2012 NBA Offseason Signings Who Should Wind Up on the Trade Block in 2013

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIDecember 31, 2012

2012 NBA Offseason Signings Who Should Wind Up on the Trade Block in 2013

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    When a franchise makes a financial commitment to a free-agent player, the expectation is to witness instant results. When it doesn't work out as planned, the common reaction is that a move must be made to fill their productional void.

    The 2012 NBA season has proven to be no different. So, which 2012 acquisitions should wind up on the trade block in 2013?

    Whether the following players have been run out of the rotation or simply underperformed, there is reason to believe they will be available come the trade deadline. If nothing else, the rumors will begin to swirl.

    So, which players could be leaving their teams during the first year of their contracts?

D.J. Augustin, Indiana Pacers

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 25

    Experience: Fifth Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    7.92 PER, 12.9 MPG, 3.1 PPG, 2.3 APG


    On the final day of 2012, D.J. Augustin has placed the trade speculation on a temporary hold.

    Matched up against Mike Conley and the Memphis Grizzlies, Augustin posted 17 points and six assists in 34 minutes. It was Augustin's first start of the season.

    Nevertheless, we would be remiss to ignore the reports of a potential trade.

    According to Marc Stein of ESPN, Augustin is a name being spread around the league as a potential trade candidate.

    This comes mere months after Indiana signed Augustin to a one-year deal worth $3.5 million (via Yahoo! Sports).

    Fortunately for Indiana, there are almost always franchises looking for a point guard. The fact that Augustin has an expiring contract only further strengthens the possibility of his being dealt.

    Unless he continues performing as he did against Memphis.

Michael Beasley, Phoenix Suns

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 23

    Experience: Fifth Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    10.10 PER, 23.7 MPG, 10.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.2 APG


    During the 2012 NBA offseason, the Phoenix Suns signed Michael Beasley to a three-year deal worth $18 million (via ESPN).

    According to Marc Stein of ESPN, Beasley's name is now beginning swirl on the rumor mill. A trade could be in the works.

    The reason for Beasley's status as trade bait is his early-season struggles. Posting a 10.10 player efficiency rating and a slash line of .373/.315/.746 will do that.

    The question is, who would take on the mercurial forward for two-and-a-half seasons?

    Even if he doesn't receive the playing time that one may expect, there are teams in the market for an athletic wing. That may just be the best bet for Phoenix, as few general managers would want a project player in his fifth season.

    As for alternate trade routs, packaging him with draft choices certainly isn't an option for such a young team.

    Beasley will be on the trade market. The question is, will anyone take the risk?

Samuel Dalembert, Milwaukee Bucks

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    Position: Center

    Age: 31

    Experience: 11th Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    16.59 PER, 17.3 MPG, 6.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.3 BPG


    If there is one man that is not enjoying the breakthrough season of Larry Sanders, it is Samuel Dalembert.

    During this past offseason, the Milwaukee Bucks acquired Dalembert and and 14th overall draft selection in the 2012 NBA draft (via Sports Illustrated). Dalembert was expected to become the Bucks' starting center.

    Although he began the season in such a manner, the 11th-year veteran has missed nine consecutive games due to a "Coach's Decision."

    Head coach Scott Skiles speculates that Sanders may have run Dalembert out of the rotation (via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel):

    'There's a lot of big guys,' Skiles said.

    'If we continue to win games, he [Dalembert] is in a tough spot. Larry [Sanders] has been really productive. Ekpe [Udoh] does a nice job. Luc [Richard Mbah a Moute] came back and we're still in a bit of a search to have Ersan be consistent. It's hard to play five or six big guys in one game.'

    If you aren't going to use Dalembert in the rotation, why not explore his trade value?

    Dalembert remains one of the league's better shot-blockers and rebounders per 48 minutes. In a league that is ruled by defense, that is certain to garner some attention.

    The fact that he's a pending free agent makes a potential deal all the more attractive.

Ben Gordon, Charlotte Bobcats

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 29

    Experience: Ninth Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    16.87 PER, 21.7 MPG, 12.8 PPG, 2.3 APG, 1.7 RPG, 41.1% 3PT


    This past June, the Charlotte Bobcats traded small forward Corey Maggette to the Detroit Pistons for Ben Gordon and a protected lottery pick in 2013 (via Yahoo! Sports).

