The Feb. 20 NBA trade deadline is fast approaching, and there will be plenty of interest in expendable pieces from contenders across the league.
Over the course of the next two weeks, squads will have to determine if they are buyers or sellers and react appropriately. Expect to hear plenty from the rumor mill as those decisions are made.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the latest whispers from around the NBA. Most are trade related, but, in the case of the Cleveland Cavaliers, a general manager for the future would be nice as well.
Charlotte Bobcats may be Buyers
If you saw the Charlotte Bobcats as a legitimate playoff contender at the beginning of the season, pat yourself on the back.
While the existence of the Bobcats’ very real chances at cracking the postseason has a lot to do with the fact that the Eastern Conference as a whole is so weak this year, the front office may be looking to seize the opportunity to play more than 82 games.
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports that league sources and various executives say that Charlotte has been shopping for players to bolster the roster for some time now.
The Bobcats have dangled Ben Gordon and his expiring contract and may be willing to give up a first-round pick if the return package is worth the investment. Among the players that Charlotte has shown interest in are Evan Turner of the Philadelphia 76ers and Taj Gibson of the Chicago Bulls.
Interestingly enough, the Bulls are ahead of the Bobcats in the standings, but they could very well be seen as sellers at the deadline, with Derrick Rose out with injury and Luol Deng already dealt to Cleveland.
Dallas Mavericks may Stay Put
Mark Cuban isn’t usually one to go quietly when the trade deadline rolls around, but that just may be what happens in the 2013-14 season.
Dallas is fighting for one of the last spots in the Western Conference playoffs and will be patient, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. If it was to make a deal, finding a big man or a legitimate scorer would become a priority, but the Mavericks apparently like the roster as it currently stands.
Should Dallas make a move to bolster its playoff chances this year?
Kyler does mention Spencer Hawes and Jordan Hill as potential targets, but acquiring someone like Hawes may cost more in draft picks than Dallas is willing to give up.
With such a loaded draft approaching this summer, and the Mavericks unlikely to make a real run at the NBA championship, don’t be surprised if Dallas hangs on to its future selections.
Cleveland’s Search for a GM
While the rest of the NBA searches for players or salary cap relief to help in their pursuits of future NBA titles, the Cleveland Cavaliers are searching for a new general manager.
Firing a GM in the middle of the season could create some drama, so naturally the Cleveland Cavaliers are turning to the one source on television that definitely knows drama—TNT.
Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweeted the following:
I'm hearing that Kenny Smith may be a candidate for the Cleveland Cavaliers' general manager job. David Griffin is the interim GM.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 7, 2014
While anyone who watches the TNT broadcasts would note that Smith appears more than satisfied with his current job, he did mention to ESPN when the Sacramento Kings had a vacant GM position that thoughts of becoming involved with a team have crossed his mind:
Honestly, I've been looking at both -- coaching, and a lot of things have been coming these last couple of years, and this time I've been taking it serious. My kids are at an age where I feel comfortable. And the other years, the kids were just too young. I didn't want to be in it. But I just started taking it serious.
Smith is a former player and has followed the league closely in recent years for his television job, so at least the Cavaliers would be landing someone who is knowledgeable about the game and knows what it takes to be a winner if this was to come to fruition.
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