Trades are going to be hard to come by at this juncture in the 2013 NBA offseason, but that doesn’t mean that the front office big wigs aren’t at least entertaining the possibility of a potential deal.
Whether these transactions range from the insignificant swaps of future considerations to blockbuster trades involving marquee superstars, you know that at least a handful of general managers are working the phones and trying to improve their squad.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest buzz being leaked around the Association in Thursday’s rumor roundup.
Rajon Rondo Will Draw Interest
After the Boston Celtics decided to move on and blow up the heart of the “Big Three” era squad—jettisoning Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets—many expected Rajon Rondo to soon find his way out the door as well.
That hasn’t happened yet, but Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe found that there are a number of teams interested in acquiring the superstar point guard and even more should be joining if Rondo can prove to be fully healthy after rehabbing from a torn ACL.
Washburn noted that the Detroit Pistons haven’t given up on their pursuit of the 27-year-old facilitator, even though they recently acquired Brandon Jennings in a sign-and-trade deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Motor City-based franchise could potentially try to entice C’s GM Danny Ainge to give up Rondo for a package headlined by Jennings—who is on a relatively reasonable contract at three-years, $24 million.
It’ll be interesting to see what Pistons president Joe Dumars and other front office officials can cook up to pry Rondo from Beantown.
Nikola Pekovic for LaMarcus Aldridge Will Not Happen
The Minnesota Timberwolves are struggling to ink bruising center Nikola Pekovic to a new contract and may be more open to moving the restricted free agent—rather than keeping him on a one-year deal.
One option that many fans are calling for is to flip him for LaMarcus Aldridge, the disgruntled Portland Trail Blazers superstar that allegedly requested a trade and sat down with GM Neil Olshey to discuss the various possibilities a few weeks back.
Unfortunately, ESPN1500’s Darren Wolfson has confirmed with two league sources that the Blazers view Pekovic as a non-starter, while Aldridge is coming off his second straight All-Star appearance.
Pekovic averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds last season, while Aldridge piled in 21.1 points and pulled down 9.1 boards. Pek is more of an interior presence with his massive frame, while Aldridge can play away from the basket when need be and has more range to his game.
It’ll certainly be worth watching both situations to see if either player ends up moving, although it doesn’t look likely that they will be swapped for one another.
Heat May Move Joel Anthony
The Miami Heat inked Greg Oden to a contract last week, adding more depth to their razor-thin frontcourt and finally giving the team a traditional big man that is skilled on both offense and defense.
His ability to help LeBron James, Chris Andersen, Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem and Chris Bosh in the South Beach big man rotation will be huge during the regular season—although Oden will need to stay healthy to make an impact.
That is easier than said than done, as the former No. 1 overall pick has only played 82 games during his five-year career.
Regardless, the Heat may feel comfortable enough with Oden on the depth chart to move Joel Anthony, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
The Heat have been looking to move away from the luxury tax and recently amnestied Mike Miller—who played a crucial role in both the 2012 and 2013 NBA Finals.
Anthony is on the books for $3.8 million this coming season and has a player option that he will almost certainly accept for the same amount in 2014-15.
With Oden earning $1.1 million in 2013-14, he’s a cheaper player with much more upside and talent.
Don’t be surprised if the Heat push hard to move Anthony during the coming season.