NBA trade rumor season is at full blast just over a week into the season.
It's no wonder with so many teams looking toward what will be a loaded draft class. Plenty of veterans such as Steve Nash, Jameer Nelson and Rudy Gay have already seen their names dangled out there for contenders looking to add a piece.
Said veterans have plenty to offer, but the asking price in combo with an accurate analysis of team needs at this point is critical in the process. Do contenders really want to add a pricey veteran with such a deep draft class on the horizon?
We're about to find out.
Here's a look at three players who have been the hottest on the market thus far.
There has been plenty of controversy around Steve Nash this year. First and foremost, Nash continues to deal with health issues as ESPN details:
Per CBS Sports, Nash continues to play on instead of opting for retirement:
Great news for Nash, but not-so-great for the Lakers, who essentially rented the veteran point guard for last season in order to win a title. Dwight Howard left town this offseason, and now the Lakers are stuck with a contract worth over $18 million in total the next two seasons.
That's unacceptable, even if the Lakers do have plenty of space to start their supposed rebuild.
So it only makes sense the Lakers have been involved in rumors per Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD:
Steve Nash is another vet who may be traded this year. I've heard Toronto as a possible landing spot for Nash from multiple league sources.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) November 4, 2013
Nash in his limited action this year has shot just 27.9 percent from the field but averages over five assists per game, so it's curious as to why any teams would take the salary investment unless they trust the 39 year old to find fresh legs soon.
Los Angeles will likely jump at any offer at this point—just don't expect it to be much.
The Orlando Magic are putting together a talented young squad led by Victor Oladipo, so it's hard to see where the 31-year-old Jameer Nelson fits at this point.
Marc Stein of ESPN reports the Magic are willing to move Nelson for a first-round pick:
The Magic, according to the latest rumbles, would surrender Nelson today if offered a future first-round pick for him. Orlando GM Rob Hennigan continues to chase draft picks and young assets above all else as he remakes the Magic.
Of course they would—the Magic would be insane not to. Kennedy later echoed the report with some additional interesting names:
Some vets who may be traded: Omer Asik, Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo, Glen Davis, Evan Turner, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Bass and Gerald Wallace.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) November 4, 2013
Nelson is as reliable as ever and only comes with an $8.6 million cap hit, but that is still leagues above what a rookie-scale contract will end up as, not to mention more years of productivity.
The veteran point guard averages well over 12 points and six assists per game, so as the season wears on he will become a more attractive piece for contenders to mull over. The dilemma of instant gratification versus long-term fortunes persists here as well.
What a difference a new general manager can make.
Tornoto landed Rudy Gay just last January, but with new general manager Masai Ujiri in place, Gay may be on his way out already, as Marc Stein of ESPN reports the Raptors are willing to deal anyone not named Jonas Valanciunas:
The strong sense now, though, is that the Raps are prepared to trade virtually anyone on the current roster if a suitable offer presents itself.
"Anyone but [Jonas] Valanciunas," says one plugged-in source.
The National Post's fine columnist Bruce Arthur reported this week in a long piece on Ujiri that the Raps have indeed discussed the prospect of moving Gay before the NBA's Feb. 20 trade deadline.
Gay is another commodity other teams may be willing to wait to bid on, as he comes with a price tag over $18 million this season and has an option to forgo the last year of his contract (over $19 million) to enter free agency.
Time will tell which option Gay ultimately chooses, but such an investment via trade for a guy who is currently shooting under 35 percent from the field as a volume shooter may not be worth the gamble, especially if he'll be on the open market soon anyway.