Will we see a bigger trade than the deal that sent Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings?
Fans of the volatile nature of the NBA trade market certainly hope so, but you never really know. Gay was one of the bigger names available on the market, and Sacramento was thought to be one of the most aggressive buyers.
That being said, it does seem likely that this deal could have a ripple effect. Is Toronto in full-blown rebuild mode? Will Sacramento look to make a few more roster tweaks?
In this version of buy or sell, we'll tackle those questions and all the rumors emerging after the Gay trade. We'll also look at the future of Houston Rockets center Omer Asik (again) and the chances two title contenders jump into the trading frenzy at some point this season.
One of the forgotten men in the Rudy Gay trade was Carl Landry. The Kings signed Landry to a four-year deal worth $26 million this offseason, but Landry tore his hip flexor before the season and has yet to debut.
Why mention Landry? Because at least long-term, it appears he'll factor into Sacramento's plans at the power forward position.
With recently acquired forward Derrick Williams joining Rudy Gay and Quincy Acy, the Kings will have plenty of options to play the 4. You could argue that Gay and Williams make more sense as small-ball power forwards, and that may be the direction that head coach Mike Malone leans.
Thompson could still have value as a strong rebounding backup center, but his four-year deal with roughly $25 million remaining might be a little too steep for that reduced role.
Thompson should be able to fetch something of value on the trade market, as capable rebounding big men with solid mid-range jumpers will always be in vogue. It makes sense that Sacramento would try to address long-term needs elsewhere while also gaining cap flexibility.
As for Lowry, Toronto would be wise to get a good long look at Greivis Vasquez before he hits restricted free agency. While the Gay trade was pretty much a pure salary dump from Toronto's perspective, making qualifying offers to Vasquez or Patrick Patterson could still be in the cards.
The chances Lowry is the starting point guard next year for a rebuilding Raptors team are slim and none. Shopping him to a contender in need of backcourt help (Miami? Chicago?) and nabbing a draft pick in the process would help the outlook of this year's pick and help add to cupboard for the future.
Rumor: Grantland's Zach Lowe says Dwane Casey may be in trouble, depending on Masai Ujiri's timetable, according to league sources.
Is the outlook for Dwane Casey's future in Toronto great? No. Is he on the hot seat right now? Probably not.
If the Raptors are rebuilding, firing Casey this season makes very little sense. Promoting an interim coach can only work out two ways: The team loses a bunch of games and the interim coach is fired at the end of the season, or the team wins in spite of the planned rebuild and Ujiri now has a tough coaching decision on his hands.
Firing a coach and paying him to watch from home only makes sense if there's incentive to win now or if a scapegoat is necessary. Bryan Colangelo, the man who traded for Gay, is the scapegoat for this clunky roster. The Gay trade is indicative of that.
If the objective isn't to make the playoffs but rather to rebuild the roster, Casey can play the role of a lame duck coach just as well as any interim coach could. It makes more sense for Ujiri to wait until the offseason, when a high draft pick, max cap space and a major market should lure one of the best available coaches.
I buy that Casey's hold on the job for next year is in serious jeopardy, but he should be safe for the rest of this season.
Rumor: According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the notion that the Philadelphia 76ers are a viable destination for Omer Asik is making the rounds.
It's not difficult to connect the dots here. Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie worked with Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in Houston, and Hinkie has been said to love what Asik brings to the table.
Here's the issue: Loving a player and loving how he fits are two different things.
Asking ownership to pay $15 million to Asik next season, a player who would probably block Nerlens Noel from starting next year, is going to be awfully tough to do. Why should Philadelphia make such a large investment in a player who may bolt in free agency after next season?
It's also important to ask what Houston would be getting out of the deal. Thaddeus Young is a nice player, but a rebuilding team like Philadelphia isn't going to forfeit draft picks and young prospects in addition to Young. Would the Rockets really see Young as the missing piece to put them over the top?
I wouldn't be surprised to see Houston and Philadelphia deal with each other in the near future, but it seems pretty unlikely that Asik will be involved. The two teams just don't appear compatible enough to make that deal happen.
Rumor: According to Fox Sports' Sam Amico, the Oklahoma City Thunder are willing to deal Jeremy Lamb for a more experienced and consistent player to come off the bench.
This rumor feels very unlike the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Cap-conscious franchises rarely part with talented young players on rookie-scale deals, particularly when said player is a former lottery pick shooting 39 percent from deep and averaging 16.1 points per 36 minutes.
Lamb may not be Kevin Martin, but he's a very capable spot-up shooter who can play next to Durant and Westbrook. With Reggie Jackson emerging as one of the league's better sixth men and Nick Collison's steadying presence, Oklahoma City's bench is in far better shape than most people think.
While I'm not implying that Lamb is untouchable, it would seem that his contract and skills are more valuable to OKC than to most teams around the league. And with the Thunder near the top of the standings yet again, the incentive just might not be there.
With so little room under the luxury tax line and with Lamb's deal barely checking in at over $2 million, it seems unlikely that OKC could find a more experienced and consistent player at such a cheap price.
More importantly, this is a team built for the next four years at least, and there's no reason to think that Lamb can't be a part of that.
Rumor: According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Joel Anthony may be available as the Heat start trade talks for backcourt help.
Verdict: Buy and Sell.
Yes, yes, I know. I'm supposed to buy OR sell, not buy and sell. I'm breaking the rules here, but let me explain.
Do I buy that Miami is looking for backcourt help? Absolutely. Dwyane Wade's knees are a real concern, and preparing for the worst-case scenario early on makes sense. That's what I'm buying.
But Joel Anthony being a piece that could bring back anything valuable? That's what I'm selling.
Anthony rarely sees the court these days, yet he's still scheduled to make $3.8 million next season if he accepts his player option, which he'd be a little crazy not to.
Basically, Miami will have to pay a team (in the form of draft picks or young players) just to get rid of Anthony. He's nothing more than a player to match salaries with.
The Heat won't be hard up for trading partners should they want to acquire backcourt help, but they'll almost certainly need to forfeit a draft pick to get a significant player in return. Given the non-guaranteed future of Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh going forward, that might be a shaky proposition.