounding who the Nets can get to surround him.
If the Nets cannot get Dwight Howard they may lose Deron Williams to Dallas which begs the question does New Jersey blink?
More than a few NBA insiders said Williams to Dallas in July was all but done, which makes you wonder does New Jersey know that too?
The Nets have several tradable players, but the lynch pin to what New Jersey does is Deron Williams.
If Deron is staying and the Nets feel strongly about that, then moving Jordan Farmar or even Mehmet Okur’s ending contract for future assets becomes more likely.
It’s hard to believe that Deron Williams could be the center piece of the trade deadline, but it’s looking more and more likely that he is.
New Orleans Hornets:
Who Is Likely On The Move?: Chris Kaman, Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon, Emeka Okafor
The Hornets are going to trade Chris Kaman, the question is what do they get back for him? The Indiana Pacers have been linked to him because they can absorb the bulk of his deal outright.
There was talk of a three way-deal through Indiana involving Utah as well.
So there are options out there for the Hornets they just need to find the team offering the best future draft pick.
Orange County, Calif., businessman Raj Bhathal, Larry J. Benson and former Clipper executive and Coach Mike Dunleavy seems to be closing in on buying the Hornets from the NBA. Sources close to the process say that key trade deadline decisions could be made or at least approved by the new owners in the coming weeks.
There has been talk that Eric Gordon does not want be in New Orleans and that the team might be forced to trade him, however with Mike Dunleavy in the fold as a possible owner can Gordon be talked into the vision they have for the future of the team?
Trevor Ariza could be had, as could Jarrett Jack according to sources, but the price tag on almost everything in a Hornets jersey is an unprotected first round pick in the top 20 and no long term money coming back in a deal.
A team willing to take on salary could get Emeka Okafor for a song, but even the Hornets knows that is unlikely with the two years and $27.9 million remaining on his deal.
New York Knicks:
Who Is Likely On The Move?: Toney Douglas, Bill Walker
The Knicks do not have much by way of trade assets. Toney Douglas and Bill Walker are the two names that get kicked around but neither will return anything of real value.
League sources say the Knicks might flip Toney for a first round draft pick simply to open up a roster spot for anyone who gets waived after the trade deadline.
Outside of a small cosmetic move, Knicks sources say the talk of a Carmelo Anthony or Amar’e Stoudemire mega deal is unfounded and that if the Knicks were to do something with those guys it would be after the season as there is a genuine desire from ownership and management to see how good this Knicks teams can be without major roster change.
If the Knicks fall flat on their face in the post season moving one of those guys might make sense around the draft, but Knicks sources say they are not in the Dwight Howard hunt and are not moving one of their core guys this year.
So we have 20 NBA teams out of the way with 10 more to go for Monday… so stay tuned as we round out who is likely available for every team.
Stan The Philosopher: During last night’s pre-game in Orlando, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy made an interesting comment about his players and dealing with the constant trade speculation that will surround them over the next two weeks.
“I can’t imagine being in a job that any time from the beginning of the season to the next two weeks that you can be traded anywhere,” said Van Gundy.
He went on to joke that even if he were fired from the Magic, the team would still have to pay him and he’d still live in his house. He wouldn’t have to move if he didn’t want to.
His players won’t have that luxury and he knows that no matter how much you try. The thoughts of being traded seep in from every direction and that even the best of players get rattled by it.
One Magic player joked pre-game that he had a couple of days’ worth of clothes already packed because he knows it’s more likely than not he’ll be traded in the coming days.
That’s the world a lot of guys will be living in over the next two weeks.
So when you are kicking around trade rumors for fun over the next 14 days, realize that there are people that have to physically move their families, up root their kids from school or live out of a hotel for the balance of the season to make that deal happen.
Sure that’s part of the reason these guys earn so much money, but there is still a human side to trades that gets lost in the shuffle and sometimes that gets lost in the hype of the trade deadline.
Rivers Blast Rondo Rumors : Celtics coach Doc Rivers went on the offensive last night in defense of his embattle point guard Rajon Rondo who has been the subject of trade rumors for most of the season.
“There was not one single thing about Rajon Rondo that crossed my desk,” Rivers said to Jackie MacMullan of ESPNBoston.com
“My relationship with Rajon is as strong as it has ever been,” Rivers said. “Our communication has never been better. I want him here. I can say with almost 100 percent certainty he will be here with us when the season ends. I’m tired of this stuff. It’s not fair.”
Celtics president Danny Ainge took to the air on WEEI saying he and Rondo have talked about the rumors.
“Rondo is our best player. He’s our most important piece of our future,” Ainge said. “There’s no way that we are actively trying to trade Rondo. That makes no sense. There’s a difference between some great stuff that we can’t refuse because somebody’s desperately trying to acquire Rondo. That somebody calls me and says, ‘Hey we want Rondo and we’re going give you X.’ But that’s not happening. We’re not looking to trade him. I’ve made zero calls to try to trade him and I won’t.”
“The stuff about Rajon and Doc, that’s old news to everybody in Boston,” Ainge said. “We all know that they’ve had bumps in the road, but Rondo is getting better at that stuff. He’s had his best year on the court and off the court and so it makes no sense at this stage for that stuff to even be discussed.”
The Celtics have been exploring their options on a number of fronts, but as we covered in this space on Tuesday. Rondo does not seem to be the player other teams covet, that distinction may belong to Paul Pierce.
The Celtics have eight games remaining before the trade deadline and currently sit at 17-17 on the season which is good enough for 7th place in the East.
How the next eight games go likely determines how the Celtics proceed at the trade deadline.
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