The NBA's trade deadline is more than a month away, but plenty of teams are trying to make deals as soon as possible.
With more than a third of the season in the books at this point, most franchises know what they need (if anything) in order to make a spirited run at the postseason. And while it's unlikely that anything will actually get done before the calendar turns to February, the whispers are getting louder and louder with each passing day.
DeMarcus Cousins to Stay in Sacramento...For Now
On Sunday, the Boston Celtics cleared some room on the end of their bench by waving both Kris Joseph and Jarvis Varnado. Many thought that the moves were a precursor to a bigger deal involving Sacramento Kings' center DeMarcus Cousins, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
While Cousins' agent did meet with the Kings' front office on Monday, Sam Amick of USA Today reports that no trade demand was ever made. Sacramento also reportedly stated that they have no desire to trade their mercurial center, so it appears as though Cousins isn't going anywhere for the time being.
That said, very few players in the league are completely off limits. And both Cousins and his employer have plenty of time before the Feb. 21 trade deadline to change their respective stances. So there are plenty more chapters to go before the book is closed on this one.
Minnesota May Be Trying to Acquire Anderson Varejao
The addition of the 6'10" Varejao would definitely shore up Minnesota's interior defense, but not if they have to deal Nikola Pekovic in return. It's likely that the Timberwolves want to include forward Derrick Williams in a deal, but the former No. 2 overall pick would have to be paired with another player (perhaps Greg Stiemsma) in order to make the salaries work in a trade.
Sixers Inquired About OKC Guard Eric Maynor
John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Philadelphia 76ers recently tried to make a deal for Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Eric Maynor:
According to a source with the knowledge of the situation,the Sixers explored a trade for OKC guard Eric Maynor.— john mitchell (@JmitchInquirer) January 8, 2013
The 25-year-old Maynor was a dynamic playmaker for the Thunder back in the 2010-11 season, but has struggled since he tore his right ACL last January.
Maynor is shooting less than 31 percent from the field and is averaging just 3.1PPG. Philadelphia desperately needs someone in the backcourt who can spell Jrue Holiday, but at this point, Maynor is only marginally better than the Sixers' current reserve point guards (Royal Ivey and Maalik Wayns).
Does Omri Casspi Want Out of Cleveland?
"Of course, I like Cleveland," said Casspi in an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Whatever the future holds will happen."
After starting 35 games in 2011-12, Casspi is predominately a bench player this season, averaging just 13.4 minutes per game. With Dion Waiters, C.J. Miles and Alonzo Gee ahead of him in the perimeter rotation, a change of scenery may be in Casspi's best interests.
Is Rudy Gay On the Move?
Much like Los Angeles Lakers' forward Pau Gasol, Rudy Gay is the subject of trade rumors seemingly every season, yet is never dealt when the deadline rolls around.
That may all change this year: A report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports states that the Memphis Grizzlies have made it known that Gay is available in a trade. The Phoenix Suns are thought to be the most willing dance partner, but Chris Vernon of 92.9 FM in Memphis says that the Suns don't have what it takes to get a deal done.
Sources tell me that a Grizzlies/PHX deal for Rudy Gay is unlikely.Not enough assets, but PHX does love Rudy.chill.— Chris Vernon (@ChrisVernonShow) January 8, 2013
Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times says that the Golden State Warriors are also hot on the trail for the 26-year-old Gay. There doesn't appear to be much weight behind those rumors, however: It's unlikely that Memphis would assume some of the Warriors' more undesirable contracts just to make a deal.
One of the reasons that the Grizzlies are reportedly willing to move their star small forward is to avoid the league's luxury tax provision. Over the next two seasons, Gay is slated to earn $37.1 million.