NBA Trade Rumors: Under-the-Radar Potential Moves
If there's anything that the Oklahoma City Thunder's trade of James Harden taught us, it's that this new collective bargaining agreement will undoubtedly reshape how NBA teams are built.
No longer will teams willingly overpay (or in the Thunder's case properly pay) their own players simply to keep them in the fold. Instead, they will either allow them to wade into the restricted free agency waters as we're seeing with the NBA draft class of 2009 currently, or better yet, trade them.
For that reason, expect a seemingly never-ending stream of rumors to be thrown around in the 2012-13 NBA season.
As for now, there are certain players that have been on the market for a while and some obvious teams that could target them. With that in mind, here are a few guys who could be on the move, along with some under-the-radar teams that could pull the trigger.
Rudy Gay (SF, Memphis Grizzlies)
The Memphis Grizzlies first-round exit from the playoffs last season can be attributed to cabal of things, but it was mostly injuries.
Nonetheless, those injury problems won't stop the incessant under-the-radar rumblings from some NBA pundits, who say that an on-court chemistry imbalance between Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph is at the true heart Memphis' problems.
Not helping those theories? The fact that the Grizzlies are still considering dealing Gay if the team struggles this season, according to Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy:
Dealing Gay, who is owed $53,666,790 over the next three years, may be considered. Gay’s name surfaced a lot this summer, and sources say he would be open to a trade. The general consensus around the league is that Memphis would be willing to move Gay if the right offer comes along.
As for teams that would be interested with that hefty price tag, you're looking at a few select squads. Gay is undoubtedly a good player who has the ability to be great at times, but you don't pay nearly $18 million per season for him in today's NBA.
The most obvious choice here is the Utah Jazz, but they would undoubtedly have to swing a three-way deal to make it happen.
Still, I highly doubt they'd have a hard time finding suitors for Al Jefferson.
Dominique Jones (SG, Dallas Mavericks)
For those wondering how highly the Dallas Mavericks think of 2010 first-round pick, all you have to do is look at his rotation minutes on opening night.
Despite being short-handed, Dominique Jones received his first "DNP-Coach's Decision" of the season in the Mavericks' 99-91 win against the Los Angeles Lakers.
That should come as no shock—especially considering Jones was on the trade block, per to ESPN's Marc Stein and Tim MacMahon:
The Mavericks have been shopping 2010 first-round pick Dominique Jones without success, according to league sources, which means that the release of guard Delonte West remains the most likely roster moving coming from the team later Monday.
Dallas' inability to find a taker isn't exactly shocking. Jones has played in just 51 games in his young career, shooting a paltry 36.4 percent rate.
Regardless, shooting guard depth across the league isn't exactly high. All it takes is an injury in one team's already-thin backcourt to make a deal happen.
Don't look for Jones to stick on the Mavericks' roster for much of the season.
Tyreke Evans (SG, Sacramento Kings)
Seemingly on the block for the entire offseason, Tyreke Evans' name simply won't go away in trade talks.
With an extension agreement out of the question and the Sacramento Kings having redundancy at so many positions, it's not exactly unreasonable that he's still available, via Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy:
Evans’ name started to appear in trade rumors over the offseason and, if the Kings no longer see him as a cornerstone of their franchise, they may decide to move him and build around their other young stars such as DeMarcus Cousins and Thomas Robinson. Evans is still an attractive trade chip because he’s young and his best basketball is likely still ahead of him.
As Kennedy states, the Kings wouldn't have much problem dealing Evans, as teams still covet his talent.
Though the overall kinks of a deal obviously have to be worked out, my favorite out-of-the-box possibility is the Detroit Pistons. If Sacramento would take a future guaranteed lottery pick (not dissimilar to the Toronto Raptors' trade for Kyle Lowry), the Pistons would have an intriguing young roster.
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