NBA Trade Rumors and Ideas: Deals That Could Heat Up Before Deadline
The Chris Paul trade saga is a debacle of the past, yet there are a number of other player statuses that remain unresolved.
Once the NBA lockout concluded, the rumor mill exploded. Months of speculation had built up and, as a result, a traffic jam of trade rumors flooded the basketball world.
Since the start of the season, the rumor mill hasn't been churning quite as rapidly. Many deals were tabled so that teams could focus on kicking off the abbreviated campaign efficiently.
Don't expect it to remain quiet on the trade front for long, though, because as we inch toward the March 15 deadline, there are plenty of potential deals bound to gain momentum.
Ramon Sessions to Los Angeles Lakers
Prior to the NBA draft, Ramon Sessions was drawing interest from multiple teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers.
The rumors came well before Baron Davis' departure, but even without the veteran point guard in the roster, Sessions has averaged only a hair over 20 minutes per game behind rookie Kyrie Irving.
While the Cavaliers have made it clear they are going to win some games this year, the organization is in rebuilding mode and could jump at the chance to acquire a draft pick or trade exception.
Andrew Bynum has finally arrived in Los Angeles, rendering the team's greatest need at point guard and not center. Kobe Bryant has been an animal on the offensive end, but it would only help the Lakers if they upgrade at the point.
O.J. Mayo to Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls bolstered the offense in their backcourt by acquiring Richard Hamilton, and it could now be time to add some defensive depth.
Hamilton is a great scorer, but he is a lackluster defender and has proved to be an injury risk during his short time in Chicago. That's where O.J. Mayo comes in.
The Bulls attempted to land Mayo just before last season's trade deadline, and a similar pursuit could be applied here.
Mayo has been struggling for the Memphis Grizzlies this season, a team that has attempted to trade him numerous times in the past, and it would not be surprising to see him dangled as bait once again.
Hamilton provided the Bulls with a clear offensive upgrade at the shooting guard position. However, Mayo would only add further depth, serving as a defensive stalwart off the bench.
If anything, Hamilton's groin injury only shows the value of Chicago deepening its talent in the backcourt.
Ball movement has never been more prevalent for the Minnesota Timberwolves than it was upon Michael Beasley's absence.
Coach Rick Adelman has already entertained the idea of using Beasley as Minnesota's sixth man when he returns from the sidelines, and such a role reduction could be another step toward moving the forward.
Beasley has struggled on both sides of the ball this season, and the Timberwolves have remained competitive without him. Combine this with the fact Minnesota boasts the likes of Kevin Love and Derrick Williams, and Beasley becomes expendable.
The Timberwolves attempted to move the 23-year-old last summer, but to no avail. As far as potential destinations go, it is likely Minnesota would field offers from any team interested. Beasley's value has never been lower, and therefore he could be acquired at a discount.
While the volatile Beasley presents a public relations risk for any team, an organization in need of strengthening its offensive attack to make a playoff push could emerge by the deadline.
Steve Nash to New York Knicks
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The Phoenix Suns have a few impressive wins under their belt so far, but it is highly unlikely they make a playoff run, and once the team falls completely out of contention, Steve Nash could be on the move.
Undoubtedly, many teams would be lining up for the veteran's services, but none more so than the New York Knicks, who inquired about his availability just before the NBA draft.
Baron Davis will return soon enough for New York, and Iman Shumpert has become a fan-favorite, but Nash's production and impact is guaranteed. Davis' health is a huge question mark, and Shumpert is inexperienced, to say the least.
Phoenix expressed a heavy interest in drafting Shumpert this past summer, but opted to take Markief Morris instead. If Davis fails to have a positive influence on the Knicks' offense upon his return, New York already has a great start to negotiations in its first-year guard.
The Knicks need a point guard, and if they cannot find the answer in house, a potential Nash-to-New York deal could heat up.
Raja Bell to Minnesota Timberwolves
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Raja Bell is reportedly becoming unhappy with his role for the Utah Jazz, and as a result he could be headed elsewhere by the trade deadline.
Prior to the draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves expressed an interest in acquiring the 35-year-old veteran, and negotiations could heat up once again.
Bell isn't likely to make an impact on offense, but is a great perimeter defender, something the Timberwolves are in sore need of. Minnesota has been surprisingly competitive this season, and while its low post defense has been solid, the perimeter set needs to be bolstered.
Don't expect the Timberwolves to balk at the chance to acquire Bell should they be presented with opportunity.
