The NBA trade deadline is inching closer and closer by the minute, and it's time for general managers from across the Association to begin picking up their phones and making some calls.
The trade rumors have been swirling for the past several months, but the weeks leading up to the trade deadline on Feb. 20 are when speculation runs rampant. It often gets to the point where it seems as if no player is safe from the rumors.
Of course, not all rumors have legitimacy. Even the ones that do aren't guaranteed to happen. Such is the nature of the beast.
There's a chance that the following players could be on the move, though only time will tell whether or not the rumors end up coming to fruition.
Another day, another Rajon Rondo rumor.
This one might have some legs, though only time will tell. Sam Amick of USA Today breaks down the latest scenario:
Despite the consistent claims from Celtics general manager Danny Ainge that Rondo isn't available, the Knicks have a strong belief that he can be had if—in a nod to another show—the price is right. They can offer the likes of Amar'e Stoudemire (one season remaining after this one, at $23.4 million) while taking future money back (such as Gerald Wallace and/or Jeff Green) and helping Ainge clear the way for the summer of 2015 that is known to be a priority of his.
(That summer is a major priority for the Knicks, too, but it appears the Rondo scenario is one of the few, if not the only, where they'd consider the impact of his addition great enough to justify taking on some money from that point on.) The Knicks can include Raymond Felton (a much cheaper point guard option) or Iman Shumpert (rookie contract) and even discuss beloved rookie Tim Hardaway Jr.
Rondo's health has always been a question mark. When healthy, his production is matched by almost no point guards in the league. Given the bevy of trade rumors the past several months, it seems as if teams are taking his production into more account than they are his health.
Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley and Vitor Faverani won't practice today. All three are out with soreness. Nothing structural with any of them.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 6, 2014
For the Knicks to acquire Rondo, they'll certainly have to part with some top talent. One would assume that losing the likes of Amar'e Stoudemire would be relatively easy for the team to cope with. The same goes for Raymond Felton.
Losing young stars in the making like Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. could potentially be a devastating blow for the franchise. It will be interesting to see what the Knicks decide to do.
Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard Evan Turner has been rumored to be on the move for quite some time as well, but Bleacher Report's own Jared Zwerling recently tweeted that it is now unlikely he'll be moved—unless teams start to pony up:
Source: Evan Turner will likely not get traded, but could change if Philly can get a 1st-pound pick. Turner will be a pricey attractive FA.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) February 6, 2014
Turner is in the midst of a breakout season with the Sixers. He's dropping 17.8 points per game on 43.3 percent shooting. He's also grabbing an impressive 6.0 rebounds per night.
Teams looking to sign him this offseason will have to pony up a good amount of money says Zwerling, and it's doubtful that the Sixers will look to lock him up. Elliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com breaks down why:
Still, the chances of Turner coming back to Philadelphia are have to be considered slim— especially if the price tag in the offseason could be expensive.
The Sixers have a ton of cap space in the upcoming offseason, so signing Turner isn't impossible. But they may look to address several other areas instead of focusing on just one or two more expensive ones.
Turner certainly has the potential to impact a new team right from the start, but there's no guarantee that teams will want to offer a first-round pick for him.
Impending free agent Zach Randolph has made it known that he wants to return to the Memphis Grizzlies next season, and the Grizzlies have made it apparent that Randolph will not be traded at the deadline, reports Amick.
Amick also added that the Phoenix Suns still checked in on the dominant big man: "As a footnote, the Suns inquired about Randolph but were told he wasn't available," he writes.
Suns Inquired About Zach Randolph -- http://t.co/PqVeqk7GrS— RealGM (@RealGM) February 8, 2014
At this point, it should be no surprise that the Suns are looking to add big-name talent to their roster. After being written off this offseason, the Suns have been arguably the surprise of the NBA season. With a 30-20 record, Phoenix is in good shape to make a playoff appearance out of the Western Conference.
Adding in a star to supplement the younger players on their roster would be ideal, however.
Amick cites another forward option aside from Randolph, saying that Thaddeus Young of the Sixers might be an attractive option. On the season, he's averaging 17.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per night.