The NBA playoffs may still be in full swing, but there are a few trade rumors already surrounding players that are done playing this season.
With the NBA draft combine taking place this week and new coaches beginning to find their ways to their respective organizations, teams are beginning to assess their needs and whether or not certain veterans can fill those needs in the future. With plenty of talented players in this year's draft, a number of key players could be playing for new teams during the 2014-15 season.
Now that the offseason is underway for most of the NBA, let's take a look at some of the latest trade rumors making their way through the association.
Detroit Might Be Stuck With Josh Smith
After another rough season where the Detroit Pistons went just 29-53, the team is now looking to rebuild under a new head coach, as they signed former Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy on Wednesday, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
With a new head coach, the Pistons are going to need to decide what direction they want to move in. They have a talented young center in Andre Drummond, but the Pistons now need to figure out which players they want to put around him.
One player that might not be the right fit is Josh Smith. However, even if the Pistons want to move him, they might struggle doing so. As Zach Lowe of Grantland points out, teams might not want Smith's large contract, saying:
But Smith’s trade value has never been lower. Still, the Pistons should be targeting teams with room to spend, their own trade pieces and/or cap room, and foolish motivation to win right now — the Lakers, Knicks, and Nets come to mind. The Pelicans have a couple of ugly contracts linked to perimeter players, but they’ve expressed no real interest in Smith, according to league sources. Detroit might be stuck.
Smith just finished up the first year of his four-year deal worth $54 million, and it'll be hard to convince another team to take on that contract after how poorly he played last season. In 77 games played, Smith averaged just 16.4 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 41.9 percent from the field, the lowest field-goal percentage he's ever had in one season.
Still, at just 28 years old, Smith has a lot of basketball left, and he's shown in previous seasons that he can be an efficient scorer and effective player on the glass. Any team that might be interested in Smith is going to have to be willing to take on his massive contract, however, and that could keep him in Detroit for the next few seasons.
Charlotte Looking at Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo
The Charlotte Bobcats were able to make it to the playoffs for the second time in franchise history, and they're hoping to make it to the postseason once again next season by adding a few more key pieces.
With a lot of young talent in the backcourt, the Bobcats are apparently looking for a veteran presence at point guard as well as another potential scorer on the wing. According to Marc Stein, the Bobcats are interested in two key players from the Orlando Magic in Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo, saying:
The rumbles have already begun that a player Clifford is said to regard with real fondness after working with him in Orlando as an assistant -- vet floor leader Jameer Nelson -- as well as current Magic swingman Arron Afflalo will be among the Bobcats' trade targets.
While Kemba Walker appears to be the long-term option at point guard, the Bobcats need a reliable backup behind him that can run the offense. Nelson is 32 years old and on the final year of his contract, but he could be a nice backup option behind Walker for a year after recording 12.1 points and 7.0 assists per game this past season.
Afflalo would give the Bobcats another option at small forward to go along with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. It was a career year for the 28-year-old out of UCLA, dropping a career-high 18.2 points per game while shooting 45.9 percent and 42.7 percent from behind the arc.
If the Bobcats could trade for both of these players, they'd be adding two key contributors at positions that were glaring weaknesses for them this season, and that could help them move up in the weaker Eastern Conference.
Carlos Boozer May Be Done In Chicago
It's been a tough couple of seasons for the Chicago Bulls with Derrick Rose's knee injuries, and as the team looks to change things up this offseason, Carlos Boozer may very well be on the move.
Boozer will be on the final year of a five-year deal worth $75 million, but the Bulls may use the amnesty option to keep him from counting against the salary cap next season. According to Joe Cowley from the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bulls are trying to find a way to get rid of Boozer's contract.
"A source said that decision is all but made. The Bulls are looking to rid themselves of Boozer’s $16.8 million cap hit for next season," Cowley said. "There were whispers that Rose had been making waves about no longer wanting to play with Boozer, but sources denied that."
While amnesty may be an option, Marc Stein believes that the Bulls are more focused on finding a way to trade Boozer, saying:
But here's the thing: You continue to hear rumbles that Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is adamantly against the idea of setting Boozer free via amnesty, even though the 32-year-old is finally poised to enter the final year of his contract, valued in 2014-15 at $16.8 million.
Sources briefed on Chicago's thinking say the Bulls are going to do everything they can to try to find a trading partner for Boozer before seriously considering the amnesty option.
At 32 years old, Boozer had arguably the worst season of his career, putting up 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while shooting just 45.6 percent from the field. To put things in perspective, Boozer has averaged 16.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per game over his career while shooting 52.3 percent.
That dip in production will hurt Boozer's value, but the Bulls are hoping they can find a way to get rid of his contract so they can have some cap space to potentially add another superstar like Carmelo Anthony.
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