NBA Trade Rumors: 5 Teams Looking to Make Last-Minute Trades
With less than one month remaining before training camps open across the NBA, the excitement for the 2012-13 season is starting to get palatable.
It's likely you've already weighed your League Pass options, have thoroughly studied your favorite team's roster and talked yourself into a championship run this year.
Don't look now, but some of those names you were studying could be on the move before the season starts. Some of these teams and names have been on the block all offseason—others not so much.
Here is a look at all of those teams and which players could be on the move before we kick off the 2012-13 NBA season.
(Note: While I'll mainly be focusing on analysis and reasoning in this piece, much credit goes to Hoopsworld's Steve Kyler for providing the basis of the article in the piece hyperlinked to his name.)
San Antonio Spurs
Player Likely to be Traded: Forward/Center DeJuan Blair
For those who regularly follow the NBA trade rumor winds, Blair's name is completely familiar. Once a shining star of the Spurs franchise—viewed as yet another second-round gem plucked by general manager R.C. Buford—Blair has seemingly lost his place within the franchise.
After starting 62 games for San Antonio in the 2011-12 season, averaging 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per night playing alongside Tim Duncan, Blair was almost completely discarded in the team's playoff run.
The former Pitt Panther averaged just 7.6 minutes per game while playing in just 10 contests and saw his rotational spot given to Boris Diaw. With the French forward re-signed in San Antonio for two more years, there are likely many more DNP (coach's decision) nights in Blair's future.
But for a team looking to add a 23-year-old big, Blair could probably be had relatively cheaply. A super protected first-round choice or two high second-rounders would probably do the trick.
For a guy who has done nothing but excel at the NBA level so far, that's a small price to pay.
Player Likely to be Traded: PF Tyrus Thomas
A not-so-secret secret: The Bobcats desperately want to rid themselves of Thomas—so desperately that if a team has an albatross contract siphoning a ton of cap space, Charlotte should be the first call.
The only problem is that teams haven't exactly been falling over their iPhones looking for general manager Rich Cho's number to make an offer.
I'll tread the line here, but to say Thomas has some personality issues is more than a mild understatement. He's had numerous clashes with coaches throughout his career, most recent of which was a well-documented altercation (via Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski) with former Bobcats coach Paul Silas last season.
Thomas is largely seen as a lethargic talent, a guy who has gotten by in the NBA using his incredible physical gifts while putting little in the actual, you know, becoming-a-better-player department.
The 26-year-old is coming off of his worst career season—he averaged just 5.6 points per game while shooting 36.7 percent from the field. Thomas' 9.06 PER from 2011—a metric that historically overrates big men—was good for just 309th in the NBA out of 352 eligible players.
His physical gifts are unbelievable, but with three years and $26 million remaining on his contract, it'll take an awfully brave front office to take a chance on Thomas.
Player Likely to be Traded: SG Kevin Martin
We are still in the 2012 NBA offseason, so a trade rumors piece just wouldn't feel right without the Rockets.
Losers in both the Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum sweepstakes this offseason, it's likely that Houston will focus on a full rebuild this season. With first-round pick Jeremy Lamb waiting in the wings, that rebuild will likely happen without Martin.
The 29-year-old guard is entering the final year of his contract and could be a worthwhile rental for a playoff contender. Even in a down 2011-12 campaign, Martin still averaged 17.1 points per game and was consistently strong from beyond the three-point line.
Martin has also been on the trade block for a full calendar year. He was headed to New Orleans in the infamously vetoed Chris Paul trade to the Los Angeles Lakers and was rumored to be headed anywhere within the contiguous 48 states as part of a Howard/Bynum acquisition.
It'd be pretty fair to say his relationship with the franchise has soured a bit. With an attractive expiring contract and a replacement waiting, Martin is almost a guarantee to be gone by February's trade deadline.
Nevertheless, the sooner this situation is resolved, the better it is for both sides.
Player Likely to be Traded: PG Jose Calderon
Like Martin, Calderon's name has seemingly been on the trade block forever. Unlike Martin, there are seemingly very few teams willing to part with anything of substance to land the 30-year-old point guard.
Quite frankly, that's a little baffling. A revelation when he broke out in 2007-08, Calderon was looked at as a potential Spanish Steve Nash. With an unbelievable knack for making the right pass in the open court and knocking down open jumpers, the comparisons weren't exactly far-fetched.
But Calderon wasn't Nash. His progress quickly plateaued right around the time of the point guard revolution, and he's been an afterthought for the past couple of years.
That time has allowed Calderon to become underrated.
Kyle Lowry was brought in to take the Spaniard's place, so it's back to the bench. For Calderon, that change should be (and likely is) unsettling. He's good enough to start, and there are still some point guard-needy teams out there that would benefit from his acquisition.
If there's a way that one of those contenders can swing the financial end of the deal (Calderon is due $10.6 million next season, the last year of his deal with Toronto), calling the Raptors and swinging a deal should be a no-brainer.
Player Likely to be Traded: PG/SG Daniel Gibson
Anyone else remember when Boobie was a breakout revelation coming off the Cavs bench a couple of years ago? Well, that's what we in NBA analytics like to call the "LeBron James boost."
Gibson's two years playing without James have been a slow decline from semi-valuable microwave scorer to complete liability. The 26-year-old guard shot just 35.1 percent from the floor last season, and his 39.6 percent clip from beyond the arc was the second-worst of his career.
With few other requisite skills in his repertoire, Gibson will need a vast improvement next season. However, many of his minutes will now be sent No. 4 pick Dion Waiters' way, leaving many to wonder whether that bounce-back season will happen in Cleveland.
At a tradeable $4.7 million salary in 2012-13, it might be better for both sides if it doesn't.
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