Players NBA Teams Are Desperate to Trade
The Memphis Grizzlies' decision to ship Rudy Gay off to Toronto may have been the first big move of the NBA's trade season, but it surely will not be the last.
For a myriad of reasons, it seems that there are a number of teams around the league that are eager to ship out a player prior to the February 21st deadline.
Whether a player has been underperforming, battling injuries or simply does not fit in with the culture of the club, the end result always seems to end up the same. Basketball is a business, and if a team feels they can improve by ridding themselves of a player they will do everything possible to make a deal happen.
With the deadline looming and GMs feeling the heat of fan and front office expectations, here are players and teams that are desperate to deal in the weeks prior to the deadline.
Tyreke Evans (Sacramento Kings)
The Sacramento Kings are in the midst of yet another turbulent season, and while Tyreke Evans ended January in solid fashion, he does not seem to be a piece the team plans to retain for the future.
Evans is posting 15.4 points, a career-low, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists, while shooting a career-best 47.7 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from three-point range.
His outside shooting stroke has improved noticeably, as has his shot selection, but Evans is losing minutes in Sacramento's logjam of a backcourt rotation and has also struggled with health issues.
Evans is averaging 30.9 minutes per night, 4.5 lower than his career average, and his left knee has hampered his play and forced him out of a handful of games in the 2012-13 campaign.
Despite being just 23 years-old and still brimming with potential, Sacramento opted not to tender the former Rookie of the Year a contract extension, allowing him to become a restricted free agent once the season ends.
ESPN's Marc Stein wrote that several GMs around the league believe Geoff Petrie is ready to move Evans and it makes sense: the team has not exactly had much success in the Tyreke Evans era.
With promising guards like Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette waiting in the wings, it seems the Kings are ready to part ways with the former Memphis star.
Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers)
With Dwight Howard out due to a shoulder injury, Pau Gasol shined for the Los Angeles Lakers in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, but unfortunately, the rest of Gasol's season has not gone nearly as smoothly.
Battling a litany of injuries and forced to play a role that does not suit his strengths, the Spanish big man has been averaging just 13 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game for the Lakers on a pedestrian 45.1 percent from the floor.
Gasol can hit midrange jumpers and the occasional three, but he plays his best offensive basketball in the post, not out on the perimeter. However, Mike D'Antoni has had Gasol camping out away from the basket to accommodate for Howard.
Recently, Gasol was relegated to a sixth man role behind Earl Clark and has seen his minutes vacillate wildly in 2012-13. According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Gasol was particularly bitter about D'Antoni sending him to the pine, saying it was "frustrating".
Gasol told Ken Berger of CBS Sports that he will not request a trade prior to the trade deadline, but the team could very well decide to ship him out to bring in some youth and athleticism.
Despite his underwhelming season, there are plenty of team's that covet a true seven-footer who knows how to score, make plays out of the post and rebound.
If Howard cannot stay healthy L.A. could opt to keep Gasol, but if Dwight returns expect the Lakers to shop Gasol aggressively prior to the February trade deadline.
Andrea Bargnani (Toronto Raptors)
The Toronto Raptors looked great in Rudy Gay's debut, routing the Los Angeles Clippers even without their starting center Andrea Bargnani.
Bargnani, a former first overall selection, has missed significant time with ligament tears in his elbow and has not appeared in a contest since the initial injury during a December 12th tilt with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Prior to that game, the Italian sharpshooter was not exactly setting the league on fire, averaging 16 points, but just 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting an inexcusable 39.8 percent from the floor and 31.9 percent from beyond the arc.
At this point in his career, no one expects Bargnani to suddenly morph into a rugged rebounder and post defender, but he is seven-feet tall and rebounding like a shooting guard. He also remains one of the worst paint-protecting centers in the league as he is absolutely Charmin-soft.
Following the trade for Gay, Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo announced that he is openly shopping Bargnani, according to Marc Stein. His trade value is not exactly high, but his ability to hit perimeter shots and draw opposing big men away from the basket should garner at least some interest on the trade market.
While no clear frontrunner has emerged, do not be surprised to see Bargnani shipped out of Toronto before the deadline.
J.J. Redick (Orlando Magic)
The Orlando Magic began the 2012-13 season decently, before injuries and losses in a number of close games caused them to drop precipitously in the Eastern Conference standings.
