The 2013-14 NBA regular season is less than two weeks in, and there's already buzz surrounding potential trades. Whether or not these rumors hold weight has yet to be seen, but as fans and analysts overreact to early developments, so too will general managers plotting their next moves.
We've come to expect trades at any given moment, with players such as James Harden and Rudy Gay being dealt before the trade deadline in 2012-13. That doesn't guarantee a move in 2013-14, but it provides reason to be attentive to potential trades at every point of the season.
The question is, which names are surfacing on the open market?
Steve Nash to Toronto?
Since the 2012 offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers have been trapped in a state of disarray. The superstars that were signed to lead Los Angeles to a dynasty-like run have underwhelmed. Two Defensive Player of the Year award winners have departed, and Kobe Bryant, the franchise player, is sidelined by injury.
Inevitably, this has led to trade rumors surrounding Los Angeles' highest-paid athletes.
According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com, the Lakers are considering trading future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash. Many are quick to point out Nash's decline in production, but the only two facts that matter are his battles with leg injuries and his age at 39.
So, who might be willing to pick up the $9,701,000 that Nash is owed next year? The team that you'd expect to be interested in acquiring the Canadian superstar: the Toronto Raptors.
Toronto offered Nash a contract before he was dealt to the Lakers in a sign-and-trade in 2012.
Nash is the general manager of the Canadian men's national basketball team. He's also an extremely popular figure in the Toronto area, which makes his lofty contract a welcome addition with what Nash could do for the Raptors as an organization.
For a team that's historically struggled to retain free agents and fill seats, adding a hometown favorite would be of extraordinary value. It doesn't hurt that Nash still has some gas left in the tank.
According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, Nash isn't considering retirement, nor should he. For all that was made about his statistical drop-off, it's worth noting that Nash's style of play was altered as Kobe Bryant dominated the ball in Los Angeles.
Even still, Nash averaged 12.5 points on a slash line of .497/.438/.922 during the 2012-13 season.
Putting the financial burden aside, no general manager in the NBA would be hesitant to add that type of shooting prowess. For a Raptors team that shot 34.3 percent from beyond the arc in 2012-13, it goes without saying that Nash would fit in well.
His time as an elite point guard may be limited by injuries, but Nash is still a world-class jump-shooter, and that means that he still has time remaining in the NBA. Toronto could be the place that he spends those seasons.
The Hurdle in Trading Gerald Wallace
When the Boston Celtics traded small forward Paul Pierce and hybrid interior force Kevin Garnett, acquiring Gerald Wallace was a necessary financial sacrifice. Unfortunately for the Celtics' attempts at rebuilding, Wallace is making more than $30 million over the next three years.
According to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald, the Celtics have discussed trading the 31 year old. Unfortunately, the team's desire to move a $30 million contract doesn't mean that another team is willing to pick it up.
In the end, that massive deal could keep Wallace in Boston.
That's more of a pot hole than a bump in the road.
The Celtics have two star-caliber building blocks with point guard Rajon Rondo and small forward Jeff Green. Boston also has an emerging rim protector in Vitor Faverani, a low-post scorer in Jared Sullinger and an all-around offensive threat in Kelly Olynyk.
In order to truly rebuild, however, the Celtics cannot afford to have $30 million tied up in a player whose role remains undefined.
Wallace's contract was heavily criticized when the Brooklyn Nets signed him last offseason. For that reason, general managers will be hesitant to trade for Wallace unless the deal included a draft pick in what is expected to be a deep 2014 draft class.
Barring a miracle deal, don't expect Wallace to be traded.