The NBA rumor mill is grinding to a screeching halt after Feb. 21, but lucky for those who love drama we've got plenty of news about the NBA trade deadline and which players might have a new team on Thursday afternoon.
Milwaukee Bucks guards Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings have highlighted this early part of the NBA rumor scene, but others like Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe and New Orleans Hornets guard Eric Gordon have also drawn interest from teams throughout the league.
Contenders like the Clippers and Chicago Bulls are still looking for guard help, but other teams like the Bucks and Atlanta Hawks are also looking for help in those departments.
With the deadline just over a day away, here's the latest scoop on guards that might be on the move on Wednesday and Thursday.
Ellis was just traded this time last season, and look how well his former team is doing without him. The Bucks could (and should) make a similar decision with his trade value and send him to a squad looking for some impact scoring.
ESPN's Marc Stein reported that the Bucks and Hawks are talking a Josh Smith-for-Ellis trade, and that Ellis would be plugged in beside Jeff Teague in the Atlanta backcourt:
Although it's exactly the same move that Milwaukee made to acquire Ellis in the first place, it appears teams aren't giving up on him being an impact player for a playoff team just yet.
Ellis continues to light up the stat book, averaging over 18 points, five assists and three rebounds, but he and Jennings haven't been able to co-exist and he's shooting a career-low 40.1 percent from the field. It's forced the team to make a decision, one that could mean Jennings heading out of town.
However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Milwaukee's stance with the fourth-year guard remains unchanged:
For all the leverage Brandon Jennings sought changing agents, reality is unchanged: No one will max him out, Bucks will match sheet in July.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 19, 2013
If he does hit free agency, he'll be matched no matter what because Milwaukee wants to keep him around and doesn't feel any other team will make him a max salary player with the salary cap issues that continue creeping up.
That said, Milwaukee has remained active during this trade deadline and likely wouldn't say no to a package of expiring contracts and draft picks—especially if Jennings is unhappy with his status with the team.
Bell is a name that hasn't gotten much press during this trade flurry, but he could again be a trade target of the Los Angeles Lakers and his former coach—Mike D'Antoni.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports had the report:
Mike D'Antoni has remained intrigued with bringing exiled Jazz guard Raja Bell to Lakers, sources say.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 19, 2013
Bell hasn't played yet this season, but is very familiar with the D'Antoni offense and would be a valuable asset down the stretch for a playoff team.
However, the Lakers aren't the most cap-friendly team and they would need to convince the Jazz to take on at least one bad contract and part ways with a young guard (Darius Morris) in the process. That might be too much to give for one of D'Antoni's rentals.
Luke Ridnour, Eric Maynor and Sebastian Telfair
The latest from ESPN's Chris Broussard puts Toronto in the market for either Ridnour or Telfair after the trade of Jose Calderon:
Toronto in need of backup PG; could be landing spot for Telfair or Minny's Luke Ridnour.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 19, 2013
He also puts OKC on the trade wind list after reporting that the team continues to shop Eric Maynor. There won't be many offers if the asking price remains high, which is the current case:
OKC aggressively shopping PG Eric Maynor. Asking price is high. Phoenix looking to move Sebastian Telfair to clear PT for Kendall Marshall.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 19, 2013
Maynor and Reggie Jackson split time at the backup PG position, but only one is really needed in the course of what OKC tries to accomplish on a nightly basis.
As for Telfair and Ridnour, both would be quality reserves for a team looking to bolster their guard outlook. The price wouldn't be too high, especially in Phoenix where the Suns just want to clear cap and playing time for Kendall Marshall.
Where will Redick land?
The latest market for the oft-mentioned guard now includes the Bucks, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports.
However, it appears the Bucks' potential interest falls only if they are able to move Ellis in a bigger deal. It would allow them to start Redick and Jennings side-by-side, and hopefully provide the latter with some contentment heading into free agency (that's going to be a moot point).
The Bulls will likely be in on Redick until the final bell tolls and don't be surprised if he ends up on the move well before Thursday's deadline. He's the hottest guard name on the market and teams will pay big for three-point shooters that can stretch the floor come postseason time.