With the NBA trade deadline approximately eight weeks away, a number of teams are ready to get into some serious discussions and start wheeling and dealing.
Whether these trades concern franchises in the basement and looking to unload some high-salaried veterans or teams atop the league hoping to add more firepower, you know there will be plenty of transactions going down.
Let’s take a look at some being rumored as we prepare to close 2012 out and look forward to the New Year.
Will the Raptors trade Lowry?
While most of the Toronto Raptors trade talk earlier in the season focused on Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani, it seems that the club is now looking to move its prized offseason acquisition—Kyle Lowry.
According to Bulls.com’s Sam Smith, the team performs better defensively with Calderon out on the floor at the PG position, and it may mean Lowry is expendable for the 9-20 franchise.
Though he’s out now injured, the Raptors supposedly would like to put Kyle Lowry in a trade package and keep Jose Calderon. The Raptors give up 11 more points per game when Lowry is on the court compared with Calderon
The former Houston Rockets PG still has two years and $12 million left on his current deal and is dealing with a triceps tear.
The Sacramento Kings have reinstated Cousins after an incident with coach Keith Smart, but the controversial center has yet to get back on the floor.
As per ESPN’s Chad Ford, the big man’s new agent (he hired Dan Fegan around the same time as the Smart incident) will be making a serious effort to get his client out of Northern California by the deadline.
Ford believes it’ll be tough for the Kings to get value for the No. 5 overall pick in the 2010 draft, a player that has career averages of 16.0 points and 9.6 rebounds—but a history of conflict.
Cousins new agent will be pushing hard for a trade. They, along with the rest of the NBA, think the Kings ownership/management is dysfunctional and they want him out of there. The problem for the Kings is that Cousins is their best player, but given his frequent issues with coaches/teammates, teams aren't willing to give equal value back in return.
It’ll be interesting to see if any team is willing to pay a fair price for a high-risk, high-reward player like Cousins.
Things haven’t been all that great for the Chicago Bulls backcourt without Derrick Rose, and SG Rip Hamilton is once again struggling with injury.
Because of the team’s defensive lapses and poor point scoring, there is a good chance they make a move by the February deadline, and Hamilton is likely the first player to go.
The 13-year veteran, who is owed $5 million for this season and has a team option for the same price in 2013-14, had reportedly drawn some interest around the NBA prior to his recent foot injury.
According to CSN Chicago’s Aggrey Sam, the Phoenix Suns are one of Hamilton’s suitors and a number of others could emerge over the next few weeks.
Keep it tuned here to see if Rip will be willing to play for a non-contender to finish the year, if a top team floats out some deals for his services or if he would prefer to stay in Chicago and try to contribute when healthy.