With the 2012 NBA Finals ongoing, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat have their attention set on winning an NBA championship.
As for the NBA’s 28 other teams, their sights are set on using the upcoming offseason to put themselves in a position similar to where the Thunder and Heat are in the near future.
And for teams who are unwilling to spend big on free agents, or who are looking to potentially move up in this month’s NBA draft, a variety of trade options may be their best bet for improving on last season.
Here are the latest rumors regarding targets on the trading block.
An article by Mitch Lawrence on NYDailyNews.com describes how the Los Angeles Lakers appear willing to trade Pau Gasol, and the Memphis Grizzlies could be a taker.
Gasol averaged 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game for the Lakers this past season, his third consecutive season of averaging a double-double for the team.
However, with Andrew Bynum emerging as one of the league’s best young centers, Gasol could serve as a trade chip for the Lakers as they look to surround Kobe Bryant with more talent.
The Lakers may not be the only team looking to reload.
An article by Mike McGraw on the Daily Herald’s website explains how the Chicago Bulls will be on the hook for approximately $56 million for a combined four players next season, which could push the team toward the luxury tax.
“So that leaves Deng as the best candidate to be shopped. A trade is no sure thing, since Deng has two more years left on his contract at a hefty $27.6 million and could miss the start of next season.”
Deng averaged 15.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game for the Bulls this past season. McGraw mentions Deng as a potential trade chip for the Bulls to move up in the draft.
The team that knocked the Bulls out of the playoffs this year, the Philadelphia 76ers, may also have a player on the trading block.
In what seems like a tradition in the making, the Sixers could potentially move Andre Iguodala, according to Senior NBA Editor Bill Ingram on hoopsworld.com. The Sixers may decide to move Iguodala in order to pave the way for Evan Turner to continue progressing.
Ingram’s article lists the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets as teams who could be interested. Iguodala averaged 12.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game for the Sixers last season, and could serve as a defensive improvement for the team that potentially acquires him.
Ingram’s article also says that the Raptors could be interested in acquiring Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings, and mentions Rudy Gay as another player drawing interest.
Of course, Ronald Tillery’s article on commercialappeal.com contains a quote from current Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley, explaining how the team does not plan on trading Gay and the mentality that general manager Chris Wallace must have about the roster.
“Yes, people have called us to ask about Rudy,” Heisley said. “Obviously, we need to seriously look at strengthening the team. But Rudy is the only player we have who can get his shot any time and any place on the floor.
"You can’t afford to get rid of him and not bring in somebody who can do more. I think Chris has to be open-minded about everybody on the roster. But I don’t know how else I can say this: There is no plan to trade Rudy Gay.”
In a bit of an out-of-the-blue type rumor, Jeff Goodman’s article on CBSSports.com describes how the Charlotte Bobcats may attempt to move the No. 2 pick in this month’s draft for a player such as James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
And of course, with Dwight Howard still in Orlando, there’s always a chance that one of the league’s superstars enters the trading block.