In the NBA, there are always players who everyone expects to get traded. Most of them never do, but the buzz around them still never stops.
Fans always want to see a blockbuster trade go down, and the type of buzz and excitement it generates around both teams involved is intensified by the star power of the players involved. James Harden being sent to the Houston Rockets was the biggest trade we have seen so far in this NBA season, but we may not be done seeing high-caliber stars switch teams.
There are plenty of hot trade targets out there right now, and each has plenty of buzz surrounding his situation. Some look as if they will be gone any minute, while the buzz around others looks like much ado about nothing.
The Milwaukee Bucks took a gamble during the 2011-12 season when they sent off Andrew Bogut to get Monta Ellis as a backcourt running mate for Brandon Jennings. However, the potential for the gamble to come back and bite them could lead to the Bucks trading away Ellis sooner rather than later.
According to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, it is well known that Ellis will likely choose to exercise his Early Termination Option so that he can become an unrestricted free agent in 2013. The 27-year-old guard would be leaving $11 million on the table, but it would probably be worth it to him to be able to sign with a contender.
If that is what Ellis is planning to do, the Bucks cannot afford to let him go for nothing. I would bet on him being traded before the deadline on February 21st, but to who is still a mystery at this point.
After losing his starting point guard spot during the 2011-12 season, Tyreke Evans struggled to find his place for the Sacramento Kings. Those struggles led to the Kings not extending a contract extension to Evans, who will now become a restricted free agent after the 2012-13 season.
However, there may still be hope for Evans in Sacramento. Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee writes that Evans is embracing his new role as the Kings’ starting shooting guard, attacking the basket like Coach Keith Smart wants.
This is the best news that has come out of Sacramento on Evans in a long time. His talent has never been a question, but he also never really fit as the point guard there. Now that he has a role he is more suited for, he may be in Sacramento for much longer than one would have anticipated a few weeks ago.
However, it's important to note that Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee previously reported that Evans could be traded, and given that he's now an expiring contract, that's still very much a real possibility.
Another player that Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld identifies as a hot trade target is Anderson Varejao of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The power forward is in the prime of his career, and he is showing it so far during the 2012-13 NBA season.
Varejao is averaging 13.7 points, 15 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game so far in this young season. He has been a huge bright spot for Cleveland, who received numerous calls about him in the offseason, per Kennedy.
His production so far this season could make him a borderline All-Star, so it would not be shocking if the Cavaliers kept Varejao. However, the team has quite a bit of young talent in the low post that needs playing time. Varejao’s presence keeps those players on the sidelines, but it also provides them with a solid mentor.
If a team grants the Cavaliers an offer that they cannot refuse, they probably won’t. But if no one can give them more youth or draft picks to build with, Varejao will likely remain a Cavalier.
After being a major part of the San Antonio Spurs’ rotation during the 2011-12 regular season, DeJuan Blair saw his role virtually disappear during the 2012 playoffs. His stretch of not making it off the bench has continued into the 2012-13 season.
As outlined by Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News, Blair tweeted about his tendency to not get subbed in by Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. He made it clear that he was not surprised by his benching in the Spurs first game of the season.
It will be interesting to see whether the Spurs hold on to Blair or not as the 2012-13 season moves forward. He was previously on the trade block, and he could wind up there again.