Players Who Wish They Were Moved Before NBA Trade Deadline
The 2013 NBA trade deadline has tiptoed by without much noise.
Fans have to be disappointed with the lack of activity.
And some players too, especially those who missed a ticket out of town. Some had their fingers crossed, hoping to travel on a different road—one that led to a more suitable fit, more money, a better team or a championship.
Alas, these players will have to finish off the year where they started it—somewhere they don't want to be.
But why? A lot of these players were shopped by their teams to no avail.
Why so little on the trade front?
Ken Berger of CBS Sports thanks the new CBA:
Tax penalties and other restrictions...will mercilessly be placed on teams who continue to do it the old way. This is how business is done now in the NBA. No blockbuster trades in February. Few, if any teams are willing to absorb future salary, which would clog up their books and restrict access to tools needed to improve their rosters.
And that left more than a handful of players in the lurch.
Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks
There are a few players on the list in the “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” category, beginning with Brandon Jennings.
Last week, ESPN Insider Chad Ford broke that Jennings and the Milwaukee Bucks weren’t seeing eye-to-eye on a number of matters on and off the court.
That same night, ESPN’s Chris Broussard came to the rescue, stating,
Jennings said Wednesday he's not looking to leave the Milwaukee Bucks, despite an ESPN.com story that said he has "irreconcilable differences" with the club... [He] denied he wants more exposure than small-market Milwaukee can offer.
On top of all that, until recently, the Bucks had made it known they were looking to dismantle the backcourt via Jennings or Monta Ellis. As recently as February, nbcsports.com reported that Milwaukee had “tested the trade waters for Brandon Jennings.”
This can’t sit well with the fourth-year point guard who is having the best year of his career, becomes a restricted free agent at the end of the season and has a yen for the big time in a big city.
Monta Ellis, Milwaukee Bucks
Who else did you expect here? Monta Ellis’ future in Milwaukee seems a bit more tenuous than Jennings’.
Ellis has an $11 million termination option for 2013-14, which apparently he’d love to execute according to Hoops World: "Most people around the NBA expect Ellis to leave that final $11 million on the table to test free agency."
Of the two, it looks like Brandon Jennings is going to be the keeper.
The thing is, it seems both these guys can’t get out of town fast enough. Will Milwaukee match anything other teams offer for Jennings (he’s a RFA)? If they don’t, the Bucks might get bucked twice over.
Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves
And that brings us to another Timberwolf (Timberwolve?) who wants out: 2011’s overall No. 2 draft pick, Derrick Williams. Williams may not be living up to expectations, but he is having a better season in his sophomore campaign.
At the same time, Williams doesn’t feel like he’s being used properly. Yahoo’s Marc Spears pointed out,
The highest draft choice in franchise history has been earning DNP-CDs or short-minute stints under coach Rick Adelman. Both sides would be happy with a move.
Williams is a free agent after 2013-14 and undoubtedly will want to improve (and hopefully showcase) his talents as much as possible for the remainder of this contract.
Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks
Perhaps the most talked-about player who was “definitely” going to be traded this deadline was the Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith.
Smith, who has been the subject of trade talks for four years as he sees it, was at or near the top of everyone’s speculative most-likely-to-be-traded lists.
"That's how long my name's been mentioned. Nothing new," he told sportsonearth.com.
In a seeming act of faith, the Hawks really took a chance here not getting at least something for the impending free agent.
After seeing his teammate of seven years, Joe Johnson, cash out, you can bet Smith is eager to test the market.
Worse, “a person familiar with Smith's plans told USA TODAY Sports that it is ‘highly unlikely’ that Smith re-signs with Atlanta.”
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
Lucky Thomas Robinson. Who wouldn’t want to be traded from the lowly Sacramento Kings?
At least moving to Seattle will give this franchise—which hasn’t played .500 ball or made the postseason in seven years now—a reboot.
But if the Kings’ current coach makes the trip, that will be one more reason the team’s leading scorer, DeMarcus Cousins, won’t want to.
Cousins has been suspended three times this season, the last time for “for verbally abusing head coach Keith Smart in front of teammates,” according to Slam Online.
Each suspension is for some emotional outburst where the center airs his frustration. The source of that frustration, while partly Cousins’ personality, is inexorably linked to how bad his team is.
Now, he’s picked up agent Dan Fegan, who per USA Today, is
one of the most powerful agents in the NBA, and his most recent high-profile situation [Dwight Howard] is the very sort of scenario the Kings—and every other team, for that matter – would like to avoid.
Despite Cousins’ overtures of wanting to stay in Sacramento, one really has to wonder what will happen when he becomes a free agent after next season.
Kris Humphries, Brooklyn Nets
Kris Humphries has had a couple rough years.
As if the public divorce with Kim Kardashian wasn’t enough, he’s been relegated to the Brooklyn Nets’ bench after having finally become a starter in his seventh season. At least he has that contract to ease the pain.
Humphries' offense is down, but the truth is his rebounding is at the same level it’s always been. He’s tearing down 11.5 boards per 36 minutes, second-most of his career.
But the Nets have been starting Reggie Evans instead, a leftover move from the Avery Johnson administration that may not actually be the best one.
The trade deadline offered Humphries a new chance at starting games again. His name was linked to possible trades with the Atlanta Hawks for Josh Smith (ESPN) and the Boston Celtics for Paul Pierce (Yahoo).
He’d be starting for both these playoff-bound teams.
Oh well. He’ll still be in the postseason.
Antawn Jamison, Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers' Antawn Jamison is another unhappy camper.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Fan Nation,
Add Antawn Jamison to the column of agitated Lakers. Jamison had seen just about everything in his NBA career but "not this," he said in a quiet moment Friday night after sitting out a fifth consecutive game via the dreaded DNP-Coach's Decision.
The 36-year-old, 15-year veteran signed on with the Lakers for a season at the minimum for one last shot at an NBA championship before retiring.
Jamison has gotten more playing time lately, but the Lakers are on the outside of the playoff picture by 3.5 games at the moment, and their title hopes are dim.
They’ll be lucky to get out of the West.
Marcin Gortat, Phoenix Suns
That's him, getting triple-teamed. Imagine, a triple-team being employed against the Phoenix Suns.
Center Marcin Gortat “isn’t particularly inspired in Phoenix [and] the feeling is mutual,” says Sporting News.
Gortat is having his worst season in three years, and it’s obvious he wants out.
It’s not easy for the dead-last in the West, 18-37 Suns to find inspiration anywhere.
They looked to package Gortat for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins (azcentral.com), but when that didn’t happen, it became apparent the Suns were going to hold onto Gortat until at least next season’s deadline.
After that, he’s a free agent. Gortat is counting the days.
Hard to believe Iman Shumpert is running for the Garden’s exits, but at least part of the whole truth might include what has been reported by Chris Sheridan,
There are major concerns (from people close to Shumpert) over how the Knicks are developing him…They feel he’s being played out of position (at small forward) and his confidence is suffering because of it.
Second-year Shumpert is a shadow of his rookie self. It could be the position. But it likely has more to do with recovering from his ACL injury.
Still, you wonder if the young player is being influenced by his handlers. Shump’s not that good. He needs to sit tight and develop.
Is Iman a bit overconfident?