NBA Trade Rumors: Likely Destinations for Players on the Block

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIJuly 24, 2012

NBA Trade Rumors: Likely Destinations for Players on the Block

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    Lately, the most likely landing spot for Dwight Howard in the shifting landscape of trade rumors that surround him is the Los Angeles Lakers. Then again, he's often mentioned in talks with the Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets and sometimes the Atlanta Hawks. So many pieces make these trade scenarios so complicated.

    As do the complex fashions of the man likely to be traded.

    The same may go for some of the other players on the trading block. Players like Kevin Martin and Jose Calderon may have preferences for where they want to go. However, the realities of the trade business may end up guiding the process more than the desires of the players.

    Following is a list of likely places where players on the trading block will end up.

Dwight Howard: Lakers

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    The Dwight Howard trade talks have taken various turns. Most recently, the Orlando Magic are thinking about hanging onto Howard until the 2013 trade deadline, per ESPN.

    The issue at hand is what the Magic roster would look like after they trade Howard. They don't want to deal him and end up with a mishmash of players. That's what would happen in a scenario reported by ESPN involving the Rockets that would have had Kevin Martin, Marcus Morris, Chandler Parsons and Patrick Patterson going to Orlando.

    While Martin would have been a nice grab, the jury is out on the other three.

    The Nets are a possibility, but they don't seem likely now that they have locked up many of the players who could have been moved.

    The Lakers appear to be the most logical team. They have the one player who could make the deal very easy: Andrew Bynum. Trading the second-best center in the league, and perhaps a second player, for the best center in the league seems easy on paper.

    The problem, according to ESPN, is that the Magic aren't sure whether Bynum would sign an extension with them.

    That's fine. Howard hasn't been clear about whether he'd commit to the Lakers long-term.

    The best thing would be to simply make the deal and then hope that they can sign the acquired player to an extension. Bynum and Howard can't know whether they want to sign with the Magic and Lakers, respectively, unless they've been there. No one can commit to a place long-term if they're unfamiliar with the environment.

    The likelihood of the deal going through is strong, as the players match up well in terms of salary and talent. The Lakers have been as persistent in pursuing Howard as any team. If a third team is needed, one can be added.

Jose Calderon: 76ers

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    According to ESPN, the Toronto Raptors are looking to trade Jose Calderon. Calderon has wanted a trade. Several playoff contenders would love to have this stat-sheet-filling distributor.

    As mentioned in the above article, the Mavericks discussed trade possibilities involving Calderon. They've since acquired Elton Brand and Darren Collison. The Brand acquisition wasn't too expensive; Collison isn't nearly on the level of Calderon.

    The Philadelphia 76ers have also discussed trade scenarios involving Calderon. The 76ers added mid-level pieces during free agency, such as Nick Young, Royal Ivey and Kwame Brown. They still need a true point guard. Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner are good, but they can't run an offense like Calderon.

    The Chicago Bulls would be a great place for Calderon, with Derrick Rose out until March, per the Chicago Tribune. A deal involving Luol Deng would be a great move to get Calderon to Chicago. However, the Bulls have appeared to be unwilling to trade any of their core players (Rose, Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah).

    In the end, the clearest possibility is Philadelphia. The 76ers have a fair amount of cap space. They could send Turner and Nikola Vucevic for Calderon. Both will have their option years come up in 2013-14, making this an easier one to swallow for Toronto while giving them capable pieces.

Jimmer Fredette: Bucks

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    Jimmer Fredette seemed to many to be a high riser coming out of BYU, but he hasn't flourished in the NBA. He's a good three-point shooter, hitting 36 percent from three-point range. However, his field-goal percentage is a poor 38.6 percent. He has a sad offensive rating of 100 points per 100 possessions.

    According to Sports Illustrated, Fredette could be traded now that the Sacramento Kings have signed Aaron Brooks. Brooks played in China last season, leading the Guangdong Southern Tigers with 22.3 points and 4.8 assists per game. Brooks could be a good guide for Isaiah Thomas, who emerged as a point guard for the future during his rookie year.

    While Fredette doesn't have much to add to a team in terms of pure shooting ability and doesn't amaze with his point guard skills, he could contribute with his three-point shooting.

    The Milwaukee Bucks are a good possibility. The Bucks are a fringe team that is middling in three-point shooting, having placed 16th in the category last season. Fredette would add three-point shooting off the bench.

Richard Hamilton: Celtics

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    The Chicago Bulls have done some reshuffling with their supporting cast as they try to get the team in competitive condition while keeping payroll from going out of control. Having unloaded C.J. Watson, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer, they've cut a bit of fat from their payroll.

    Now, they are looking to deal Rip Hamilton, according to the Chicago Tribune. The oft-injured Hamilton is due $5 million in the final year of his contract.

    Contending teams would love to add Hamilton's veteran leadership, while keeping in mind that he might not be able to give minutes every night. However, not many contending teams have the money to give Hamilton, since many are above the luxury tax threshold.

    The Boston Celtics could be a good trade partner. They've made some moves, but could still have room for Hamilton. In sending Hamilton to Boston, the Bulls could go for a package built around Avery Bradley.

    The Bulls would be able to send Boston a hungry veteran while continuing to retool for the future.

Dante Cunningham: Cavaliers

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    One below-the-radar name in the trade rumor mill is Dante Cunningham. Cunningham is an athletic power forward for the Memphis Grizzlies who can figure as a stretch 5 and play a bit at the 3. He's a strong rebounder and defender.

    Now, the Grizzlies are crowded at the power forward spot and could use another backcourt shooter. They stocked up at power forward by re-signing Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur. They've been one of the worst three-point shooting teams in recent years.

    Recently, the Grizzlies were in talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves to send Cunningham there for Wayne Ellington, according to The Commercial Appeal. Last week, the talks seemed to be now-or-never.

    On Sunday, Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal tweeted that the Grizzlies and T'Wolves are still discussing the possibility.

     

     

    If you're watching MEM-MINN summer league game from Las Vegas and waondering about Cunningham-4-Ellington trade. It's not dead, per source.

    — Commercial Appeal (@CAGrizBlog) July 23, 2012

     

    Ellington isn't too bad. He's a 37.6 percent career three-point shooter. But he shot just 32.6 percent from long range in 2011-12. Overall, he's not that good a shooter. He hit just above 40 percent from the field the last two years. That's not good for someone who takes less than 40 percent of his shots from three-point range.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers would be a better trade partner for the Grizzlies involving Cunningham. The Grizzlies could go for Daniel Gibson, a 41 percent career three-point shooter who never really lived up to the expectations placed upon him early in his career. He could add a nice touch off the Memphis bench.

    In return, the Grizzlies could send Hamed Haddadi in a sign-and-trade along with Cunningham.