Caron Butler appears puzzled.
Perhaps he had just been informed he was moving a thousand miles away. He began the season playing on a lottery bond team and will end it on a playoff bound team. Not just a playoff team, but a team that could very well make a push for the NBA Finals this May. But I'm already getting ahead of myself.
Many NBA analysts say that it takes one trade to open the flood gates to a flurry of moves. Especially when the the trade deadline is rapidly approaching. Many teams are gearing up for the final stretch of the season and some are hoping to make that one move that will push their team overt the top.
The Lakers did it when they were given Pau Gasol and the Mavericks tried to better themselves by mortgaging their future for Jason Kidd. The Suns traded for Shaq while the Heat traded for Jermaine O'Neal.
But, that is beside the point.
There are a number of teams that are shopping around looking for that final piece to the figurative puzzle. Here is a look at five legitimate rumors that could go through. They are in no particular order of likelihood, just numbered by my interest in the trades. And, just so we are clear; by legs I mean that these are rumors that have some potential and are deals being discussed. Lets begin.
Naturally, I would talk about this trade considering that I am a Kings fan, but all that aside this is still a very big and highly speculated trade. Obviously the details would still need to be ironed out, but these are the two main components of the trade.
There is still a possibility of trading Andres Nocioni along with Martin, as the Celtics were very interested in him last season at the deadline and could use his toughness. The Kings would also like to unload his contract and make more cap space.
The Celtics have contacted the Kings about acquiring the sharp-shooting Martin, but an expiring contract will not be enough to make this a done deal. A draft pick of some sort should be included or some sort of young talent. Perhaps a protected pick?
This move buys Boston a little more time on their title push and opens the window ever so slightly for them to compete a little longer. Martin would provide a similar spark on the Celtics that Allen does. Martin does not play a ton of defense, but Allen has not been known for his defense either.
Allen is clearly past his prime and is averaging career lows across the board. Boston should cash in on this deal if Sacramento is willing to make it happen, because it may be the best deal they will get.
This is an interesting trade. Especially considering Stoudemire is not entirely what Cleveland's looking for in what is commonly referred to as a "stretch 4."
A stretch 4 is a post player who is capable of knocking down three-pointers and deep mid-range jumpers. Hence the name "stretch" referring to the thinning of the opposing teams defense when this player is in the game. This strategy drags the defensive player from the post or makes the defender pay for sagging off the deep shooting big man.
Antwan Jamison is a more ideal fit for Cleveland as he is a great jump shooter and three-point shooter. But, Washington has been reluctant to pull the trigger on this trade and are looking at all of their options.
By engaging in these discussions, Cleveland is showing they have the leverage and are capable of exploring other avenues. This move forces the Wizards to act quickly as there may not be a better deal available. Washington would loose out on what could be the best deal they will receive for Jamison.
Cleveland is also very interested in Troy Murphy from Indiana, so this trade could put some pressure on Indiana to go through with a deal as well. The specifics of the trade would be the same as the one involving Stoudemire.
One constant is that the team who acquires Big Z is expected to cut him so he can resign with Cleveland, or potentially another title contender.
Strategically speaking, this is a great move by Cleveland as a deal to be completed or at least put pressure on Indiana and Washington to sign off on a deal, since Murphy or Jamison would be more ideal.
Jamison has become a hot commodity around the league as it is very clear that Washington is moving into a rebuilding phase with the suspension of Gilbert Arenas coupled with the trade of Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood.
Jamison is likely to be moved for the right price. But the big question is, where?
All signs had pointed to the Cavaliers, but Washington had been reluctant to move Jamison for the offer that Cleveland had made.
Of late, Miami has begun to make a push for Jamison now that there is a strong likely hood of Amar'e Stoudemire being traded to Cleveland, who had been Pat Riley's prime target.
The Heat had been looking heavily into acquiring Amar'e Stoudemire who would provide Dwayne Wade with added incentive to resign with Miami.
If nothing else, Stoudemire may be a Plan-B for Miami if Wade does bolt and they are perhaps able to lure another big name player.
Michael Beasley will most likely be involved in any trade to acquire either Jamison or Stoudemire and Miami has plenty of expiring contracts to make the deal happen.
Jamison will likely be dealt by the deadline, but they could always hold onto him until the off season when they may be able to take their time to find a proper deal.
This trade has a lot riding on it. The Suns take a big hit on their salary cap which they were not willing to do in the past and they trade their biggest asset in Stoudemire.
But this trade would be fantastic for Phoenix.
The Suns get an athletic and defensive minded player in Iguodala, something they have missed since trading Marion, and also get back a post player in Dalembert, who is a solid shot blocker and rebounder.
Philadelphia gets a year and half rental in Stoudemire who will likely leave, but the Sixers would potentially be in play for some free agents in the 2011.
This trade would leave the Sixers with only two guaranteed contracts, Louis Williams and Elton Brand, which does not include qualifying offers to a few other players, (Thaddeus Young, Marreese Speights, Jrue Holliday and Jason Smith), and lottery picks they are due to have for 2010 and 2011.
Word on the block is that although the Suns were reluctant at first they are now willing to part with Barbosa in a deal with Philadelphia if it meant they would land Iguodala. Barbosa could be the key to getting Philadelphia to make this trade happen
There is also speculation of a three-team-swap that would land Iguodala and Dalembert in Phoenix, Stoudemire in Cleveland and J.J. Hickson and Ilgauskas in Philadelphia. Perhaps a pick would be thrown in somewhere, potentially towards Philadelphia.
Only time will tell.
McGrady has been doing a lot of this so far this season. Watching.
The Rockets decided to leave him alone and attempt to find a trade for the disgruntled player. Head coach Rick Adelman was afraid to reassert McGrady in the rotation as it could damage the teams chemistry and surprising success.
Houston is pushing for a potential playoff bid, despite not having the services of Yao all year and McGrady for the first part.
Pretty rough times for the guy who nearly single-handedly beat the San Antonio Spurs only a couple of years ago in the closing minutes of a game. Now, T-Mac will try to find PT elsewhere.
His incredibly large salary would be a big coup for anyone looking to shed a player and perhaps some cap. The Rockets are looking for a big man in return due to their lack of size under the hoop. Obviously Houston is not looking to trade McGrady for bloated contracts and spare parts though.
If Phoenix decides to feel frisky and trade Stoudemire within their conference, they would be tossing in the towel for this season but would gear up for this off season potentially and give the Rockets a solid big man.
Hey, the Suns didn't have a problem trading players or picks that turned out to be players named Luol Deng, Rajon Rondo, Nate Robinson, Marcin Gortat, Sergio Rodriguez and Rudy Fernandez. All of which would have been worth the 'scary' luxury tax they avoided and a hell of a lot better than the picks they kept in D.J. Strawberry, Alando Tucker, Robin Lopez, and so far Earl Clark.
There have been rumblings that the Knicks are very interested in acquiring McGrady in an effort to see what he has left in the tank. The move could potentially set up a fall back plan for New York. This is assuming that their anticipated run at either LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade or anyone else fails.
There had been a three team deal discussed before involving New York, Houston and Washington, but since Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood have been dealt to Dallas, that trade is officially dead. Whispers indicate that in order for Houston to work out a deal with New York a third team may need to be involved.
Brian Colangelo and the Raptors could forget that they are actually playing well and decide to send Bosh to Houston as to not come away empty handed this off-season when he is expected to bolt out of Toronto. Some protected picks would be nice compensation too.
Until Thursday its all speculation though, and nothing more.