Some new names have popped up in the trade winds, with implications from Wednesday's trade of Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors driving speculation on the part of respected NBA analysts.
Rajon Rondo's injury sent shock waves through the Boston Celtics organization, prompting chatter that they may be on the brink of making some team-altering moves.
Let's jump in and look at some speculation being heard around the league following the Grizzlies dealing Gay to the Raptors.
Is Zach Randolph Next to Be Dealt?
It's truly a tragedy to see a team as close as Memphis have to blow up the roster to avoid the league's luxury tax. Memphis had become one of the feel-good stories of the NBA and graced the No. 1 spot on many B/R power rankings for the first third of the 2012-13 NBA season.
With the trade of Rudy Gay, Memphis is doing everything it can to avoid the luxury tax at the cost of dismantling a near-contending team.
Joe Kaiser of ESPN (subscription required) speculates that Memphis may next move starting power forward Zach Randolph. The Grizzlies acquired Ed Davis from the Raptors in the deal that sent Gay to Toronto, and Davis could serve as a replacement (albeit a vastly inferior one) for Randolph.
Kaiser adds that the Grizzlies are already below the luxury tax and don't have to deal Randolph, but speculates that they may need to look for a swingman to fill the void left by Rudy Gay.
Randolph is due $16.5 million this year and $17.8 million next year before a player option in 2014-15 worth $16.5 million.
Some names mentioned that could be used in part to obtain Randolph were J.J. Redick, Aaron Afflalo, Avery Bradley, Monta Ellis, Nick Young, Thaddeus Young, Andre Iguodala, Marcus Thornton and Vince Carter.
Of all of these options, the Grizz would likely seek to go with the most offensively-minded one. Acquiring a defensive stopper like Avery Bradley would only be superficially attractive with Tony Allen already filling such a role on the team.
Ellis and Thornton would make the most sense from an offensive standpoint, and there'd be a definite need for a hired gunner on a team like Memphis with O.J. Mayo having taken that skill set to Dallas.
Rodrigue Beaubois and Chris Kaman Available?
The Dallas Mavericks have reduced Chris Kaman's playing time, prompting Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News to speculate that Kaman may be involved in a trade in the upcoming weeks. Kaman has an $8 million expiring contract and can still play some very serviceable minutes at the 5-spot.
Kaman is averaging 12.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in about 23 minutes a night. Don't tell me the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics couldn't use that interior presence.
Rodrigue Beaubois is a free agent in July too, but interest likely won't be high in him. The Mavs will likely just make a decision on him at the end of the year unless a suitor steps up that finds itself in need of an undersized 2-guard who hasn't yet established he's able to run the point.
Josh Smith Likely on His Way Out of Atlanta (Finally?)
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! reported in his NBA power rankings that a source indicated a Josh Smith trade is highly likely. That's been said since the beginning of the season, but with enough beats on the seismic monitor, we're eventually going to have an earthquake.
The Hawks really don't have much of a direction, so guessing what they might aim for in a trade for Smith is difficult to do. They have Al Horford to man the 4- or 5-spot and Jeff Teague at the point but could use an upgrade at every other position.
The speculation that Smith would be dealt for the Lakers' Pau Gasol seems to be coming to an end, with the news that Gasol will not request a trade and will just attempt to cope with coming off the bench for Earl Clark.
While Smith has been mentioned a lot, the relative number of suitors for the combo forward's services doesn't seem to be overwhelming. It may be because Smith said (via sbnation.com) that he feels he is a max-contract player. GMs around the league might not see that as the case.
Boston May Be Shaking Things up
Hoopsworld reported that the Boston Celtics may be a source of part-harvesting for other teams now that the main cog in their machine is broken. Rajon Rondo's season-ending ACL injury has prompted a lot of speculation that the C's will be active in rebuilding their squad.
It's counter-intuitive that Jared Sullinger would be available, but Joe Kaiser of ESPN (subscription required) reports that interest in Sullinger around the league is very high, which means he could be used as a hidden caveat in a much larger trade involving one of the bigger contracts on the Celtics. Sullinger has drawn a lot of praise from Kevin Garnett this season, and that doesn't exactly come lightly or easily.
It's pretty safe to assume that Danny Ainge is scratching into every napkin in his house a possible lineup for the Celtics by next season, and it's anyone's guess as to whether he sees Sully manning the 4-spot.
Does Rodney Stuckey Have a Home in Detroit?
The Detroit Pistons acquired Jose Calderon in the three-team deal involving Rudy Gay today, so how their backcourt will now shake out is pretty interesting, with three guys who are all pretty much limited to playing point guard. Rodney Stuckey is almost an exception to that rule, but at 6'3", he's not really a 2-guard either.
Nick Borges of ESPN speculates he may be dealt (subscription required).
Stuckey had just been benched prior to the trade and doesn't seem to fit into the Pistons' future plans at all. He's due $8.5 million this season but only has a partially guaranteed contract next year ($4 million guaranteed if waived by June 30).
It's hard to envision interest being very high in Stuckey, since his shooting guard skill set is rather mediocre and he's unable to effectively run the point. It's hard to even conceive of many teams for which Stuckey would be an upgrade over their existing shooting guard. Utah comes to mind, but J.J. Redick would better fit its needs, according to Ric Bucher.
Dwight Howard Expects Not to Be Traded
"I plan on being here the remainder of the season," Dwight Howard told the Los Angeles Daily News. He added that his focus was on doing what he could to get the Lakers into the playoffs.
He told Alex Kennedy last week that he would let free agency sort itself out after the season. That means the Brooklyn Nets will likely have to acquire Howard via a sign and trade, if it is to ever occur.
If the Lakers rallied and made the playoffs, would that keep Howard in L.A.?
Carlos Boozer to Remain a Bull
Carlos Boozer has picked up his play in a major way and is looking pretty much like the 20/10 stalwart we saw in Utah alongside Deron Williams. As such, it seems pretty unlikely the Bulls will sell high on their power forward, who could be just the second fiddle that they've needed for Derrick Rose when he returns.
Prior to Boozer's re-emergence, many speculated he would be dealt due to his underperformance, but Bill Ingram of Hoopsworld reports that the Bulls are unlikely to deal him now.
J.J. Redick Likely to be Dealt, but Nothing on Table
J.J. Redick told Real GM he likes Orlando and the community has been wonderful to him but added, "There's nothing I can do to control that situation."
Redick is taking a very professional approach to this but clearly wants to remain in Orlando. He's spent his entire career in central Florida and become a fan favorite for the fans that frequent the Amway. He's developed from a one-dimensional shooter into a player who is a multi-threat scorer and above-average defender, and his value is high.
Redick is just entering the heart of his basketball prime, and the Magic are still at least a couple seasons away from being a playoff team, so obtaining a first-round pick and a prospect would likely be enough for Magic GM Rob Hennigan to pull the trigger.
But Redick won't come easily.
Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 in Minneapolis reported that Hennigan wants more than just 2011 No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams in exchange for Redick's services.
Further Reading: Most Likely Deals this Season
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