Throughout the trying, turbulent campaign, 2-guard J.J. Redick has been an absolute rock. He is posting 15.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists while shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from deep. His points, rebounds, assists and field goal percentages are all career-highs.
Redick has morphed from being just a three-point threat to an incredibly well-rounded guard that can also handle the ball and set up his teammates consistently.
Unfortunately, the 28 year-old Redick, who is a legitimate Sixth Man of the Year candidate, does not exactly fit the profile for this rebuilding Orlando team. With Arron Afflalo penciled in as the shooting guard of the future and Maurice Harkless waiting in the wings, Redick's days with the Magic appear numbered.
Marc Stein wrote that many GMs around the league believe Redick is virtually guaranteed to be dealt prior to the trade deadline, and there are sure to be plenty of front offices interested in the Duke product.
According to Stein, the Boston Celtics are a team believed to be pursuing Redick. With Rajon Rondo out for the season due to an ACL injury, it makes sense the squad would look to add another experienced wing player.
With his future role with the Magic unclear and his stock never higher, expect J.J. Redick to be shopped as much as anyone prior to the trade deadline.
Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Plagued by untimely injuries and more than their share of hard breaks, the Minnesota Timberwolves have not exactly lived up to expectations in 2012-13. To make matters worse, former second overall selection Derrick Williams has not played up to Rick Adelman's standards and has seen his minutes jerked around wildly.
For the season, Williams is notching 9.4 points, 4.5 boards and 0.4 assists while shooting just 41.6 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from three-point range.
He is an outstanding athlete, a true high-flyer who is also a decent three-point shooter if left open. His defensive effort, though, has left something to be desire and there are times where he simply disappears out on the court.
Adelman has not exactly been thrilled with Williams' effort during the season. In fact, the team's coaching staff told Williams he must work harder to avoid becoming another second selection bust.
Williams' name has come up in a handful of trade rumors, and it's safe to say that if the Timberwolves make a deal prior to the trade deadline they will likely throw in the maligned combo-forward.
He has fallen out of favor with Minnesota, but surely some team will be willing to take a chance on such a high upside talent that is still on his rookie deal.
Andris Biedrins (Golden State Warriors)
With Andrew Bogut out for much of the season Andris Biedrins actually stepped up and played some decent defensive basketball for the Golden State Warriors, but with their franchise center back in the fold the team should once again be looking to move the Latvian center.
Biedrins is averaging 0.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game on 50 percent shooting from the field. He carved himself out a decent role coming off the pine behind Festus Ezeli, but is earning an astronomical $9 million for the 2012-13 campaign.
What hurts Biedrins is his complete lack of an offensive game. He can finish a dunk, but has absolutely no post offense and could not hit a midrange jumper to save his life. Add to that his inability to connect from the free-throw line and he is simply too much of a liability to leave out on the floor for extended stretches of time.
The 26 year-old seven-footer was a very solid inside presence from 2006-2009, but afterwards completely lost his confidence and has lost his spot in Golden State's rotation as a result.
This is a young, up-and-coming team that should be a threat in the Western Conference for years in the future, and they need to commit to that youthful identity. Ezeli, though a raw prospect, deseves the opportunity to prove himself.
It will be difficult to find a suitor for Biedrins given his hefty contract, but if some team wants cap relief they may consider bringing him aboard. At this point, the Warriors would take any offer on the table.
Timofey Mozgov (Denver Nuggets)
With JaVale McGee making more good plays than shockingly stupid ones this season and Kosta Koufos improving every facet of his game, minutes have been hard to come by for the Denver Nuggets' Timofey Mozgov.
Mozgov is a serviceable rotation player thanks to his size and rebounding ability, but he is playing a mere 10.4 minutes per game and averaging 2.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game on 49.2 percent shooting from the field.
Per a report from Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post, the Nuggets have been fielding offers for Mozgov since the year began and the center himself hopes to find a place where he can earn bigger, more consistent minutes.
Mozgov is in the final year of a deal that pays him $3.1 million for 2012-13. It makes little sense for Denver, a team with a very deep frontcourt rotation, to hold onto a little used player who they could deal for potential future assets or immediate help for the upcoming postseason.
Obviously they would not receive a star in return, but if Denver could snag a veteran defensive wing player with some playoff experience that could seriously help this team take the leap to the next level.