The NBA trade deadline will hit on Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. ET, and there are some big men who could be available that are in desperate need of a change of scenery.
It isn't easy to find a quality forward or center in the NBA, but there could be some available at the deadline thanks to internal issues with their respective franchises.
Guys like Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks, Andrea Bargnani of the Toronto Raptors and DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings are all potential candidates to be moved.
Let's take a closer look as to why that is the case.
Andrea Bargnani, C, Toronto Raptors
After the Raptors pulled the trigger on the Rudy Gay trade, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported that Bargnani was on the trading block. The former No. 1 overall pick has never lived up to expectations while on the Raptors, and Bargnani has never turned out to be the star that can pull this franchise out of the dumps.
For his career, Bargnani is averaging 15.4 points per game with 4.9 rebounds and less than a block per contest. The 2012-13 season hasn't been so kind to Bargnani as his current averages (15.9 points and 4.3 rebounds) are among some of the worst in his career thus far.
If a team is looking for a big man that will bring some defense with him, Bargnani is not that guy. He's more of a finesse center with the ability to spread the floor thanks to great range that extends to the three-point line.
There is some inherent risk upon trading for Bargnani, however. The 27-year-old has missed some significant time due to injury the past three seasons, so buyer beware. But still, he's been on a losing team for his entire career and the talent is there, so maybe a winning team will get a resurgent player.
Josh Smith, PF, Atlanta Hawks
The details on the potential availability of Smith are a bit cloudy as conflicting reports have surfaced this week.
Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reported that there have been multiple teams to discuss a deal with the Hawks:
I was told that three teams - the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Charlotte Bobcats - had exploratory talks with the Atlanta Hawks.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 2, 2013
On the other hand, ESPN.com's Marc Stein has heard similar rumors, yet he believes Smith isn't likely to be traded since he isn't willing to commit to an extension at the moment:
I've likewise heard from a couple of teams that have pursued Smith in recent weeks that they've cooled on the idea because the 27-year-old is likewise reluctant to commit to a Carmelo Anthony-style extension as part of the trade. J-Smoove clearly wants to make it all the way to free agency on July 1 after nine seasons with the Hawks.
So it looks like if a team were to pull off a trade for Smith, there is some major risk involved ,and it could be costly. On top of that risk, Smith has been known to not exactly bring it on a nightly basis, which is a necessity if he hopes to land a max contract this offseason.
Despite his shortcomings, Smith is still a quality big who can bring it on both sides of the floor when at his best. The 27-year-old is averaging 16.8 points and 8.6 rebounds to go along with 2.2 blocks per game—all numbers that are better or equal to his career averages.
Smith has expressed frustrations with the Hawks organization in the past, so maybe a change of scenery will help him become a more motivated and consistent player. If the Hawks feel they truly can't sign him during the offseason, he'll at least be shopped in the coming weeks.
DeMarcus Cousins, C, Sacramento Kings
If there is anyone who would benefit from a new address, it's Cousins. The troubled big man has gotten into his fair share of issues these past few seasons, and it doesn't help that he's on a perennial basement dweller in the Kings.
Cousins is averaging a double-double with 17.2 points and 10 rebounds per game, but those numbers are down from last season. The 22-year-old is one of the most talented big men in the NBA today, but he certainly has the goods to be the best.
An immature player like Cousins is in desperate need of some guidance and a roster with some positive veteran leadership who can challenge him could do the trick.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein doesn't believe Cousins is available at the moment considering the potential sale of the Kings, but if a team can put together the right package of young players to entice Sacramento, he could be unloaded to save the organization some major headaches.