NBA Trade Rumors: The Trade Gossip That Won't Go Away
While rosters for the 2012-13 NBA season are mostly complete, there are still some rumblings that simply won't go away that date back into the offseason.
Whether due to a rebuilding project, position clogging or simple ineffectiveness, the relationship between team and player is so fractured that it's probably best for both sides to part ways.
Nevertheless, at this point in the offseason, it's getting more and more difficult to find a taker. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the latest trade-related rumors and news flying around in the Association.
Lakers Trying to Get Rid of Chris Duhon and/or Steve Blake?
After years of having problems at point guard, the Lakers suddenly have a surplus of high-priced guards on the roster.
While the dollar figures likely aren't a huge cause of concern—the team does have a $100-million payroll, after all—the Lakers are open to moving both Steve Blake and Chris Duhon.
Via ESPN's Marc Stein:
Yet sources with knowledge of the Lakers' thinking say that the team is already trying to create a backcourt opening, having made it clear to the rest of the league that Chris Duhon and Steve Blake are available via trade to any interested party willing to absorb one of those contracts.
From a strict basketball standpoint, general manager Mitch Kupchak trying to move Blake and/or Duhon makes sense. Both are replacement-level guards making in the neighborhood of $4 million this season and will likely be battling over the same 15-20 minutes per game.
They are, for lack of better term, redundant players who serve little purpose at an exorbitant cost. Unfortunately for the Lakers, that's likely the reason they won't find too many takers on the open market.
Something may open up if a team gets desperate, but for now, it seems likely that Blake and Duhon will stick in Los Angeles.
Cavs Still Considering Dealing Varejao?
With the team still in full rebuild despite a young nucleus, it's not hard to see why the Cleveland Cavaliers would consider moving Anderson Varejao.
At 30 years old, the defensive stalwart still has plenty of value for teams looking to contend for championships in the next few years. The Cavs are not one of those teams.
As for what the team would look for in a trade for Varejao, it seems like general manager Chris Grant is looking to continue the youth emphasis.
Via the News-Herald's Bob Finnan:
Varejao, who is entering his ninth season with the Cavs, is the longest-tenured player on the roster. It wouldn't be easy to deal him, since he's popular with the fans and his teammates.
If the Cavs are able to acquire a first-round pick for him, in addition to a young prospect, they might pull the trigger.
Calderon Still on the Block in Toronto?
From the moment the Toronto Raptors traded for Kyle Lowry in the offseason, Jose Calderon's days with the franchise have been numbered.
However, general manager Bryan Colangelo was not able to make a move, which means this situation will last into the 2012-13 season. On the bright side, it seems that the team is keeping things on the up-and-up with its (ostensibly) former starting point guard.
Here is what Calderon said via Marca.com (translated via Google Translate):
It's true that they have said that I'm an important player for them this season, because they have thought of me like that from the beginning. However, Bryan (Colangelo) has said that I'm a candidate to be traded because I have a big contract and it's my last year. They have talked about this more than anything else.
Despite never becoming a perennial All-Star that some have hoped, Calderon is a solid shooter and is one of the five best open-court passers in the league. Considering his talent level and attractiveness as an expiring contract, it's a little shocking that some team hasn't made an amenable offer.
Nonetheless, expect the team and Calderon to continue walking the company line with niceties, but it's all just a front until an inevitable deal is completed.
Kevin Martin Not Bitter About Trade Rumors
As someone who has been on the trade block for the better part of a calendar year, you could understand why Kevin Martin wouldn't exactly have Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey on his Christmas card list.
Regardless, it seems like the shooting guard is in a far better state of mind about his spot on the block than this time a year ago.
Via the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen:
Martin said he was more anxious about where he would be traded this offseason than hoping to be moved. But when asked if he had requested a trade after the season, he would not be specific.
“You always go through mixed emotions,” Martin said. “The organization goes through mixed emotions. Things like that we’ll keep behind closed doors. I’m happy now. We’re good.”
For Martin, it would completely behoove him to play the good solider. With his contract expiring in the offseason and the Rockets in full rebuild mode, it's likely that his time in Houston is rapidly drawing to a close.
By saying all the right things, Martin is ingratiating himself with the Rockets, as well as avoiding a reputation as a bad seed heading into free agency.
Trade Rumors Weighed on Pierce's Mind Last Season?
By now, we all know the final result with the Boston Celtics. Instead of blowing things up like many expected and starting a rebuilding process around Rajon Rondo, the team decided to reload, bringing the band back together (other than Ray Allen) and taking a shot at the Miami Heat.
However, that doesn't mean the trade rumors from last season did not weigh on players in 2011-12. A subject of countless rumors last season (including a very prominent one involving the now-Brooklyn Nets, via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports).
When asked whether he thought he'd be playing for another team at some point last season, Pierce did not mince words.
Via CSN New England:
It really did cross my mind. The way last year went with the trade rumors, the possibility of me being traded the possibility of us rebuilding, it was hard not to think about it, sometimes it wears on you mentally because you can't know what your future is gonna be or what's gonna be your next step.