On any NBA team, there are going to be rookies that just can't crack the rotation. Rather than hang onto them and see their value decline due to being stuck on the bench, some GMs take the better route and shop them to teams that could use their services immediately.
This year has been no exception.
In Boston, the Celtics are desperate to find some help at guard in the wake of season-ending knee injuries to both Rajon Rondo and Leandro Barbosa. Since GM Danny Ainge is unwilling to make a major roster move in giving up a player on the NBA level, rumor has it he has made rookie center and first-round pick Fab Melo available.
Head south to Houston and the Rockets may finally have an idea of what to do with the ever-explosive Terrence Jones, who has been toiling away in the D-League due to Houston having too many forwards in its current rotation.
Oh, and did I mention that Jeremy Lamb could be on the move yet again?
A number of rookies could be moving at this deadline, so we should keep an eye on their names and see where they end up in the near future, if anywhere at all.
Lamb Set to Move Again?
The Houston Rockets selected Jeremy Lamb with the 12th pick in last year's draft, only to ship him to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the James Harden trade. Since that deal went down, Lamb has spent most of this season in the D-League, where he has averaged 21.1 points over 14 games for the Tulsa 66ers.
On the NBA level, the former UConn Husky is averaging just 1.7 points over four minutes per game in 16 appearances.
Seeing as how Kevin Martin has done so well as the Thunder's sixth man this season, chances are that GM Sam Presti will want to keep him around for the next few seasons. This means that Lamb is expendable and could be on the move soon.
According to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic, Lamb is part of a rumored trade package for Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat. In the proposed deal, he and center Kendrick Perkins plus a first-round pick would head to Phoenix while Gortat goes to Oklahoma City.
Nothing is definite on this front yet, but the deal would definitely give a pure scorer and shooter in Lamb the opportunity to crack the rotation and finally start getting some significant minutes.
Houston Shopping Jones
The Houston Rockets took Terrence Jones out of Kentucky with the 18th pick, landing a great and explosive forward in the process. At 6'9", 252 pounds, Jones has a great NBA body and can be a force on both sides of the floor. Not only can he score well, but he is a great dunker and defender.
Unfortunately, Houston was stacked with forwards from the get-go, leaving Jones with little opportunity to crack the rotation. He has spent most of this season with the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers, posting averages of 18.4 points and 9.3 rebounds in 17 games.
Sure enough, it has attracted the interest of some teams.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Houston GM Daryl Morey and the rest of his front office team would be willing to deal their explosive forward in exchange for a first-round pick. That asking price is a bit high, especially since Jones has only appeared in 11 NBA games and posted just 8.3 minutes per contest, but his ceiling is too high to not at least consider it.
Houston's showing a willingness to move rookie Terrence Jones for a 1st-round pick, sources tell Y! Rockets are deep at forward spot.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 20, 2013
The fact of the matter is that Jones has the skill set to become another Shawn Marion, only without the ugly jump shot, and teams that pass over him could be making a huge mistake.
Nothing is definite on this front yet either, but it still warrants attention as the situation develops.
Celtics Dangling Fab Melo
Given recent events, it's clear that the Boston Celtics are desperate for help at guard. However, there isn't really anyone on the team's current roster that GM Danny Ainge can justify moving for a top guard.
Enter rookie Fab Melo, who has been doing some solid work in the D-League for the Maine Red Claws. In 20 games, the former Syracuse big man is posting 11 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, plus 3.4 blocks.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Ainge has made Melo available in hopes that one team will be willing to take the rookie in exchange for a guard.
In pursuit of guard help, the Celtics have made rookie center Fab Melo available in trade offers, league sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 20, 2013
Granted, Melo is still an extremely raw talent and not ready to make an impact on the NBA level quite yet. Just the same, he has solid size at 7'0", 255 pounds and is a defensive beast. Plenty of teams in the league need help at center, so don't be surprised if a trade involving Melo goes down at the 11th hour and Boston gets the guard depth it so desperately seeks.