NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz Around the League

Brett David RobertsCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2012

NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz Around the League

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    Two days past the Dec. 15th trade date opening, Pau Gasol and Anderson Varejao rumors are still circulating, but no trades have been consummated yet.

    The Lakers are struggling badly at just 11-14, but they have won two straight now. Could improved play silence the chatter of Pau Gasol rumors?

    Or, will the improvement only intensify speculation as the team looks to regain Steve Nash and possibly make a run with an altered roster?

    The Cavaliers have come out and addressed what they will want in return for Brazilian center Anderson Varejao, and suitors are lining up for him.

    Let's take a look at the fate of Gasol, Varejao and a few other notables in our latest NBA Trade Buzz.

Anderson Varejao to Minnesota Timberwolves?

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    It's a bit perplexing to hear the Timberwolves in the running for two different big men, but Anderson Varejao is reported to be the first of the two mentioned in this slideshow.  Ethan Grant of Bleacher Report wrote that the acquisition of Varejao would make the most sense for the T-Wolves.

    It's difficult to determine why the Wolves want to add a center when they already have Nikola Pekovic. Pekovic led the NBA in points in the paint per-minute last season and has continued to get better each season he's been in the league.

    Anderson Varejao is 30, and the Timberwolves may still be a few seasons away from being contenders.

    With regard to the Cavs, ESPN's Marc Stein reports they want "multiple young assets" in return. As to the quality of those assets, the Wolves would likely be sending Pekovic and Derrick Williams in exchange.

    The real issue, though, is whether or not Varejao is an upgrade over Pek at all. Pek is just about to turn 27, which will give the Wolves more time before he hits his prime. They need that time to develop, as Ricky Rubio is just in his sophomore season and has a lot to learn as an NBA point guard.

Pau Gasol to Minnesota Timberwolves?

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    Pau Gasol is the second big man the Timberwolves are said to be expressing an interest in according to Marc Stein of ESPN.  This one makes slightly more sense, but only because of the fact the Wolves have his country mate Ricky Rubio. 

    What is hard to fathom is how the Wolves believe adding Pau Gasol would make them contenders when Pekovic has been outplaying Gasol all season long.  Gasol is averaging a career low 12.6 points per game, while Pekovic is averaging a career high 15.3. Further details on why obtaining Gasol would weaken the Timberwolves are detailed in the piece I wrote a week ago for Bleacher Report

    There's no reason to believe that putting Gasol in Minnesota would revitalize his career, but David Kahn may roll the dice on it.

Pau Gasol to Indiana Pacers?

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    Ben Bolch of the L.A. Times drew up five trade scenarios, but one of the five that made the most sense was the idea of the Indiana Pacers making a push for Pau Gasol.

    Bolch suggested the Pacers trade David West, Jeff Pendergraph and D.J. Augustin for Gasol.

    The move would help both teams. The Pacers need a 4-man like Gasol who can facilitate more for Roy Hibbert. Gasol's skill set would help further with the lack of a dominant point guard in Indiana. When Danny Granger finally did return, the Pacers would have two All-Stars on the roster and also a future All-Star in Paul George.

Jose Calderon to the Dallas Mavericks?

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    Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Mavericks were interested in Jose Calderon but didn't have the moving pieces to make the trade work.

    Why are the Mavs interested in Calderon? Do they really hate the idea of playing Derek Fisher that much?

    Darren Collison is truly the point of the future in Dallas, but the Mavericks must not be thinking that they want Fisher to be his mentor. The real reason couldn't be because they think Calderon would push the club from being a middling .500 team to a contender.

Who Will Give the Utah Jazz What They Want for Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson?

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    "It's a working assumption in front offices all over the league that the Jazz will trade Jefferson or Millsap for a front-line point guard at some point in the next 10 weeks."

    -Marc Stein, ESPN

    The Jazz got themselves in this mess. They already knew they had a strong power forward and center, and then they went out and drafted two more. The Jazz were already rostering Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. They then traded for Georgia Tech power forward Derrick Favors and drafted Turkish center Enes Kanter.

    And now that Jefferson and Millsap's contracts are expiring, one of them will be traded for a point guard.

    As to why the Jazz just didn't draft a point guard like Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight to prevent this unnecessary step is anyone's guess. Nonetheless, the Jazz are not planning on using the 30-year-old (in two days from now) Mo Williams at point guard indefinitely.

    Landing a top-tier point guard in exchange for either Millsap or Jefferson may be hard, as there really aren't any teams in the association with an extra elite floor general to throw off in favor of a big man.