    Since joining the team, Gordon has played well. He's averaging 12.8 points on 41.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

    This comes on in average of just 21.7 minutes per game.

    This may suggest that Gordon is the type of player who the Bobcats should keep in town. When you're coming off of an 18-game losing streak, however, building for the future is the only rational option.

    Fortunately, there is no shortage of teams in need of sharpshooters.

    Gordon remains one of the top three-point marksman in the game. He is presently shooting 41.1 percent from three and has converted 42.9 percent in 2011-12.

    He's shooting 40.6 percent for his career.

    Unfortunately, Gordon also has a player option for 2013 worth $13.2 million. Moving that contract may qualify as impossible.

Kris Humphries, Brooklyn Nets

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 27

    Experience: Ninth Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    14.42 PER, 23.2 MPG, 7.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 0.7 BPG


    During the 2012 NBA offseason, the Brooklyn Nets re-signed power forward Kris Humphries to a two-year deal worth $24 million (via ESPN New York).

    The contract made sense for Brooklyn, as Humphries had led the team in rebounding two years running. Most recently, Humphries averaged 13.8 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 2011-12.

    Unfortunately, Humphries' contributions have been limited by the presence of Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche.

    Evans serves the same purpose as Humphries. The difference is, Evans has significantly more postseason experience.

    As for Blatche, he's rebounding at a similar per-48 rate and scoring much more efficiently.

    Although speculative, it would make sense for Brooklyn to trade Humphries. Although his contract will be difficult to move, there is value in an elite-level rebounder.

    The team seems to be comfortable in terms of personnel, but cash and draft picks are always welcome in package deals.

Courtney Lee, Boston Celtics

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    Position: Guard/Forward

    Age: 27

    Experience: Fifth Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    9.09 PER, 24.5 MPG, 6.6 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.0 SPG


    This past offseason, the Boston Celtics acquired Courtney Lee via a sign-and-trade with the Houston Rockets (via Yahoo! Sports). The deal was worth $21.5 million over four seasons.

    Thus far, Lee has done nothing but spark questions as to why he was signed when Avery Bradley is set to return from shoulder surgery (via The Boston Globe).

    After starting out slow, Lee has turned things around in December. For the month, he's averaging 8.0 points on a slash line of .469/.385/.769.

    This improvement may be encouraging for the Celtics, but there is no way around how crowded their backcourt has become.

    Rajon Rondo and Jason Terry are virtual untouchables due to their production and championship pedigree. Jeff Green is the established backup to Paul Pierce at small forward.

    When Bradley returns, minutes will be even more difficult to come by.

    With a need for frontcourt aid, it's time for Boston to consider moving Lee for a reliable big.

    Marc Stein of ESPN reports that they've already begun to shop Lee around.

Nate Robinson, Chicago Bulls

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 28

    Experience: Eighth Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    17.30 PER, 20.9 MPG, 11.2 PPG, 3.5 APG, 2.0 RPG, 0.8 SPG


    This past summer, the Chicago Bulls signed Nate Robinson to a deal worth the veteran's minimum (via Sports Illustrated).

    According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls designed Robinson's contract with the intent of using him in trade talks:

    The Bulls signed the veteran guard to a deal that doesn't become fully guaranteed until Jan. 10. That means they can waive Robinson with no penalty any time before that date, an option that always has been under consideration internally.

    Teague's development, not to mention Derrick Rose's expected return, could make Robinson expendable.

    Before we move forward, let's make one thing perfectly clear.

    Nate Robinson is not only a valuable sixth man, but he has significant postseason experience. If the Chicago Bulls were to trade him, they would be making a mistake.

    With that being said, keeping Lil' Nate on the roster with Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich and rookie Marquis Teague suggests minutes will be tough to come by. In turn, Robinson's abilities would not be used to their fullest extent.

    Fortunately, point guards are always needed around the league. This would enable the Bulls to flip him for some shooters.

    Even if it does mean they'd lose one of the game's top spark plugs.

    Keep in mind, the Bulls rank dead last in three-point field goals made per game at 4.5. 29th is Memphis at 5.2 per.

    A trade appears to be the only viable option.