2013 is finally here, and we expect the level of competition in the upper echelon of the NBA to rise in the New Year.
Only a few short weeks remain until February’s trading deadline, with the postseason beginning shortly after. We can expect a number of fringe contenders to make some brazen moves over the month and a half, as teams around the league prepare for a playoff run.
Let’s take a look at some potential moves and more buzz around the Association in today’s rumor roundup.
Nets Not Making a Decision?
The Brooklyn Nets need a new coach, but may wait until the upcoming offseason to make the hire.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the organization isn’t rushing through this and will give interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo a legitimate chance to run the team for the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign.
Nets in no rush to begin coaching search. While PJ not likely to coach long-term, he will get legit shot to finish this season, sources say.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) December 31, 2012
It’s a wise move that will give the franchise more time to make a legitimate pitch, plus doesn’t put pressure on any potential hire to try and turn this squad around this season.
As per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Phil Jackson remains the No. 1 target for owner Mikhail Prokhorov, but there has yet to be any formal contact between the two parties.
Don’t sleep on the Nets making a “Godfather” offer to the Zen Master this summer, when the team will have a bit more roster flexibility to try and coax the 11-time champion out of retirement.
Bobcats Interested in Cousins?
In late December, DeMarcus Cousins got into an altercation with head coach Keith Smart and replaced his agent with the mastermind behind the Dwight Howard drama last year—Dan Fegan.
Obviously, trade rumors have been swirling non-stop since, and the Charlotte Bobcats are the latest to reportedly join the fray.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears:
The Bobcats could make a run at trading for DeMarcus Cousins. They have young players and as many as three first-round picks next summer, a source said.
We’re not quite sure Cousins would be a great fit in Charlotte—a rebuilding team that isn’t going to the postseason anytime soon—but he would fill the ‘Cats need for an effective center.
Cavs Reluctant to Deal Varejao?
Anderson Varejao started the season hot and is still averaging 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds per contest but hasn’t played since December 18 due to a knee injury.
This hasn’t lowered his asking price at all, as the Cleveland Cavaliers maintain that they want to keep the 30-year-old on the roster.
According to HOOPSWORLD’s Steve Kyler, the franchise is asking for “the moon” in return for the Brazilian. It’s quite a high price for a player who is taking up valuable minutes for younger players in Cleveland.
It’ll be interesting to see if Cleveland lowers Varejao's cost by the deadline, as his age and salary (two-year, $27.1 million deal) are a bit prohibitive to the Cavs' youth movement.