With a new year looming, there are quite a few prominent names that appear destined to wind up on the NBA's trading block.
Crowded rosters and early-season struggles have resulted in trade speculation, so as teams establish identities, general managers will begin to determine which players are expendable and which are not.
One thing seems certain at this point: By Thursday, February 21, several big names will be moved, and the fortunes of franchises across the league will be changed for better or for worse.
As we get ready to turn over the calendar, here are six players guaranteed to wind up on the trading block in 2013.
Note: All stats used are accurate as of Wednesday, December 26.
Selected No. 2 overall in the 2011 NBA draft, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams will be a hot name on the trading block in the coming weeks.
The Timberwolves possess one of the league's deepest rosters, and Williams has had a hard time scrapping for minutes this season.
Williams' playing time is down four minutes in 2012 (from 21.5 to 17.5 minutes per game), as Dante Cunningham and a host of new additions have picked away at the former collegiate standout's opportunities.
As Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears reports, a move would be beneficial for both Williams and the T'Wolves:
The highest draft choice in franchise history has been earning DNP-CDs or short-minute stints under coach Rick Adelman. Both sides would be happy with a move.
'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.'
The Utah Jazz will be faced with several big decisions regarding their team's future as February 21 draws closer.
Both Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson are in contract years and figure to be sought after commodities at the trade deadline, so the Utah front office will be tasked with making an executive decision over which big man is better for the franchise in the long-term.
In fact, Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears reports that Millsap is more likely to be dealt because of the big dollars he will command in free agency:
The Utah Jazz are in the playoff hunt and have two starting big men in the last years of their deals in Millsap and Al Jefferson. Utah also has two talented young big men in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Any big move by new general manager Dennis Lindsey, however, could disrupt Utah's playoff hopes.
'I would think they would more likely trade Millsap over Jefferson because he is going to be harder to keep,' one GM said. 'He's made less money than Jefferson and he will go to the highest bidder.'
Millsap's numbers this year are reflective of his usual consistency, as he's averaging 14.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, shooting 47.4 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from beyond the arc.
J.J. Redick continues to be stereotyped as a shooting specialist, but over the past few seasons, he's evolved into one of the Orlando Magic's most complete players.
Redick is one of the league's more disciplined and cerebral players, and his improved defensive play will make him an attractive option should the Magic consider moving the former Duke standout.
According to Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy, Redick will likely find himself on the block come February:
With that said, Redick is in the final year of his deal. Would he re-sign to be a reserve on a rebuilding Magic team? While Redick and his wife have said that they love Orlando and are extremely happy right now, it remains to be seen if he would ink a long-term deal with the team. Like the Raptors with Calderon, the Magic have to decide if keeping Redick and risk losing their most attractive asset for nothing over the offseason is the right move.
If Redick is made available, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which there isn't a market for his services. He can shoot, he's a willing passer and, most of all, he's a capable defender.
Redick is a true glue guy, and he could play a prominent role off of the bench for a contender come playoff time.
While many trade rumors leading up to the February deadline will involve players with expiring deals, there will be a select few bargaining chips dangled across the league who have significant years and money remaining on their contracts.
Many fans in Toronto believe that Andrea Bargnani has overstayed his welcome, and a recent slew of injuries isn't helping his cause.
Apparently, the Raptors front office views things similarly, because according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears, "Toronto definitely wants to move Bargnani, one NBA GM said."
Bargnani has never produced up to the standards bestowed upon No. 1 overall picks, and at this point, it feels like a change of scenery would do the Italian some good.
Before trade speculation involving Andrea Bargnani picked up, it was believed that Jose Calderon would be the Raptors' greatest asset in a potential trade.
Calderon is slated to earn just over $10 million this season, and his contract expires at the conclusion of the 2012-13 campaign, making him particularly attractive to potential suitors.
The Spanish point guard could be a valuable piece to a contender in need of some backcourt depth (Lakers, anyone?), but he may not come cheap.
Calderon annually boasts one of the league's highest assist-to-turnover ratios, leading the league last season with an average of 4.5 assists per turnover.
According to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, you'd be smart to wager on a future deal involving Calderon:
The Raptors will likely deal Calderon so they can get some kind of compensation rather than losing him for nothing. The only question: Will they try to package Calderon with Andrea Bargnani?
Anderson Varejao will be a highly sough after commodity in the new year, but that doesn't mean the Cleveland Cavaliers have to give in and deal their rapidly improving big man.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears, don't be so quick to assume that the Cavs want to ship their prized center out of town:
Cleveland, however, has one of the NBA's worst records so teams will at least ask about the availability of Varejao, whose stock is rising by the day.
'He is a target for trade, but I don't think Cleveland wants to trade him,' one GM said. 'There is a distinction between players teams might want to move and players teams want to have.'
Currently leading the NBA in rebounding with 14.4 boards per game, Varejao is solidifying his spot among the league's elite rebounders, a group that includes Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Omer Asik and Zach Randolph.
Varejao's scoring has also been pleasantly surprising, as the Cleveland big man has posted an average of 14.1 points per game thus far.
Varejao will remain an attractive name to potential suitors because he doesn't require an offense to run through him, and he's capable of swinging games with his prowess on the glass.