NBA Trade Rumors: Fact or Fiction on Today's Hottest Buzz
Even with the NBA trade deadline a month away, the rumor mill is still swirling with plenty of buzz involving several star players that could be on the move.
It's a lot of hearsay and sources cited in all the reports that are coming out, so separating the fact from fiction is extremely difficult. However, it is possible to break down the situations surrounding each player and figure out which teams would make sense in a potential deal.
With that, here is a look at what appears feasible as the Feb. 21 deadline to make moves draws nearer.
Fact: Rudy Gay
A lot of clubs are rightfully interested in the Memphis Grizzlies' versatile small forward, who is the team's leading scorer and also a handful on the defensive end. That should be good news for the Grizzlies, who already have exorbitant contracts on the books aside from Gay's max deal.
Just last week, Fox Sports' Sam Amico reported that the Grizzlies were fizzling out talks for Gay until closer to the deadline, with a move more likely to occur in the summer.
But that may have been just a ploy to force other teams' hands, because the intrigue surrounding Gay has risen in recent days. Another team has reportedly thrown its hat into the ring amongst the other potential suitors, according to Amico:
...League sources say the Grizzlies will take another stab at moving him before the trading deadline.
Teams reportedly having the deepest discussions with the Grizzlies include Charlotte, Minnesota, Phoenix and, more recently, Atlanta.
The Hawks recently lost Lou Williams for the season with a torn ACL and have plenty of perimeter players to help their cause. For a team like Memphis trying to clear out cap space to avoid hefty luxury taxes under the new salary cap rules, dealing with Atlanta would make a lot of sense.
A potential deal is difficult to speculate on, but it would likely involve Atlanta giving up a draft pick.
The Grizzlies would love a three-point shooter like Kyle Korver in return, and the Hawks have several expiring contracts to help Memphis avoid significant financial turmoil this offseason.
Fiction: Paul Millsap
The Utah Jazz shouldn't trade their standout power forward because there is simply not a lot of potential return among the alleged teams interested. Those include Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Denver, according to Amico's most recent report.
ESPN's Marc Stein reported back in December that either center Al Jefferson or Millsap would be moved before the trade deadline.
Both are impending free agents, and both have younger players behind them in Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors that are improving and likely to become strong starters at some point.
But should the Jazz really let Millsap go to one of the three aforementioned teams?
The Nets wouldn't be able to offer a true star player in return, and the Bucks may offer wildly inconsistent PG Brandon Jennings. The Nuggets won't give up a piece that would vault Utah into contention more than it is right now.
At 22-19 in the seventh spot in the West, the Jazz should hold off on trading their big men and focus on re-signing Millsap to an extension this summer.
Fact: Minnesota Timberwolves Searching for Size
According to 1500ESPN.com, GM David Kahn is heavily marketing Derrick Williams as a trade chip in a frenzy of phone calls to try to land another big man.
Nikola Pekovic is going to demand a massive contract once the season is over, as he makes just over $4.6 million right now but is exceeding that salary by putting up 16 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
Williams was the No. 2 pick in the 2011 draft and looks to have great potential, but he is buried in the Wolves' guard-heavy rotation and hasn't been able to settle into a true position as a 3 or a 4. That versatility and gaudy draft status at least helps Kahn make a pitch for him.
It would be ideal for Minnesota to land another big in the event that Pekovic walks this summer.
The biggest issue is Kevin Love's extensive absence due to hand surgery, which is likely to stretch until March (h/t ESPN). Love averages 14 rebounds per night and leads the team with 18.3 points per game.
Losing his production on the glass will especially hurt this undersized team if it wants to stay even remotely in the playoff hunt. That makes acquiring a strong power forward all the more critical for Kahn.
Fiction: J.J. Redick
David Baumann of NBC Sports tweeted recently that the Boston Celtics have expressed interest in the Orlando Magic's sharp-shooting guard:
As Feb. 21 #NBA trade deadline looms, sources tell me the Boston Celtics covet Orlando Magic SG J.J. Redick.— David Baumann (@DavidBaumann33) January 19, 2013
This doesn't make all that much sense, as the Celtics rank dead last in the league in rebounding and could really use another big man at the deadline.
One positive is that Redick is averaging a career-high 4.5 assists in 2012-13, but PG Rajon Rondo does pretty much all the distributing Boston needs.
Unless the C's can pull off a one-for-one swap with Courtney Lee, this wouldn't be the wisest deal. Lee played for the Magic during their most recent years of glory, but would be coming to a team not capable of winning a title anytime soon.
This move doesn't make sense for Orlando either, because Boston would no doubt want to make a play for 22-year-old center Nikola Vucevic, who has emerged as a double-double machine.
Redick will be a free agent, but the Celtics don't seem like the best trading partner if the Magic want to get any kind of substantial value in return.
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