The rumor hot stove is starting to heat up heading toward the NBA trade deadline, and some of the biggest names in the sport are rumored to be on the trading block.
Stars like Kevin Garnett, Paul Millsap, Josh Smith and others are all reportedly being discussed in deals and the fans of the NBA won’t want to miss any of the latest updates on where these players could end up.
Paul Millsap for Eric Bledsoe?
The Los Angeles Clippers are not satisfied being an outside contender in the Western Conference and the team is reportedly testing the waters on a deal that would send backup point guard Eric Bledsoe to the Utah Jazz for veteran power forward Paul Millsap, according to Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
Sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com late Saturday that there is a level of mutual interest between the Clippers and Utah Jazz in exploring a deal that would feature Bledsoe as the headliner in a trade package for Jazz forward Paul Millsap.
Although two sources with knowledge of the Clippers' thinking insisted during All-Star Weekend that Bledsoe would not be moved in coming days and strongly predicted that L.A. would stand pat, two other sources indicated that the Clippers and Jazz will at least discuss the feasibility of a trade headlined by Bledsoe and Millsap before the deadline.
This is in incredibly smart deal for both teams and one of the few rumored deals that actually benefits both franchises and fits each organization’s needs.
L.A. would get the depth at power forward they need behind Blake Griffin, and the Jazz would get the point guard they have missed since Deron Williams was traded from Utah.
This is a win-win trade.
Josh Smith On the Move?
The Atlanta Hawks must decide whether or not they want to risk re-signing All-Star power forward Josh Smith this offseason or if they should trade him at the deadline.
Smith has the ability to walk as a free agent at season’s end, and every passing day that an extension isn’t signed with Atlanta is a day closer to being dealt in a blockbuster trade.
According to a report from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, there are several teams interested in the services of the Hawks’ forward and the consensus belief is that he will likely be moved at the trade deadline.
If there is a shred of doubt that Smith would re-sign with the team or if the organization doesn’t feel he is the perfect fit for the franchise they want to build going forward, a deal now would yield the most in return for the Hawks.
Atlanta must find a team on the cusp of contending in the East or the West that is interested in Smith and get as many young players and draft picks in return for the veteran as possible while the team still can.
Kevin Garnett Possibly Being Dealt?
Despite the fact that Boston Celtics star power forward Kevin Garnett continues to refute trade rumors by claiming he would not waive his no-trade clause if the team decided to deal him (h/t Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports), both sides continue to discuss the possibility of a blockbuster trade.
Asked Saturday if there was any circumstance or team that could entice him to give up his no-trade clause and leave Boston, Garnett said, "No."
Even so, the Clippers still believe they can get Garnett to accept a trade if the Celtics tell him they want to make a deal, a source told Yahoo! Sports.
"If Boston came to him with the trade and he knew they wanted to do it, he would change his mind," the source said.
That fact that Garnett can veto this deal will be a huge point of emphasis throughout the trade talks, but if both the Celtics and Clippers feel this is the best move for their respective franchises, they must continue to follow through with the negotiations.
If the two teams make the deal and Garnett still refuses to waive his no-trade clause, neither team gets hurt and the organizations can move on to the next possible move.
Garnett’s loyalty usually has the veteran doing what’s best for his team, but there is a chance Boston management could convince him that a deal to L.A. would be the best for the both franchises and for his immediate future.