The NBA tread deadline is fast approaching—officially coming on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET—and the league's top teams will look to acquire much-needed talent to effectively make a push into the playoffs.
With the deadline looming, there have been many playoff-caliber teams that have been eyeing players from lesser teams who are looking to unload some talent in an effort to free up cap space or head in the direction of a youth movement.
Let's take a look at the hottest trade rumors that are currently circulating in the NBA and break down what these rumors could mean for each team involved.
Charlotte Bobcats Interested in Evan Turner
Despite a 23-30 record, the Bobcats are still clinging to the eighth playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. Not only will they be looking to make a push deep into the playoffs, but first they must make a push just to get there.
It looks as though they are about to do just that, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:
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 Sixers currently hold a 15-39 record and are virtually out of the playoff race. According to Spotrac.com, Turner is in the final year of his contract, and Philadelphia would do well to be compensated for him rather than simply losing him in free agency.
Are the Philadelphia 76ers close to trading Evan Turner? They're reportedly "stepping up their efforts" to move him: http://t.co/cTtCZGu4hh— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 5, 2014
In return, the Bobcats would be getting a player who has been averaging 17.5 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game throughout the 2013-14 season.
Phoenix Suns Interested in Thaddeus Young
The Suns are another team that is on the cusp of a playoff appearance. They currently hold the seventh seed in the Western Conference with a 30-21 record. They do need to keep winning basketball games, though, as other teams are nipping at their heels.
Phoenix will be looking to bolster its unit by adding Thaddeus Young, according to a report from Aaron Bruski of Rotoworld.com:
Thaddeus Young has also been linked to Phoenix, albeit in an understated way, and among the trio of Sixers that are in the rumor mill he’s the guy whose value isn't immediately crushed by a move. He has been able to float mid-round value in the past as a secondary player, and assuming the Suns move one of their many hybrid 2-4s he would fit nicely in their system. Young was reportedly off the market about a week ago, but it’s impossible to put stock in that since his name continues to persist in the rumor mill.
This would certainly be a move to free up some cap space for the Sixers. Young is set to earn over $9.4 million over the 2014-15 season, according to Spotrac.com. With Philadelphia looking to deal multiple players, it makes sense that they would want to clear some room for the future.
Thad Young is 5 for 13 shooting. rest of team 4-43 #SixersTalk— Dei Lynam (@dlynamCSN) February 10, 2014
The Suns would benefit greatly from Young. At just 25 years of age, he has become increasingly effective as he continues to gain NBA experience. Young is averaging 17.1 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game so far in the 2013-14 season.
Washington Wizards Interested in Luke Ridnour
Washington currently holds the sixth seed in the Western Conference. However, with just a 25-27 record, its playoff position could be in jeopardy. Acquiring the right point guard could help the team make that final push into the postseason.
According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, the Wizards are interested in Bucks point guard Luke Ridnour:
Several teams have called Milwaukee about point guard Luke Ridnour, including Washington and Sacramento, a league source said. The Bucks are also fielding calls about their young players, as teams are dubious that owner Herb Kohl is serious about going through the pain of a youth movement.
The Bucks seem very interested to possibly make multiple deals before the trade deadline. Dealing Ridnour to the Wizards could be the move with the most playoff implications.
Which of these trades are most likely to happen?
Ridnour is in the final year of his contract and is set to become an unrestricted free agent once the season is over, according to Spotrac.com. Since the Bucks appear to be heading in the direction of a youth movement, acquiring an additional draft pick and freeing up some cap space will absolutely be beneficial.
At 32 years of age, Ridnour continues to be effective. Despite being hampered with a wrist injury, he has still managed a decent 2013-14 season. Ridnour put together some fine games in January before his injury, including dropping at least nine points and five rebounds over a five-game span.
His health may end up playing a factor, but if the Wizards believe he can get back to form, he will be a valuable addition to their rotation.