NBA Trade Rumors: Ridiculous Chatter That Won't Come to Fruition
The NBA trade rumors never stop churning about in the vast realms of the Internet, but that doesn't mean that they're all going to happen. Quite a few rumors could be classified as ridiculous, ones that almost certainly won't be occurring at any point in the near future.
With the trade deadline starting to creep up on us and teams jockeying for position in both the Western and Eastern Conferences, the rumors are flying fast and furious. Even stars are rumored to be on the blocks.
Changes will be made. That's an absolute certainty.
However, these five moves—at least the versions that are being reported now—aren't going to be happening.
Rudy Gay to the Phoenix Suns
Let's go ahead and start out with the biggest rumor out there: Rudy Gay to the Phoenix Suns.
Grantland's Zach Lowe first made it clear that the Memphis Grizzlies were shopping their stud small forward, breaking down where he could go if he was indeed traded. I'd still love to see his proposed trade with the Atlanta Hawks come to fruition, but that seems to be more fantasy than anything at this point.
Back on topic, the Suns seem to be the No. 1 potential landing spot for Gay. This was confirmed by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:
The Grizzlies have been shopping Gay to multiple teams, and found an interested trade partner with the Suns, sources said.
There's no framework of a possible deal in place, but the Grizzlies have expressed a strong desire that any package involving Gay include Suns forward Jared Dudley and future first-round draft picks, sources said.
In an effort to avoid paying luxury tax in the short term, as well as get off the $17.8 million and $19.3 million owed Gay in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, new Memphis management has aggressively shopped Gay. The Grizzlies have made proposals on Gay to several teams, front-office sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Doubting Wojnarowski is usually a terrible idea, but there's just no way that this deal actually ends up happening. If it does, it shouldn't have.
The Suns aren't anywhere close to contending, and Gay isn't going to be the player who puts them over the top. Mortgaging the future for the present by trading away multiple first-round draft picks doesn't really make sense.
As for the Grizzlies, I still think they're going to hold on to Gay unless they're absolutely blown away by an offer. It's not as though they're struggling to stay afloat in the Western Conference at the moment.
Zach Randolph on the Move
If you read Memphis Grizzlies beat reporter Ronald Tillery's report about the potential Rudy Gay trading options, you'll find a line about Zach Randolph just nestled in there:
Griz CEO Jason Levien, whom principal owner Robert Pera has entrusted to run the franchise, is gauging the value of several players on the roster. There also have been exploratory trade conversations centered on forward Zach Randolph.
The Grizzlies are going to trade the beating heart of their team, the guy who's turned his career around and leaves it all on the court every night? The power forward who has been undeniably dominant on the glass at all times?
This is where I'm going to go ahead and throw out the you-know-what flag. This isn't happening.
Tillery reports that the Sacramento Kings are one of the interested teams, which almost necessitates the involvement of DeMarcus Cousins in the move. However you read the last paragraph, go ahead and read it once more, this time with even greater emphasis.
Anderson Varejao to the Minnesota Timberwolves
According to Bob Finnan of The Morning Journal, the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in trading Anderson Varejao to the Minnesota Timberwolves:
Sources say the Cavs and Timberwolves have talked about a Varejao trade. Minnesota would probably want the Cavs to take back forward Derrick Williams, which could be a deal-breaker. The Cavs could have interest in center Nikola Pekovic, a bruising 6-11, 290-pounder. Before anyone gets excited, forward Kevin Love is not available.
There are way too many problems with this for it to have even the tiniest shot of happening.
First of all, Varejao is hurt. The Associated Press reports that he's going to be out for six-to-eight weeks following surgery to fix "a muscle that split near his right knee." That in itself makes any sort of deal nearly impossible.
However, it's not the only injury to come into play.
Kevin Love's re-injured hand also makes Derrick Williams significantly more valuable to the Wolves, who are trying to remain in playoff contention while their star player rehabs yet again. It's quite difficult to imagine David Kahn parting ways with last year's No. 2 pick.
Rip Hamilton to the Phoenix Suns
I'm not doubting Aggrey Sam's belief that Rip Hamilton could be traded away from the Chicago Bulls. After all, the masked shooting guard is still a valuable player on the court, and his de facto expiring contract makes him an intriguing asset off of it.
Here's what the Bulls insider had to say about a potential trade:
The team holds an option to re-sign Rip Hamilton next season, making him the equivalent of an expiring contract due to the low guaranteed money, and since the summer I've heard that they would be receptive to offers for him and have even dangled his name a bit.
However, with his recent injury, that could be hard to pull off unless he makes an impressive return in the month or so leading up to the deadline, so it might not be possible to move him. Actually, I'm sure they could find a taker -- Phoenix, for one, is a team that I've heard has some interest -- but at this stage of his career, Hamilton and his representatives might not be open to playing for a non-contender, even for half of a season.
Aggrey himself offers up a little bit of doubt, so let's play off of that.
Even if Hamilton did agree to play for a non-contender like the Phoenix Suns, it's hard to imagine Lance Blanks actually pulling the trigger for this 2-guard. The Suns have no need of an aging veteran who doesn't offer much in the way of long-term potential.
Phoenix could make good use of the cap space, but does that actually make trading away would would need to be a fairly intriguing piece worth it?
DeMarcus Cousins to the Boston Celtics/Everywhere Else
If you hear about DeMarcus Cousins doing anything on a basketball court, you should probably believe it.
Someone said that Boogie dropped 30 points and grabbed 30 rebounds in the same game? Sure, that's totally possible.
You heard that Cousins was ejected just three seconds into a contest because he argued with a ref that the tipoff wasn't thrown high enough? That might have happened too.
However, you shouldn't believe any trade rumors that center around this talented and mercurial young center. The first of those adjectives is precisely why.
Cousins possesses as much pure talent as any big man in this league. His physicality and developing finesse make him a near lock to become a star in the NBA if he can keep his head screwed on straight, and there's the potential for so much more.
Sacramento can't afford to give up its biggest asset, even if he frustrates some member of the organization on an almost daily basis.
The latest example of an incorrect report on a Cousins deal came to us courtesy of the NBA on NBC Boston's Twitter feed:
Sources close to nbaonnbc.com confirm that Danny Ainge is working to complete a deal to bring Cousins to Boston, tonight.— NBA on NBC Boston (@NBAonNBCBoston) January 7, 2013
Now I could be wrong, but we're more than past "tonight" on Jan. 7, and Cousins isn't on the Boston Celtics.
This wasn't the first false report dealing with Cousins, and it certainly won't be the last.