Now that the MLB hot stove is cooling down, sports fans can direct their attention to the NBA rumor mill, which is buzzing as the league approaches the Feb. 20 trade deadline.
While big men like Greg Monroe and Omer Asik have been frequently mentioned on the NBA rumor circuit, there are also a few guards who have seen their names pop up recently. Here's a look at the latest rumblings about a couple of points guards and a swingman who could potentially be on the move.
G Kyle Lowry
The Toronto Raptors (22-21) have remained in the thick of the East playoff race this season with Kyle Lowry running the point, entering play Monday as the No. 4 seed. Lowry has started all 43 games, averaging career highs in minutes played (36.3), points (16), assists (7.5) and three-pointers made (2.4) per game.
Marc Stein of ESPN recently reported that it's more likely Lowry is traded before hitting the unrestricted-free-agent market in the summer.
Trade rumble: Sense around league remains Toronto more likely to trade Kyle Lowry than keep him to prevent losing asset for nothing. But ...— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 27, 2014
Issue here hasn't changed: No team out there willing YET to meet Raps' asking price for PG who, nice as he's playin, can bolt in free agency— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 27, 2014
Likewise, Toronto might lose some leverage at the negotiating table for Lowry, who could end up being a second-half rental. But on the right championship contender, Lowry could be a huge difference maker. Joe Kaiser of ESPN (subscription required) listed the Indiana Pacers as the destination that makes the most sense for Lowry.
Lowry would certainly be an upgrade over current Pacers point guard George Hill, but what would Indiana be willing to give up? If the Raptors wanted a point guard in return, the Pacers have a couple of options in Hill and backup C.J. Watson.
Though talented, Hill's numbers (10.6 ppg, 3.4 apg and 43.2 percent shooting) have slightly dipped from his 2012-13 averages in the major categories. In the second season of a five-year, $40 million contract, Hill comes with a lot of factors to consider as a potential trade chip for the Pacers.
Indiana swingman Danny Granger has also addressed trade rumors this winter, per Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star, but the Raptors have benefited from the development of second-year small forward Terrence Ross since trading away Rudy Gay. On Saturday, Ross exploded for 51 points in a 126-118 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
G/F Evan Turner
In an informative and wide-ranging chat with readers on Monday, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders recently touched on the future of the Philadelphia 76ers.
While responding to a question about the possibility of the team trading away Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes or Evan Turner, Kyler had this to say about the Sixers heading into the deadline.
As for the 76ers specifically. They are not in a situation where they HAVE to do something. They have things they would do, but they are not up against some kind of deadline. If it makes sense they’ll do it, but they are not in fire sale mode.
Having trade assets going into the off-season is not a bad thing. Turner is the one that might be forced, but even then they could do a sign and trade for Evan and get assets back.
Many were quick to label Turner a bust after he went No. 2 overall in the 2010 NBA draft before having a couple of pedestrian seasons to start his career. In his fourth year, Turner is turning the corner as a scorer, averaging a career-high 18.5 points on 43.8 percent shooting to go along with 6.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
As such, his trade value is probably at an all-time high, but the struggling Sixers (14-30) are already looking ahead to next season. With Turner becoming a restricted free agent this summer, it will be interesting to see how Philadelphia handles his contract situation.
G Andre Miller
Andre Miller turns 38 in March, but that hasn't stopped the veteran Denver Nuggets backup point guard from having suitors, per Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 in Minneapolis.
League contact today via text: "Andre Miller will be a Wolf or King by All-Star break." #Twolves— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) January 26, 2014
Ever since his well-publicized argument with coach Brian Shaw on New Year's Day, Miller hasn't seen a minute of action. Still, Miller showed he still has some gas left in the tank, appearing in 30 games as Ty Lawson's backup this year.
A 15-year veteran like Miller would be a valuable to help shore up the point guard position for the Minnesota Timberwolves (21-22), as Ricky Rubio has struggled mightily in his third NBA season.
As for Sacramento, Miller would slot as a solid backup point behind starter Isaiah Thomas, who is having a career year (20 ppg, 6.3 apg) for the lowly Kings (15-28).