There should always come a cautionary warning when discussing NBA trade rumors. That’s even more true the closer we get to the NBA’s Feb. 21 trade deadline.
Denver Nuggets manager George Karl candidly admitted to fabricating a rumor in the past of his own and fancied at the fact that ESPN ran with.
"We make up some trade that never was proposed in 100 years and suddenly it's on ESPN," Karl said, according to Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer.
Karl smiled at the fact of the absurdity of some of the rumors that surface this time of the year because the media “tells fibs and lies,” as he put it.
There is certainly some truth in Karl’s words, as many fan the flame at the slightest hint of speculation. Sources with partial knowledge of situations feed information to others and it’s passed along a multi-sourced chain.
Suddenly we’re all playing “telephone” and none the wiser on the actual workings that are happening behind the scenes.
The truth is—most deals happen on the fly and usually behind those closed organizational doors.
Were there any rumors swirling before the recent trade between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies? The Cavaliers sent reserve forward Jon Leuer to the Grizzlies in exchange for Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a future first-round draft pick.
So what’s the takeaway here? There is always going to be trade chatter. People are going to interpret, and misinterpret official’s remarks and concoct elaborate scenarios.
Connecting the dots doesn’t always work and rumors don’t always end up being even remotely true.
The only thing that we actually do know is that NBA teams will always be looking for a leg up on their competitors. If they can swing a deal or feed misinformation to make others act in a certain way, there’s no stopping them from fueling the fire.
As the trade deadline nears, be sure to approach everything you hear with an understood skepticism that there more than likely isn’t much really going on.
Unless, of course, you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.