NBA Trade Rumors: Teams That Shouldn't Move Key Players

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIFebruary 13, 2013

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 05:  (L-R) Paul Millsap #24 and Al Jefferson #25 of the Utah Jazz look on from the bench in the final minutes against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on January 5, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Jazz 110-91. 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 Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Fans of playoff teams have to love it when their front offices are actively seeking to get better, but every trade isn't a good one. Some trades will make the team stronger in one area, but the player(s) acquired isn't worth drastically weakening the team in other areas.

Here are three teams that should be saying no to the rumored deals for one of their key players.


Jazz Would Be Wise to Keep Al Jefferson and Move Paul Millsap

According to Ric Bucher, if the Utah Jazz are faced with moving Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson, Millsap would be the player most likely traded. If that is accurate, it is a wise stance for the Jazz to take.

Both men are free agents after this season, and both are productive players, but the Jazz have far more depth at power forward than they do at center. If they traded Jefferson, they would have to sign another big man, or receive another center in return.

That player isn't likely to be anywhere close to Jefferson from a talent stand point.

The question would then be: is Enes Kanter ready to start in the middle?

He's played well lately, including a 17-point, nine rebound performance against the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 6, but making him the man in the middle is a huge jump from the role he plays currently.

He's only averaging 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

The Jazz are currently seeded seventh in the Western Conference, and if they hope to make any noise in the postseason, Jefferson will have to be a major contributor. Kanter isn't ready to play 30-plus minutes in the playoffs.

The Jazz have Derrick Favors and Jeremy Evans at power forward, not to mention a throw-in player they could acquire by dealing Millsap, thus they are much better structured to lose him.

Jefferson will draw a lot of interest from other teams, but his $15 million salary makes finding a trade partner more difficult. Millsap's contract is far more manageable and would create more realistic trade options for the Jazz.

Millsap is making just $8.6 million in the final year of his deal. There should be a fair amount of suitors for the tough, defensive-minded power forward.

At the end of the season, the Jazz would be wise to part ways with both players, but Jefferson should finish the season as a member of the team.


Andrea Bargnani Isn't the Answer For the Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Tribune reported that the Bulls were entertaining the thought of trading Carlos Boozer for the Toronto Raptors oft-injured, soft and defensively-challenged seven-footer, Andrea Bargnani.

This makes almost no sense. 

The Bulls are ranked just 20th in the NBA in three-point shooting, and that's an area Bargnani would seemingly be able to help. But he's having a down year shooting the ball. He's made only 30 percent of his shots from deep this season.

He would be a nice pick-and-roll option for Derrick Rose when he returns from the torn ACL, but running the pick-and-roll isn't Rose's strong suit yet. It's one of the reasons Boozer never quite found his way over the last two seasons.

Rose is a stud, so I think he'll master the art of running the play, but as of now the team may not be able to use Bargnani in a situation he's seemingly best suited for.

Then there is the issue of defense.

The Bulls hang their hats on this and rebounding on a nightly basis, but neither are Bargnani's forte. If Boozer is getting yanked and playing less-than consistent minutes because of defensive lapses, can you imagine how often Bargnani would get pulled?

Many Bulls fans have seemingly changed their tune on Boozer this season. He was the scapegoat the last two years, but his strong play this season has gotten fans off his back.

Even though he's playing just 30 minutes per game, he's averaging 15.8 points and 9.3 rebounds. He isn't a perfect—or even a very good—defender but he's better on that end than Bargnani, and he rebounds every night.

Bargnani is less-expensive now, but his five-year $50 million deal would severely handicap the Bulls in the future. He simply isn't worth the cons, and the Bulls would be better off keeping Boozer, and going to battle with their current squad augmented by what we hope is a healthy Rose.


Knicks Would Be Crazy To Even Think About Trading Iman Shumpert

Unless the New York Knicks had the potential to acquire a proven semi-star level point guard, there is no way they should be considering trading Iman Shumpert.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Phoenix Suns inquired about acquiring Shumpert. The laughable package was said to include Jared Dudley and a future first-round pick.

The one thing to remember about rumors is that both teams don't have to show interest for the deal to become a rumor. One source can find out that a team has made an offer, and that will give the talk legs.

To the Knicks' credit, all early indication is that they aren't interested.

Shumpert is a potentially dynamic young player who already excels defensively, and has a ton of potential as an all-around player. He's still recovering from a torn ACL, but he's already made his return to the court.

At 22-years-old, the Knicks should be holding him as one of their most valuable players now and for the future. Prying him away should cost a team far more than Dudley and a pick.

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