5 NBA Teams That Do Not Need to Make a Deal Entering 2013 Trade Deadline
With the NBA trade deadline falling past the season's midway point, there's a certain level of responsibility for general managers and front offices to survey the trade landscape.
Teams have largely shown their flaws at this point, and areas of need have surfaced. Some clubs lack starpower, a closer or perhaps need nothing more than fine-tuning, and executives are tasked with finding ways of plugging those holes in the most cost-effective manner.
But even under these circumstances, there are teams whose best option at the trade deadline is to do nothing. Whether that's due to the market rate, a successful start or a combination of the two, sometimes there simply aren't logical moves available to them.
The following clubs stretch across all angles of basketball's landscape. There are teams built for championship contention that could lose that lofty status through a well-intentioned, poorly executed transaction. There are others stuck at the opposite end of the spectrum, but risk underselling the limited talent already in place.
Thursday's trade deadline could be in line for a flurry of season-altering moves. But the players, coaches, front offices and fans of the following teams hope that their involvement in the frenzied activity is nothing more than the role of an observer.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
The Cleveland Cavaliers hold one of the brightest futures in the NBA, thanks in no small part to their dynamic backcourt duo of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.
Irving has all the makings of a transcendent star.
He's a brutally efficient collection of ability, poise and humility, the kind of player executives dream about building a team around. A pass-first point guard by nature, he's been thrust into a scorer's role given the limitations of his teammates and has thrived in that area (team-leading 23.5 points per game, 46.6 field-goal percentage).
While Waiters has endured an up-and-down rookie campaign (14.2 points per game, 39.6 field-goal percentage), he's already shown glimpses of his ability to fill one-half of the league's best backcourt in the coming years. Alonzo Gee and C.J. Miles have done enough at the small forward position, and Wayne Ellington and Marreese Speights could be the steals of the trade season.
The Cavs may be inclined to test the waters for injured forward Anderson Varejao, but what's the motivation behind trading him at this point? He's still under contract for next season and could prove to be an incredibly valuable trade chip at next year's deadline with only a $9.8 million team option to his name after next season.
Cleveland won't factor in the postseason this year, and probably won't next season either. But it's all about LeBron James' return in 2014 anyways, right Cleveland fans?
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Playoffs have come to be the expectation, not the goal for the Dallas Mavericks.
They haven't missed the postseason since the 1999-2000 season, so this year's struggles have been a trying experience for the organization.
But despite owner Mark Cuban's wishes, there aren't any players available at the trade market that can push the 23-29 Mavericks back into Western Conference relevance. There are too many teams standing between them and a playoff berth to justify gutting the roster (and sacrificing cap space) chasing pipe dreams.
Even with their unenviable conference position, the Mavericks are in great shape. They have just five players holding guaranteed contracts for next season, and two of those players (Jae Crowder and Jared Cunningham) are working on cap-friendly rookie deals.
Dallas would be best served by closing the "Bank of Cuban" for a couple months and seeing what it can accomplish in free agency.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The defending champions have their weaknesses.
They're an undersized team that's consistently on the losing end of rebounding battles.
But they have an even stronger roster in place than last season's championship club. The addition of Ray Allen has given them another late-game closer, and the signing of Chris Andersen has alleviated those size deficiencies to some degree.
At the end of the day, though, they have what no other team does—the best player on the planet, LeBron James. James has never played at a higher rate than where he's at right now, which is considerable praise for a three-time MVP.
Not to mention they've assembled the perfect complementary roster around James.
Those overblown fears of Dwyane Wade's demise grow more ridiculous by the second as the 10-year veteran continues connecting on a career-best 50.5 percent of his field goals. Chris Bosh is one of the best third options the league has ever seen. He's also ripping nets at a career rate (55.5 percent from the field) and more than capable of picking up the offensive slack when Wade or James has a rare off-night.
New York Knicks
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
The Knicks seem determined to be active participants at the trade deadline, being linked to a number of players in recent weeks including J.J. Redick (Orlando Magic, via Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD.com), Jermaine O'Neal (Phoenix Suns, via ESPN's Chris Broussard) and Josh Smith (Atlanta Hawks, via Kennedy).
But no matter their level of interest, the Knicks will face incredible difficulty in facilitating any deals before the deadline.
New York's most coveted trade pieces are either too expensive (Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler), too valuable to the team (Jason Kidd, Steve Novak) or, yes, too cheap (Iman Shumpert) to move. With the Knicks sitting well above the cap, Shumpert's minuscule rookie contract makes any deal involving him next to impossible without bringing another team into the equation.
But with all of these rumors bandied about, one's left wondering why the Knicks are so determined to shake up their core? While they've slowed considerably from their scorching start, that was largely expected to happen considering the rotation shakeups brought forth by the return of players like Amar'e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert.
Coach Mike Woodson's still figuring out the best ways to work his rehabbing players back into the fold, but has two-plus months to cement his rotation before the playoffs start. Short of perhaps Smith (who presents his own challenge in acquiring), there simply aren't players available that will bring a greater impact than a fully healthy Stoudemire and Shumpert will.
San Antonio Spurs
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
It really goes without saying that at this point in the season that the Spurs will hold the league's best record (they do, 43-12) and no one will be talking about them.
But something changed this season. Suddenly the Spurs were the talk of the trade season, linked to the top names available on the market (Al Jefferson, via Chris Sheridan of sheridanhoops.com and Josh Smith, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports).
Things appear creeping back toward normalcy, however, with Comcast SportsNet's Ric Bucher hearing from a source that neither Jefferson nor Smith remains in San Antonio's plans.
And for good reason. The Spurs have put forth another championship contender this season. They're still lacking for athleticism at certain positions and don't have a premier rim protector, but again, every team has its own flaws.
Don't forget that the Spurs are a constant threat to nab an overlooked, undervalued player off the waiver wire should an intriguing piece come available. Boris Diaw looked like his playing days might be over before San Antonio put him in the right position late last season.