Predicting Which NBA Players Will Finish 2012-13 in a Different Uniform
As the regular season progresses, potential trades are starting to come into focus. All potential transactions would significantly change the landscape of the league.
With about a fifth of the season played, general managers are starting to get a feel for their respective teams. This means that GM's around the league will be looking to tinker with their current roster, as any move could make the difference between a playoff berth and getting sent home early.
Predicting trades in the NBA is tricky business, as the motives of GM's change depending on their team's play and future outlook.
Each year the trading deadline shapes the future of multiple franchises and that will be the case again this season, as the following players will be traded.
All statistics came from ESPN.com and are current as of December 5th, 2012.
Paul Milsap has been one of the NBA's most underrated player for years, as he has been the model of consistency at the power forward position since the 2010 season.
All good things must come to an end, and that includes Milsap's tenure with the Utah Jazz.
Over the past three seasons Milsap has anchored one of the NBA's most reliable frontcourts, as he and starting center Al Jefferson have kept the Jazz relevant in the Western Conference.
So far this season, MIlsap has averaged 13.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
According to an article written by Ian Thomsen of SI.com, Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey did not make a commitment to the team's current starting frontcourt, as he said:
The possibilities are always there. Is it realistic? We'll find out in time.
While the Jazz could just as easily trade Jefferson instead of Milsap, it would make more sense for them to deal Milsap due to the big men in the rotation behind them.
Derrick Favors is more ready to join the starting lineup than Enes Kanter, as the ex-Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket has been in the league longer.
If the Jazz deal Milsap, Favors would be able to slide into the starting lineup without much problem. On the other hand, Kanter needs more experience before he will be ready to assume the starting center spot.
Milsap is also in the final season of his contract, so the Jazz risk losing him for nothing if they don't trade him.
Everything points to Milsap getting traded, which is why it will become a reality at some point in 2013.
Anderson Varejao is leading the NBA in rebounding this season, as he has been one of the few bright spots for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While Varejao is in the midst of a dominant season, that has not been enough to make the Cavs competitive in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers are 4-15, which means their season is essentially over in early December.
Cleveland has no chance to qualify for the playoffs, so they will continue to look toward the future. Dion Waiters has looked great at times this season, and Kyrie Irving has the potential to be the league's best point guard and they will be joined by another lottery pick after this season.
Varejao's excellent season has increased his trade stock, which will greatly benefit the Cavs if/when they choose to move him.
Pau Gasol has been rumored in trade talks for years, and he would be a member of the Houston Rockets had NBA commissioner David Stern not vetoed the Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers trade in 2011.
At the end of the 2012 postseason the overriding opinion was that Gasol would be traded in the offseason. The Lakers then did the unthinkable, as they somehow traded for Steve Nash and Dwight Howard which restored them as title contenders once again.
Most assumed that the Lakers new super-team would flourish from the start but that hasn't been the case.
Steve Nash was injured in the team's second game and has not played since, which has aided in the Lakers' poor start.
Gasol is being used as the scapegoat for the Lakers slow start, as rumors have surfaced that the only reason he is still with the team is due to a promise that the organization made to Nash.
Even when Nash does return from injury, it will take time for the Lakers to progress into the team that their fans expect them to be. The pressure to win will force the Lakers front office to move Gasol, as change will be viewed as the the solution to the team's trouble.
Jose Calderon has been on the trading block since the Toronto Raptors acquired Kyle Lowry during the offseason. Many teams across the league would be better off if they employed Calderon, as his court vision is amongst the best in the league.
Calderon has started seven games for the Raptors this season, as he subbed in for Lowry when he was out with a foot injury. In his seven starts, Calderon averaged 11.8 assists, although the Raptors only won two of those games.
It's hard to believe that Calderon is not better than some of the league's starting point guards, as he has proven throughout his seven-year career that he can be a good facilitator.
Calderon is in the final year of his contract, which could make him an attractive option for a team looking to free up future cap space.
The Orlando Magic have performed admirably in their first season without Dwight Howard, but their current team does not have a chance at qualifying for the playoffs.
Without Howard, the Magic have needed other veterans to step up, and J.J. Redick has responded.
Redick is a dark horse to win the Sixth Man of the Year Award, as he has averaged 13.9 points, 5.1 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game coming off the bench.
The Duke alumni has also become a decent defender, which has made him a much better all-around player.
Redick is one of the league's best players from behind the arc and the free throw line, which will endear him to potential suitors.
The Magic should move Redick because they are trying to build up their future assets, as the organization will not be championship contenders for at least a couple of years.
Redick is a solid veteran in the final season of his contract, so Magic GM Rob Hennigan will field a considerable amount of phone calls regarding Redick's availability.