With the holiday season in full swing, it seems like the NBA is in full gift-giving mode when it comes to sparking up the rumor mill.
Obviously, the top rumor floating around involves DeMarcus Cousins. His name is being bandied about this time due to a suspension, and a few teams are starting to kick the tires around the power forward.
While the rest of the league's trade speculation may not have the off-the-floor juiciness that involves Cousins, its on-court implications may wind up being even greater.
What are those other rumors, and which teams are kicking the tires on Cousins? Here is a complete breakdown of all the latest rumors floating around the Association.
No strangers to the always-moving trade market, the Toronto Raptors will be among this season's most active teams. Though they have won five straight contests, that streak comes after a 4-19 start that essentially ended their season at the quarter mark.
Considering general manager Bryan Colangelo is in the last year of his contract, it's likely going to take a big splash to keep him around for another season. Colangelo seemingly wants to make that splash by trading Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani as part of a blockbuster trade, according to HOOPSWORLD's Alex Kennedy:
Rather than just trading Calderon’s expiring contract, league sources say that the Raptors would like to package the veteran point guard with Andrea Bargnani to complete a splashy blockbuster deal.
While Calderon and Bargnani are both trade pieces, neither is likely to bring in a haul worthy of "blockbuster" distinction. Calderon is in the final year of his contract and is a guy who has become consistently underrated in NBA circles.
Bargnani is the more worrisome piece. He's had an awful start to the 2012-13 campaign—one wrought with injuries and poor play. However, he's still just 27 years old and could be the perfect fit in a few systems.
One way Bargnani and Calderon could be in a blockbuster: if the oft-speculated Pau Gasol for Calderon and Bargnani deal comes to fruition. For what it's worth, that trade adds six wins to the Lakers' record, according to ESPN's trade machine.
When you get suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team, it's a pretty fair assumption that your team would be open to making a move. That's the situation right now for DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings after they gave the young forward a timeout on Saturday.
With no word coming down yet on when Cousins will return to the team, the trade coals are burning hot at the moment. While reporting that the team is still reluctant to make a deal, the Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones did single out two squads that could be interested:
The Kings have been reluctant to deal Cousins. He's been considered the key to the Kings' rebuilding project, but on the court he's regressed this season while the off-the-court issues have accelerated. Teams that have been interested in Cousins in the past include Houston and Detroit. But would Houston want to break up what they've built for Cousins now?
Depending on what the Kings are looking for in return, both Houston and Detroit are curious possibilities. The Pistons already have a star big in Greg Monroe, who packs almost as much game as Cousins without the headaches, and they aren't likely to ship out Andre Drummond in a trade, either.
Meanwhile, the Rockets eliminated many of their assets by trading for James Harden. Royce White and Terrence Jones both have some value, but enough to get someone of Cousins' caliber? Highly unlikely.
I'm not going to totally write this off, but let's just say I'm bullish.
The Orlando Magic are a surprising 12-15 on the season and far closer to playoff contention than the basementmany expected after the Dwight Howard trade. One of the biggest reasons for that is the play of J.J. Redick.
The former Duke star has shined in an increased role, averaging a career high 14.0 points per game while tying his career high in shooting percentage. Nevertheless, Orlando is in the midst of a full-scale rebuild, and Redick's strong play and expiring contract make him an attractive asset.
With many teams needing an experienced wing player, Redick's name should come up in talks from now until February. One of the teams to look out for is the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to 1500ESPN's Darren Wolfson:
Even though he's gone from ESPN, Ric Bucher still has great contacts, so my tentacles went up after he briefly mentioned the Wolves in connection to Orlando shooting guard J.J. Redick. Well, after digging, the Wolves are big fans. If the Magic decide to move Redick, consider the Wolves heavily in the mix. One league source said that it'll take more than forward Derrick Williams to get a deal done.
Wolfson's note that it would take more than Williams to get the job done is interesting. It shows just how much Williams' stock has fallen and how highly the Magic think of Redick.
Still, it's unlikely that Orlando GM Rob Hennigan would hang up the phone if he was to be offered Williams and a draft pick for Redick, though.
As he remains one of a few notable members of his draft class without an extension, the 2012-13 season is one of utmost importance for Brandon Jennings. Thus far, his wallet should be feeling a little fatter, as the young point guard is sticking right around his career averages and leading an above-.500 Milwaukee Bucks team.
Still, the question remains whether he will return to Milwaukee next season. As of now, that answer is a resounding yes.
According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Bucks have informed Jennings that they will match any offer he gets in restricted free-agency next summer: "[The] Bucks have told guard Brandon Jennings, a restricted free agent next summer, they plan on matching an offer sheet he could sign."
This seems pretty obvious. Milwaukee wants to keep Jennings, but wants to allow the market to dictate what he's worth. Had the Bucks had any plans to not keep their young point guard, they simply would have made an attempt to trade him already. They haven't, he's staying and the only question remaining is at what price.
Cut by the Washington Wizards after struggling through seven games with the team, Jannero Pargo has been a man on the proverbial island of late. Left without a team at 33 years old, it likely wasn't hard for him to wonder whether his being cut marked the end of the line.
However, that doesn't seem to be the case. According to Real GM's Shams Charania, Pargo is currently talking to several teams, but signing a deal is not imminent:
Free agent Jannero Pargo remains in dialogue with several #NBA teams, but nothing is close, agent says, and he hasn't found deal he wants.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 22, 2012
That's interesting. While the speculation was likely spun by his agent, Pargo shouldn't be too picky about where he winds up. Washington wasn't exactly a bastion of point-guard effectiveness when the team cut him, and his 0.49 PER is no great shakes, either.
Obviously, I'm no one's agent, but if I were advising Pargo, I would tell him that it might be best for him to jump on just about any NBA offer he gets.