At this point in the NBA season, rumors and speculation cause many to fret over which star players will be going to and from their favorite teams. Despite lots of discussion, most of these guys will not go anywhere.
General managers are smart enough to keep an open mind before the trade deadline, listening to potential opportunities to make their team better.
These players have been the subject of trade talks over the past week or more. However, they are very unlikely to go anywhere before the season ends.
Aside from perhaps Pau Gasol, no star player has been the subject of more trade rumors this season than Rudy Gay.
In the latest from ESPN's Marc Stein, the Memphis Grizzlies small forward has received interest from the Toronto Raptors. However, Stein continues to say:
The Grizzlies, though, maintain that last week's luxury-tax-slashing trade with Cleveland means they no longer feel the same pressure to move Gay or another high-priced player before the NBA's Feb. 21 trade deadline.
Memphis already helped its payroll problems by trading Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby to the Cleveland Cavaliers. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the deal saved the team $6 million.
For this reason, the Grizzlies no longer have the pressure on them to trade its leading scorer in an effort to save money.
With the fifth-best record in the entire NBA, Memphis is a legitimate championship contender this season and in the immediate future. Trading Gay will do nothing but hurt the squad on the court.
It is unlikely the Raptors will truly blow the team away with an offer, so it is much more likely that Gay stays where he is this season.
With the Boston Celtics falling to eighth place in the Eastern Conference and Rajon Rondo tearing his ACL, the team is now thinking about rebuilding.
This might be a necessary move with an aging roster, but Paul Pierce has been with the team for every year of his 14 seasons in the NBA. The backlash from fans will not be worth any potential midseason move.
In addition, the team that was most likely to go after the veteran is no longer as willing. ESPN's Marc Stein mentioned on Twitter that the Grizzlies have ended their pursuit:
Grizz, I'm told, highly unlikely to pursue Pierce. Fear No. 1: How happy would Pierce be trading Boston for Memphis? They can guess answer— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 28, 2013
This move was considered possible in a move for Rudy Gay, but Stein also notes that this will not happen either:
As noted yesterday & in story, Celtics NOT actively pursuing Gay. They expressed exploratory interest pre-Rondo injury but NOT after him now— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 29, 2013
Memphis is concerned that he would not give the same effort on a new team that he gave in Boston. This problem should become universal around small-market cities.
The Celtics will not have too many trade partners for Pierce, and Danny Ainge will not want to part with a legend. These reasons should be enough to keep him in Boston.
While the market for Paul Pierce might be shallow, there are plenty of teams interested in Jared Sullinger.
The rookie is starting to look like a steal after being drafted late in the first round. In only about 20 minutes per game, he is averaging 6.1 points and six rebounds. He is leading the team with 2.1 offensive rebounds per contest.
However, the things that make Sullinger appealing to other teams are what make the Celtics want to keep him long term.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported that Boston is unlikely to deal the young player:
Most appealing Celtic, according to multiple team execs: Jared Sullinger. Don't expect Boston to part with him— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) January 28, 2013
Sullinger is very efficient on both sides of the floor and his numbers will only increase with more playing time. The Celtics would be smart to hold onto him to see what kind of player he turns out to be.