NBA Trade Deadline: Rajon Rondo and One Trade Candidate for Every Team: Part 1

Zac Chow@Z_NBAContributor IIIMarch 3, 2012

NBA Trade Deadline: Rajon Rondo and One Trade Candidate for Every Team: Part 1

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    March 15. The trade deadline for the NBA

    Mark that down on your calendars, basketball fans, because it could very well be the most important day of the NBA season. 

    Every season, major trades occur on the trade deadline, with the impact strongly felt by the entire league. This year should be no exception. 

    Last year the notable participants were Deron Williams (indirectly as a result of the Carmelo Anthony trade several days prior to the trade deadline) and Gerald Wallace. This year it could very well be Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. 

    I will choose one player from every team and discuss not only the possibility of the player leaving, but also the potential destinations for that player. 

    In reality, maybe only one of the 30 players mentioned will be traded to a different team. However, that one player may just have the greatest impact of all, and that's the most exciting part about the trade deadline to me. 

    This article will be about the first ten teams in the NBA alphabetically, from Atlanta to Houston

Atlanta Hawks: Josh Smith

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    Why They Should Trade Him

    Let's face it, the Hawks are not going to get anywhere with the current core. Joe Johnson can lead the Hawks as far as Danny Granger will lead the Pacers, which is nowhere beyond the Miami Heat or the Chicago Bulls.

    If Thunder general manager Sam Presti has taught other teams anything, it would be that if your team isn't championship-worthy, then it's time to rebuild. (This would be a recurring concept appearing in several teams' slides in this article.)

    Therefore, should the Hawks management finally decide that they have seen enough, their most valuable trade chip is Smith, who is one of the most versatile players in the NBA. 

    Which Teams Would Be Interested? 

    Any team which runs at a fast pace would suit Smith, namely Phoenix, Golden State and Minnesota. To be honest, most teams can use a versatile player like him. 

    The Hawks would be looking for a big man in return, and I personally believe they are holding some hope over getting local product Dwight Howard. If that is the case, they may offer Orlando a package which include Al Horford and Josh Smith in order to tempt Orlando into trading their superstar. 

    An Example of a Potential Trade 

    Atlanta send Josh Smith to the Phoenix Suns for Josh Childress and Marcin Gortat.

    The Suns get rid of Childress' horrible contract and gain Smith, who will love Steve Nash even more when he is playing with the two-time MVP.

    The Hawks gain a legitimate big man in Gortat and is reunited with Childress, albeit in a more expensive way than they imagined at the start. 

    Possibility of Smith Leaving

    In this trade deadline, unlikely. The Hawks are still hopeful they can make a run in the playoffs this year, contrary to popular belief. If there is one player from the Hawks leaving come March 15, my bet is on Marvin Williams instead. 

Boston Celtics: Rajon Rondo

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    Why They Should Trade Him

    No team is ever getting any younger, but the Boston Celtics are definitely not going to get any younger, nor are they going to get any better.

    The time to trade Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce is over, while Ray Allen is no longer the scorer he used to be. Rondo is not someone who can carry a team on his shoulders with his scoring ability, and he is much better on a contender than a rebuilding team. 

    I look for the Celtics to become the latter very soon.

    Therefore, while Rondo's trade value is still high and Avery Bradley looking more and more like a suitable replacement, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge should definitely look to trade their current starting point guard. 

    Which Teams Would Be Interested?

    Any team which needs a point guard. The Rondo-Pau Gasol potential swap news is almost as hot as Linsanity in recent weeks, but it would be a tough pill for Celtics fans to swallow to see Rondo in a Lakers uniform. 

    As many of my fellow colleagues have noted, a Russell Westbrook-Rondo swap is ideal for both teams and I believe that should Ainge offer this deal to Presti, the Thunder general manager would take it in a heartbeat. 

    An Example of a Potential Trade

    The Celtics send Rondo and Jermaine O'Neal's expiring contract to the New Jersey Nets for Deron Williams.

    I don't believe that the Nets are going to be able to retain Deron Williams and so, they are better off sending him to Boston for a point guard of almost equal quality. Boston gets Williams in the first and final step of attracting a certain superhero to enter Beantown. 

    Possibility of Rondo Leaving

    It is possible, but only if the returning package consist of a top-five pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and a promising player. The Celtics are keen on getting Austin Rivers, the son of their head coach. I can see Rondo as well as Allen moving as a result of the Celtics getting the young phenom out of Duke. 

Charlotte Bobcats: D.J Augustin

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    Why They Should Trade Him

    Because really, who else can they trade?

    In all seriousness though, with Kemba Walker quickly maturing, the Bobcats' need for Augustin diminishes everyday. While Paul Silas is a master of playing two point guards on the court at once (see Baron Davis and David Wesley in Charlotte/New Orleans), the new Charlotte team is better off playing a traditional two-guard like Reggie Williams or Gerald Henderson alongside Walker.

