NBA Trade Rumors: Breaking Down Chatter Around League Following Draft

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2014

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04:  Jeremy Lin #7 of the Houston Rockets points down court against the Oklahoma City Thunder during a game at the Toyota Center on April 4, 2014 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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The NBA wheels are beginning to speed into motion with the draft completed and free agency ready to begin. Those pieces will ignite trade rumors at an accelerated velocity throughout the summer.

Some deals have already taken place, including Tyson Chandler going back to the Dallas Mavericks and Arron Afflalo returning to the Denver Nuggets. Not every deal will involve a reunion, but another is potentially on the horizon.

Some teams are gearing up to snag a superstar while others are deciding whether to improve or start anew. There are many dynamic, unpredictable pieces in play that will lead to an eventful NBA offseason with seismic implication.

Here are some trade rumors spiraling around the league.


Where Do Celtics Stand on Rajon Rondo?

With the sixth pick of the NBA draft, the Boston Celtics selected Marcus Smart, a point guard from Oklahoma State. If you hadn't noticed, Rajon Rondo also plays point guard.

Naturally, the thought immediately directed to, "What does this mean for Rondo?" Before the draft, the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett reported that the team would likely embark on "a process that would likely see Rajon Rondo traded" if they don't make a deal for Kevin Love.

Considering their draft picks served as their top bargaining chips, a move is now unlikely, meaning Boston may turn its sights to rebuilding with its star point guard entering free agency next year.

Or maybe not. According to Sporting News' Sean Deveney, the Rondo rumors are nothing more than unsubstantiated talk at the moment.

According to a source close to the situation, Rondo has not been informed of any change of plans when it comes to the Celtics' future, and he remains committed to helping Boston in its rebuilding efforts. 

"I think it is the usual BS," the source told Sporting News.

The Celtics shouldn't worry about Rondo and Smart co-existing. More teams are successfully utilizing two point guard sets, and Smart is physical enough to defend shooting guards. It's what will happen next summer that should worry them. If the two sides aren't planning an extension, the Celtics need to salvage some value before he skips town.


Rockets Clear-Lin More Cap Space

The Houston Rockets have began their roster cleansing in hopes of landing LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony this summer. They dumped Omer Asik's heavy salary on the New Orleans Pelicans, declined Chandler Parsons' 2014 option and took international prospect Clint Capela in the first round.

The next logical step in their salary cleanup is moving Jeremy Lin, who is on the books to make slightly less than $15 million this season. Like Asik, his contract expires after the 2014-15 campaign, giving a team with cap space more incentive to bring Linsanity to its city.

According to Bleacher Report's Howard Beck, Houston has its hand on the button waiting to push a Lin trade to take off, but only if a star signs on the dotted line:

One possible destination, according to the Bay Area News Group's Marcus Thompson, is the place where his career began.

The [Golden State] Warriors, per a league source, have informed Houston they would consider acquiring Lin from the Rockets via trade. Houston is reportedly shopping Lin in case they need to create cap space for Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James.

The Warriors have a $9.8 million trade exception leftover from the trade that sent Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson’s expiring contract to Utah. Though Lin is scheduled to make $14.9 million, only $8.37 will count against the salary cap. That means the Warriors can absorb Lin’s contract without giving up any players.

The Warriors employed one of the league's worst bench units last year, prompting them to acquire veteran Steve Blake during the season. While Lin will never replicate his phenomenal few weeks with the New York Knicks, he's a capable scorer with a knack for attacking the basket.

Leading a reserve group would fit him better than getting lost in the shuffle among James Harden and Dwight Howard.


Kings Inquiring about Josh Smith

AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 15: Josh Smith #6 of the Detroit Pistons shoots the ball against the Indiana Pacers during the game on March 15, 2014 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees th
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Before draft night, ESPN's Marc Stein reported a possible exchange between the Detroit Pistons and Sacramento Kings for forward Josh Smith, who became a pariah after one dreadful season in the Motor City.

Sources say that Smith being swapped in exchange for the combination of Sacramento's Jason Thompson and Derrick Williams is one trade construction that the teams have discussed. Although one source insisted Tuesday that no deal is imminent, another source told that the teams have continued to exchange proposals, with Williams potentially being replaced by another Kings player such as Jason Terry or Carl Landry.

It would mark the second time Sacramento acquired a highly paid forward that fell out of favor. Last year, the Kings obtained the often-bashed Rudy Gay from the Toronto Raptors. After years of taking a beating for his inefficient performance, Gay quietly revived his career by averaging 20.1 points per game on 48.2 percent shooting with his third team in two years.

Smith is in danger of becoming the new subject of analytic scorn after shooting a career-low 41.9 percent. Despite his futility from long range, he continued to fire away from behind the arc, making just 70 of his 265 three-point attempts (26.4 percent).  

Grantland's Zach Lowe warned the Kings to tread lightly before developing a bad reputation:

Per Spotrac, Smith is still slated to make $13.5 million per year for three more seasons, a hefty hit to any squad's salary cap. With their lottery pick falling out of the picture, they wouldn't have to give much to snag him from a fed-up Detroit squad, but he's not worth the gamble unless the Kings are allowed to put a shock collar on him every time he's about to shoot a three-pointer.