NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz to Start 2013
With the NBA trade deadline coming on Feb. 21, the time for trade talks to heat up is now. The usual suspects have continued to cycle through the Internet, and as of now, no trades have been consummated, nor are any trades being firmed up.
But there continues to be plenty of talk regarding a Brazilian big man in LeBron's former territory, a sharpshooter down in central Florida and a few gimpy stars whose best days may be behind them.
There's also a host of attractive targets with expiring contracts, all of whom have been grabbing headlines throughout the first third of the NBA season.
If the Raptors Can Trade Andrea Bargnani, They Will
Andrea Bargnani has long been labeled a big man that can bang outside shots, and...well, not much else. Bargnani doesn't rebound the ball, doesn't play much defense and does not work as hard as needed.
And those shots he bangs? He hasn't been doing much of that either.
Bargnani is shooting under 40 percent from the floor this season, and he hasn't shot better than 45 percent from the floor since 2009-10. His once pretty shot is clanging off the rim, and though the Raptors want to deal the injured seven-footer, they are going to have trouble finding a taker.
Bargnani has over $32 million and three years left on his contract, and he's not playing even at replacement level for an NBA starter. Steve Kyler of HOOPSWORLD reported that the Raptors will look to showcase Bargs when he returns from injury (torn ligaments in his elbow).
But barring a breakout performance that harkens back to his play of a couple of seasons ago, they won't get much for the Italian bust.
Pau Gasol May Not Be Traded
The trade talk surrounding Pau Gasol seems to be dying down.
That's due to a couple reasons:
A) The Lakers are playing a little better and have won six of their last 10
B) Interest in Gasol's services hasn't been what the Lakers had hoped it would be when they began shopping the Spaniard, according to Steve Kyler of HOOPSWORLD.
Whether Gasol is traded will depend on what the Lakers can get in return.
Sentiment around the league is that Gasol isn't the greatest fit in Mike D'Antoni's run-and-chuck offense.
But Gasol can still run the court very well for a big man, and a middle ground could be reached that would utilize his skill set while still preserving D'Antoni's run-and-gun schemes, as Richard Langford of B/R wrote.
Interest in J.J. Redick High, but Nothing Is on the Table
According to Hoopsworld.com, J.J. Redick doesn't want to leave Orlando, but since the Magic have dropped their last six games due to the injury to Glen Davis, Redick may be becoming more expendable.
With the Magic now less likely to make the playoffs (How many were counting them in at any rate?), retaining the services of Redick (whose contract expires at the end of the season) makes less sense than ever.
The thing is: the Magic are dealing with a touchy matter. Redick is a fan favorite in Orlando, and as mentioned, he wants to remain there. While he may be a free agent this summer, it's quite likely he re-ups with the Magic and keeps his talents in Central Florida.
Redick has spent his entire career in Orlando, and unless Rob Hennigan is offered a very enticing prospect or a high draft pick, what would be his motivation to move the Duke legend?
Ric Bucher reported via Sulia that Chicago, Memphis, Minnesota, Milwaukee and Utah are all interested in Redick's services. He's having a career year and is just entering the heart of his prime. So, the message Hennigan is likely to send is: come hard for J.J. or don't come at all.
Rebuilding or not, Redick could still figure into the Magic's long-term plans.
The Cleveland Cavaliers Are Asking Too Much for Anderson Varejao
One would think the demand for a big man leading the league in rebounding and averaging 14 and 14 would be pretty high. Apparently, though the demand is high, the Cavaliers still are asking too much for Anderson Varejao, who is now 30 and may not figure into Cleveland's long-term plans.
But maybe he should figure into that plan. Varejao entered the league at age 22, so the mileage on his body isn't all that bad, and he's still just getting into what figures to be a very productive prime.
But the Cavs are treating Varejao as though he is an All-Star talent, requiring a hefty package to acquire him.
Cavs coach Byron Scott told USA Today that "he's the best center in the NBA." If Cavs management feels the same way as Scott, it isn't going to get the kind of package it wants.
Rip Hamilton May Be Difficult to Move
Rip Hamilton is essentially an expiring contract, since only $1 million of next year's $5 million is guaranteed, but interest in Hamilton will likely be minimal around the league. He turns 35 in less than two weeks, and his value as a player is waning quickly.
However, CSN Chicago Bulls insider Aggrey Sam reports that the Phoenix Suns may be interested in the services of the UConn product. Sam states, though, that Hamilton's agent may not be interested in permitting the Suns to acquire his client due to the fact that they are the definition of a non-contender.
With Hamilton's representatives not allowing the Bulls to trade him to just anyone, is there any chance he's moved?
Amar'e Stoudemire Is Healthy, and Likely to Remain a Knick
Amar'e Stoudemire finally returned from injury this week, only further igniting the trade rumors that have circulated around the once-explosive forward.
The problem is, Stoudemire is viewed as damaged goods around the league, and the Knicks have tried to shop him the past with little success, even trying to give him away "for nothing," as Howard Beck of The New York Times reported.
Teams aren't too eager to take on a player whose contract is entirely guaranteed, injuries or not. And Stoudemire has a long ways to go towards proving that he still has the talent that once enabled him to average nearly 26 points per game playing alongside Steve Nash.
Last season, Stoudemire became far more reliant upon shooting jump shots, and his field goal percentage plummeted below 50 percent for the first time in his 11-year NBA career.
Barring some kind of fountain-of-youth miracle, the Knicks aren't going to find any teams that are eager to take on Stoudemire and his three-year $65 million contract.
DeMarcus Cousins Isn't Considered a Prize Around the League
B/R's Josh Cohen doesn't buy Geoff Petrie's assurance that DeMarcus Cousins won't be traded.
Cohen isn't alone.
Cousins has been one of the most criticized players in the NBA this season, and after being suspended for a shouting match with head coach Keith Smart at halftime, the rumors surrounding Cousins began to swirl quite heavily.
But teams are wise to steer clear of Cousins. He's had maturity issues since his rookie season, and there's just no sign that it has ended—his first career triple-double or not. His talent is indisputable, but his erratic behavior has been documented, and rebuilding teams like Orlando have made it clear they have no desire to take on a guy who's going to cause locker room problems and disrupt team chemistry.
A rumor out there about the Magic are interested in trading for DeMarcus Cousins. The Magic are not interested in him.
— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) December 31, 2012
With Orlando not interested in Cousins, that's one less potential landing spot for a player that Detroit also said they would not be interested in obtaining either.
Utah Still Unsure as to Fate of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap
Just about two weeks ago, Brett Pollakoff of NBC Sports reported that the Jazz were nearly a lock to deal Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson before the trade deadline.
The two Utah big men both have expiring contracts and a lot of value around the league.
However, Steve Kyler of HOOPSWORLD recently reported that things have changed in Utah, and that as long as the Jazz are hanging around in the playoff picture, they would not be interested in trading away their two most established veterans.
The Jazz have former No. 3 overall pick Enes Kanter and the dynamic Georgia Tech product Derrick Favors waiting in the wings, but neither offer the short-term production of Millsap and Jefferson. If the Jazz are interested in making a run in the playoffs, holding on to the incumbents is the only way it will happen.
But that's the thing: the Jazz can't make a run. They snuck in as the eighth seed last year and were promptly swept by the San Antonio Spurs.
They don't have the talent to do much more than just make the playoffs. To make any kind of run in the distant future, they need to get something for their two talented big men.
Or risk getting nothing at all.