    Augustin is a scoring point guard, which would be great for a team looking for some points off the bench. He is also on a relatively friendly contract which expires at the end of this season. 

    Which Teams Would Be Interested? 

    Because Augustin is a point guard, the Lakers can use him. Otherwise, it is hard to imagine any other team going for him.

    An Example of a Potential Trade 

    Lakers trade their trade exception (obtained in the Lamar Odom trade) to Charlotte for Augustin.

    Lakers get their point guard. Bobcats get Augustin off their roster which allow more minutes for Kemba.


    Possibility of Augustin Leaving

    As long as some other team is willing to take him without giving anything other than draft picks or expiring contracts back, highly likely. 

Chicago Bulls: Omer Asik

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    Why They Should Trade Him

    When Kurt Thomas left Chicago for Portland, many thought that Asik would improve all-around. He hasn't shown any signs of improvement so far and while he is a serviceable big man, the Bulls' need for a scorer off the bench remains, and they could package Asik with a guard off the bench in order to obtain that missing piece of the puzzle.

    Which Teams Would Be Interested?

    Houston were interested last year and it is likely that they are still interested. Any team looking for a big man off the bench would also be interested in the second year big man out of Turkey. 

    An Example of a Potential Trade 

     Orlando trade J.J Redick to Chicago for Kyle Korver and Omer Asik.

    Orlando get the defensive big man they need to spell Dwight Howard ever since Marcin Gortat's departure. Chicago gets a more consistent shooter than Korver in Redick, who can act as point guard at times and allow C.J Watson to concentrate on scoring.

    Possibility of Asik Leaving

    With the Bulls looking to continue the momentum they have accumulated, it is highly unlikely that they make a deal at all. 

Cleveland Cavaliers: Ramon Sessions

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    Why They Should Trade Him

    Like Augustin in Charlotte, Sessions is competing his spot against a top 2011 draft pick. Unlike Augustin, Kyrie Irving is already better than Sessions, leaving the point guard out of Nevada no choice but to leave if he wants to start.  

    Sessions is a quality player who can pass the ball very well and is a solid option at the point guard spot. 

    Which Teams Would Be Interested?

    Another recurring theme in this article is that all quality point guards are associated to the Lakers, simply because they have a trade exception which allows them to give up nothing for the player they covet. 

    New York were interested, but it is highly doubtful that they would obtain another point guard now that Jeremy Lin has taken over. 

    Sessions has recently been linked to Atlanta as well, potentially together with Antawn Jamison.

    An Example of a Potential Trade

     Cleveland send Sessions to Atlanta for Marvin Williams  

    The Cavaliers get Williams, who immediately slots in at the starting small forward position over Omri Casspi, who has been underwhelming so far this season. 

    The Hawks get a prototypical point guard in Sessions to complement its rotation.  

    Possibility of Sessions Leaving.

    As likely as taxes will rise in the future. 

Dallas Mavericks: Lamar Odom

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    Why They Should Trade Him

    Lamar Odom just hasn't been Lamar Odom this season. Shocked by the death of his cousin during the offseason, combine with the fact that he was nearly traded to New Orleans in the now infamous vetoed Chris Paul trade, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year appeared in training camp out of shape and clearly, in the wrong state of mind. 

    Now, the 12-year veteran from Rhode Island is attempting his final comeback with Dallas by playing in Frisco for their D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends. Should he still exhibit a lack of desire, it is difficult to imagine Odom staying on the team any longer. 

    Which Teams Would Be Interested?

    Other contending teams, such as Boston, may take a flyer on Odom and hope that the team's veteran leadership can bring Odom back to life and play at a level fitting the two-time NBA Champion. 

    An Example of a Potential Trade

     Dallas trade Odom to Boston for Jermaine O'Neal's expiring and Keyon Dooling's expiring.

    Odom has two years left on his contract, so the risk for Boston is not very high. On the other hand, the possible returns is worth trading two expiring contracts for. 

    As for Dallas, if O'Neal return in good health, he can be a valuable player off the bench. Dooling is another veteran who can man the point better than Roddy Beaubois or Dominique Jones. 

    Possibility of Odom Leaving

    It all depends on what he can do in the remaining days before the trade deadline. Quite simply, a 9.74 PER, as well as eight points and five rebounds isn't going to cut it for a player making almost nine million dollars a year.  

Denver Nuggets: Chris Andersen

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    Why They Should Trade Him

    With three other solid centers in the roster, there is simply no room for Birdman to fly in Denver. He is still a terrific shotblocker, but with Timofey Mozgov starting and Kosta Koufos being his primary back-up, the man filled with tattoos barely has a chance to play. 

    Which Teams Would Be Interested?

