Now that the “Dwightmare” is over and the league’s premier trade target is off the board, NBA Trade rumor winds have appeared to calm.
However, there are still potential deals on the table and NBA GM’s are still hard at work. In fact, several big-name players may be dealt before the season starts.
For teams looking to acquire youth at forward, Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams could be the man.
Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer says the Cavaliers may be interested in acquiring the former No. 2 pick from the T-Wolves, who are now deep at forward after acquiring Chase Budinger, Andrei Kirilenko, and Brandon Roy. They also have some guy named Kevin Love.
Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer, believes a deal is possible, but not imminent.
"I've seen the rumors about Williams and Ridnour for Varejao. I know the Cavs will consider anything they feel will improve the team long-term, and they do love to add draft picks. It would be interesting to wind up with the Nos. 1 and 2 picks from the 2011 draft, but I'm not sure about this one."
The Cavaliers are trying to get younger, and pairing Kyrie Irving with Williams could be one of the more exciting young duos in the league. Nothing is imminent at the moment, and it’s still uncertain if the two teams are discussing a deal, but a Williams trade makes sense.
Teams looking for a forward can also look at Josh Smith, who may be the biggest name to be dealt this season.
The Hawks forward was linked to the Lakers earlier in the offseason, but that appears to be off the table now that LA has acquired Dwight Howard. The Lakers would likely have to give up Pau Gasol and have basically zero draft picks to offer. The team is probably keen on keeping its two 7-footers as well.
However, Smith will find a new home before the end of the season. Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld sees a trade as likely.
Don’t be surprised if Josh Smith trade rumors start surfacing this season. Smith has demanded a trade in the past, but the Hawks decided to hold onto him. Now, with Smith in the final year of his contract, Atlanta may move him prior to the trade deadline if they think he’s going to walk next summer.
The Hawks are in a full-on rebuilding effort and Smith will most likely leave at the end of the year. All signs point to a deal, likely for more than a first round pick.
Metta World Peace
Even after acquiring Dwight Howard, the Lakers may not be done dealing. This time around, however, the Lakers may look to sell.
Metta World Peace could be the first to go. The Lakers payroll now sits just shy of $100M and World Peace makes over $7M. Even Jerry Buss, one of the league’s wealthiest owners, would like to shed some cap.
Because the Lakers have depth at forward with Jordan Hill, Antawn Jamison, Devin Ebanks, and Earl Clark off the bench, a World Peace deal makes sense from both financial and basketball standpoints. "MWP" is going to be wide open this season, a lot, but is a horrendous three-point shooter. The Lakers may be better off a sharper shooter who can still play solid on-ball defense.
Trade rumors like this one from SI.com surfaced last month.
The rumors have died down, but the situation is fundamentally the same. The Lakers have depth at forward and would like to shed cap. Additionally, the Lakers would now settle for a traded player exception in return.
However, the team will likely play out the beginning of the year with its current roster. If MWP doesn't gel with the team's chemistry, a deal could get done before the deadline.