After the draft and early free-agency signings have reshaped the landscape of the league, teams are now turning to trades in order to address cap concerns and make further roster improvements.
All of the posturing this summer probably won’t completely reshape the power structure of the NBA, but these moves can be the deciding factor in a team’s bid to propel itself over the hump from "good" to "great."
Sometimes, it’s those understated trades—like the ones that are currently rumored to be brewing—that can even elevate a team to a championship.
Here’s a quick look at the latest on potential deals and rumored moves around the Association.
Jeremy Lin’s Days in Houston Could Be Coming to An End
Current Houston Rockets starting point guard Jeremy Lin is set to make a lot of money, with an $8.37 million cap hit in each of the next two seasons before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2015.
With that in mind, the Rockets are apparently looking hard for a way to get out of the deal, according to Bill Ingram of Hoopsworld:
A source with direct knowledge of the situation confirms Rockets working hard to move Jeremy Lin ... very limited interest for teams.— Bill Ingram (@TheRocketGuy) July 7, 2013
After reportedly agreeing to sign Dwight Howard to a big-money deal Friday, it makes sense that the Rockets would be exploring potential suitors to take on the remaining money left on Lin's contract. They also have even more incentive to trade him given Lin’s struggles during his brief stint in Texas.
If the Rockets have any hopes of contending, moving Lin’s contract should be their top priority for the rest of this offseason.
Omer Asik Wants Out of Houston in Wake of Howard Deal
Houston Rockets center Omer Asik has officially asked the Rockets for a trade this weekend after the team signed Howard, who plays the same position.
But according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the team may not be that interested in trading their big man, who started all 82 games for the them a season ago.
Following the trade, CBS Sports’ Ken Berger noted that the team was willing to keep both Asik and Lin despite acquiring Howard, although deals for either of them wouldn’t be completely ruled out:
Though they won't rule out post-Howard trades, the Rockets are now open to keeping Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, league source says.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 6, 2013
So where do we stand now?
The New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly looking to acquire Asik, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:
New Orleans has shown strong interest in acquiring Rockets center Omer Asik, w/ an offer likely centered on Ryan Anderson, sources tell Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 6, 2013
Ryan Anderson, who played with Howard previously in Orlando, would provide the Rockets with an excellent complement to their new big man. Anderson is a career 38 percent three-point shooter, which isn’t bad for a 6’10” frontcourt player.
The deal makes sense, but it may end up hurting the Rockets if they give into their player’s demands. If Howard struggles at all with injuries, the team will have no competent replacement with Asik gone.
Andre Miller Being Shopped by Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are trying to find a way to make enough cap room to offer a contract to free-agent shooting guard Monta Ellis.
One possible solution is by trading away guard Andre Miller, and according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Denver is looking to do just that.
According to Spotrac.com, Miller carries a $5 million cap hit for the 2013-14 season. Trading him still might not clear up enough space, though, after the team recently made a move to sign free-agent forward J.J. Hickson on Sunday, as reported by Wojnarowski.
Ellis opted out of an $11 million option with the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this summer, making his desired contract likely out of the Nuggets’ spending range. He would have to be willing to take less in order to come to a team that is capable of contending, leaving money on the table in the process.