    Miami is one team that can certainly use some interior presence, with their best center being Joel 'The Warden' Anthony. Likewise for New York. However, it is difficult to match salaries due to the fact that both teams are composed of superstars and minimum waged players.


    An Example of a Potential Trade

     Denver send Andersen to Raptors for Linas Kleiza.

    Kleiza had a good run in Denver before he left for Europe and because he can play both the three and the four, the man from Lithuania gives the Nuggets a bit more versatility and flexibility, something the team is full of.

    Andersen inserts some life into the Raptors, and he is another big man who specializes in defense, which would delight head coach Dwane Casey. Birdman would be a crowd favourite instantly.

    Possibility of Andersen Leaving

    Because of the injury bug biting the Nuggets from all angles this season, it is likely that they would want to keep the current roster for depth. Therefore, unless a good offer comes in, it is difficult to envision a trade happening in Denver. 

Detroit Pistons: Austin Daye

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    Why They Should Trade Him

    I know Joe Dumars would love it if I can put Charlie Villanueva or Ben Gordon in this slide, but I can't. Sorry, Joe. 

    With Tayshaun Prince not believed to be retained by Dumars in the offseason, this season is meant to be the breakout season Austin Daye would have. 

    Then Prince resigned to a four year deal. 

    Now, Prince is a better player than Daye without a doubt, but Detroit is certainly not going to be competing for the Larry O'Brien trophy anytime soon. So why should Prince be playing starter minutes while Daye registers a DNP-Coach's Decision?

    It is just beyond me. 

    Which Teams Would Be Interested?

    Daye is still a prospect with a lot of potential, meaning many teams would be interested in acquiring him. Teams like the Clippers and the Spurs, solid teams looking for a prospect to develop, comes to mind. 

    An Example of a Potential Trade

    Detroit send Daye to the Clippers for Brian Cook and Bobby Simmons.

    Detroit get two expiring contracts, while the Clippers get a prospect in Daye. It is likely that the Clippers would have to send draft picks to make the trade more even, however. 

    Possibility of Daye Leaving

    The most difficult part would be for Detroit to receive decent offers. The teams interested in Daye would be high, but few can offer up interesting potential deals. 

Golden State Warriors: Monta Ellis

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    Why They Should Trade Him

    Reality should have struck Mark Jackson by now: his team is not at a level where they can compete for a playoff spot. Stephen Curry is the future of this team, and he simply can't co-exist with Ellis because of how poorly they both play defense. 

    With Klay Thompson a star in the making and Ellis' trade value never higher, it is time to let go of one of the best scorers in the league.  

    Which Teams Would Be Interested?

    Orlando are reportedly interested in Ellis, as they seek for the second star which would keep Dwight Howard in The City Beautiful. 

    Indiana and Memphis were both interested in recent years, although the interest has cooled off as both teams have improved at the shooting guard position since the rumours linking them with the bona fide scorer. 

    An Example of a Potential Trade

    Golden State send Ellis to Orlando for Ryan Anderson and Glen Davis, Orlando send Chris Duhon to Portland, Golden State send Dorell Wright to Portland for Raymond Felton.

    Should the Magic acquire Ellis this season, Ryan Anderson will definitely be part of the package Golden State would like in return. Because Orlando fails to match up Ellis' salary by itself, Portland comes in as the third team and send the slumping Raymond Felton (expiring contract) to complete the deal in exchange for Dorell Wright.

    Possibility of Ellis Leaving

    If the likes of Danny Granger and Andre Iguodala are being offered, definitely. Otherwise, Jackson will just have to work with the current group as he look to match his playoff promise.

Houston Rockets: Terrence Williams/Jonny Flynn/Hasheem Thabeet

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    Why They Should Trade Them

    Frankly, anyone is available on the Houston team. That's the way Daryl Morey built the team. 

    With the form the Rockets are in though, it is more likely that the likes of Terrence Williams and Jonny Flynn, stuck at the end of the bench due to whatever reason, will leave this trade deadline. Look for future picks to arrive in Houston as part of any potential deals. 

    Which Teams Would Be Interested?

    Promising prospects always attract teams, but when these very same prospects are stuck on the bench for a playoff team it raises question about the ability of whether these players are actually promising or not.

    Nonetheless, teams that are devoid of talent, such as Charlotte, would still be interested. 

    An Example of a Potential Trade

    Houston send Terrence Williams to Charlotte for D.J White

    D.J White is a nice player, but the main reason he was chosen is because he has an expiring contract. Charlotte gets Williams and hopes that he can play better than Matt Carroll or Reggie Williams. With Williams' talent, it should not be an issue, at least from a statistical point of view. 

    Possibility of Williams/Flynn/Thabeet Leaving

    If any one of them complain about playing time, Morey can find a way to make him pack his bags the very next day. It depends on whether these players can stand the very likely scenario of registering more DNPs than points for the rest of the season.