The 2013 NBA trade deadline is just days away from closing, and the rumor mill is picking up full stream about which players could possibly be moving this winter.
However, some teams and players simply need to run as far away as they possibly can from the touted rumors. The supposed proposals might be bad for the player or the longevity of the franchise, but either way they're not deals that teams want to be making in 2013.
Here are some of the biggest stars that shouldn't be dealt before the deadline.
Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers
Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported earlier in the week that the Los Angeles Clippers could be tempted to move Eric Bledsoe soon:
The Los Angeles Clippers' options for dealing Eric Bledsoe should they reverse course and decide to part with their prized young point guard appear to be increasing before Thursday's NBA trade deadline.
They go on to suggest that Utah is reportedly exploring a trade for the youngster—who we'll get to in a minute—that would see Paul Millsap going the other way.
And whilst there's no doubt that Millsap would help the Clippers and Bledsoe would fill an urgent need for the Jazz at point guard, LA cannot afford to let go of him before the trade deadline this year—especially with the playoffs looming.
Chris Paul's replacement needs to hang around simply for the question of what would happen if the recent All-Star MVP went down with injury. Bledsoe has proven himself to be more than capable of filling in when needed, and the Clippers cannot afford to let him go as a result.
Moreover, if LA is patient with Bledsoe, it'll likely get a much better deal for him than it would now. He isn't a free agent until 2014 and his potential and skill will no doubt have improved by then, meaning that if the Clippers bide their time, they'll get a far better trade for the young guard.
Sure, trade him, but just don't do it yet.
Paul Millsap, Utah Jazz
In the same vein, Utah cannot afford to let Millsap leave at the moment—regardless of how big of a need Bledsoe would fill in the Jazz's starting five.
Millsap has been posting huge numbers for the Jazz this year—ranking top two on the team for nearly every shooting, scoring and rebounding category available—and his departure would simply cripple their offense.
Al Jefferson would not be as effective in the frontcourt as he has been this year, with teams likely to shift more attention on the big man if Millsap left.
The Jazz are teetering on the edge of a playoff spot and could see that disappear if they let Millsap leave in 2013. He's just too good and too valuable at the moment to let go—especially for a guy that can't even get a starting gig on his current roster.
Eric Gordon, New Orleans Hornets
Chris Broussard of ESPN floated the possibility of a potential deal by New Orleans that would see Eric Gordon leave the franchise. After all, Gordon hasn't been the most popular Hornet since asking for an out last season.
Which of these three players is most likely to be traded before the deadline?
Yet, as Broussard notes, a deal is unlikely to happen at this point in the year, with New Orleans perhaps leaving its interest too late before the deadline to truly get a good deal for Gordon.
At the end of the day, what it would need most is a good deal that would allow more quality young players to come into the system.
The Hornets are a growing team that will be competitive once again in five to 10 years—provided that they continue to develop young players like they have done.
Gordon has not shown himself to be the answer there, but they can ill afford to not get the best out of him in a potential trade when they do look to move him, for it could set the franchise back a couple more years.
Like Bledsoe, he needs to be moved, but just not this season.
Which stars do you think must not be traded before the deadline?
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