NBA Trade Deadline 2012: 5 Players Teams Should Not Take a Gamble on

Sammy Sucu@oblivion08Senior Analyst IMarch 1, 2012

NBA Trade Deadline 2012: 5 Players Teams Should Not Take a Gamble on

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    Some teams are thinking about gambling by trading the farm for an All-Star player, but they would be wrong in doing so.

    As much as a team would love to add an All-Star player, they should do so only if it was at a reasonable asking price. To give up so much just to acquire one All-Star usually works out better for the team trading the All-Star away—just ask the Denver Nuggets.

    Some of these players are going to be free agents this offseason, and teams should be smart in not taking the risk in letting their “rented” player walk as soon as free agency begins.

    Instead of trading a couple of their great players for one elite player, these teams should look to add less valuable players in order to continue a run at the NBA Finals.

    Here are the five players that teams should not gamble on. 

Deron Williams

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    Deron Williams is one of the best point guards in the NBA.

    Multiple sources, including a recent one from Bulls.com’s Sam Smith, have speculated that Deron Williams is likely to walk if the New Jersey Nets do not acquire Dwight Howard.

    Although he is valuable, a team should not give up as much talent as the Clippers and Lakers did when they both completed trades for Chris Paul.

    The difference between the two is that Williams will more than likely be available in the offseason, and a team could just swoop in and sign him to a long-term contract. Nothing will attract Williams more to a team than him playing with another All-Star. 

    Williams is one of the rare point guards who has the ability to score from anywhere on the court and consistently distribute the ball. He has played just as well as any other point guard in the NBA, and it comes as no surprise that teams would try their best to acquire him. 

    Best Possible Trades: Monta Ellis for Deron Williams or Pau Gasol for Deron Williams or Stephen Curry for Deron Williams.

Dwight Howard

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    Dwight Howard is the best center in the NBA.

    If you have not heard a Dwight Howard rumor and you are reading this, then you must have mistaken this basketball rumors article for a celebrity gossip article.

    In the coming weeks, Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic are likely going to split up faster than Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries did.

    The only team that has anything tempting to offer is the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have the second best center in the NBA in Andrew Bynum. If the Magic want to replace Howard, and not have much of a fall off after Howard is gone, then Bynum is the man for them.

    Recent reports from Matt Moore at CBS.com have indicated that the Magic may want Pau Gasol as well in the deal that will involve Howard, Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu. The Lakers should stay away as far as possible from this and not break up their front court for Dwight Howard.

    The Lakers should find a way to secure Howard for Bynum and someone else not named Kobe Bryant or Pau Gasol. Although Nelson would fix the Lakers hole at the point guard position it would not be as big of an upgrade as it could be if the Lakers traded Gasol elsewhere for another All-Star point guard like Rajon Rondo or Deron Williams. 

    Best Possible Trade: Andrew Bynum and Devin Ebanks for Dwight Howard

Pau Gasol

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    Pau Gasol is still the best power forward in the NBA.

    Although Gasol is still the best power forward in the game, the Houston Rockets should not unload their squad to trade for a 31-year-old Gasol.

    Recent reports from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports have opened a new possibility where the Lakers could add depth to their roster, while giving the Rockets their prized big man.

    The Houston Rockets still have a longing for Gasol, but the Lakers would want a player the Rockets are most reluctant to part with: point guard Kyle Lowry. The Lakers could probably pry a combination of Kevin Martin and Luis Scola for Gasol, league sources said, but it’s doubtful they’ll move Gasol without solving their point guard problem.

    This trade would likely not go down without the Rockets giving up either of their two point point guards—Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic. If the Rockets were to give up a combination of Lowry and other players they would completely decimate their team for the long run.

    Although Gasol will be a great addition for the Rockets now, he will not be a long term solution for the team. The Rockets should look to trade for Gasol, or another big man, without sacrificing the loss of Kyle Lowry. Lowry is the present and future for the Rockets and will continue to improve as the years go by—Gasol will not. 

    Best Possible Trades: Pau Gasol for Scola and Martin or Gasol and first-round pick for Scola, Martin and Dragic

Rajon Rondo

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    Rajon Rondo is one of the best point guards in the NBA—but he is not worth the headache.

    According to a recent report from SB Nation.com, ESPN’s Chris Broussard has reported that "the Celtics have been aggressively shopping their All-Star point guard."

    A report from ESPN Boston.com has indicated that Rondo is on the block because of his attitude. 

    The Celtics find Rondo's personality to be too high-maintenance and his clashes with coach Doc Rivers remain an off-court distraction, sources told Broussard, and the front office is now actively pitching him to other teams. With the Celtics realizing they are no longer title contenders, they don't believe his point guard prowess is worth the headaches, sources say. And they do not want to build around him.

    This should deter teams from trying to trade a lot and gamble on Rondo. There are a lot of risks surrounding Rondo, and he may not even be worth another All-Star in a one-for-one trade. Teams might be afraid that Rondo will not be able to produce without the Big Three and that he may continue to be a locker room headache. Unless Rondo is sent to a team with a strong leader—like the Lakers—he may become a locker room cancer and teams do not want that. 

    There are better options out there than Rondo, and teams should be wise in not trading a lot for the "high-maintenance" that Rondo may bring to their locker room. 

    Best Possible Trades: Pau Gasol for Rondo or Stephen Curry for Rondo 

Andrew Bynum

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    Andrew Bynum is the second-best center in the NBA, but it's not saying much. 

    Although it seems like a good idea for Orlando to get something out of Dwight Howard because of his seemingly imminent departure, Bynum might not be enough.

    Howard is only one player but trading him for Bynum would be similar to trading two All-Stars for one. Bynum is a great talent and has a very high ceiling but his past of injuries should scare Orlando or other teams away. 

    Bynum is the best possible return for the Howard, but the Magic should try to get a bit more out of the Lakers in order to lower the risk.

    The Magic could also look elsewhere and try to shop Howard for a prominent point guard like Stephen Curry or the third-best shooting guard in the NBA, Monta Ellis. A recent report from ESPN's Chris Broussard indicated that the Magic are "eyeing Monta Ellis" in a trade for Orlando's All-Star center Dwight Howard. This may be a less risky move, but there would be a huge hole at center for the Magic that Monta Ellis will never be able to fill. 

    Trading Howard for Bynum or Howard for Ellis would be a huge gamble, but not as big of a gamble as it would be if the Magic held on to Howard until the season was over. It seems like the Magic have no other choice but to unload Howard and pray their gamble pays off. 

    Best Possible Trade for the Magic: Andrew Bynum, Devin Ebanks and two first-round picks for Dwight Howard, Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins with a first-round pick for Dwight Howard. 

     

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