Just because it's the NBA's All-Star weekend doesn't mean the trade rumors will take a back seat.
The trade deadline is Thursday, Feb. 20, and naturally, it's time for teams looking to make a move to start picking up the phones and progress on their preliminary talks. It's time for names and picks to start getting discussed, as opposed to simply inquiring about a player's availability.
Some of the rumors you hear closer to the deadline actually have some traction, so don't be surprised if any of the following rumors come to fruition by Feb. 20.
OKC Looking for a Shooter
The Oklahoma City Thunder are looking to make a deep run into the playoffs, but upper management isn't yet satisfied with its collection of shooters. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets the latest:
Oklahoma City is already a team rich in talent, but wanting to get even better for the stretch run is certainly understandable. Kevin Durant probably won't be able to do it all on his own for the remainder of the season. Probably.
Mike Dunleavy of the Chicago Bulls and Ben Gordon of the Charlotte Bobcats would make sense for OKC. Both are experienced shooters that can spot up nearly anywhere beyond the arc and hit shots with consistency, and both are likely available.
Gordon hasn't played too well this season in just 18 games with Charlotte, making him the least expensive of the two options. His past success as a shooter would make him a low-risk, high-reward acquisition.
However, the Thunder would do well to acquire Dunleavy. He has shot at least 38 percent from deep each of the past four seasons and would be a great fit in their current system.
Sixers Want to Stock Up on Picks
The Philadelphia 76ers have two players in Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner that would be quality additions for teams in the playoff hunt. Thaddeus Young would also be a nice pickup for the acquiring team.
The Sixers understand this and are looking to acquire several draft picks in return for their services, reports Keith Pompey of Philly.com:
The 76ers' focus in the days leading up to Thursday's NBA trade deadline is acquiring draft picks, according to an Eastern Conference executive.
The franchise wants to gain future compensation in exchange for Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Thaddeus Young, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. With the most cap space in the league and an open roster spot, the Sixers will consider acquiring an expiring contract from a team looking to dump a salary. But that most likely will also involve receiving a draft pick.
Hawes, Turner and Young have been floated around for much of the past few weeks, though teams have yet to bite on them. In all likelihood, teams haven't shown a willingness to give up draft picks.
We could see that change by Thursday, however. If teams have a change of heart between now and then, expect at least one of these guys to be dealt.
Bobcats Interested in Evan Turner
One team that is looking to acquire Evan Turner is the Charlotte Bobcats. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has the full report:
The Charlotte Bobcats, clinging to the eighth playoff spot in the East, will be aggressive buyers at the deadline, league sources say. The team's interest in Sixers guard Evan Turner is real. Philadelphia GM Sam Hinkie wants a first-round pick for Turner (and the same for Spencer Hawes). The Bobcats can offer their Detroit pick if they're serious about making a push.
The Bobcats have a first-round draft selection that they acquired from the Detroit Pistons in the Ben Gordon trade back in June 2012.
There's no doubt that bringing Turner aboard would help the Bobcats potentially move up in the East. He's averaging 17.5 points per game on 43.2 percent shooting, and he's also bringing in 5.9 boards and dishing out 3.6 assists per game.
At 23-30, the Bobcats will have a hard time getting through even the lesser teams of the East without another scorer to utilize. Turner's numbers could even see a boost playing in Charlotte because of the role he will play in the offense.
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