The NBA trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and there’s a chance that the trigger is pulled on at least one blockbuster deal in the next 24 hours.
The 2013 trade deadline promises to be thrilling because of front offices direly needing to shed salary and contenders looking to add a missing piece for a potential championship run.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest buzz surrounding potential trades and transactions in Wednesday’s rumor roundup.
The Boston Celtics lost their superstar point guard to a season-ending ACL tear in late January, but general manager Danny Ainge may have a plan to still use Rondo to help the team win a championship.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, GMs throughout the league are convinced that the star guard is available right now, and the analyst even hinted that Rondo could be used as the centerpiece of a trade to bring Josh Smith to Beantown.
Rival GMs insist Rondo's available. Could they pry Josh away from ATL w/out giving up Pierce or KG? Jeff Green would be good fit in ATL— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 20, 2013
While it seems far-fetched that the Celtics' team brass would be willing to deal their best player on a bargain contract to bring in J-Smoove for a few months, there is still a strong desire to contend in Boston.
With Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett leading a group of aging veterans, you can never count the Celts out—especially if they reload with Smith—but trading the 26-year-old in his prime may be a grave mistake.
Fortunately, USA Today’s Sam Amick is reporting that Bill Duffy, Rondo’s agent, has received assurance from Ainge that his client will not be traded, hopefully putting the kibosh on any more Rondo rumors this season.
Agent for Rajon Rondo, Bill Duffy, tells USAT that Boston GM Danny Ainge assured him today the Celtics PG won't be traded. Story to come.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 20, 2013
With the New Orleans Hornets not receiving a great return on investment from the Chris Paul trade last season, there’s a chance that Eric Gordon could be packing his bags and leaving the Big Easy sooner than later.
As per Broussard, the organization is exploring their options for the oft-injured shooting guard, as he has only participated in 28 of 120 possible contests since being shipped over from the Los Angeles Clippers.
Sources: New Orleans has made Eric Gordon available for trade. Trade not likely though as clubs concerned about EG's health going forward.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 20, 2013
However, they aren’t likely to find many suitors willing to take a gamble on the remaining three years and approximately $45 million left on his contract after the 2012-13 campaign.
John Reid of The Times Picayune found that the team brass is most interested in flipping Gordon to Golden State in exchange for Klay Thompson.
If Gordon remains in NOLA, can get healthy and returns to his pre-knee injury form, the Hornets (Pelicans by then) will have a great player on their hands and will be grateful they did not move him at this deadline.
There are numerous trade rumors flying around concerning J-Smoove and the many potential landing destinations for the soon to be unrestricted free agent.
Because of this, Grantland’s Zach Lowe tweeted that he’d be “very surprised” if the versatile forward remained with the Atlanta Hawks after tomorrow’s 3 p.m. ET deadline, based on what he is hearing.
Would be very surprised, based on what I'm hearing, if Josh Smith is a Hawk after 3PM EST tomorrow. It's possible, of course.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) February 20, 2013
The Milwaukee Bucks continue to be one extremely intriguing option, as they have both Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings to use as trading chips, plus a number of role players and contracts to package in possible deals.
ESPN’s Marc Stein noted that Jennings may be on the “untouchable” list, alongside John Henson and Larry Sanders, but anything could happen over the next day as the two parties try to hash out a workable trade.