Every year, as the NBA trade deadline approaches there are big-time moves that steal the headlines and dominate the trade conversation.
While big-time moves often steal the spotlight from other moves, there's no doubt that often times the most valuable and most influential moves fly under the radar this time of year.
With contenders looking to make moves to bolster their benches, or bring in veteran experience to lead the charge heading into the second half of the 2011-12 season, there will certainly be moves that make have a major impact on the way things turn out come June in the NBA.
Here are a couple "under-the-radar deals" that could payoff big for teams heading down the stretch of the 2011-12 NBA season.
Jamal Crawford to Minnesota
Even before losing Ricky Rubio for the season with a torn ACL, the Timberwolves appeared to be interested in making a move for Trail Blazers guard Jamaal Crawford, and they would be smart to do so now that Rubio is done for the year.
Without much talent for the Timberwolves at the shooting guard position, Crawford would fit in nicely, being able to run the point while still be able to make a difference with his ability to score at either the point or shooting guard position.
The Timberwolves have become a sleeper contender for playoff spot in the Western Conference as of late, and if they want to keep that going, adding Crawford would be a great move for them to make. Adding Crawford's average production of 14.3 points and 3.8 assists per game, could be just what the Timberwolves need down the stretch of the regular season.
J.J. Hickson Moving Out of Sacramento
ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that the Sacramento Kings are aggressively pursuing trading away forward J.J. Hickson, and for good reason, as he's been under-performing as of late.
While Hickson is certainly an immature player at times, there's no doubting the way he played before the All-Star break, with averages of 6.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, could seriously help some playoff contenders down the stretch of the season.
With the March 15th trade deadline quickly approaching, a move for Hickson isn't out of the realm of possibility, as teams will look to bolster their frontcourt depth as they move closer and closer to the 2012 NBA playoffs.
One team that should be interested in Hickson, in my opinion, is the Boston Celtics, as they could seriously benefit from adding some youth and explosive offensive talent to their roster.
Atlanta Hawks Moving Joe Johnson
While the Atlanta Hawks haven't necessarily been vocal about trading Joe Johnson, the Golden State Warriors think they could get him, and while that may not be their best option it's still a feasible one at that.
There's no doubt that Johnson and his massive contract are holding back the Atlanta Hawks. Johnson isn't even the most productive player on the Hawks roster anymore, with power forward Josh Smith earning that honor.
The Hawks would be wise to move Johnson's massive $18 million contract, as it would help them clear cap space moving forward, while adding talent at the same time. With Willie Green as a nice option for the Hawks at the shooting guard position, there's no doubt that the Hawks could rely on his production in their starting lineup.
If the Hawks can get a team to bite on Joe Johnson, like the Golden State Warriors, Atlanta would be smart to make the move as it would make them a better team right now, and heading into the future as a franchise.
While there are many more "under-the-radar" trades that could go down in the next few days, these are the three most likely to have the biggest impact for the respective NBA franchises moving forward.
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