Debunking Most Outrageous NBA Trade Rumors Heading into 2013 Deadline
Every year there are those prominent rumors that just don't seem to make enough sense to be credible, and the 2013 trade deadline has been no exception.
Trading declining players on massive contracts for budding superstars on expiring contracts, shopping young players while their values are at their lowest—these things just don't make sense.
And despite abundant speculation that NBA GMs are pondering moves which could cripple their franchises, there's no more reason to believe them this year than in years past.
Yes, there will be a shocker here and there, but these are the five trades that are the most outrageous.
And just because they are outrageous doesn't mean they couldn't or wouldn't happen—only that they make no sense whatsoever.
Josh Smith for Pau Gasol
Josh Smith has an expiring contract, and the Atlanta Hawks would like to get something for him rather than lose him in free agency this summer.
Gasol has been depreciating in value and declining as a player over the course of the last two seasons, and he's posting career lows in points (13.4 per game), field-goal percentage (45.3 percent) and a near-career low in rebounding (8.0 per game).
Gasol's minutes are the lowest they've been since the 2004-05 season in Memphis, and it's unclear how many more quality seasons he has left.
So why would Hawks GM Danny Ferry seek to trade Smith for him? The Hawks haven't been true contenders even with Smith, and swapping him out for Gasol isn't going to make them appreciatively better—at all.
The Hawks will be in a favorable cap situation due to the cap-clearing trade of Joe Johnson, but to build a contending team that will last, they'd ideally seek to do it around a much younger player than Gasol.
Dwight Howard for Brook Lopez
It didn't happen last year, and it won't happen this year.
The reasoning is quite different, but the rumblings earlier this season of a Howard-for-Lopez deal as reported by the International Business Times just don't hold weight—for a number of reasons.
Last season, the Magic backed out due to Lopez's season-ending injury, but this year Lopez is healthy and thriving. Dwight Howard? Not so much.
Howard has battled a shoulder injury this season, and his explosiveness seems to have declined as a result of the surgery he had offseason to repair a herniated disc in his back.
The Brooklyn Nets are playing good basketball, and to shake things up to obtain Howard doesn't make a lot of sense with the Nets players all standing behind Lopez. For the Lakers, the motivation of keeping Howard alongside Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant is enough.
Howard is the one who is supposed to go down in the annals of great Laker big men, and Lopez doesn't bring the same Hollywood appeal.
It doesn't make sense for either team, unless Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z want Howard for his star appeal the same way the Lakers do.
Jared Dudley for Iman Shumpert
The Suns are shopping Jared Dudley and just about their entire roster.
They lament not drafting Iman Shumpert in the 2011 NBA Draft at No. 14 overall (they opted for Markieff Morris), but offering Jared Dudley for Shumpert isn't going to get it done, according to Hoopsworld. Ian Begley of ESPN New York further confirmed it.
Iman Shumpert is the second-best backcourt defender in the Eastern Conference behind Avery Bradley, and the Knicks desperately need Shumpert to cover Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and Paul George in the playoffs this season (or next, in Rondo's case, and possibly Rose's, too).
Dudley is a fine player, and his 38.2-percent three-point shooting would fit well in the Knicks offense, but that almost makes Dudley a redundancy on a team with so many proficient three-point shooters.
Shumpert's skill set is more unique, and what he brings to the Knicks is far different (and accordingly more valuable) than what Dudley brings.
Just because the Suns regret not drafting Shumpert doesn't mean they'll be able to acquire him on a hope and a dream.
Dwight Howard for Rajon Rondo
Dwight Howard won the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award three times consecutively and took the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009. He's widely considered the best center in the NBA.
And he's still not enough for Rajon Rondo, despite reports from the New York Post that Danny Ainge and Mitch Kupchak were engaged in talks to swap superstars.
Rondo led the NBA in assists last season, and was leading the league again this season prior to injury. He's made four consecutive All-Star appearances and is arguably a top-three NBA point guard.
And then there is the fact that, as mentioned in the Lopez slide, Howard has declined as a player.
Rondo just suffered a major injury, but in many ways it makes more sense to trust Rondo's ACL recovery than to put faith in Howard's ailing back and shoulder. Howard was an iron man in his first six NBA seasons with Orlando, but now that the ship is starting to fall apart, it seems people are beginning to think his best days may be behind him.
Beyond that, there is the fact that trading Rondo would leave the Celtics without a point guard and without an identity. With no premier point guard to pair with Howard, how would No. 12 score at a high level?
Howard is not that adept at creating his own offense from the post, and he's best suited for playing in the pick-and-roll. Removing Rondo from the C's would give him the options of Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee for pick-and-rolls.
The Lakers, meanwhile, would absolutely make out in this trade and have a major piece moving forward, while Kobe played on into the sunset.
It won't happen.
Kevin Garnett for Eric Bledsoe
The Clippers have been shopping Eric Bledsoe, due to the fact his value as a trade chip greatly exceeds his role as Chris Paul's backup on a very deep Clippers team.
Bledsoe's value as a player continues to rise, but with Paul likely to re-sign this summer, the Clips may seek to get what they can for the Kentucky product now.
NBA GMs are concerned about the possibility of Kevin Garnett retiring before his contract runs its course, and he even made cryptic statements regarding the 2013 NBA All-Star game being his last.
KG later clarified those statements and said he simply didn't know if he would be playing at an All-Star level after this season, but hearing him saying his best days are behind him only further promulgates the idea that he may consider hanging it up prematurely, doesn't it?
Since the Clips are in the beginning stages of what could be multi-year contention, why would they sacrifice a great trade chip for a 36-year-old forward whose decline is only accelerating as he winds down his NBA career?
The Clippers may move Bledsoe, but they'll be wise to seek a more favorable deal, such as the rumored one involving Utah's Paul Millsap.