NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Chatter Regarding Potential Bargaining Chips
It's hard to even go holiday shopping online without accidentally clicking on a link to yet another NBA trade rumor involving Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol.
The Lakers' early-season struggles have only added to the swarm of rumors surrounding the veteran power forward. The current reality is that Gasol likely won't be moved until the front office gets a look at the squad with a healthy Steve Nash running the show.
But outside of Hollywood, there are plenty of other potential movers and bargaining chips being featured in serious trade rumors.
Here we'll break down some of the latest NBA trade chatter.
Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon
The Toronto Raptors are off to a rough start this season once again, and are looking to make a move according to ESPN.com NBA insider Marc Stein: "Numerous front-office sources describe the Raptors as the team, more than any other on the NBA map, most motivated to make a deal."
Two of the big names being mentioned around Toronto are Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon. Bargnani, the former No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, has been suffering from elbow and wrist injuries this December, while the veteran Calderon has been struggling equally as much, shooting just 42.6 percent from the field.
With Bargnani injured and struggling right now, it seems the Raptors will have to wait to move him. According to Stein, both the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks would be interested in bringing on Calderon if they had the assets necessary to do so.
The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly have a high asking price for veteran big man Anderson Varejao according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein:
The Cavs, sources say, want multiple young assets in return for the 30-year-old, who is averaging 14.3 points and 14.8 rebounds and possesses a very manageable contract that calls for Varejao to receive $9.1 million next season with a $9.8 million team option in 2014-15.
The Brazilian power forward has been playing stellar basketball to begin the 2012-13 season, and is only making it harder for himself to escape Cleveland. Not that he's wrong to play hard night in and night out.
After all, Varejao has yet to express any desire to be traded.
It's still too early to label former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams a bust, but thus far his time in Minnesota with the Timberwolves has been underwhelming to say the least.
This from Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears:
"They will move him in a heartbeat if they could," one rival team executive said. "I don't think the coaches are that high on him. You have to get something for him now because the longer he sits, the more people think he can't play."
Williams is averaging 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for his young career, and has yet to turn out any stretch of consistent play.
It's hard to imagine too many teams having interest in him given his disappointing play with the T-Wolves since being drafted in 2011. Still, the potential for the 6'8", undersized power forward to become a consistent producer in a team's starting lineup exists, making him a piece worth trading for.
With Williams' teammate Kevin Love unsure about his future in Minnesota, perhaps the former Arizona Wildcat will become a bargaining chip in a potential Love deal.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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