NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz Around the Association
The beginning of the NBA trade period is Dec. 15 and a number of players are on the block, but specifics and locations are only starting to be mentioned.
We're going to take a look at five players rumored to be on the block and determine which teams may be interested in them at this early juncture in the season.
Both Pau Gasol and Josh Smith have been mentioned in trade rumors dating back into last season, but it will take the right move for the Lakers or Hawks to move either player, and the same holds true for the Cavs' Brazilian big man.
Let's take a look at five guys who could find themselves on a new team once the trading period commences.
Varejao's mobility helps tremendously on both ends.
With Anderson Varejao's age and outstanding performance this year, it doesn't make much sense that he remains in Cleveland.
But the Cavs are only going to deal him for the right package. The asking price for a 14-point, 14-rebound per game big man is going to be high, and it's quite likely that GMs around the league try to undercut the Cavaliers.
The Plain Dealer cites the Oklahoma City Thunder as a potential trade partner, given that they have both the picks and the need for Varejao.
Would Anderson make a good fit in OKC? Yes. His speed would be useful in defensive rotations and his hustle infectious. Kevin Durant has done an excellent job on the boards this season, but having the Brazilian big in the middle would allow Durant to focus more on doing what he does best—scoring.
Gasol may be on his way out of LA
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Sources close to the Lakers stress that LA doesn't want to move Pau Gasol until Steve Nash is back, if they do at all. That means the Lakers may have trouble making a run at Josh Smith, a deal that has been discussed since August, according to Anthony Riccobono of the International Business Times.
Ultimately, it seems that the Lakers may be best letting Gasol and Howard develop as a tandem. There's a lot of untapped potential there still, and Gasol's high-post passing could be a great thing for Howard's play around the basket.
Gasol has the ability to facilitate the offense from 15 feet and outwards, and the Lakers have the shooters to make it work with Kobe Bryant, Antawn Jamison, Metta World Peace, Jodie Meeks, Devin Ebanks and eventually, Steve Nash.
Still, if Mitch Kupchak can manage to bring back Josh Smith, it might be hard not to pull the trigger.
Could we see Smith is C's green?
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No specific teams have been mentioned in pursuit of Josh Smith yet, but Danny Ferry chose not to let the contract issue with Smith be resolved until the summer. He still wants to retain Smith, but the Celtics have long been eying Smith, as he is a friend of Rajon Rondo's.
Over the summer, A. Sherrod Blakely reported via Twitter any deal to the Hawks would have to include Brandon Bass.
Andrew Silva of Hardwood Houdini writes of the pressing need the C's have for Smith. Silva cites the defensive possibilities of a lineup that features Rondo, Avery Bradley, Paul Pierce, Josh Smith and Kevin Garnett. The fast break potential of a Smith-Rondo duo is tantalizing.
Is it possible Danny Ainge finds a way to make this happen?
Is Williams a 3 or a 4?
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Derrick Williams is rumored to be on the block, according to Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld, but Kyler cites the fact that Williams has only a $4.8 million contract that isn't going to net a lot of value in return.
In addition to that, Williams has been something of a bust as the former No. 2 overall pick. Coming out of Arizona, scouts felt Williams' athleticism and ability to play both forward slots would help him in the Association.
It turns out he has been more of an athletic tweener, and a guy who just can't find his way in the NBA. His shooting has been erratic and his best games in his NBA career have come during the preseason.
Gortat is trying to see beyond the desert.
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Another team that has been mentioned in addition to the three I mentioned is the Chicago Bulls, but that makes little sense with Joakim Noah there. Noah is a better player than Gortat in most respects and it doesn't seem likely that the Bulls employ a twin-tower lineup.
Which city would make the most sense of Dallas, Orlando, Boston and Chicago?
The Celtics provide the best chance at a ring outside of the Bulls, and unless Gortat wanted to reunite with his former team down in Orlando (which isn't really his former team at all with everyone except Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick gone). Or join Mark Cuban in Dallas.
Doc Rivers would best be able to utilize the "Polish Hammer" down low, as Darko Milicic is gone for the season and the C's still have little depth at center.