The holidays are always a special time throughout the NBA. The league's Christmas Day games have become a staple on par with the NFL's Thanksgiving extravaganza, and contenders truly begin to shine as we pass the quarter mark of the season.
It's also a time where the trade rumor mill starts heating up the coals for its February firestorm. While there are no deals imminent at this time, it's the groundwork laid in December and January that finally brings deals to actuality around the deadline.
Every once in a while, a blockbuster comes through when we're least expecting it and shakes the league's foundation. Yes, I'm looking at you, James Harden.
With that in mind, here is a look at all the latest rumblings from around the Association.
Knicks offered Amar'e to "Nearly Every Team in the League"?
Lost in the shuffle of the Knicks' glorious 19-7 start is a festering problem by the name of Amar'e Stoudemire. The star power forward has yet to play a game this season, yet somehow the team has thrived with Carmelo Anthony running the 4 and an offensive mindset change.
While that's caused some fans to speculate about a Stoudemire trade, it seems like the Knicks were way ahead of the MSG faithful. According to the New York Times' Howard Beck, the team offered Stoudemire to "nearly every team in the league" but was rebuffed:
This past summer, the Knicks offered Stoudemire to nearly every team in the league — “available for free,” as one rival executive put it. But they found no takers because of his diminished production, his health and his contract, which has three years and $65 million remaining (counting this season) and which is uninsured against a career-ending knee injury.
Sheesh. Why don't they just put a "for sale" sign in his yard while they're at it?
Don't get me wrong, I understand and agree with the logic. Anthony has been and always will be better at the power forward spot, and the Knicks were 11 points better with Stoudemire off the floor last season.
Still, he's been a good soldier throughout this mini-saga, and there would likely be no 'Melo in New York without Stoudmire's presence. If he's amenable to being a sixth man, there's no reason for the Knicks to avoid that experiment.
Pistons Trying to Trade Austin Daye?
Drafted in the first round out of Gonzaga in 2009, Daye's career certainly hasn't gone as planned. The forward has started as many games as years he has on the planet (24), and his playing time has been spotty.
That's likely why a source told Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears that Detroit is actively looking to cut the losses on its investment: "Pistons are actively shopping forward Austin Daye, a source said. Daye averaged just 2.3 points in six games."
Personally, I have a hard time seeing Joe Dumars finding a taker. Though he's still young, Daye has had a career wholly lacking in substantive production and doesn't have any elite skills.
He's also been completely unable (or unwilling) to put on necessary weight. Daye has the height and game of a power forward, but he is listed at only 200 pounds and constantly gets overpowered when he does get run.
With his trademark mid-range jumper also failing, there aren't many positives worth pointing to. As it stands, the Pistons might be better off just waiting the process out. Daye isn't much of an NBA player, and it's highly unlikely that any team will have true interest in bringing him in.
Bulls Intensifying Efforts to Trade Richard Hamilton?
All things considered, the Bulls have done a fantastic job of treading water without Derrick Rose. The team is 15-10 on the season, and Tom Thibodeau has relied heavily on Luol Deng and Joakim Noah to pick up the slack.
One player who hasn't been able to help out as much is Hamilton. The guard has missed the team's last 10 games with torn plantar fascia, and it's unclear when he'll return to the lineup.
With Marco Belinelli excelling in a starting role, Hamilton has actually been involved in trade scenarios, according to the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson:
League sources indicate that veteran shooting guard Richard Hamilton has been offered in trade scenarios, efforts that could intensity as the Feb. 21 trade deadline nears.
For me, the Bulls' desire to trade Hamilton is puzzling. His name has been on and off the block for the better part of a year without any truly logical reasoning. Sure, he's not been the player they wanted, but he doesn't take away anything when he's on the floor and has a piddly $1 million buyout for next season.
Unless there's a personality conflict (and there has been no indication of one), Chicago's desire to make a move remains confusing at best.
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