Almost halfway into the NBA season, teams have reached the point where they know a trade is necessary to improve the roster either this year or in the future. This has led to plenty of possible moves from around the league.
A few struggling squads have spent the early part of the season hoping for a turnaround before making any drastic moves that would hurt the chances of winning. However, it is starting to become time to face reality that a trade to help the future is the best move.
These players are all on teams that had higher hopes for the year, but a lack of success and other factors will lead to possible trades before the Feb. 20 deadline.
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
After finishing second in the Eastern Conference last season, the Knicks have struggled their way to a 10-22 record this year. With Carmelo Anthony possibly leaving for free agency at the end of the year, it might be time for New York to look toward the future.
With the looming possibility of Carmelo Anthony departing New York as a free agent this summer, New York Knicks officials have discussed proposing a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers for Blake Griffin, according to league sources.
Sources say Clippers management also has had internal discussions about such a deal but that the clubs have not yet spoken to one another about a potential trade.
This deal would make sense for the Knicks if they were certain that Anthony was not planning on returning next season. It would allow the team to get something in return instead of just a giant void in the offense.
The elite scorer already expressed his desire to test the market to Rafi Kohan of the New York Observer:
I want to be a free agent. I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It’s like you have an evaluation period, you know. It’s like if I’m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience.
He still could potentially stay with the Knicks, but the opportunity to bring in the 24-year-old Griffin might be too tough to ignore. The forward is currently averaging 22.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game and could be a star in Madison Square Garden for years to come.
Andrew Bynum, Cleveland Cavaliers
In a bizarre situation, Andrew Bynum has become a top trade target for teams who want nothing more than to release him.
The talented center has been suspended by the Cleveland Cavaliers for "conduct detrimental to the team." Since his contract is only partially guaranteed, the team can cut him by Jan. 7 without penalty.
However, this contract situation can also be used as a way for other teams to clear cap space. As a result, the Cavaliers are willing to listen to trades that help out both sides.
While they are looking in many directions for a potential deal, the latest buzz includes a trade with the Utah Jazz, according to Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
Sources said Utah Jazz veteran swingman Richard Jefferson has emerged as a new trade target for the Cavaliers after ongoing talks with the Los Angeles Lakers on a deal centered around the swap of former teammates Pau Gasol and Bynum remained at an impasse Friday.
After a terrible 2012-13 season, Richard Jefferson has bounced back well with an average of 10 points and three rebounds per game. He is also making 41.8 percent of his shots from the outside.
Jefferson would bring a veteran presence to the young Cavaliers and his addition could help them get back into the postseason race. He certainly is not being valued much on the 11-25 Jazz.
Considering Cleveland is not offering much in terms of value to a team, it is hard to imagine a better offer in the next few days.
Andre Miller, Denver Nuggets
Like Bynum, Andre Miller was also suspended for "conduct detrimental to the team." According to Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post, the veteran point guard yelled at his coach after being benched.
As a result, a number of teams are interested in the possibility of bringing in the unhappy player. Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! broke down the latest in the situation:
The Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings are intrigued with the possibility of acquiring suspended Denver Nuggets point guard Andre Miller, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
For now, Denver management is determined to smooth over the acrimony between Miller and coach Brian Shaw, and plan on bringing back Miller on Monday for practice, league sources said.
On the other hand, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News points out that a trade is not likely to come anytime soon:
While Denver will get a flood of trade offers in the wake of the incident—Miller has just one year and $4.6 million on his contract—a league source said the team is still “a ways away” from pulling off a trade, and that a deal would probably come closer to the February trade deadline.
The Nuggets have struggled for most of the season and currently sit at 15-17. If things keep going this way, it might be smart to part with veteran players in an effort to improve the future.
At the very least, getting rid of a distraction might help turn things around in Denver.
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