NBA Trade Rumors: Impact Meter for Top 10 Players on the Block
The NBA's March 15 trade deadline is roughly one month away, and that means players and teams are bracing themselves for an inevitable shift in power across the league landscape.
Orlando Magic superstar Dwight Howard is without question the most prominent name on the list of ballers not long for their current city and squad.
Howard has become increasingly unhappy in the Magic Kingdom over the past few seasons, as the front office has failed to put together a championship-caliber roster since the team made it to the finals in 2009.
Rumors have been running rampant since the lockout ended last November, and the impact of moving Superman would be seismic, to say the least. Howard is not alone on the trade block, however.
Join Bleacher Report as we break down the top 10 players on the trade block this February and gauge the potential impact of their movement.
10. Jonny Flynn, Houston Rockets
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Houston Rockets point guard Jonny Flynn has experienced a troubling decline since his impressive rookie season in 2009-10 with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Despite having played in less than 10 games for the Rockets this season, and his lackluster numbers, ESPN's Chris Broussard reports that the Lakers and Knicks have significant interest in Flynn.
Both teams have a need at point guard moving forward, and Flynn would be a nice young piece that could surprise with a fresh start somewhere new.
With Jeremy Lin and Baron Davis likely fighting for the starting PG spot in the Big Apple, the Lakers look like the top suitor for Flynn's services.
The acquisition of such a down prospect late in the season though, makes the impact of this move almost insignificant.
9. Andray Blatche, Washington Wizards
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The Washington Wizards are looking to dump some excess baggage before the March 15 deadline, and ESPN's Marc Stein says that is likely to be Andray Blatche, an injured big man capable of posting 17 PPG and 8 RPG throughout a season, which he did last year in DC.
Blatche has been under-performing in 2011-12 to say the least, and the Wiz apparently have their sights set on the Bobcats' Tyrus Thomas, who they would exchange for the 25-year-old Blatche.
Given the ineptitude of the two franchises in question and Blatche's latest calf injury though, a potential move would have little impact on either team or the rest of the league.
8. Stephen Jackson, Milwaukee Bucks
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Thirty-three-year-old Bucks shooting guard Stephen Jackson has met some awkward resistance in Milwaukee this season.
Jackson has only started 13-of-20 games this year and is a potential trade piece for the Bucks as the deadline approaches, according to HoopsHype.
The Orlando Magic had interest in Jackson last June, but the Bucks ended acquiring him. Jackson could perhaps be a subtle addition to excite Dwight Howard in Orlando this winter, considering that Howard has told Magic management in the past that he would like to play alongside the veteran swingman.
If the Magic made a move for the troubled Buck, Orlando would be wise to part ways with a player like Hedo Turkoglu, who can dominate the ball from time to time, similar to Jackson.
7. Antawn Jamison, Cleveland Cavaliers
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Cleveland Cavaliers veteran forward Antawn Jamison is rumored to be on the trade block, as is most of the Cavs roster these days.
According to a tweet by the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Tom Reed last week, Cleveland will at least attempt to move Jamison and teammate Ramon Sessions by the mid-March trade deadline.
The 35-year-old Jamison is averaging a hefty 16 points and nearly six rebounded per night for the struggling Cavs, and no doubt has enough left in the tank to contribute to a contender.
A veteran-laden roster like the Dallas Mavericks seems like the best landing spot for Jamison this season, but there is no obvious destination out there for Jamison at the moment.
In Dallas though, he could come off the bench and bring some efficient offense with him.
6. Chris Kaman, New Orleans Hornets
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Chris Kaman has been on the block for a lengthy period of time now, and is a certain move for the Hornets as the deadline nears.
Kaman's low-post game would be a considerable pickup for a team looking to make a playoff push, but might go unnoticed on a team destined for the lottery.
David Aldridge lists the following teams as the best suitors for Kaman: Hawks, Rockets, Trail Blazers, Cavaliers, Warriors and Wizards. However, ESPN's Marc Stein reports that the Pacers and Rockets have shown the "strongest interest" in Kaman.
