The 2013 NBA trade deadline is mere hours away, so you can expect there to be plenty of blockbuster trades and transactions going down up until the 3 p.m. ET deadline on Thursday, Feb. 21.
With so many superstars stuck in bad situations, middle-of-the-road franchises needing to shed cap room in order to avoid the luxury tax and legitimate contenders looking to add more firepower to the roster before the postseason begins, this promises to be one of the more intriguing deadlines in recent years.
Let’s take a look at the latest buzz surrounding the biggest names on the block in Thursday’s NBA rumor roundup.
The New Orleans Hornets are set to become the Pelicans next year, but they may be trying to do so without the services of star shooting guard Eric Gordon.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the organization has placed the fifth-year player on the block, but it isn’t likely to find many suitors.
That’s because Gordon missed most of the 2011-12 season with a knee injury and has only appeared in 19 games during the 2012-13 campaign.
Factor that in with the four-year, $58 million deal the former Indiana star signed this summer, and there is too much risk for most general managers to assume when discussing potential trades for the 24-year-old.
It’ll be interesting to see if any team is willing to roll the dice, but the smart money is on Gordon sticking around NOLA.
The Portland Trail Blazers are right on the fringes of making a playoff appearance with a 25-29 record after the All-Star break, but they seem willing to deal away their starting center for the right price.
According to CBS Sports’ Ken Berger, the organization is dangling J.J. Hickson for a future first-round pick, which is actually quite surprising given his performance for the Blazers and his relatively cheap cost.
Through 53 games this season, Hickson is averaging 12.9 points and 10.4 rebounds, while shooting 57 percent from the field in just 29.4 extremely efficient minutes.
The 24-year-old was claimed on waivers last spring by the Blazers and came to terms on a one-year, $4 million contract this summer, but it seems the Portland brass is fearful that Hickson will sign elsewhere in free agency.
After such a productive campaign, Hickson is likely going to command a much higher price tag when he hits the open market. Keep an eye out for a size-starved contender to make a run at this blossoming young big before he gets there.
It’s not likely that the Boston Celtics trade Rajon Rondo, but it seems that general managers around the league are convinced he’s available.
According to ESPN’S Chris Broussard, there’s a slim possibility that Rondo headlines a trade for Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks, although players like Jeff Green would need to be involved for salary cap purposes.
With Smith set to become a free agent and making a bit more than Rondo, it makes no sense for GM Danny Ainge to pull the trigger on this deal, even if he’s desperate to help Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce try for one last championship run.
While this may be a situation to monitor, it’s certainly not a scenario likely to come to fruition by the deadline.