Rumors in sports are a lot like rumors at work, at church or anywhere else in life. They spread like wildfire whether they're true or not because people love gossip. And NBA fans love players switching teams; they just can't get their fix of which guys will end up trading places by the Feb. 21 trade deadline.
When scouring the Internet for trade rumors, we usually validate the source of the rumor before at all chewing on it. We carefully inspect the site, the writer and the trade itself for any shreds of validity.
But NBA-Trade-Rumors.com throws that entire notion out the window with the disclaimer on their home page:
Please use our Rumors For to send us your NBA Rumors. We take no responsibility for the accuracy or otherwise of published NBA Rumors.
Ah, a veritable treasure trove of absurd trade rumors cooked up by fans with no legitimate sources at all. Let's grab a cold one and have a good laugh.
In the true spirit of unfounded rumors, the site gives no attribution for those who send in the "rumors."
And for the sake of pure hilarity, we'll ignore the fact that most of these deals don't even check out in ESPN's Trade Machine or work with the cap in any way whatsoever.
This slideshow will feature three such rumors and two reported by NBA analysts which are equally lacking in validity.
Smith will end up somewhere, but the cap...oh, the cap.
Posted Feb. 11 on NBA-Trade-Rumors.com, the speculator assumes that Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry is looking to give up Josh Smith for close to nothing.
Cleveland Acquires: Josh Smith, fillers (the speculator does not say which fillers)
Atlanta Acquires: Tyler Zeller, two first-round picks, filler (again, this filler stuff)
He begins his analysis of the trade by saying, "At first glance, this is a stupid trade for the Hawks..." Well, I've glanced at it several times and it still appears stupid, not because the Hawks are acquiring Tyler Zeller, but because there's no way the Cavaliers are going to surrender two very high draft picks for Smith's services.
The truly laughable addition of "filler" gives even less weight to this rumor, as Zeller is on a rookie contract and Josh Smith makes $13.2 million (and is reported to be seeking a max-contract).
Perhaps the funniest (or most unsettling) part of the site is that it features a poll at the bottom asking whether or not it is a "believable" or "unbelievable" rumor, and of this rather laughable trade eight of the 15 voters have voted it as believable.
We'll give him away...or...take real talent? Yes, please.
Andrea Bargnani has been mentioned in (real) speculation, and if the Toronto Raptors can find a deal for Bargs and his $11 million contract they will likely take it, with almost no reservations.
If a team offered the Raptors a rookie lottery pick and potential All-Star with the reigning Most Improved Player, they would likely think it was a prank call.
The poster speculated that the Raptors would acquire Austin Rivers and Ryan Anderson for a package that consisted of Bargnani, John Lucas III, Linas Kleiza and a second-round draft pick.
In other words, New Orleans is going to give up a guy they are hoping could be their future point guard and a sharpshooting power forward to acquire a lot of unwanted garbage. It's kind of like that kid at lunch who always tries to trade crappy things for people's desserts.
At least we can commend the audience here at the website, as 16 of 17 people voted the trade rumor as "unbelievable."
A great player to build a franchise around? This guy thought so.
This person begins by saying "Bare (sic) with me here."
We'll try, we'll try.
The poster comes through with a four-team blockbuster that makes very little sense for three of the four teams involved, and is equally as implausible as it is unbalanced.
Sacramento Acquires: Paul Millsap and Earl Watson
Sacramento Trades: Tyreke Evans, James Johnson
Memphis Acquires: Tyreke Evans, Josh McRoberts, James Johnson
Memphis Trades: Zach Randolph, second-round pick
Orlando Acquires: Zach Randolph, Sacramento second-round pick
Orlando Trades: Aaron Afflalo, Andrew Nicholson
Utah Acquires: Aaron Afflalo, Andrew Nicholson, Grizzlies top-8 protected draft pick
Utah Trades: Paul Millsap and Earl Watson
Sacramento acquires Paul Millsap to plug into their crowded front court while surrendering Tyreke Evans (who actually has been mentioned in real trade rumors). Perfect.
Memphis gives up their de facto leading scorer to acquire Tyreke Evans, who can compete for playing time with Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye. Give up a need to create a log jam. Brilliant, again.
Orlando gives up a 26-year-old shooting guard entering his prime and a promising 23-year-old rookie to acquire Zach Randolph at the end of his prime, a player who would undoubtedly throw tantrums on a team as bad as the Magic will be. Presumably, the real attraction here would be the second-round pick since so many selected after pick 30 actually make NBA rosters. Three for three.
Lastly, the Jazz pull an amazing heist in this deal. They give up Millsap, who has an expiring contract, and bring in talent that will be around for a while in the form of Aaron Afflalo and St. Bonaventure product Andrew Nicholson. To boot, they get a first-round draft pick.
I think new GM Dennis Lindsey would be in the running for NBA Executive of the Year if he were able to fleece three teams at once in that deal.
Those were three of the first five offerings from the smorgasbord of so-called rumors I found on this website. Indulge yourself, the site is loaded with real NBA insiders.
Next, on to a couple rumors reported by actual NBA insiders.
Washington has nothing to offer.
Sam Amick of USA Today reported that DeMarcus Cousins could potentially end up in Washington. The seeming basis for his rumor was that Cousins and Wizards point guard John Wall were teammates at Kentucky; that makes reuniting in Washington an absolute must, apparently.
What makes the situation so implausible is Cousins' contract. He's still on a rookie deal so the Wiz couldn't really send anything tangible in exchange for him that would interest the Kings. Bradley Beal is a potential chip, but the Kings have no need for his services with a glut of talent in the backcourt.
Amick reports vast interest in Cousins' services in the report, saying Denver, Detroit, Houston and Boston are all interested. That news runs smack into the face that the Wizards have none of the assets those teams have to offer.
Cousins will not end up in the nation's capital.
Facepalm, huh, KG?
— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) February 3, 2013
One thing that has to be stressed any time a rumor pops up with Kevin Garnett is that the guy has a no-trade clause. KG stated to WEEI he has no desire to leave Boston, also insinuating that he and Paul Pierce are a package deal of sorts. Either both are dealt, or neither.
"I bleed green, I die green," KG said to the Boston affiliate radio station.
But those statements by Garnett do nothing to show the utter absurdity of the deal Sean Deveney of the Sporting News' reports. The main attraction in the move for the Boston Celtics is Eric Bledsoe, who they want to acquire why?
They already have Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley to man most of the minutes in the backcourt, and Bledsoe wants to be an NBA starter, not a third guard on what will become a rebuilding team (of sorts).
The only grounds by which the rumor makes any sense is if Danny Ainge felt he was getting so good a value that he could flip Bledsoe in a subsequent trade for something really good. Because from a positional standpoint, from a team-building approach, it makes no sense whatsoever.
Chad Ford of ESPN felt it would be worth it just to acquire a talent of Bledsoe's caliber, but it all goes back again to whether KG would block the trade or not.
Either way, the report was eventually revealed to have little grounds in actual sources.