NBA Trade Rumors: How the 2013 Draft Shook Up the Market
The 2013 NBA draft has now been completed, and with it the focus has shifted to a summer frenzy of free agency and trade talks.
While the first summer blockbuster has already been pulled off in Brooklyn and Boston, what other deals could be in the works?
Which other teams will be looking to make a splash now that the draft has been wrapped up and teams still have needs to fill?
Here are the latest NBA trade rumors from around the Association, post-draft edition.
Greivis Vasquez Now the Odd Man Out?
The New Orleans Pelicans were quite active on draft night.
First, the Pelicans selected Kentucky center Nerlens Noel before trading him to the Philadelphia 76ers in a deal that netted them point guard Jrue Holiday.
The trade also included a 2014 first-round pick (top-five protected) to Philly and the 42nd overall pick, who later became Baylor point guard Pierre Jackson, going to New Orleans.
Many loved the trade for the Pelicans, including shooting guard Eric Gordon. According to John Reid of NOLA.com, Gordon tweeted, "Jrue will be great for us, very excited.''
One person who probably wasn't as fond of the deal was current Pelicans point guard Greivis Vasquez. Vasquez enjoyed a solid 2012-13 campaign but generally wasn't considered the long-term answer at point guard.
Now the team features Holiday, second-year player Austin Rivers and rookie Pierre Jackson at point guard, signalling a likely trade of Vasquez.
According to Reid:
With the Pelicans acquiring Holiday, it's uncertain what their plans are for last season's starting point guard Greivis Vasquez, who had a breakout season after averaging a career-high 13.9 points and 9.0 assists.
Look for Vasquez to be on the move.
Kris Humphries on the Move Again?
Kris Humphries was recently part of the megatrade that sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets for Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans and three first-round draft picks.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated doesn't believe he'll be there for long, however, stating:
Keep an eye on Charlotte as a possible landing spot for Kris Humphries. Rival execs skeptical he stays in Boston.
This is interesting to note due to the fact the Bobcats were engaged in trade talks for Humphries at last February's trade deadline.
Boston is clearly in rebuilding mode and likely doesn't value the 28-year-old over an emerging power forward like Jared Sullinger.
Humphries would give the Bobcats a solid rebounder down low—something they desperately need. He also comes on an expiring $12 million salary, another appealing asset for Charlotte.
Eric Bledsoe to Orlando Magic Still a Possibility
The Orlando Magic have a lot of needs, finishing dead last in the NBA at 20-62 last season.
Owners of the No. 2 overall pick, the Magic selected Indiana shooting guard Victor Oladipo to fill their 2-guard need for the future.
Could his backcourt mate be on the way?
Eric Bledsoe of the Los Angeles Clippers was mentioned in trade talks before the draft, according to Ramona Shelburne, Marc Stein and Chad Ford of ESPN, with Orlando as a possible destination, but nothing materialized.
Brian K. Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel had this to say in a tweet regarding a possible trade:
Magic GM Rob Hennigan says nothing active on Arron Afflalo-Eric Bledsoe trade but it could be "re-visted" this summer.
The Clippers could use a veteran shooting guard like Afflalo to play off of Chris Paul and could even try to collect a draft pick from the Magic in addition for Bledsoe.
In the end, a deal like this would make sense for both teams and should happen before the season starts.
Jeremy Lin on Trade Block
Jeremy Lin has only spent one season with the Houston Rockets, and his first year may also prove to be his last.
From Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com:
Houston is trying to dump Jeremy Lin's salary, going so far as to prioritise cap relief over young basketball assets.
Lin signed a three-year, $25 million deal with the Rockets last offseason that carries a cap hold of $8,374,646 per year.
Houston likes Lin but is also very interested in bringing in Dwight Howard, Chris Paul or both.
Currently, the Rockets team salary is projected to come in at around $39 million, according to Hoopsworld.
This would leave roughly $20 million in cap room for the team to utilize—enough to sign one star player, but certainly not two.
The only way the Rockets could acquire both Howard and Paul is if they can shed the contract of Lin along with someone like Thomas Robinson or Omer Asik as well.
It's worth noting that the Rockets spent their only draft pick, No. 34 overall, on point guard Isaiah Canaan from Murray State.
Finding a buyer for Lin may be difficult, however, as he averaged just 13.4 points and 6.1 assists per game last season.
Marcin Gortat Going to Portland?
Owners of the No. 5 overall pick in the 2013 draft, the Phoenix Suns selected center Alex Len out of the University of Maryland.
The adding of Len may mean the departure of current Suns center Marcin Gortat.
Gortat is entering the last year of his contract that will pay him $7.7 million. The 29-year-old big man averaged 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game last season.
While it's feasible that the Suns could elect to have Len come off the bench for a year, the market for Gortat may be too strong not to trade him. A draft-day rumor from Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio said that the Portland Trail Blazers were interested in the Suns center, so much so that they were dangling the No. 10 overall pick.
Gortat is a solid starting center, who should be in the prime of his career. Look for the Blazers, along with a team like the Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs to express interest.
Bucks Rebuilding Again, Making Brandon Jennings Available
The Milwaukee Bucks are entering an interesting offseason.
On a positive note, they made the playoffs and seem to have a young talent base on which to build around.
The bad news? A lot of that base is hitting the free-agent market and may not be interested in coming back.
Milwaukee held the 15th pick in the draft, a spot that would likely net it an immediate contributor to an up-and-coming team. Instead of taking a proven college player like Tim Hardaway Jr. or Reggie Bullock, the Bucks opted to go the route of potential by selecting 6'9" Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece.
Such a selection will likely take a few years to develop and won't exactly inspire their current free agents to re-sign.
The Bucks hold the right to match the contract of their biggest free agent, Brandon Jennings, but may not want to now.
According to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Time, Jennings may be on the move:
Bucks are letting it be known that Brandon Jennings is available for the right price.
This draft pick may have set the tone for what the Bucks will be trying to do this summer, and priority No. 1 may be getting talent and picks back for Jennings.