NBA Trade Rumors: 10 Most Highly-Coveted Players

Kelly Scaletta@@KellyScalettaFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2012

NBA Trade Rumors: 10 Most Highly-Coveted Players

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    You may have heard that Dwight Howard is on the trading block. If you haven't heard about it, then congratulations on having learned to read and/or getting your hearing fixed. 

    There are other players who are on the trading block too, some to a greater degree than others. Some are better players than others. Here are the 10 best players who are on the block to at least some degree. 

    I apologize in advance for letting the puns get out of hand.

Ramon Sessions

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    According to ESPN, Ramon Sessions is getting a lot of talk from around the league and in particular from the Los Angeles Lakers.

    The Lakers are indeed on the long list of teams interested in Cavs point guard Ramon Sessions, but sources say that Cleveland would expect at least one first-round draft pick from L.A. in exchange. Although the Lakers have their own first-round pick and Dallas' first-rounder in 2012, it's believed that L.A. prefers to hold off on using either of those picks or its $8.9 million trade exception (created by the deal that sent Lamar Odom to the Mavs) until Dwight Howard's situation plays out in Orlando.

    You might say they've spent a number of phone "sessions" discussing trades.

    Sessions would certainly be an upgrade over Derrick Fisher, but the Lakers seem to still be hoping to get something more to answer their problems. For a franchise that had set its sights on Chris Paul to start the season, Ramon Sessions is a pretty big fall off. 

Andray Blatche

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    Andray Blatche is a player who has shown flashes of brilliance in the past. He has also shown flashes of outright lethargy. Washington would rather "blotch" those out.

    The Wizards are shopping him for the latter in the hopes that someone will take the risk because of the former. According to ESPN:

    The Wizards have been working hard to move disappointing forward Andray Blatche, but a calf injury expected to sideline the favorite target of D.C. boobirds for three to five weeks won't make it any easier. Sources close to the situation say that the Wizards had been trying to engage Charlotte on a Blatche-for-Tyrus Thomas swap.

O. J. Mayo

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    OJ Mayo is on the trading block, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, but it would require a first-round pick. 

    With respect to O.J. Mayo, I'm told Memphis is looking for a No. 1 pick in virtually every discussion they have had about Mayo

    O.J. "may o'" may not be traded, depending on whether someone is wiling to give up that No. 1 pick for him. 

Stephen Jackson

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    Stephen Jackson has been getting almost as much playing time as Brian Scalabrine of late, but he's making just a little bit more money. He's not happy. 

    According to Hoopsworld

    Sources close to the situation say that Jackson hasn’t demanded a trade, but he has made it clear that he’s frustrated with the situation. The Bucks could look to move him before March 15 because they aren’t paying him $9,260,000 this season to sit on the bench

    Of course, it's going to be hard to get similar value back for him because of the contract. It's going depend on whether the Bucks can get a trade back that's "even-Stephen." 

Jose Calderon

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    The Toronto Raptors are feeling out offers for Jose Calderon, according to ESPN. When asked about a trade, he didn't say he was asking for one, but he left the door open to being happy about one. 

    That doesn't mean he's poised to ask for a trade—"I don't think so, that's not me, that's not my personality," Calderon said—but the 30-year-old left the undeniable sense that he wouldn't oppose a move away from the rebuilding Raps if the opportunity materializes.

    You can safely assume, meanwhile, that the Raps feel the same way. Sources with knowledge of Toronto's thinking say that the team is not just going to give Calderon away, especially when he's back to supplying a typically efficient 10.6 points and 8.7 assists nightly, but I'm told that the Raps are indeed open to moving him.

    Calderon is one of the special distributors in the NBA, but he just doesn't have a lot of folks to distribute to in Toronto. Imagine him in a Lakers uniform. 

    Of course if he gets traded and plays for an American team he will be very touched that people are concerned about his court vision, as every game would start with the him being sung the question, "Jose, can you see..." 

Anderson Varejao

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    Anderson Varejao has been playing his best year yet, and that's got people making some calls to the Cavaliers' front office. In fact, you could say he's having a "very jaw"-dropping performance (and there is my pun for the day). 

    According to Marc Stein's tweet, "Cavs indeed getting calls from teams wanting Varejao, I'm told, but he's played himself to near-untouchable status while all focus on Kyrie."

Maurice Williams

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    Maurice Williams might be playing himself into sixth-man-of-the-year status. He's also increasing his potential trade value. He may be on the trade block still, but maybe not according ESPN

    Maybe not. Williams has been so good for the Clippers this season, averaging 15.2 points and 5.6 assists in nearly 33 minutes off the bench, that they are loathe to trade him now or even aggressively shop him in advance of the March 15 trade deadline. In fact, Clippers general manager Neil Olshey has promised Williams that he would consult with him on any offers the team receives for him. "Every day Mo comes in and does what he's doing, doesn't give us any impetus to want to trade him," Olshey told "I want him to be here and I want him to be happy. He's had so much of an impact on our win total at this point, that hopefully he's embracing (his new role)." 

    Still, one imagines that with the depth they have point guard, should the right offer come across the table, they'll be open to it. Of course it's also possible that whatever the offer is, the Clippers will just say, "We want mo'." 

Steve Nash

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    Steve Nash has insisted he doesn't want to be traded. The Suns have said they don't want to trade him. They have recently, ever-so-slightly amended their talking points though. Now they'll trade him if he asks them to. According to Hoopsworld,

    Sources close to the situation in Phoenix maintain that Nash and even his agent have not urged the Suns to move him, even though Nash is in the final year of his deal and the Suns are mired at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. 

    New York Knicks fan in particular might "gnash" their teeth at the point guard situation in general.

    However, Nash is likely to finish the season and contract as a Sun, but next season is another matter.

Deron Williams

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    Deron Williams was acquired last year right at the trade deadline in the most shocking trade of the year. This year the New Jersey Nets were hoping to add another star to give him a one-two punch. The move was a gamble, though, because if they don't get that second player, they might lose Williams to free agency. 

    The Nets' hopes have been somewhat on-again, off-again in acquiring Dwight Howard, who would be key to keeping Williams. If they land him, then "Dey're on." 

    If not, then look for the Nets to move Williams in the hopes of getting something back for him. 

Dwight Howard

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    At this point with Dwight Howard, the Orlando Magic seem intent on keeping him until after the All-Star break. They want Howard to be a Magic when they tip off that game in Orlando. At this point, that's completely understandable. 

    Aside from that, there's the question about how much they can get for him. As Elmer Fudd would say, "They'we stiw waiting for da wight offaw."

    The problem is that the teams who gave up huge hauls to get the star players at the trade deadline last year are doing a lot worse than the teams who have the depth. Right now the New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks might be hurting Howard's trade value.