The 2013 free agent class is one of the most dynamic ever and the best since the ignominious "Year of LeBron." The class is chock full of franchise players that will change the state of any team who signs them.
With the copious amount of talent in the final years of their contract—and the right to become an unrestricted free agent—trade speculation is swirling.
Instead of ultimately losing a prized possession for nothing in free agency, the team can at least receive some value; albeit merely cents on the dollar.
Also, several All-Star-caliber players are dissatisfied with the situation on their current team.
Whether the issue stems from the city, the coach, the ownership, the playing time, the team vision or any other reason, many suitors tout their unique skill-set.
The players believe a change of scenery can maximize their potential.
Here are NBA blockbuster trades that could take place this season.
Kudos to the ESPN's NBA Trade Machine for helping to balance salaries to ensure the trade works.
New York acquires Brandon Jennings (2013 salary, $3,179,493) and Joel Pryzbilla ($854,389) totaling $4,033,882.
Milwaukee acquires: Iman Shumpert ($1,633,440), Kurt Thomas ($1,352,181), James White ($854,389) and 2014 Top Five protected first round pick totaling $3,840,010
Linsanity is officially over in the Garden. Now the point guard position is "stabilized" with the mediocre Raymond Felton and 39-year-old Jason Kidd.
Sure, Felton played his best basketball in his career with the Knicks—averaging 17 PPG and 9 AST—but that was under Mike D'Antoni. Under Mike Woodson, expect numbers around his career average of 13 PPG, 7 AST and porous defense.
During the season, the Knicks will realize they need a point guard change to truly contend. Brandon Jennings—who averaged 19 PPG and 5.5 AST—will give them a young point guard who can distribute the ball well and can score.
The 23-year-old will find Carmelo and Amare in open space and improve the transition game. The trade also will limit the isolation-Melo offense and speed up the offense to MSG-standards.
Pryzbilla will add another able-bodied big man who can protect the paint.
Does Milwaukee really believe a Brandon Jennings, Montae Ellis backcourt can lead them to the postseason? Jennings has also been looking for a way out of town.They should grant his wish and enter complete rebuilding mode.
Iman Shumpert—coming off a ACL injury—is a future All-NBA defender and showed tremendous poise as a rookie. They also receive an all-important first round pick and favorable contracts.
Houston acquires: Andrew Bynum ($16,100,000) and Jason Richardson ($5,799,625) equaling $21,899,624.
Philadelphia acquires: Jeremy Lamb ($2,020,200), Kevin Martin ($12,439,675), Marcus Morris ($1,905,360), Jon Brockman ($1,000,000) and Top Five protected 2013 first round pick spending $17,365,235.
Thus far, it appears Bynum is happy in the City of Brotherly Love. But things can turn sour quickly (warning: don't bring Santa out at halftime). If so, the 76ers would be wise to unload Bynum at the trade deadline and still receive value for the All-Star who is a free agent at the end of the season.
Houston had been eager all summer to make a big splash and find the face of their franchise. The Rockets have Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to show for it.
They failed at several attempts to pry Bynum away from the Lakers. GM Daryl Morey would jump at another opportunity to trade for Bynum and the opportunity to convince him that Houston should be his home for many years.
Philadelphia would still receive significant value for the oft-injured, but dominant center. Rookie guard Jeremy Lamb has received rave reviews and has the makings of a future All-Star.
Former Kansas big man Marcus Morris hasn't performed well in the NBA yet, but still has immense raw potential to impact the game on both ends.
Shooting guard Kevin Martin is a solid starter, but more importantly, he is an unrestricted free agent and that is over $12 million off the salary cap. In addition, they would receive a first round pick.
And the 76ers would unload Jason Richardson's massive contract.
Minnesota acquires: Tyreke Evan for $5,250,825
Sacramento acquires: Derrick Williams plus 2013 lottery protected first round pick sums up $4,809,840
Four players in the history of the NBA averaged 20-5-5 in their rookie seasons... Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tyreke Evans.
Yes, Tyreke Evans. Just a few years ago he was on the path for NBA stardom, but has regressed significantly, averaging just 16.5-4.6-4.5 last season.
The 6-6 guard still has all the physical attributes to become a consistent All-Star, but needs a new scenery; Sacramento appears content to build around DeMarcus Cousins.
"The Great White Hope" Kevin Love developed into the league's best power forward last season in Minnesota, amassing an incredible 26-13. Love is a franchise cornerstone and signed a four year extension, but voiced that his patience for losing is not high.
The Timberwolves added Andrei Kirilenko past his prime and Brandon Roy following his degenerative knee issues. These moves should foster improvement, but nothing that will threaten the alpha-dogs in the Western Conference. They still have Ricky Rubio, who is returning from an ACL tear.
Acquiring Evans would mount mismatches all over the court and spread the Love. Imagine a Big 3 of Rubio-Love-Evans in a few years?
The Kings acquire the number two overall pick from last season Derrick Williams, who displayed tremendous athleticism and strong defense, averaging 9 pts and 5 rebounds in only 22 minutes.
He showed signs that he can become a future All-Star in this league at the power forward position—playing behind Love. The high-low post combo of Cousins-Williams could be lethal with Cousins size in the paint and Williams strong jump shot. Sacramento also adds another first round pick.
Phoenix acquires: James Harden ($5,820,417) for $5,820,417
Oklahoma City acquires: Jan Vesely ($3,202,920), Markieff Morris ($2,005,560) and two Top 3 protected first round picks in 2013 and 2015 spending $5,208,480
Washington acquires: Wes Johnson ($4,285,560), Hollis Thompson ($473,604) and second round pick from Phoenix spending $4,759,164
No team faces a bigger dilemma entering the season than the Thunder.
