NBA Trade Rumors: Latest on Nets, T-Wolves and More Looking to Make a Splash

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 27:  Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King announces the firing of head coach Avery Johnson during a news conference at the PNY Center on December 27, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
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The NBA trade deadline might be far away, but there are already plenty of teams looking to make adjustments to their current squads.

There are a few big names on the trading block early this season. While not everyone will be dealt, it is important to stay on top of the latest rumors to see if your favorite team is looking to make a move.

Not every team is going to be involved in a deal, but these organizations are the most likely to be active over the next month.


Minnesota Timberwolves

At this point, the Timberwolves are on the outside looking in for the playoffs. The team wants to change that by improving through a trade.

According to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Radio, the team is going to be very aggressive to make a move:

(David) Kahn was aggressively working the phone Wednesday and Thursday way more than normal for mid-January and is making some progress on a trade. The source said it's for more of a big guy, not a wing.

It remains to be seen what player could be targeted, but there are some interesting names that could be available. Marcin Gortat is on a sinking ship with the Phoenix Suns and is someone to watch around this time.

However, Wolfson reports that it will not be the Portland Trail Blazers' J.J. Hickson, who "can be ruled out" due to lack of interest.

With Kevin Love still injured, it will be important for the Timberwolves to make a move soon before the squad falls too far out of the playoff hunt.


Brooklyn Nets

While the Brooklyn Nets have played very well in recent weeks, no team is beyond improvement. What makes this interesting is that the squad is looking at making a major move over the next few weeks.

Sam Amico of Fox Sports reports that Brooklyn is one of three teams looking to acquire Paul Millsap:

Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Denver are among the teams that might make a play for Utah forward Paul Millsap at the deadline. Millsap's contract expires at season's end. Most teams interested in obtaining Millsap, however, would do so with the intent of offering him an immediate extension.

The Utah Jazz veteran has been a very good interior scorer throughout his career and could help provide the team with more balance up front.

However, that is not the only player the Nets are linked to at this stage. NBA writer Peter Vecsey mentioned on Twitter that the team has interest in Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies:

@sickbeardgame @pimperial24 @abresler There's validity to Nets' interest in Gay. How it turns out is anyone's guess

— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) January 20, 2013

Both of these players would likely cost the Nets a heavy price, but acquiring either one of them would immediately make the team one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference.

For a franchise in its first season in a new location, this might be worth the cost.


Charlotte Bobcats

Although Charlotte is better than its embarrassing season a year ago, it is still near the bottom of the standings in the Eastern Conference.

However, the organization is looking to improve before the trade deadline despite being out of contention. President of basketball operations Rod Higgins told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer:

We’re very active – our owner wants us to be active. [Owner Michael Jordan gave] the green light to go out and make this team better…I don’t think there’s any limits to what we’d try to do.

While there is a lot of room to get better, the Bobcats reportedly have their eye on one specific superstar. Steve Kyler of USA Today responded to a question on Twitter about Charlotte's activity:

RT @patrickconnor7: do you see the Bobcats doing anything b4 the deadline? ---> They have been after Memphis on Rudy Gay

— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) January 17, 2013

Obviously, trading for Rudy Gay would cost at least a talented young player and probably draft picks, but it would provide the franchise with a legitimate star.

The wing can fill up a stat sheet as well as almost anyone in the NBA and can make highlight-reel plays. If the Bobcats can pull off the trade, it will definitely help them get a lot more wins for the remainder of the season.