NBA trade talks are going to intensify with the league’s Feb. 21 trade deadline rapidly approaching.
That means your favorite team could be heated in negotiations in an attempt to solidify some late-season help for a playoff run.
Whether or not your team is playoff bound, they can help themselves by adding some key pieces while other teams attempt to shed contracts and prepare for the offseason a little ahead of schedule.
Here's a breakdown of the biggest current deals being discussed around the NBA. We’ll also break down whether we’re buying or selling each potential blockbuster deal.
Anderson Varejao to the Minnesota Timberwolves
The injury riddled, yet highly productive center has helped the Cleveland Cavaliers as much as he can. Cleveland’s youth movement is beginning to take shape and Varejao is looking less and less like a long-term solution for the team.
Youngsters Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller continue to develop as he continues to be sidelined with nagging injuries.
The latest rumor is that sources confirmed a Cleveland and Minnesota deal is in the works, according to Sports Illustrated.
Cleveland would acquire center Nikola Pekovic, a physically domineering presence at 6’11”, 290 pounds. Additionally, it would need to take on the contract of sophomore forward Derrick Williams.
The Cavs had their shot to pick Williams and passed on him for Kyrie Irving in the 2011 NBA draft. Williams has yet to establish himself as either a 3 or 4 in the league, which was a heavy negative for him prior to being drafted.
Cleveland can certainly do better than shipping its best trade asset away for Pekovic and spare parts. This is likely the first of many discussions to come before the trade deadline.
DeMarcus Cousins to the Boston Celtics
Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reported that league sources told him the Boston Celtics were inquiring about possibly acquiring the troubled big man.
Simply inquiring about a player and getting a deal done are two entirely different things, though. Boston could definitely use the presence of Cousins down low, but it would likely require a maximum return for parting with its prized center.
Sam Amick of USA Today shot down the possibility of this happening on Jan. 6 (via Twitter):
DeMarcus Cousins is not going to the Celtics. Teams continue to be told that he's not available. That is all.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) January 7, 2013
Amick is well connected enough to be used as a reliable source, even on a subject as fluid and ever changing as the NBA trade realm.
Rudy Gay to the Phoenix Suns
The Suns are engaged in talks to acquire the Memphis Grizzlies’ prized forward, according to Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo! Sports.
Phoenix certainly has the buying power, including the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-round picks in 2013 and 2015, to get a deal done. However, the team is not sure it will be able to absorb the remainder of Gay’s very lucrative contract, Wojnarowski said.
While the burden of a demanding contract may inhibit the Suns’ financial wiggle room in the near future, the team does need an impact player.
Gay is not having the best season of his career, shooting just 40.8 percent from the field, but he has the tools and natural ability to be a franchise-type player.
If the Suns can make it work on the books, they will pull the trigger on bringing the dynamic scorer to Phoenix.