The NBA trade deadline is over a month away, but for many NBA teams looking to add or remove a piece from their roster before Feb. 21, it couldn't be closer.
With the Los Angeles Lakers and their struggles dominating the storylines all season long, even causing the defending NBA champion Miami Heat to fly under the radar, most have overlooked some of the big names that have been mentioned in trade rumors since early December. In case you're unaware, a number of talented players could be on the move this winter
Here we'll take a closer look at the latest buzz surrounding the NBA's top potential movers this January.
Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cavs big man Anderson Varejao is expected to be out for the next two months, according to release on the team's official website on Wednesday, which could really diminish his trade value:
Varejao will undergo surgery this Thursday (January 10th) at the Cleveland Clinic and is expected to be out for six to eight weeks.
The Brazilian was averaging 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds per game before going down with a knee injury in December. He'd recently been rumored in a potential deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves according to this tweet from Sports Illustrated:
Report: Cavs, Wolves discussing deal for Varejao on.si.com/TU8Vzw— SI NBA (@si_nba) January 6, 2013
ESPN NBA analyst Bill Simmons recently pointed out that Cleveland would have wise to deal the 30-year-old Varejao before the surgery, and I couldn't agree more:
Cavs should have dealt Varejao 2-3 weeks ago at peak of value. They needed to sell high when he was healthy - he gets injured too often.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) January 9, 2013
The only thing that is certain for now is that Varejao won't be back on the court before this winter's Feb. 21 trade deadline.
Rudy Gay, Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies are apparently undecided as to whether they will trade Rudy Gay before this winter's upcoming deadline, but ESPN's Marc Stein reports that at least one team, the Toronto Raptors, are "interested" in acquiring the athletic small forward:
Not everyone thinks Rudy Gay is a great trade target...
Sources told ESPN.com this week that the Raptors -- who tried to make a play for Gay before the 2012 NBA draft -- remain seriously "interested" in the Grizzlies' leading scorer and are trying to assemble trade packages to bring the 26-year-old to Toronto after preliminary talks with Memphis.
Gay is averaging 17.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game this season, but is shooting less than 41 percent from the field for Memphis, who has gone 10-8 since the start of December.
The Grizzlies still have another month or so to decide on whether they want to make a run at the NBA title with Gay, but for now it seems that the Raptors are the No. 1 contender to land him, as they can offer draft picks, veterans and or young pieces.
Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings
Like Anderson Varejao, no one seems to know for sure what the future holds for fourth-year Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans, including Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:
Without issuing any trade demands – that's not his style – Evans said he would be neither shocked nor devastated if he were sent elsewhere before the Feb. 21 deadline.
Evans is averaging 14.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game this season, but is also averaging a career-low 29.9 minutes per night. Evans had the following to say about his sore knee and his situation with the team (via Voisin):
The Kings need to do whatever they can to help the team win. I just want to go out there and play every night. That visit to (Lombardo)? That let me know that I wasn't totally wrong. I just need to get treated right. That was pretty much it.
As Voisin mentions in her article, the Kings have a plethora of guards on their roster, and that could provide the team with enough motivation to move Evans and acquire talent at another position before the approaching deadline
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