NBA Rumors: Developing Storylines in Trade Deadline Aftermath

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIFebruary 23, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 22:  Eric Gordon #10 of the New Orleans Hornets scores on a layup against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on April 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The NBA trade deadline came and went this past Thursday without much noise to speak of. Very few high-profile players were involved, despite the rumors and speculation that persisted in the weeks prior.

Now that the madness has subsided, there are still some storylines to keep an eye on as the regular season wears on. Some potential moves are more imminent than others, but all have huge implications for the future of the league.

Here is a breakdown of the latest buzz in the aftermath of the relatively uneventful deadline.


Raja Bell to the Los Angeles Lakers

A potential reunion between Raja Bell and his former head coach, Mike D'Antoni, has been whispered about throughout the year, but Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy provided substance to that rumor:

Bell is still under contract with the Utah Jazz, but he has not played for the team at all in 2012-13. The fact that he is still working out is encouraging for the Lakers should he become available, and his familiarity with D'Antoni's system is a huge plus.

As a career 40.6-percent three-point shooter and an outstanding perimeter defender, Bell could provide the Lakers with a big boost at both ends of the floor if he can play to his full ability.

Age is definitely a factor, as Bell is 36 and may have lost a step at this juncture.

However, he does have a high basketball IQ and, with the talent surrounding him in L.A., could easily emerge as a knockdown shooter and energy guy off the bench. The Lakers rank 23rd in the NBA in points allowed per game, and Bell would likely be a huge asset in that regard.


Boston Celtics seeking help up front

There was no movement involving star players Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce, but GM Danny Ainge did acquire Jordan Crawford at the deadline.

Apparently, Ainge isn't done seeking ways to improve Doc Rivers' current squad. On Friday, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald highlighted some of the notable big men that the Celtics are looking to acquire in preparation for a playoff run

Some interesting names, but according to ESPN insider Marc Stein, Boston appears to be considering D.J. White foremost amongst that group.

As Stein mentions, White just finished up playing his season in China, so it would be interesting to see how he'd adjust to the NBA game on the fly. That is likely the reason for such a short-term commitment.

The former Indiana Hoosier standout and first-round pick of the Oklahoma City Thunder never quite fit into the talented OKC rotation, and he toiled for a couple of seasons with the lowly Bobcats. This could be a golden opportunity to earn his way onto the roster with great hustle and, most importantly, rebounding.

The Celtics rank second-to-last in the league in rebounds per game, which is why they are actively seeking help on the front line.

White's track record as a pro is somewhat limited, but he did average over 17 points and 10 rebounds as a senior in Bloomington. He could help the C's on the offensive glass and provide them with a solid shot-blocker.


New Orleans Hornets will likely still try to move Eric Gordon

It's been known that Eric Gordon isn't exactly thrilled in New Orleans. He attempted to leave for the Phoenix Suns this past offseason, but the Hornets matched Gordon's offer sheet.

Despite the promising supporting cast that has been assembled around him, including this year's No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis, Gordon is still not happy, according to Nick Borges of ESPN (subscription required).

Borges notes that the Hornets were open to trading Gordon before the deadline, but no offer good enough came in to entice the New Orleans brass to pull the trigger. But that doesn't mean the possibility of Gordon eventually moving is off the table:

The New Orleans Hornets were open to trading Eric Gordon up to the NBA deadline on Thursday, but the team didn't receive any offers to tempt them to deal the reportedly unhappy shooting guard. Gordon will likely go back on the block in April.

Gordon is averaging 16.9 points per game this season, but shooting just 40.5 percent from the field. He continues to be hampered by an ailing knee, which makes him even more of a liability for New Orleans.

However, his trade value should be high assuming he finishes the season strong and proves his knee can hold up. 

It will be interesting to see how the 19-37 Hornets perform down the stretch and whether or not they can sell Gordon on the team's long-term plan for success.