Heat tries to get Amare before CAVS
According to an NBA source, the Heat are offering Daequan Cook, Quentin Richardson, Dorell Wright, Mario Chalmers and draft picks to the Suns. Cook is the only player among that group who is under contract for next season (Chalmers has a team option for $847,000). It is believed that the Suns would rather have a package from Cleveland that would include Zydrunas Ilgauskas, J.J. Hickson and a draft pick, with the young Hickson as the most appealing part of the package.
Another league source said the Suns would like to attach Jason Richardson to a Stoudemire trade, which would relieve Phoenix from having to pay Richardson's $14 million salary next season. The combined $29 million of outgoing salary from Stoudemire and Richardson this season would be too difficult for Cleveland to match to make a trade work under the salary-cap guidelines. Miami, however, could add the $23 million expiring salary of Jermaine O'Neal to the previously mentioned offer and come within the 25 percent range of matching salaries. I have yet to hear the Heat are willing to do so --- in fact a source said, "I'd be surprised if Miami took on [Richardson's] contract" --- but the possibility exists.
That would have obvious appeal to the Suns, allowing them to escape from luxury-tax land next season and positioning them to go after a major free agent this summer.
The Suns would be looking at nine players under contract for a total of about $33 million next season: Steve Nash ($10.3 million), Leandro Barbosa ($7.1 million), Grant Hill ($3.3 million player option), Channing Frye ($2 million player option), Goran Dragic ($2 million), Earl Clark ($1.9 million), Robin Lopez ($1.9 million), Jared Dudley ($2.2 million) and Cook ($2.2 million).
The Heat would be stuck with Richardson's contract and could potentially have Stoudemire opt out and leave them as a free agent. But they would also have Stoudemire's Larry Bird rights, enabling them to offer a longer and more lucrative contract than any other team. And they would have demonstrated to Dwyane Wade that they would do whatever it takes to bring another All-Star to play alongside him
Jared Jeffries trade blocker
The Houston Rockets and New York Knicks are "making progress" in their Tracy McGrady trade discussions, according to a source close to the talks, and Knicks president Donnie Walsh is expected to speak with owner Jim Dolan on Wednesday to discuss the parameters of the deals that have been discussed, and how best to proceed forward.
Several sources say the main holdup at this point is the Rockets asking for a future No. 1 pick as the price for taking on Jeffries, who is owed $6.9 next season. Dolan has always been amenable to throwing $3 million cash into the kitty to make a deal go through, but a decade of sacrificing first-round draft picks has left him hesitatnt to sign off on letting another one go (The Knicks owe their own 2010 pick to Utah).
If the teams swap McGrady, Brian Cook and Joey Dorsey for Larry Hughes, Jeffries and Jordan, the Rockets would drop almost $2 million below the luxury tax threshold and would be eligible for a $4-plus million tax redistribution payment.
If Al Harrington was put in the trade instead of Hughes, and Cook was removed, the financial savings for Houston would be about the same. As things stand now, the Rockets are $2.7 over the tax threshold
The wolveslook to trade Al Jefferson
The Wolves continue to rebuff teams looking into the availability of Al Jefferson.
A source close to the process told ESPN.com that the Wolves recently said no to a potential Luol Deng and Tyrus Thomas for Jefferson deal, telling the Bulls that they aren't going to move Jefferson by the trade deadline, which is consistent with what Wolves GM David Kahn has been saying for weeks. However, a Deng-and-Thomas deal was the most realistic trade scenario we've heard for Jefferson.
Jefferson was one of the first big names to get mentioned in trade deadline buzz when word came out that the Pacers had rebuffed an offer of Jefferson for Danny Granger. Since then, Kahn has been adamant that he's not trading any member of his young core by the trade deadline. Kahn has maintained he wants an entire season to evaluate the talent he has on the roster.
Celtics could get Nate
The Celtics are moving toward acquiring Nate Robinson from the Knicks before Thursday's trade deadline.
Boston would ship the Knicks an expiring contract and, presumably, also send a draft pick as compensation.
Robinson is on a one-year contract and has veto power over any trade, but it is believed that he would welcome a move to Boston.
Golden State is having a difficult time advancing trade talks because other teams are hoping to receive their 2010 first round pick.
The Warriors are said to be in trade discussions involving Corey Maggette and Cleveland’s Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
Trade talks between the Cavaliers and Wizards for Antawn Jamison have intensified on Tuesday, sources tell Yahoo!
The Cavaliers have yet to meet Washington's asking price, which is believed to include J.J. Hickson.
Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Celtics are also chasing Jamison, and testing interest in Rasheed Wallace in order to open a spot for Jamison. But Windhorst cites sources who say that this scenario is unlikely for the Celtics.