There are always some trades that make perfect sense in your head and on paper, but they never happen because of the names involved. The NBA is, however, the most open major sports league when it comes to dealing star players—so the possibility is there.
Their teams need to sell high. They need a change of scenery. They need to leave their team with something before they bolt into free agency. Whatever the reason may be, these guys are on the block—if only my block.
Here are five that make sense, but are too much for GMs to fathom.
Until a recent four-game skid, the Indiana Pacers looked like one of the top-four teams in the Eastern Conference. This big trade would put them back into the discussion.
They have a blossoming center in Roy Hibbert, a bona fide scoring forward in David West and an All-Star small forward in Danny Granger. But they lack a backcourt that can put that talent to its best use.
I'm a huge Paul George fan. I really think he's going to be a great player in the NBA for years to come. But the opportunity to make a run in the playoffs with one of the best point guards in history is too appetizing.
Both Hibbert and West would flourish in the pick-and-roll style offense that Steve Nash would bring. And George Hill could come off of the bench to fill in for the departing George.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns get a ton of talent for a 37-year-old veteran who can't have more than three years left in the league. Darren Collison and Paul George immediately start alongside Jared Dudley, Channing Frye and Marcin Gortat.
With the recent surge of Jeremy Lin, it is apparent to any self-respecting fan of the NBA that Carmelo Anthony must, once again, be traded.
Hey, it worked for Denver.
New York Knicks' coach Mike D'Antoni is a terrific offensive mind, but his teams have to move. Melo isn't known for that. There is a reason that the Lin-led Knicks have won seven straight as of February 15.
Shipping Anthony back West for Monta Ellis and Dorrell Wright is good for everyone but Anthony—and that's just because he wants the bright lights of a big market.
The Knicks get a high-motor shooting guard in Ellis, who would work great in partnership with Lin. Wright is a terrific three-point shooter, which is what New York really lacks right now.
Golden State has Brandon Rush and Klay Thompson already backing up Ellis, signaling their willingness to dealing him. Coach Mark Jackson's emphasis is on defense, which would work well with Anthony's low-tempo offensive game.
Stephen Curry, Rush, Anthony, David Lee and Andris Biedrins? You could do a lot worse.
This isn't quite a blockbuster deal, but it's certainly noteworthy.
How long can the San Antonio Spurs go on with three-aging stars?
They're going to be competitive as long as Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are healthy.
But what if one goes down?
Chris Kaman wouldn't be a bad guy to have step in.
Spurs center DeJuan Blair stands at 6'9" on a good day, while Kaman is seven feet tall all the time. He'd make the Spurs instant title contenders—rather than just an excellent regular season team that doesn't have the energy for the playoffs anymore.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Hornets already put Kaman on the block once. They need to get whatever they can for the garbage that the Los Angeles Clippers gave them for Chris Paul.
A mediocre center and a first-round pick would do just fine.
I'm a Memphis Grizzlies fan, and I love the way Zach Randolph grinds every night, but it's no coincidence that the second he went down with an injury—Marc Gasol made his first All-Star Game.
Gasol is becoming a dominant center in the NBA, and he is simply a better, more productive player when he is the focal point of the low-post offense (and defense, for that matter).
Meanwhile, O.J. Mayo is a joke. The Grizzlies would be glad to get rid of him.
Memphis has been one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league these past two seasons, and acquiring Monta Ellis would finally alleviate some of that strain.
To supply the Grizzlies with the lost defense of Randolph, specialist Ekpe Udoh would fit in well. He would be what Hasheem Thabeet was supposed to be for Memphis.
For Golden State, they would field one of the fiercest rebounding duos in the league with Randolph and David Lee. O.J. Mayo would also have the change of scenery that he needs.
Can you say blockbuster?
More importantly, can you say fantasy trade—NBA 2K13 blockbuster that'll never happen? Still, it makes sense.
Same story as before with Carmelo. He isn't right for Mike D'Antoni's offense in New York or the Knicks' saving grace Jeremy Lin.
If you couple him with Tyson Chandler, you might have a shot at the coveted Dwight Howard. That would be a nasty Madison Square Garden squad.
The Magic have to be thinking they want to get something for Howard. You can't just let him walk. And you can do a lot worse than snagging one of the premier scorers in the game—plus a very good center to replace Howard with.
Knicks: Lin, Landry Fields/Iman Shumpert/J.J. Redick, Hedo Turkoglu, Amar'e Stoudemire and Dwight Howard
Magic: Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Anthony, Ryan Anderson and Chandler