With the 2013 NBA Trade Deadline behind us, the league can finally focus on the games—or so we thought. The rumor mill remains active, as free agents to be and trades that could have been continue to find their name in the news.
So what's going on with the latest chatter surrounding the league?
Trevor Ariza Was Nearly a Clipper
According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, the Los Angeles Clippers nearly acquired Trevor Ariza at the trade deadline. The proposed deal would have sent Caron Butler back to the Washington Wizards.
Just as it appeared to be a done deal, however, Clippers owner Donald Sterling vetoed the trade.
L.A. and Washington had a done deal Wednesday night that would have sent forward Trevor Ariza to the Clippers in exchange for Caron Butler...Butler, who still has an offseason home in the D.C. area...didn't have a problem returning to a non-Arenas Wizards locker room.
But sources indicated that Clippers owner Donald Sterling nixed the deal Thursday morning, not wanting to gamble on the team's chemistry being affected in any way down the stretch.
All parties appeared inclined to make this deal happen—except the owner.
A possible reason for Sterling's reluctance to make a trade could be Chris Paul's potential free agency. For a team that is as close a locker room as any, Sterling may believe that sending any player packing could push CP3 out of town.
We may never know the true reason as to why the deal wasn't made—all we know is that it wasn't.
KG to Los Angeles "Overblown"
According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, the widely speculated Kevin Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers was never an option. The Clippers never made an offer and Chris Paul never reached out to Garnett.
The only time that CP3 and KG spoke about the potential for their uniting in Los Angeles was this summer—when Garnett was a free agent.
CP spoke to KG last summer about coming to Clips. KG said he wouldn't waive No Trade & CP left it at that. CP Never tried to get KG this yr— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 23, 2013
So much for that.
This comes after weeks of speculation in regard to a potential Garnett trade. The supposed deal would have seen Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan end up with the Boston Celtics.
Clippers and Celtics fans can now rest easy knowing that the deal never was a possibility.
Raja Bell Buyout Update
According to Shams Charania of RealGM.com, the Utah Jazz have a buyout settlement in place for shooting guard Raja Bell. This reportedly hinges upon Bell's ability to find a potential suitor.
Per Charania, no teams have emerged.
Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com followed up the report by stating that Bell is telling those close to him that he will end up with the Lakers. With that being said, there is a chance that the Jazz do not let him go.
Keep in mind, Utah would be helping a team they are competing with for a playoff spot by allowing them to sign Bell and bolster their perimeter.
Several sources believe the Jazz will keep Raja Bell simply so he doesn't sign with the Lakers. Utah and L.A. will compete for playoff spot.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 25, 2013
This is where the business and basketball aspects of the NBA meet.
The Jazz are just 3.5 games ahead of the Lakers in the Western Conference standings. During their past 16 games, L.A. is 11-5 and Utah is 9-7.
In other words, the Lakers are closing ground.
With this being known, it's quite unlikely that the Jazz will do anything to allow their opposition to improve. After all, Bell does possess an expiring contract.