The Hornets are dreadful this season, and the loss of Kaman would have little impact to the only league-owned franchise in the NBA—however, Kaman would be an underrated acquisition for the contending Rockets or Pacers, who are vying for solid playoff spots.
5. Ramon Sessions, Cleveland Cavaliers
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Cavs point guard Ramon Sessions is gaining in the popularity category as the trade deadline approaches.
Sessions is a solid, do-it-all floor general, averaging nine points and nearly five assists per game this season—even though he faces an uncertain future in Cleveland, according to fearthesword.com.
The Lakers and Knicks are the leaders in the Sessions race right now, but given the poor point guard play in L.A. and the emergence of Jeremy Lin in New York, Sessions will likely wind up playing alongside Kobe Bryant the rest of the year.
Sessions' destination also depends largely on what happens with Dwight Howard by March 15, but if the Lakers can get him for little cost, he will boost their chances in the West.
They would rather have Sessions over Rockets guard Jonny Flynn, that's for sure.
4. Eric Gordon, New Orleans Hornets
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New Orleans Hornets guard Eric Gordon has declined to sign an extension with the four-win ball club and is in the midst of recovering from a knee injury.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Gordon "is the Pacers' dream trade target."
Gordon is clearly unhappy with his current situation in New Orleans and would be open to moving to a contender, however the ball lies in the NBA's court considering the Hornets are a league-owned franchise at the moment.
Indiana is eyeing a solid playoff spot, but bringing Gordon, a career 18 PPG scorer, back to his hometown would likely cost them Danny Granger, who is the team's leading scorer this season.
The move would be sweet for the Pacers, but chemistry could take a hit.
3. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
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Gasol has been the second biggest force in L.A. behind Kobe Bryant for the past five seasons, and his presence alongside fellow seven-footer Andrew Bynum has the Lakers eyeing a third championship in four seasons.
The Houston Rockets are the favorite to snag Gasol away from L.A. at this point, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. The Lakers would likely ask for point guard Kyle Lowry and another player to shore up their backcourt situation.
If the Rockets were to make such a deal happen, they would have one of the best frontcourts in basketball and become a legitimate threat in the West.
Gasol could also find himself in Orlando if the Magic agreed to ship off Howard for the European talent, which is unlikely to happen without involving Andrew Bynum, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
2. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
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The Boston Celtics have been shopping Rajon Rondo since the lockout ended, and they are definitely looking to acquire some talent in the frontcourt in exchange for his well-rounded point guard services, according to Hoopsworld.
The 25-year-old floor general is one of the most fiery competitors in the game, and is averaging an impressive 13.6 PPG, 9.8 APG and 4.8 RPG this season with the C's.
His presence on another NBA roster would result in a death sentence for the Boston Celtics, a group of aging veterans currently being held together by the overachieving point guard.
Although rumors earlier in the week linking Rondo to L.A. via a trade for Pau Gasol are all but dead, according to a tweet by Celtics insider Sherrod Blakely, the Celtics' offensive liability will no doubt be on the block up until March 15.
Regardless of the destination, Rondo's departure from Boston would make a crucial impact in itself.
1. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
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The 26-year-old center is posting freakish numbers again this season, averaging more than 20 points and 15 rebounds per game.
The list of potential trade destinations for Superman, according to the Missouri Sports Magazine, includes the Mavericks, Lakers, Nets, Bulls and Clippers. At this point no landing spot stands out much more than the others.
However, there is a consensus among many experts that the Lakers have the best pieces available to acquire Superman via a trade rather than through free agency at the end of the season.
Howard's defensive presence, 2.2 blocks per game in 2011-12, and ability to act as a one-man wrecking crew on the glass gives him the most significant impact of any player on the block this season.
If No. 12 were to join forces with Kobe Bryant in L.A., reigning league MVP Derrick Rose in Chicago or reigning finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas, any of those three contending teams would become instant favorites to win it all this June.