NBA free agents are getting ready to explore their options as free agency begins on Monday, but players like Eric Bledsoe could be on the move via trade as teams try to tweak their rosters.
The Los Angeles Clippers are expected to be a big winner in free agency after Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine reported on Sunday that point guard Chris Paul will re-sign with the team. Now the Clippers will look into dealing other pieces to try to bring in valuable role players.
Free agency is often unpredictable. This year was expected to be a wild adventure with Paul and Dwight Howard on the market, but now all eyes will be on Howard.
Some teams will be looking to rebuild and trade away veteran players. Others will be looking to clear cap space through trades in order to afford free agents.
Let's look at some of the trade buzz in the NBA right now as only hours remain until free agency begins.
Clippers looking to move point guard Eric Bledsoe
With the latest report on Paul, Bledsoe now becomes expendable. The point guard is a talented player, but there's not much of a future for him in Los Angeles.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that the Clippers have already begun looking for teams interested in him. The Toronto Raptors and the Orlando Magic are teams that he listed that are already in discussions with the Clippers, but there is no favorite as of now.
Los Angeles could keep Bledsoe for the season, but it risks losing him for nothing next summer.
The Raptors could give up forward Andrea Bargnani and/or shooting guard DeMar DeRozan in exchange for Bledsoe.
The Clippers would be giving up a talented player, but they could be adding a few role players in return.
Paul's reported decision will likely send Bledsoe out of town. The Clippers will have a superstar point guard and can afford to trade away their backup to get more pieces.
Los Angeles is looking to win a championship soon. It has the opportunity but needs to upgrade some of its supporting cast. Moving Bledsoe could be beneficial to the team's title hopes.
Boston Celtics haven't shopped point guard Rajon Rondo
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported on Saturday that the Celtics were discussing a trade with the Dallas Mavericks as part of their rebuilding process.
Mavs would love having Rajon Rondo to chase Dwight Howard, but Boston needs Dallas to take multiple contracts off its books, sources say.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 29, 2013
However, it doesn't look like Rajon Rondo will be moved anytime soon. NESN reported on Saturday that the Celtics have not had talks with the Mavericks about the point guard. Sources told the Boston Herald's Mark Murphy that the Mavericks don't have many appealing assets.
The Mavericks could send point guard Shane Larkin, the No. 18 pick in the 2013 NBA draft, back in return but not much else.
Rondo has made four consecutive All-Star teams. The Celtics may be rebuilding, but they aren't going to get rid of players for nothing. They will need more in return for their point guard than a rookie.
While the Celtics could end up finding a suitor for Rondo, the Mavericks don't appear to be that team. Dallas is looking for a way to attract Howard, but it doesn't have much to offer the Celtics in a possible trade.
Houston Rockets looking to get value for players
The Rockets are expected to make a run at Howard, but they are currently trying to move players. Stein also reported that the team is looking to move Aaron Brooks and/or Carlos Delfino.
Rockets, I'm told, still exploring trades for Aaron Brooks and/or Carlos Delfino that must be consummated today to avoid releasing them— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 30, 2013
Houston's only issue is that those moves would have to be done by the end of Sunday.
Rockets, though, acknowledge chances of finding deal involving Brooks or Delfino by day's end are slim and thus MUST waive both if no trade— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 30, 2013
Teams are well aware of what the Rockets are trying to do. Other teams will be cautious about falling into a trap and offering too much for either player, with the assumption that the Rockets could end up waiving those players.
The Rockets may take any available offer for either player because they have limited time to work with. Houston is looking to get anything it can for these players.
With Howard possibly joining the team, getting rid of salary is key. The team may have waited too long to try to get return value for Brooks or Delfino, but it is still trying to find a way to bring Howard to Houston.
James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik are all on the roster already. Adding Howard would make the Rockets a legitimate contender, but they may have to explore dealing Lin or Asik before the 2014-2015 season due to large contracts.
Houston has until the end of the day on Sunday to deal Brooks and/or Delfino, so keep an eye on the Rockets to see if they make a deal.