The 2013 NBA offseason hasn’t exactly been a hotbed of trading activity, but there are a number of whispers floating around concerning players that could eventually be dealt.
As a majority of the quality free agents have been signed to new contracts, teams needing to plug a hole or add a piece will start to explore different trading options to tweak the roster.
Let’s take a look at the latest buzz regarding players on the block and other trades that may be on the horizon in Saturday’s rumor roundup.
LaMarcus Aldridge Openly Discussing Move
The Portland Trail Blazers may have a problem on their hands, as superstar forward LaMarcus Aldridge has reportedly approached team brass to talk about the various possibilities for his exit from the City of Roses.
Chris Haynes found that Aldridge and his camp arranged a meeting with general manager Neil Olshey to “suggest” a handful of scenarios in which the 27-year-old could be flipped to a new franchise.
While Olshey is willing to look into this, he was reportedly rebuffed regarding deals for Joakim Noah, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and other top big men. The GM will not accept a package of spare parts and draft picks for the No. 2 pick in the 2006 draft.
With two years and $30 million left on his contract, Aldridge is devoid of much leverage at this juncture.
The two-time All-Star may be better served playing out this year, doing well and trying to force a trade again next summer—when his current deal will be expiring, and there is a real chance he leaves for nothing in 2015.
Kings May Need to Sign-and-Trade
The Sacramento Kings reportedly have their sights set on acquiring a backup big man to help DeMarcus Cousins protect the rim but may need to execute a sign-and-trade to make it happen.
According to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee, the club would love to bring in Russian center Timofey Mozgov, but they do not have the cap space to sign him to a properly valued contract without clearing room via trade.
John Salmons is one of the most movable assets that Sacramento possesses, as the veteran swingman can still contribute in this league and is owed just $1 million if he is bought out for the 2014-15 campaign—making his current $7.5 million deal an almost expiring contract.
Given the lack of quality centers in Sactown—Cole Aldrich is the only other true pivot besides Cousins on the roster—you can be assured that the Kings front office will do everything in its power to add some depth, even if it means pulling the trigger on a sign-and-trade before the season.
Rockets Still Hanging on to Omer Asik
On paper, the Houston Rockets are one of the most powerful teams in the league and should be a real contender to dethrone the Miami Heat and win a championship next spring.
However, Omer Asik reportedly isn’t happy with his projected role as a backup to newly acquired big man Dwight Howard and wants out.
What should the Rockets do?
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the up-and-coming center has threatened to defect from the Rockets in free agency, but will not hit the open market until the summer of 2015.
The 27-year-old is owed $20 million for his services until then, so it’s hard to see him giving up that kind of money in protest.
Don’t be surprised if GM Daryl Morey holds onto the 7-footer and uses him as a trading chip when the right opportunity presents itself at some point in the next season or two.