Trade talk continues to heat up around the NBA. As teams become more aware of their shortcomings, the need for trades will rise. Players like Pau Gasol and Andrea Bargnani are already being tossed around the rumor mill.
Even though nothing sounds truly imminent right now, it seems like once the first chip falls, more trade action will follow suit. It all depends on when teams become willing to break up their rosters with hopes of an upgrade or an eye on the future.
With that in mind, let's take a glance at some of the latest trade fodder making the rounds and examine what it means for the teams and players involved.
Will the Lakers trade Gasol before the deadline?
No player has been involved in more trade rumors over the past few seasons than Gasol. His down numbers and injury issues early this season have only added fuel to that fire as the Los Angeles Lakers continue to underperform.
Despite those struggles, David Aldridge of NBA.com reports the Lakers still want to see their entire lineup on the floor together for awhile before making any major moves. They remain hopeful that Steve Nash's eventual return will turn things around.
It makes sense. The Lakers certainly have enough talent already to contend in the Western Conference, so being patient is smart. If there isn't an obvious uptick in production from Gasol once Nash returns, however, then it will be time to start getting serious about trades.
Like Gasol, Bargnani has been slowed by an injury but remains a popular trade target. The first overall pick in 2006 is averaging 16 points and four rebounds this season, which is a sharp drop from two years ago when he averaged 21 points.
That has caused the Toronto Raptors to float him in trade circles, according to Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. They haven't found any teams willing to take a chance on him this early in the season, though.
Bargnani is the type of player who will probably generate more interest as the deadline nears and teams become more desperate to fill a need. He still has some upside if placed into the right system, but his value has clearly taken a hit.
After a breakout campaign that saw him post 13 points and nine rebounds per game, Ilyasova was targeted by several teams during the offseason before re-signing with the Milwaukee Bucks. He hasn't been able to match those numbers this season.
Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk passes along a report that states Ilyasova remains a coveted trade option, even though his numbers have dipped. The Brooklyn Nets are the team most interested in adding him, as it stands now.
The reason Ilyasova hasn't been as effective is a shooting slump. His field-goal percentage has dropped nearly 10 points, and his three-point percentage is down 15 points. If he can find his shooting rhythm again, he would be a nice addition for Brooklyn.