Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos might hold most of the headlines right now, but the upcoming NBA trade deadline has plenty to say about how long the NFL can remain in the position.
With the trade deadline on February 18, it was only a matter of time before a wild amount of rumors crept out of the woodwork. Rebuilders have players on the trade block, contenders want to find the proverbial missing piece and the wild intricacies of the cap system have every team pondering its current and future situation.
With those details in mind, here's the latest buzz making the rounds on the mill.
Greg Monroe Available?
The idea that the Milwaukee Bucks might want to sell at the deadline isn't the craziest.
After all, the Bucks sit at 20-32 and 13th in the Eastern Conference with the core of Michael Carter-Williams, Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo not doing much in the way of helping the team win games.
It comes as a surprise, though, to hear that the team might be willing to move center Greg Monroe, as Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times noted recently: "Carter-Williams isn’t the only frontline player the Bucks are apparently willing to move. A much bigger surprise is the Bucks have made known that center Greg Monroe is available at the right price, according to some NBA officials."
In fact, the Bucks are known for surprises as of late. Dishing Brandon Knight last year certainly doesn't look good. Getting Monroe on board in the first place was a surprise.
The addition simply hasn't worked out from a chemistry standpoint, though. The Georgetown product averages 16.5 points, 9.6 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game and a player efficiency rating (PER) of 23.09, according to ESPN.com.
But the fit just hasn't worked on the defensive end of the court. Jabari Parker isn't exactly the biggest power forward, so Monroe's issues in that regard have made the Bucks an absolutely miserable team to watch on defense.
The Bucks are smart to do this if the rumors prove true. Backup John Henson is a much better defender in the paint and makes more sense alongside Parker. Monroe, on the other hand, will fetch a nice price from a buyer given his numbers and upside. It's certainly one of the top situations to watch.
Teams Asking About Blake Griffin?
Let's get this out of the way—the Los Angeles Clippers, so far as anyone can tell, haven't placed Griffin on the trade block.
The off-court issues surrounding the team won't stop others from asking, of course.
By now, most should know the deal with Griffin and the Clippers, but here's a brief summary: Griffin hurt his hand punching a staff member and friend, an injury that might sideline him until the postseason.
To make matters worse for the relationship, there is plenty of merit to the argument that the Clippers have been better with Griffin on the bench, though his repeated absences due to injury haven't helped the team past fourth place in the Western Conference, clearly leagues behind the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Add it all up, and one has a situation in which it only makes sense for teams around the league to ask a few questions. According to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, they have done just that:
Multiple teams have inquired with Clippers about Blake Griffin offering various packages but team has no active interest in deal, per source— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) February 5, 2016
Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico followed by naming a few teams:
Both Sixers and Nuggets have had discussions with Clippers about Blake Griffin, per league sources. @sn_nba earlier reported Nuggets talks.— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) February 5, 2016
As Bolch notes, the Clippers don't seem to have interest in a deal. Why would they? Griffin is still 26 years old and averages 23.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. The hope for head coach Doc Rivers and the front office has to be that the team can remain afloat until he returns for a potential playoff push.
The opposite is simple. If the Clippers continue to fall apart and there has been irreparable damage between Griffin and the organization, he'll surely hit the trade block before Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan. He's a guy without a jump shot who relies on energy and athleticism to post his numbers, which makes him a niche player with an intriguing stopwatch on his abilities.
Undoubtedly, teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers would be all about shoring up a position of need to build around. Los Angeles might not have an interest now, but much can change on the sprint to the deadline.
Celtics Shopping David Lee
The Boston Celtics find themselves in a great position at 31-22 and third place in the Eastern Conference, recently surging past the plummeting Atlanta Hawks.
Success won't stop general manager Danny Ainge and the team from working the trade phones, though.
The biggest topic around the Celtics right now isn't about what the team might bring up, but what it might unload. Specifically, the team and Lee have an interest in parting ways, according to Bleacher Report's Howard Beck, who also explained how Lee continues to handle the situation:
Some trade buzz: BOS intends to move David Lee by Feb. 18 deadline, or buy him out. Lee is out of rotation and wants a role somewhere.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) February 3, 2016
David Lee has handled his situation like a pro, as always. But he's understandably not content to ride the bench.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) February 3, 2016
It doesn't sound like there's much in the way of a disgruntled relationship here. After all, Lee has been through this before. The Warriors cut his minutes to an average of 18.4 per game last year, down from 33.2 the year prior.
So Lee did what any veteran who wants to contribute did and found his way to Boston, where he thought he might have a bigger role while contending for the playoffs. Instead, he's averaging just 15.7 minutes while acting as a mentor off the bench.
It's hard to know who, if anyone, has a role for the 32-year-old forward at this point. When he last posted starter minutes on an average of 33.2, he managed 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds. That was a few years ago, though, and a team that might come calling about his services could be more interested in the fact he's a valuable expiring contract.
Lee is at a bit of a crossroads. A contender might emerge and decide it needs him in the rotation down the stretch. But right now he's viewed more as an asset because of his contractual situation, for better or worse.
Regardless, the Celtics are helping Lee find a better situation. Look for this situation to keep gaining steam as the march to the deadline continues.
All stats and info via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.