The following NBA players only reach the honorable mentions category because their odds of getting traded are admittedly low.
Although this section includes some huge names who have been floated in rumors and speculation, their general managers may prove to be too gun-shy to pull the trigger on a possible long-term (or short-term) outlook deal.
Danny Granger is in the final year of his contract with the Indiana Pacers, who are set to pay him more than $14 million. Needless to say, that’s not an easy contract to move.
Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird called out the 30-year-old forward in December by saying, “He doesn’t work hard enough (in the offseason),” per Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star.
Bird went on to say, “I’m not looking to trade him. But you never know. If the right thing came along that would help the franchise, I would have to look at it.”
Indy could decide to move Granger for additional pieces to try to ensure a trip to the 2014 NBA Finals, but that decision may not pan out in the long run because the Pacers still need to pay Lance Stephenson after his contract expires this summer.
Due to that, keeping Granger’s expiring deal is appealing for the long-term outlook.
Unless the Pacers were content trading the veteran swingman to the Detroit Pistons for a package of Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey (two expiring contracts that may also help in the short term), I’d expect Granger to stay put.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are figuratively stuck between a rock and a hard place with their current situation.
Star power forward Kevin Love is not happy, head coach Rick Adelman has repeatedly called out his players for lackadaisical effort, and the on-court product is underperforming in a huge way.
Should the Timberwolves consider trading Ricky Rubio? Perhaps they should shop Nikola Pekovic.
One possible outcome that’s lurking in the shadows, though, is a K-Love trade.
The UCLA product can opt out of his contract following the 2014-15 season, and he already stated a while ago that his patience is not high in Minnesota.
If T-Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders wants to keep Love and build around him, time is running out.
It would be hard to fault Minny for accepting a Godfather trade offer of young players and draft picks for the 25-year-old before he threatens to leave the franchise via free agency.
I just don’t see it happening—at least not this season.
Much like Minnesota’s situation with Kevin Love, the New York Knicks are facing a difficult decision of their own with regard to star player Carmelo Anthony.
Contrary to Love, however, who is under contract through the 2014-15 season, ’Melo can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this year if he chooses to exercise the early-termination option in his contract.
At this point, what is compelling Anthony to stay put from a winning perspective?
Aside from Tyson Chandler and rookie Tim Hardaway Jr.—who has proven to be a draft-day steal—the Knicks are constructed with overpaid veterans (Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani), underperforming role players (J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert) and a collection of aging pieces (Pablo Prigioni and Metta World Peace).
New York also sits out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture at 15-26.
On top of everything, Anthony said to Al Iannazzone of Newsday after a recent blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers, “I don’t want to feel like if I’m not scoring the basketball that we don’t have a chance of even being in the game. I don’t never want to feel like that."
’Melo is clearly frustrated, but Iannazzone did point out that the Knicks have the ability to pay the 2012-13 scoring champion $34 million more than any other team. At this point, the money appears to be the only logical factor that could keep Anthony in town.
The Knicks should trade him, because if they lose him for nothing, they’ll be moving forward with a core of Stoudemire and Bargnani.
With that said, when does the Knicks organization ever make the right decision?