NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Big Names Being Used as Trade Bait

Bryant Knox@@BryantKnoxFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2012

NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Big Names Being Used as Trade Bait

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    Very few players are safe when it comes to retooling a roster, and with some of the league's top players swirling in rumors, the Association could be see a big-time shakeup heading into the 2012-13 season.

    The 2012 NBA draft is officially behind us, and the trade rumors are taking flight with free agency right around the corner.

Pau Gasol

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    The Minnesota Timberwolves are the most recent team to enter the Pau Gasol discussions this summer.

    The team reportedly tried to trade Derrick Williams to the Charlotte Bobcats for the second overall pick in the 2012 draft. They would have tried to flip that for the Spanish big man from the Los Angeles Lakers (h/t Associated Press).

    Gasol has been one of the hottest names in rumors for some time now. As a result, he could find himself wearing a new uniform for the 2012-13 season.

Dwight Howard

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    Dwight Howard may have opted into his contract for next season, but the drama is far from over for the Orlando Magic.

    ESPN's Chris Broussard has reported that Howard met with Rob Hennigan, the team's new general manager, and requested a trade to the Brooklyn Nets.

    The Magic and Nets were engaged in trade talks surrounding Howard last year. If the Magic want to avoid losing their franchise player for nothing next summer, they'll need to strike a deal before next season's trade deadline. 

    Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski says that the Houston Rockets remain in the mix for Howard as well.

Luis Scola

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    The Houston Rockets attempted to trade Luis Scola in the botched Chris Paul deal last offseason, and the team is now trying to send him away once again this summer.

    ESPN's Marc Stein reports that the big man has been included in multiple trade scenarios in the Rockets' efforts to bring in a franchise player.

    Houston recently drafted forwards Royce White and Terrence Jones, and a Scola trade would help clear space for the team's newest additions.

Joe Johnson

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    According to Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Brooklyn Nets are now interested in acquiring Joe Johnson via trade with the Atlanta Hawks.

    The potential deal would likely eliminate all chances of bringing in Dwight Howard, but it might also ensure that Deron Williams sticks around as the team officially transitions to Brooklyn.

    Jason Kidd has said that he will sign wherever Williams goes as a free agent. If the team is able to bring in Johnson, they would have three All-Star guards in their backcourt next season.

DeJuan Blair

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    Adrian Wojnarowski also reports that the San Antonio Spurs are reportedly shopping big man DeJuan Blair. In doing so, they would clear space to bring over European prospects this summer.

    Blair entered the league with questions surrounding his history of ACL injuries, but he's been reliable and productive throughout the early part of his NBA career.

    Having averaged a reliable 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in just 21.3 minutes of play last year, the Spurs should garner interest from any team willing to take a chance on his health.

O.J. Mayo

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    CSNNE's A. Sherrod Blakely has reported that the Boston Celtics are interested in trading Brandon Bass to the Memphis Grizzlies for shooting guard O.J. Mayo.

    Mayo has been on and off the trade block for a few seasons now. The Celtics were one of the teams inquiring as to his availability at the 2012 trade deadline.

    Blakely reports that "no deal is imminent," but after drafting both Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo in the 2012 NBA draft, swapping out Bass for Mayo would surely balance the new rotation heading into next season.