Marcus Camby to Dallas Mavericks
The Portland Trail Blazers have turned heads this season, and Marcus Camby has been one of the reasons why, but he cannot be counted on to remain healthy.
Prior to the draft, the Blazers were actively shopping Camby, and may do so again leading up to this season's trade deadline. The 37-year-old Camby is a fierce rebounder and tenacious defender, but presents a risk in prominent role like the one he has now. His expiring deal presents further motivation for Portland to deal him.
The Dallas Mavericks are in need of a defensive presence to fill the void left by Tyson Chandler and Camby would do just that, enabling the team to stay competitive, while clearing cap space for the next summer in the process.
Even without their starting center, the Blazers are title contenders, as they have excelled when running a shorter unit on the court. So while Camby is of value on the court to Portland, he may hold yield more results as a trade chip.
Monta Ellis to Memphis Grizzlies
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Stephen Curry's ankle injury has increased Monta Ellis' value to the Golden State Warriors, yet he is far from off-limits.
The Warriors have shown a willingness to deal either of their guards for essentially a Dwight Howard rental, but that remains a long shot, and we cannot rule out the Memphis Grizzlies once again becoming a suitor for Ellis' services.
Memphis' offense has been struggling this thus far, and Ellis would provide instant relief in that area. The Grizzlies showed an interest in acquiring him this past summer, and it is not unrealistic to believe talks could heat up again.
Golden State head coach Mark Jackson is a defensive advocate, and the Grizzlies have a number of backcourt players who boast such an attribute. Memphis also has Rudy Gay, who makes more of a Jackson-approved two-way impact.
Don't sleep on Ellis being moved in a deal that doesn't land the Warriors Howard.
Courtney Lee to Toronto Raptors
The Houston Rockets have a plethora of talent in the backcourt, which renders Courtney Lee expendable.
Lee has the ability to play the 2 or 3 and stands to make a substantial contribution to a team that can offer him a stable role and consistent playing time. He is averaging only 8.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game this season, but his numbers don't even begin to tell his story, as he can be a dominant scorer on any given night.
Just before last season's trade deadline, plenty of teams were calling Houston about Lee's availability, and the Rockets may find themselves in a similar situation this season.
The Toronto Raptors have a clear need for an outside presence. DeMar DeRozan will continue to score, but Leandro Barbosa has been wildly inconsistent off the bench. Lee could also start at the small forward slot in place of Rasual Butler.
Lee's role remains undefined in Houston and his production has suffered as a result. A move to Toronto would yield a different outcome.
Andre Miller to Orlando Magic
Andre Miller's recent sentiments about how he is unhappy being a backup point guard for the Denver Nuggets opens the door for him to be traded.
Both the Nuggets and Miller are playing well, and George Karl believes Denver "still is the best opportunity for him," but the point guard holds substantial trade value. Not only is Miller averaging 10 points and 6.5 assists per game as a backup, but his $7.8 million contract comes off the books next season.
Leading up to the 2011 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers and Orlando Magic discussed swapping Miller for Jameer Nelson. The Blazers ultimately got a steal in Raymond Felton, but given Jameer Nelson's recent struggles, the Magic could still be interested in Miller.
If Denver is interested in moving an unhappy player, a similarly structured deal between the two parties could take place. Miller would then be able to start in Orlando, and Nelson would assume the backup role in Denver.
Also, don't rule out the Magic entering the market for a point guard as a result of trading Dwight Howard. Nelson's contract is among those that could become collateral damage in such a deal.
Miller is unhappy as a backup and Orlando presents an opportunity for him to start.
Dwight Howard to New Jersey Nets
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Brook Lopez's injury hasn't helped the New Jersey Nets' campaign to acquire Dwight Howard, but the fact he asked to be traded there cannot be ignored.
Perhaps the biggest roadblock to such a deal is the Orlando Magic's desire to obtain proven veterans in return. The Nets can offer a package of enticing young talent, but not experienced competitors.
For what the Magic desire, the Los Angeles Lakers would be their best trade partner. That being said, the emergence of Andrew Bynum all but ensures that Los Angeles will not be dealing both Bynum and Pau Gasol in exchange for Howard.
Orlando is likely to want more than one piece to the puzzle in any deal, and outside of either Bynum or Gasol, tangible assets are not a strong point for the Lakers. The Nets, on the other hand, are a different story.
The Magic would have to accept a package from New Jersey that favors the future over immediacy, but this could prove to be a necessary sacrifice if Orlando wishes to extract as much value as possible out of Howard's departure.