The 2012-13 NBA season is rolling right along, and so far the amount of transactions has been kept to a minimum. We expect that could change in the coming weeks, as teams start to panic and make deals in an attempt to salvage their seasons.
These types of mid-season deals can have a significant impact on the fortunes of a franchise, and one of the main players being rumored to be on the block could change the destiny of more than one club if he’s traded.
Let’s take a look at who that is and a few more players that might be on the move soon in today’s rumor roundup.
Pau Gasol Talk
We’ve all heard it by now, but the Lakers brass just doesn’t seem sure on how to go about this undesirable situation of their star PF not fitting into new head coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense.
D’Antoni is vehemently denying the rumors that Gasol isn’t a fit and may be traded, according to Janis Carr of The Orange County Register.
There’s no reason why he can’t fit in. Ideally, do you want a guy like Jessie Owens who can run? Yeah, maybe. But he’s a big part of what we’re going to do and it’s going to take him, like everyone else, time to get up to snuff, (to learn) that change of possessions is ‘go’ and that we don’t meander, we run. It takes everyone a while to get that kind of mindset.
However, Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times has noted that the Lakers are only holding off on putting a “For Sale” sign on Gasol until Steve Nash returns to the lineup.
If the Spaniard struggles with the Hall of Fame PG running the offense, then it will be time for the panic button to be pressed and a serious trade to be considered.
Raja Bell Likes L.A.
While Gasol struggles to fit in with the Lakers, there is one player that would love to join the team and has already proved himself in D’Antoni’s system.
That is none other than Raja Bell, who hasn’t seen a minute of floor time for the Utah Jazz in 2012-13 after falling out of favor with coach Tyrone Corbin last spring.
According to Shams Charania of RealGM.com, Bell’s people have indicated that the guard wants to go to L.A. and would if given the choice.
Raja Bell's camp continues to play the waiting game and stresses he'd love to end up w/ #Lakers, but succinct path to L.A. has a ways to go.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 27, 2012
Bell is owed approximately $3.5 million for the current season and is a free agent in the summer. The Jazz would love to shed the salary and acquire a talented, useable piece for their roster, but may end up having to just buy the 36-year-old out.
If that happens, expect the Lakers to clear a roster spot for the crafty veteran.
Amar’e Stoudemire Fine in New York
There was some talk that the Knicks should consider trading STAT due to their early-season success, but the star PF’s willingness to ride the bench proves he’s a valuable team player worth keeping around.
According to ESPN New York’s Ian Begley, a source close to Stoudemire had this to say about the role the big man wants to play upon his return:
"All he cares about right now is helping the team and winning," said the source. "He'd be fine with coming off the bench if that's what they want."
If Carmelo Anthony and Stoudemire can’t work together on the floor at the same time, it might be beneficial for coach Mike Woodson to use his oft injured, max-contract player in a sixth-man role.
We’ll let you know what happens as STAT gets closer to a return over these next two weeks.
Keep it tuned here on B/R for the latest rumors, news and more pertinent NBA information.