It seems like every day a new NBA trade rumor surfaces as the league approaches its Feb. 21 trade deadline.
The deadline can’t come soon enough. Only then will the endless rumblings of wheeling and dealing around the league be put on the backburner and we can get back to what we’re really here for: basketball.
Potential deals are appealing, though, as we watch and wait while teams jockey to prepare for a playoff run or shed contracts to begin offseason rebuilding.
How much of it is true and how much is misinformation and speculation? That distinction is why we have to draw the line and put everything into context for ourselves.
Here’s a list of the most recent trade deadline rumblings from around the league.
Brooklyn Nets Pursuing Utah’s Paul Millsap; Not Josh Smith and Ben Gordon?
The Brookyln Nets are allegedly moving on from Josh Smith and pursuing Utah big man Paul Millsap, according to New York Daily News’ Mitch Lawrence. Millsap is the target for the Nets due to Utah reportedly making Al Jefferson a priority to hold onto, according to Comcast Sports NBA Analyst Ric Bucher.
This comes as a change to other reporting by ESPN’s Chris Broussard. The analyst said sources confirmed Josh Smith was the top priority of the Nets before the trade deadline.
The addition of Millsap to the fold gives the Nets three prominent trade deadline targets. He joins Smith and Charlotte’s Ben Gordon as the top options for Brooklyn moving forward.
Of the three, it seems Smith may be the best option for the team, but he may be the hardest to actually acquire. His impending free agency may help contribute to the Hawks' willingness to deal him. However, the Nets may require Smith to sign a contract extension prior to any deal being executed.
In that instance, Millsap becomes the favored target, as he would likely end up coming cheaper. Plus, he would likely be easier to convince to stay in Brooklyn and at a discount in comparison to the max contract that Smith is reportedly seeking.
Mark Cuban’s Gun Is Loaded but That Doesn’t Mean He’ll Pull the Trigger
Earlier in the season Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced that the “Bank of Cuban” was open and that the team would take back money if it found the right deal.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon updated us on the current status of the Mavs’ trade deadline war room with a quote from Cuban on Feb. 11:
It takes two teams to trade. There’s a lot of deals we would make [laughs], but nobody seems willing to do what we want to do. You never know, but nothing imminent. The bank’s still open.
It’s hard to imagine who, if anyone, meets Cuban’s high standards for making a deal happen. The Mavs are in need of help at multiple positions and don’t have very much to offer in return.
Cap space and luxury-tax considerations don’t seem to be an issue for Cuban, so there very may well be something that gains steam as teams struggle to make things happen before the deadline.