NBA Rumors: Breaking Down the Latest League-Wide Chatter
The 2012-13 NBA season is only a quarter of the way through its schedule, but don't tell that to the league's rumor mill. It seems like every night there are storylines crashing against one another, creating conjecture and buzz around the league about possible roster moves in the offing.
So far, we haven't seen much action on those rumors. The James Harden trade came just prior to the season, and the actual transactions have been a little lacking since.
However, with teams gathering more information about their rosters every night, that won't be the case for long. With that in mind, here is a look at all the latest rumors floating around the Association.
Wizards and D-League Star Ben Uzoh a Match?
As the days tick by and losses add up, the Washington Wizards' 2012-13 campaign is looking more like a lost cause every second. Star point guard John Wall hasn't touched the floor this season, and there's no concrete word on a timetable for a return.
Without Wall, the Wizards have relied on a stable of rotating guards, most notably A.J. Price. Well, to make a bad situation even worse, Price will be out the next four to six weeks with a broken hand, according to The Washington Post's Michael Lee, leaving the team bereft again at point guard.
To remedy that, it looks like Washington is considering a D-League signing. According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears, the Wizards worked out Springfield Armor guard Ben Uzoh on Sunday:
D-League Springfield guard Ben Uzoh is working out for the Washington Wizards today, a source told Y!. He is averaging 17.8 pts for Armor.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) December 9, 2012
Uzoh was last seen in a late-season stint with the Toronto Raptors last season, when he averaged 4.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 16 games (including eight starts) with the team. Those aren't special numbers, but Uzoh has looked strong this season in the D-League and can provide a warm body off the bench.
Plus, can he really be worse than what Washington already has at the position?
Erick Dampier a Possibility in Boston?
While the Boston Celtics aren't hitting the panic button like their biggest rivals out in Los Angeles, it's become apparent that the team has glaring deficiencies—particularly on the boards. The Celtics average just 38.3 rebounds per game, good for last in the NBA by nearly a full rebound.
With a roster spot available, it's likely that the team will make a move to shore up its frontcourt depth in the near future. According to The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn, one player Boston has considered to fill that void is Erick Dampier:
[Kenyon] Martin is one of many veterans — including Mike Bibby, Gilbert Arenas, Erick Dampier, and Troy Murphy — waiting for another NBA chance. According to an NBA source, the Celtics have considered bringing in Dampier for a look.
Yes, that is the same Dampier who essentially showed up in Atlanta last season just to collect a paycheck. He scored just two points in 15 regular-season games, good for 0.1 points per game, and grabbed an average of 1.7 rebounds a night.
Look, I know the free-agent market isn't the best for big men. Simply put, though, Boston can do better than Dampier.
Kings Looking To Make a Move?
Though they are riding high on a three-game winning streak, the 2012-13 season is heading nowhere fast for the Sacramento Kings. DeMarcus Cousins hasn't taken an expected leap in his third season, Tyreke Evans is seemingly stuck in mediocrity purgatory, and first-round pick Thomas Robinson has essentially disappeared from the rotation.
With a questionable (at best) personnel set, changes will be needed before anything improves. That's likely why the team is willing to part with some of its young assets, according to Fox Sports' Sam Amico:
Kings are very open to moving some of their nice young pieces. Willing trade partner with assets.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) December 7, 2012
The most obvious pieces that could be on the move are in the backcourt. Aaron Brooks and Isaiah Thomas are the ultimate practice in redundancy at point guard, but Evans and Jimmer Fredette are the guys most likely to leave town.
Both have been subject to trade rumors for months, and there are still some teams that believe in their development. If the Kings are interested in rebuilding a roster that makes some sort of basketball sense, it's time to cut the cord on blown draft picks and look toward the future.
Derrick Williams Unhappy with Playing Time, 'Inquired' About Possible Trade?
Since Kevin Love returned to the Minnesota Timberwolves lineup, Derrick Williams suddenly had to make the transition from NBA starter to barely being in Rick Adelman's rotation. The second-year forward hasn't played more than 20 minutes in a game since Love's return and has been a healthy scratch in four of Minnesota's past nine games.
Considering he was the No. 2 pick in the 2011 draft, it's safe to say Williams is displeased with these developments. According to 1500ESPN, Williams' agent, Rob Pelinka, is so frustrated with his client's lack of playing time that he asked the team about a possible trade:
According to a team source, Pelinka has voiced his displeasure with Williams' lack of playing time. He hasn't gone as far as to request a trade, but he has inquired about the possibility that one will come.
Obviously, inquiring about a possible trade is different than asking for one. It's doubtful that it matters. Williams is buried in the rotation behind love and Andrei Kirilenko, Minnesota's two best healthy players, and the team needs help in the backcourt.
If Williams can be traded for a starter-worthy wing or as part of a package for a superstar, the Timberwolves will pull the trigger.
Pau Gasol Not Going Anywhere for Now?
It pretty much goes without saying this has been the worst quarter-season stretch of Pau Gasol's storied career. The 32-year-old forward is averaging drastic career lows in points per game (12.6) and shooting percentage (42.0) and has been largely seen as the weak spot in the Lakers offense since Mike D'Antoni took over as head coach.
By now, we all know that's led to cascades of trade conjecture. Nevertheless, it doesn't appear that the team will be making its second panic move of the season by moving the All-Star. According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the Lakers have no plans on moving the injured star anytime soon:
With incessant chatter continuing about whether sidelined star Pau Gasol will be traded, here's the good news for the veteran forward: it doesn't appear he's going anywhere anytime soon.
Does that mean it won't happen eventually? Of course not. If the team is still flailing when Steve Nash and Gasol turn to the lineup, the organization will need its next scapegoat. Spoiler: It's going to be Gasol.
For now, let's just back away from the crazy pills and allow the situation to play itself out.