After the youthful squad reached the Finals last year, GM Sam Presti does not want to tinker with their core-- he has already signed long term extensions with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and most-recently Serge Ibaka-- but has not extended James Harden, whose deal runs out at the end of the year.
As a small-market team, Presti does not want to fall deep into the luxury tax-- re-signing Harden would do just that. If he decides a trade is necessary, Phoenix is a perfect spot. They are looking for a star to build around in the post-Steve Nash era and Harden played his college ball nearby at Arizona State.
Phoenix gives up the more-effective Morris twin, Markieff. The 23 year old big man can bruise with the best of them and could make Kendrick Perkins's exorbitant contract expendable. The Thunder also receive two first round picks from the Suns.
The Wizards, working as facilitators for the deal, give up the high-flying Jan Vesely to Oklahoma City. The number 6 pick in the 2011 draft showed immense raw potential last season and would provide a nice spark off the bench.
The Wizards add talented wingman Wes Johnson, Georgetown product Hollis Thompson and a second round pick from Phoenix.
This might not be the star-laden deal Oklahoma City was looking for, but stabilizes their team in the present and adds promise for their future.
Indiana acquires: Eric Gordon ($13,668,750) and Greivis Vasquez ($1,191,240) and 2013 2nd round pick totaling $14,859,990.
New Orleans acquires: George Hill ($8,000,000), Paul George ($2,574,120), Jeff Pendergraph ($1,500,000) and a lottery protected 2014 1st round pick totaling $12,074,120.
After matching Phoenix's max-offer sheet for shooting guard Eric Gordon, he claimed to be unhappy with the direction of the Hornets franchise. Instead of adding front court depth with the tenth pick in the draft, New Orleans drafted talented shooting guard Austin Rivers. Though, they did add stud power forward Anthony Davis with the top pick.
After stretching the Heat to six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Indiana displayed their talent and depth. But once LeBron began taking over, it became clear that the Pacers lacked a bonafide star to dominate the ball.
Bringing Gordon back to Indiana, where he played college ball, would create one of the top guard-center combos in the league, pairing Gordon with 7-3 big man Roy Hibbert.
The Pacers all add starting-caliber point guard Greivis Vasquez to help run the powerful offense.
In return, the Hornets get rid of a bad apple for speedy point guard George Hill and lengthy wing Paul George and a first round pick. Hill proved he is capable of leading a playoff-team. The 26-year-old gets into the paint with ease and possesses a dangerous jump shot.
Small forward George exudes raw athletic prowess and should develop into an All-Star. The 22-year-old's body is still rounding out, growing two inches last season to a solid 6-10. He upped his scoring totals from 7.8 to 12.1 last season; expect these numbers to continue to grow. George also has the length to become a lockdown defender.
These additions should mesh perfectly with the youth movement in New Orleans and coincide well with Rivers and Davis, setting a strong foundation for the future.
Atlanta acquires:Chris Paul ($17,779,458) for $17,779,458
Los Angeles acquires: Jeff Teague ($2,433,077), John Jenkins ($1,204,560), Devin Harris ($8,500,000), Kyle Korver ($5,000,000), and three unprotected 1st round picks in 2013, 2015, 2017 spending $17,137,637
If, and only if, CP3 decides the Hollywood limelight isn't for him, the Clippers would be prudent to ship him for as much value as the league's best point guard is worth before he flees in free agency.
The Hawks have completely revamped their team, getting rid of the massive contracts of Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams for salary-friendly expiring contracts. They are looking to utilize these assets to lure a star to build around—and no, Josh Smith and Al Horford are not who they are talking about.
This addition will make Atlanta a team to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference. Imagine how much better their All-Star big men are with the league's top point guard feeding them the ball?
As usual, the Donald Sterling-owned franchise will be lose in the end and be decimated by the loss of their floor general. They receive the expiring contracts of Devin Harris and Kyle Korver, taking $13.5 million off the books after the season.
Diminutive point guard Jeff Teague has slowly developed into a good starter-- averaging 14 PPG and 5 AST. The Wake Forest product—following in CP3's footsteps—remains extremely elusive and sleek in the paint.
This year's first round pick John Jenkins poses many threats as a scorer from the shooting guard position. He should immediately be a rotational guy and should become a starter one day.
Los Angeles also receives three first round picks.
Brooklyn acquires: Dwight Howard ($19,536,360) for $19,536,360.
Los Angeles acquires: Brook Lopez ($13,668,750), MarShon Brooks ($1,160,040), Tyshawn Taylor ($473,604), two unprotected 1st round picks (2015, 2017) and two second round picks (2013,2014) totaling $15,302,394.
And we all thought we woke up from the Dwightmare... Howard finally seals his fate and decides he wants to play for the Nets. Is this scenario likely? No, but we can't put it past Mr. Howard.
Maybe he's sick at following Shaq's footsteps. Or he wants to make his own legacy, instead of constantly being compared to the plethora of great centers that wore the luscious Lakers yellow.
Brook Lopez is a very good center. He has soft touch around the basket and a wide array of scoring moves, but (sorry Shaq) he's no Dwight Howard. He is soft on defense.
Howard is a physical specimen that dominates the paint on both sides of the ball. He will immediately make the Nets a competitor with the Heat.
Without a doubt, the Nets would be thrilled to re-visit this trade. Deron Williams and Dwight would create the most unstoppable pick-and-roll combo since Stockton-Malone. And to make matters worse, they can kick it out to Joe Johnson for three.
The Lakers do acquire value in this deal, though. Lopez should be an All-Star in future years. Shooting guard MarShon Brooks is a sure-fire scorer and a should be a great sixth man this season; the second year guard has a killer instinct that would even make Kobe proud. They also receive a slew of picks to reload in the post-Kobe years.