NBA Trade Rumors: Breaking Down the Players Most Likely to Be Traded

Andy HuSenior Writer IIJanuary 9, 2013

NBA Trade Rumors: Breaking Down the Players Most Likely to Be Traded

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    The trade deadline is approaching fast with many high-profile players on the trading block this year, or so they're rumored to be at least. However, which of these players on the trading block can reasonably be traded? Some players like Josh Smith seem to have been in trade rumors since they entered the NBA, but with the Atlanta Hawks exceeding expectations this season, it's unimaginable that Danny Ferry would make a big move that can damage the team chemistry.

    The following players discussed in this article are the ones, who I believe, would most likely be gone before the trade deadline.

Rudy Gay

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    It shouldn't come as a total shock that Rudy Gay has been mentioned in trade rumors for the past few days. With the Memphis Grizzlies' offseason hire of ESPN columnist and inventer of the player efficiency rating, John Hollinger, the team is definitely looking into more in-depth statistics that determine the value of a player.

    So far this season, Gay hasn't been the most productive player in the eyes of the Grizzlies' front office. Although his team is doing exceptionally well to start off the season, his PER is the lowest since his rookie season.

    Bear in mind though, PER is not the most accurate statistic to rate a player's value, as it doesn't calculate defensive contributions outside of steals and blocks nor Gay's ability to free up his teammates with his ability to draw double teams.

    Nevertheless, the player that was once considered the future face of the franchise is now the odd man out on a very competitive Grizzlies team. Of all the possible players that might get moved, Rudy Gay is perhaps the most likely to be dealt.

Anderson Varejao

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    Unlike the Rudy Gay move, Anderson Varejao has been having a career season so far, doubling his career point and rebound production, all the while leading the league in boards. 

    The Cleveland Cavaliers team is a crew on a sinking ship ready throw out the bait to catch whatever they can. In this case, Varejao would be the expensive, but valuable bait that the Cavaliers are looking to deal in order to get something worthwhile back. 

    Fortunately enough, Varejao hasn't been the cause of the Cavaliers shortcomings. The team's struggles may have something to do with Kyrie Irving's injuries and Dion Waiters jacking up shots at a 37 percent clip and thinking he's Kobe Bryant or something.

    Varejao has missed a few games due to injury, but he'll definitely be a good trade piece for the Cavaliers once he proves he's healthy.

J.J. Redick

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    J.J. Redick is in his final season of a very reasonable contract, and his skillset is certainly useful for a contending team in search of a viable playmaker or excellent shooter.

    If anything else, Redick's expiring contract can be used as part of a larger trade for a team attempting to acquire a bigger name. Another team can basically "rent" his services and decide whether or not they want to keep him for the future, but he's not pushover—he can definitely contribute for any team that puts him in the right situation.

    Redick has been quietly mentioned in trade talks in early December, and it's quite likely that the Orlando Magic are looking to deal him and his valuable contract elsewhere.

Pau Gasol

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    The Pau Gasol rumors just won't go away, will they? It appears as if Gasol is on the trading block every year the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling, but his play this season has been disgustingly bad and has clearly contributed to the Lakers' poor play.

    Whether the Lakers management deny the Gasol trade talks or not, I don't believe that they would keep together the same roster if the team is still struggling in the next few weeks before the trade deadline.

    Not winning a championship this year would be considered a failure, but missing the playoffs would be an absolute travesty. I can't see Mitch Kupchak the rest of the Laker front office brush off this mediocre play and not making a revolutionary trade before the deadline while Gasol still has some value.

Courtney Lee

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    With Avery Bradley's return to the Boston Celtics' starting lineup helping them win three consecutive games, and Jason Terry is the unquestionable back-up shooting guard, Courtney Lee is the odd man out.

    The Celtics have been playing well, but they still remain a sub .500 team through 34 games this season, which isn't very reassuring for a team that thought they could compete with the Miami Heat for Eastern Conference supremacy at the start of the season.

    As a result of these two factors, Lee's name in Celtics' trade rumors has been the most popular and he'll most likely be the one heading out of Beantown.

Andrea Bargnani

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    Andrea Bargnani is virtually a lock to be moved before the trade deadline. His poisonous contract is preventing a rebuilding Toronto Raptors team from signing more young players and higher quality veterans. It has been apparent that the Raptors are a better team this season with Bargnani sitting on the sidelines. 

    That, however, does not mean he won't be valuable to other teams seeking a shooter who can spread the floor. Bargnani is essentially the definition of a stretch-4 because, honestly, he can't do anything else. 

    It'll be difficult finding a taker for Bargnani's ridiculous contract, but if there's any other team in the league who wants to take a chance at him, he'd be gone in an instant.