There are plenty of rumors about potential deals swirling around as the Feb. 21 NBA trade deadline approaches, so it's only appropriate that we take a look at some of them and give a grade for each.
One single trade at the deadline can sometimes put a team over the top and take them one step closer to NBA greatness. On the other hand, a bad trade can often ruin the prospects of one of the teams involved.
Will the Chicago Bulls send Carlos Boozer to the Toronto Raptors?
Is second-year guard Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks on his way to Phoenix?
Would the Brooklyn Nets be wise to ship Kris Humphries to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for a veteran guard who can score?
Let's take a closer look at each of these rumors and how they work out for both teams.
Carlos Boozer (Bulls) for Andrea Bargnani (Raptors)
ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported that the Bulls and Raptors could be interested in a Bargnani for Boozer deal.
For the Bulls, this deal would make no sense at all. Boozer may not be the best defender in the world, but he is certainly better than Bargnani and his turnstyle defense. A defensive-minded squad like the Bulls and their head coach, Tom Thibodeau, certainly wouldn't like Bargnani's soft interior presence.
Bargnani also has issues actually staying on the court for extended periods of time. The Raptors center has only played in 80 games once during his career and missed more than half of last season. So far during the 2012-13 campaign, Bargnani has played in just 23 games.
If Chicago were to acquire him and then lose him to injury, the team's prospects of getting to the playoffs and winning a championship would take a major hit—especially if Derrick Rose doesn't come back from injury in a reasonable amount of time.
On the flip side, Toronto has all the incentive to make this deal. They get rid of the bust that is Bargnani—who is in the midst of a career-worst season—and they bring in a more consistent player like Boozer who can be counted on to play each and every night on both ends of the floor.
Grade for Bulls: F
Grade for Raptors: A
Kris Humphries (Nets) for Ben Gordon (Bobcats)
ESPN's Chris Broussard let us in on the rumor that the Nets and Bobcats were talking about a Humphries-Gordon exchange.
For the Bobcats, Humphries would be a major improvement for them in the more fundamental aspects of the game. Not only does he bring energy to the defensive end, but he's also a solid rebounder when he gets his minutes, and the Bobcats desperately need an upgrade in both departments.
The last two seasons have seen Humphries finish top five in the league in rebounds per game, but his numbers have slid considerably this season since he has seemingly fallen out of favor in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn needs some scoring punch off its bench, and Gordon is about the best option the Nets will find during the deadline. He's averaging nearly 13 points per contest this season and is a threat to score from anywhere on the floor.
The Nets are ranked No. 22 in the NBA in points per game, so a veteran scorer like Gordon would be a welcome addition to the team. Besides, why hold on to Humphries when he isn't being used anyway?
Grade for Bobcats: B
Grade for Nets: B+
Iman Shumpert (Knicks) for Jared Dudley (Suns)
The Phoenix Suns have called the New York Knicks about a possible deal that would involve Iman Shumpert for Jared Dudley and a possible future first-round selection, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The Suns would love to make this deal because Shumpert is one of the up-and-coming defenders in the NBA. Already recognized as a great impact player on the defensive end, Shumpert is still honing his offensive skills but has shown flashes of excellence scoring the ball off the dribble and from the perimeter.
New York has reportedly been looking for another shooter, and Dudley is a solid answer to that need, but is another shooter really a need for the Knicks? Not in the least bit (see: Steve Novak, Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Chris Copeland, Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, etc.).
What the Knicks do need is a great defender like Shumpert who can guard the opposing team's best scorer in order to slow that player down. It is a vital recipe for championship teams, and it's doubtful a defensive-minded coach like Mike Woodson would be willing to let Shump go anyway.
Grade for Knicks: F
Grade for Suns: A