The NBA rumor mill doesn't take a holiday break. Trade talk continues around the league as teams get prepared to start making moves after using the first few months to see where they stand. It's only a matter of time before things heat up.
Even though rumors tend to start flying not long after the season's first tip, it takes some time before there's enough urgency to start getting serious about trades. Now that general managers have a better grasp of what needs to get done, expect more movement as 2013 arrives.
With that in mind, let's analyze some of the latest buzz around the league involving players who might be on the move before the deadline.
Hamilton is nearing his return from a foot injury that has sidelined him for almost a month. The veteran guard is averaging 14 points per game for the Chicago Bulls, but has been the center of trade rumors since the summer, and it's carried over into the season.
Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago reports the Bulls have gauged interest in Hamilton and are interested in hearing offers for Hamilton, who's contract has an option for next season. The Bulls insider lists the Phoenix Suns as one interested team.
Teams will want to check out Hamilton's performance upon his return to the court before talks move beyond the preliminary stage, but he would be able to help several teams in the second half. The 34-year-old star can still thrive in the right situation.
The Utah Jazz have good depth up front with Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Millsap. If they end up diving into the trade market, they would likely deal from that area of strength in order to improve on the perimeter.
Jefferson and Millsap would be the two most coveted commodities of the bunch. Millsap, who's averaging 15 points and eight rebounds in his seventh season, would be easier to move, according to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld.com.
He states the Jazz aren't ready to move Millsap yet, but will have to explore the option before the deadline. The Louisiana Tech product is the type of hard-working player coaches love, so there would be no shortage of suitors if he's made available.
Even though the Sacramento Kings brought Cousins back into the fold after serving a short suspension, his future remains up in the air. A change of scenery could be the wake-up call he needs to make sure his career doesn't go off the tracks.
Sam Amick of USA Today states the Kings won't keep Cousins off the table in trade discussions, but aren't actively shopping him either. They are just listening to offers, attempting to figure out what his market value is right now.
When it comes to Cousins, the debate surrounds his immense talent as compared to the headaches he causes for coaches and front offices. His double-double ability will undoubtedly led to interested teams, but the Kings might not find a deal that makes sense in terms of what they get in return.