NBA Trade Deadline 2012: 9 Teams Looking to Steal Crucial Role Players
Dwight Howard will certainly be the center of attention (no pun intended) as the trade deadline approaches, but his move might not be the only one garnering headlines as March 15 looms nearer. Plenty of teams will look to add role players in hopes of improving their team's shot at a Larry O'Brien Trophy. Most of those players will not be named Dwight Howard.
Here are ten teams in the mix for making roster moves at the deadline.
Portland is a perennial playoff team, but will need to find away to rise amongst the Western Conference’s elite.
The aging Marcus Camby is the starting rotation’s weakest link with his defensive skills diminishing and his anemic offensive production. If Portland can find a suitable upgrade at center, they might just elevate themselves in to a championship caliber squad.
The Timberwolves is on the brink of playoff contention consistently hovering around the eight seed with a .500 record, but will need to address the two guard if they want to get over the hump.
Wesley Johnson simply hasn’t cut it for the Timberwolves, his 5.8 points and 2.7 rebounds per game this season are a fraction of what the team hoped for when drafting him 4th overall in the 2010 draft.
Johnson, along with the expiring contract of Michael Beasley should be appealing enough to attract some type of swing man. Paired alongside Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love, a third star player in the midst could make Minnesota a bona fide contender going forward.
Golden State Warriors
With the organization set on building the franchise around point guard Stephen Curry, the Warriors will certainly look to make a move to acquire talent to play alongside him in Oakland.
Monta Ellis presents a golden trade tolken for the Warriors, with teams like the Orlando Magic reportedly interested in his services. Golden State will certainly ask for a lot in return for the 2008 Most Improved player.
The team is in desperate need of a big man, so Dwight Howard may not be out of the cards for Golden State.
Joel Anthony is a fill-in turned regular starter and Eddy Curry hasn’t panned out like the Heat had hoped, so the team should be considering making a small deal for help down low.
While it’s clear that New Orleans has made Chris Kaman widely available to the right suitor, Miami has few pieces to give that any team would be interested in, so a large-scale deal would be highly unlikely.
Chicago is one of the titans of the east right now, and the team might just be a move away from running away with an NBA championship.
Carlos Boozer has been a huge disappointment in Chicago, ushering many jeers from fans to move the underachieving power forward at the deadline. Richard Hamilton was the team’s primary acquisition this off season, but the former Detroit Piston great has shown signs of meticulous aging this season, appearing in just 15 games this season.
Chicago aggressively pursued OJ Mayo at last season’s deadline, and could be in the hunt for another swingman to fill the team’s void at shooting guard, or could look for an upgrade over Boozer.
Rajon Rondo’s name has swirled around trade rumors all season, but his recent 18 point, 20 assist 17 rebound performance against the resurgent New York Knicks might convince Danny Ainge and the Celtics otherwise.
Aging stars Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett present more viable trade pieces for Ainge, as both carry expiring contracts. The two are shells of their former selves, but some team should be willing to bite and send young talent or draft picks in return.
Boston appears to be on its way out of contention, and Ainge should look to better prepare his team for contention in the future while he still has the assets to do so. With the right move, the Celtics could even jump a few spaces in the East playoff hunt this season.
New Jersey Nets
Role player might be an understatement, but the Nets will certainly need to acquire someone if the team intends to keep Deron Williams around next season.
Aside from D-Will, the team has been everything the word ‘abysmal’ can describe. Far out of playoff contention, Brook Lopez and the team’s draft picks are the team;s primary trade chips.
Dwight Howard is a possibility, but the Magic are certainly going to rob any team wishing to acquire the All-Star center blind. The team could look to acquire another roll player at a lower price.
Dwight Howard’s name in trade rumors has already become as redundant as Blake Griffin Kia commercials, but it appears as if the Magic is still committed to keeping the disgruntled superstar in Orlando.
Many rumors floating about possible moves made to coax the two-time Defiensive Player of the Year into staying put, most recently with Golden State star combo-guard Monta Ellis.
The Magic don’t have much to offer in a trade that does not include D12, but if a team is willing to bite of the like of J,J. Reddick, Hedo Turkoglu, Ryan Anderson and/or draft picks, Orland could sway a multi-team deal to bring Howard a suitable sidekick.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are desperate to find a Pau Gasol-Kwame Brown-like deal before the trade deadline in hopes of contending for another NBA championship.
Kobe’s looked as fearsome as ever and Andrew Bynum is living up to his draft day potential, but aside from the two All-Stars, the Lake Show has looked rather ordinary as far as the franchise standard goes.
The team hasn’t suitably replaced reigning sixth man Lamar Odom’s bench scoring role since trading him to Dallas and Derek Fisher has looked dismal in Mike Brown’s system this year.
The Lakers are in the right position to acquire just about anyone at the trade deadline, may it be Dwight Howard, a point guard like Steve Nash or a swingman off the bench. Expect to see some shake-up in Los Angeles.