NBA Trade Rumors: Updates from Around the League

Ben LeibowitzCorrespondent IIIJune 24, 2012

NBA Trade Rumors: Updates from Around the League

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    The 2012 NBA draft is mere days away (set for Thursday, June 28) and the offseason is now upon us after the Miami Heat disposed of the Oklahoma City Thunder for LeBron James' first championship.

    Admittedly, at this juncture, the majority of rumors from the mill are regarding where the prospects will end up Thursday or where free agents will eventually sign.

    Nevertheless, there are some interesting NBA trade rumors sprinkled into that mix.

    Here are some recent updates from around the league regarding possible trades moving forward.

Rockets Trading Dalembert and No. 16 Pick?

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    Bill Ingram of Hoopsworld is reporting that it’s “no secret” the Houston Rockets want to move one of their two first-round picks in this year’s draft (No. 14 or No. 16).

    Apparently there’s a possibility that the Rockets have a trade lined up to move both the 16th pick and center Sam Dalembert to jump into the top 10.

    At this point, however, it’s difficult to speculate where in the top 10 the Rockets could move to, especially with this trade proposal.

    The Golden State Warriors, at No. 7, may choose to trade back, but with the addition of Andrew Bogut they likely won’t be in the market for a guy like Dalembert.

    Detroit is another team that could conceivably move back, but the Pistons have a stud at center in Greg Monroe, so adding another center via trade doesn’t seem like the best option at this point.

    Dalembert has expressed an interest in staying with the team, but if the Rockets could vault up in the lottery by moving him, they may pull the trigger.

Rockets May Look to Rent Dwight?

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    The Houston Rockets may look to add Dwight Howard for the final year of his contract next season, according to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.

    Evidently the Rockets seem confident that they could convince Howard to stay past next year, but that’s no doubt a big gamble. If Houston gives up a banquet of assets to acquire Howard only to watch him leave via free agency, they’ll be back to square one as far as building a contender is concerned.

    If I had to speculate at a possible trade that sends Howard to the Rockets, it would look something like this:

    Orlando Gets: Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and one or both of the Rockets’ first-round picks (No. 14 and/or No. 16)

    Houston Gets: Dwight Howard

     

    Two starters and two first-round picks would be a huge amount to give up for what is conceivably a one-year rental of Howard. If the trade was Martin, Scola and the No. 16 pick though, that would probably be easier for Rockets fans to stomach.

    Either way, adding Howard and expecting full and immediate loyalty is wishful thinking.

Cavs and Cats Thinking Swap of Picks?

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    According to SI.com, the Cleveland Cavaliers are extremely high on Bradley Beal in this year’s draft. As a result, the Cavs may want/need to trade up for the Charlotte Bobcats’ second overall pick to ensure they can nab him.

    I wrote about the possibility of these two teams swapping picks in a recent mock draft, but didn’t suspect the Cavs to go after Beal.

    Personally, I find the targeting of Beal interesting given the fact that Kyrie Irving has expressed a desire in the Cavs drafting his good friend Harrison Barnes from North Carolina (ironic considering Irving went to Duke).

    In addition, if Michael Kidd-Gilchrist falls to the Cavs at No. 4 (or if Cleveland moves up to No. 2), he has ties to Irving as well.

    Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer recently referenced the fact that Kidd-Gilchrist and Irving played on the same high school team, with whom they won a state prep title together.

    The Cavaliers have picks at No. 4 and No. 24 in Round 1, as well as picks No. 33 and No. 34 in Round 2. It may very well take all of those selections for the Cavaliers to move up to No. 2.

    Are all of the Cavs' picks (or even three of the four) worth moving up just two spots in the draft? Only time will tell the answer to that question.

Lakers Want First-Rounder?

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    The Los Angeles Lakers are trying very hard to move up into the first round of the draft, states Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.

    Amico speculates that the Lakers are targeting a prospect out of Baylor (either Perry Jones III or Quincy Miller).

    The Lakers probably should have thought about this fact before shipping away a first-rounder in the Ramon Sessions deal and another first-round pick in the trade that brought in Jordan Hill.

    What's even more head-scratching now that Sessions has decided not to exercise his player option with the Lakers for next season, both Sessions and Hill are set for the free-agent market.

    L.A. gave up a lot to add those two players and now there is a good possibility neither of them will be in a Lakers uniform next season.

    Short of an advantageous Pau Gasol deal that could net Los Angeles a first-round selection this year, I don’t see many possibilities for them to move up.

    Gasol and Andrew Bynum are the only players with trade value for the Lakers, considering they’d never trade Kobe Bryant. So unless they make some magic happen, I don’t see this being all too viable.

Lakers Targeting Iggy?

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    Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld states the Los Angeles Lakers could be trying to acquire Andre Iguodala…again.

    Speaking of a failed trade proposal last June that would have sent a package including Lamar Odom and draft picks to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Iguodala, Kennedy wrote:

    The Lakers were ready to pull the trigger on the deal and the Sixers strongly considered it. However, Philadelphia ultimately turned down the trade because they believed that Odom would be unhappy and unmotivated after being dealt from Los Angeles.

    First of all, let’s get whoever turned that trade down in Philly a commemorative plaque, because that’s exactly what happened with Odom in Dallas with the Mavericks.

    Secondly, I think that the Lakers acquiring Iguodala could be a possibility. However, a straight-up swap of Iggy for Andrew Bynum isn’t logical for the Lakers and a straight-up Gasol-Iguodala swap may not be ideal for the Sixers (even if it could work out financially).

    There will be some additional factors at play here (possibly even a third team getting involved), but both teams have been rumored to make some changes, so I won't rule this trade out.

Could Memphis Bring Gasol Back?

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    According to Matt Moore of CBS Sports, the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers could possibly be in talks of bringing the elder Gasol back to where he started his career, maybe even to play alongside his "little" brother.

    Moore speculates at a possible Gasol for Rudy Gay swap, but I’d rule that highly unlikely.

    And, according to Sporting News, Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley has no intention of trading Rudy Gay.

    “We’re not looking to trade Rudy Gay. We’re not shopping him around. Period,” Heisley said.

    Well, then.

    A trade involving Gay at this juncture certainly seems farfetched after that sentiment from Heisley. However, the Grizzlies could conceivably trade Zach Randolph and a draft pick in exchange for Gasol. Moreover, the Grizz could even send Z-Bo plus a sign-and-trade of O.J. Mayo to give the Lakers a scoring spark off the bench (something they’ve been lacking).

    You’ve got to love trade speculation!

Could Bulls Move Deng and His Contract?

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    Can the Chicago Bulls' core of Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah lead the team to a championship trophy? It’s a shame we couldn’t learn the answer to that question this season, but the likelihood of that seems plausible.

    However, according to Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald (subscription required for story), the Chicago Bulls could be in the market to trade Luol Deng in an attempt to avoid any luxury-tax issues.

    Deng has spent all eight seasons of his pro career with the Bulls after a draft-day trade sent him over from the Phoenix Suns. He’s a fan favorite in Chicago for his gritty play and work ethic, but his hefty contract could cause the Bulls some problems in the future.

    If the Bulls would rather solve their financial struggles before committing to one more year of the Rose/Deng/Boozer/Noah core, the Sudanese small forward could be on the move.

    A possible landing spot for Deng could be the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are in need of a steady wing player after Dorell Wright’s dreadful season, and they have the assets (possibly the No. 7 pick in the draft) to get a deal done.