With the NBA's All-Star weekend now in the rear-view mirror, the attention quickly shifts to the trade deadline, which is scheduled for Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. Front offices are forced to work quickly if they want to pull off any deals before the window closes.
It's been a pretty quiet season overall in terms of wheeling and dealing. As always, there's a lot of buzz and speculation about potential trades, but not much has materialized. It will be interesting to see if that changes leading up to the deadline.
With that in mind, let's check out some of the latest talk making its way around the league and examine what it could mean for the teams involved.
Rondo has spent a lot of time in the rumor mill over the years. So it probably doesn't come as a surprise to him that he's there again. For his part, he would be willing to stay with the Boston Celtics for the foreseeable future, as noted in comments provided by Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe:
I like to stick to the script. I don't like change much. I wouldn't mind staying here the rest of my career. Things don't always seem to go that way, but like I said before, it's just a business. I wouldn't mind extending another 10 years in Boston.
Whether that will end up being the case is unclear. It appears he'll remain with the Celtics for the rest of this season at the very least, though. Sam Smith of Bulls.com reports he's one of several high-profile players likely to stay put:
This is the big week in the NBA when Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, Greg Monroe, Pau Gasol and Rajon Rondo are not likely to be traded. But with the trading deadline Thursday, there could be some new addresses for the likes of Evan Turner, Jarrett Jack, Udonis Haslem and Emeka Okafor's luggage.
[…] The asking price if you can get Rondo is said to be two unprotected first rounders.
Rondo has shown signs of returning to top form in February. He's averaging over 14 points and nine assists per game while shooting 66 percent from the floor. Two first-round picks isn't an unreasonable asking price, but it's hard to imagine a team meeting that demand in the middle of the season.
What should Houston do with Asik?
Asik was a popular trade target immediately after the Houston Rockets added Dwight Howard, since it was clear his role would be diminished. Nothing came of those initial rumors, and he's proceeded to average less than four points while playing just 17 minutes per contest.
Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports talks are starting to heat up again. He states the Philadelphia 76ers, which tried to work out a deal for the center earlier in the season, are involved in trying to work out an agreement once again:
The two teams engaged in serious discussions on an Asik deal in December, when the Rockets were trying to move the defensive-minded center so they could aggregate any players acquired for use in future deals. With that possibility long gone, Houston GM Daryl Morey has re-opened trade talks, and the Sixers have more payroll flexibility than any team in the league to make a deal work.
Asik averaged a double-double last season and could still be an asset to a team in need of frontcourt help like Philadelphia. Ultimately, whether it's the 76ers or another team, Houston must try to move him while he still has trade value. He's losing it while playing a very limited role.
Last season, Jack averaged over 17 points, nearly five assists and four rebounds per game in the playoffs for the Golden State Warriors. He's failed to carve out a similar niche for himself with the Cleveland Cavaliers but could bolster a roster for the stretch run.
Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York reports the Brooklyn Nets are one team considering Jack as a deadline trade option. They would be interested in a swap including Jason Terry, who's also struggled in new surroundings:
League sources say Nets have interest in Cavs' Jarrett Jack. One source says Jason Terry for Jack could be a possibility before deadline— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) February 17, 2014
Things haven't gone according to plan for the rebuilt Nets this season. That said, they are still on the right side of the postseason race and possess a talented roster. Adding Jack to the equation would further Brooklyn's efforts to become a tough out come playoff time.