NBA Trade Rumors: Top News for Big Men on the Block

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIFebruary 1, 2013

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 01: Greg Oden #52 of the Portland Trail Blazers watches from the bench as his teammates take on the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on November 1, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Trail Blazers 110-98. 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 Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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With the Feb. 21 trade deadline right around the corner, NBA trade rumors continue to swirl with a plethora of available big men on the block.

From the attempted comeback of Greg Oden to the frustrations of Dwight Howard, plenty of centers have been making headlines in January.

Here's some of the top big-man news coming out of the NBA heading into February.


DeMarcus Cousins

Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins continues to make trade-rumor headlines, with the most recent—going back to the beginning of January—having him linked to Boston.

Funny thing is that apparently no one made Cousins aware that he was on the block.

A recent article by the Boston Globe's Baxter Holmes reports that Cousins was unaware of trade talks involving his name.

The ever-humble 22-year-old was quoted as saying, "I'm not surprised ... I am a pretty decent player."

This is conflicting news from Cousins, especially since a Kentucky Sports Radio report from December confirmed that Cousins knew of trade talks and was hoping a move was settled soon.

Who knows what kind of move this is on Cousins part—whether he actually forgot he was on the block or wanted to seem indifferent about Sacramento—but the fact remains that the man is on the market.


Dwight Howard

You can't talk NBA big men without Dwight Howard news popping up.

Despite L.A.'s horrid season, and despite the most recent injury to bite D-12, it seems the Lakers are determined to hold on to their prized center.

Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reported this week that the Lakers remain loyal to both head coach Mike D'Antoni and Howard:

Despite all that has gone wrong, league sources say the Lakers do not intend to pink-slip D’Antoni this season, and the Lakers still want to keep the underperforming Howard beyond this season.

... it’s not as if the Lakers can afford to let Howard walk at season’s end. They’ll need a star to build around once Bryant retires and Howard fills the bill.

So even though it could now be a long shot after a disappointing first season in L.A., the Lakers brass still believe they have a chance, or at least an obligation, to try and keep Howard past this summer.


Greg Oden

The biggest man making noise lately remains Greg Oden, who continues his road back toward the NBA.

Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports reported this week that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat remain front-runners for Oden's services.

The 25-year-old is attempting a comeback after multiple knee surgeries, and his top two suitors make plenty of sense.

Despite its less-than-stellar record, going to Cleveland would be like returning home for Oden. He spent his college years at Ohio State, and he is currently rehabbing in both Columbus and Indianapolis.

The Cavs have some young pieces in place, and with Anderson Varejao's future with the team up in the air, Oden could be a strong anchor for the future of the team.

And while Miami can't offer as much money due to cap room, Oden stands a great chance at winning a ring if he takes his talents to South Beach.

The Heat have been awful this season inside, averaging an NBA-worst 39.4 rebounds per game. They need some kind of big-man reinforcement.


Kevin Garnett

In the wake of Rajon Rondo's season-ending ACL injury, it's been heavily speculated that the Celtics could be interesting in dealing both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

While a Pierce deal seems more likely (he has a more manageable contract), moving Garnett could cause some holdups.

Former ESPN analyst Ric Bucher reported this week that he discussed the situation with two GMs and doesn't see any way Garnett gets moved.

As for the reasoning, Bucher had this to say:

I keep being asked about deals involving Kevin Garnett going somewhere. Hard to imagine that happening if the general view among GMs mirrors the feeling that two I spoke with have: no chance KG plays the remaining two years of his contract and no chance, with him making $11.5 million and $12 million the next two years and the super luxury tax looming

Bucher goes on to say that despite Garnett's work ethic, no one believes his legs have two more years in them.

So while plenty of teams would enjoy the addition of a defensively savvy power forward/center, chances are it won't be Garnett.