With that first little hump of the season squarely behind us, the mercurial cluster of upsets, winning streaks and surprise starts is beginning to settle. As we head into the middle portion of the season, it is becoming more and more clear where each team stands.
Consequently, each team's placement in the standings usually necessitates some plan of action. While a once strong franchise of aging veterans fading further and further away from the postseason may look to enter rebuilding mode, a competent team on the brink of contention may seek to add one last piece to its championship-aspiring puzzle.
The trade deadline isn't as far away as the trickery of time may lead you to believe, and rumors are beginning to surface. We already saw a rather interesting trade involving the Hornets and Raptors; what else does this year have in store for us?
Like a see-saw holding people of two different weights, not all NBA trades are not necessarily fair. This list will go through not what teams should try to go for, but what teams should steer clear from.
In the honor of the Memphis Grizzlies donating Pau Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers, B/R presents trades every team should avoid.
This rumor, although denied, surfaced earlier in the season after Sekou Smith of NBA.com mentioned it as "a great trade rumor."
After signing Joe Johnson and signing Al Horford to a hefty extension, it does not sound all too irrational for the Hawks to consider moving Josh Smith to unload some cap. This move, however, could potentially turn the Hawks from an Eastern Conference contender into a joke.
The Hawks currently boast arguably the best frontcourt combo in the league. Giving up Smith would destroy everything this franchise has going for it, and the move would likely suggest that the franchise commitment to winning is lackluster.
On the other hand, Tayshaun Prince is past his prime and wouldn't offer too much at this point in his career. Will Bynum, although serviceable, would hardly be an adequate replacement for J-Smoove.
Furthermore, Jeff Teague will likely take the reins at the point guard position sometime soon, as Mike Bibby isn't getting any younger. Jamal Crawford, one of the league's best sixth men, may have even more to offer than Prince.
This trade, although very interesting, would ultimately not be too good a move for the Celtics.
There have been murmurs up in Sacramento from DeMarcus Cousins, who is apparently not exactly thrilled over his current role as a reserve. If he were to officially demand a trade, the Celtics would have some pieces that could benefit the Kings.
In Rajon Rondo's absence, Nate Robinson has been playing nearly as well as Sammy Sosa did back when we was on steroids, his scoring rampages demonstrating that he could easily be a starter if on another team. Not the truest of point guards, Robinson could gel quite well with Tyreke Evans, setting up an unorthodox backcourt duo.
Although Cousins could be a GREAT replacement for Kevin Garnett once he retires, the move is not that feasible.
For one, the Celts are loaded in the frontcourt in terms of depth. Secondly, they'd no longer have a backup point guard. Robinson is one of the league's best, and it'd be silly to trade him away, even if his play suggests he could earn a starting role elsewhere.
Earlier this year, the Sporting News reported that the Raptors were pursuing Diaw for point guard Jose Calderon, and that the deal would have gone through if Michael Jordan hadn't stopped it at the last minute.
Good call, MJ.
Things may have changed on this front because of the recent trade that shipped Jarrett Jack out of town, but given the Bobcats' and Raptors' struggles this season, it wouldn't be completely unheard of if the Raptors put the deal on the table again.
Although D.J. Augustin is not the strongest point guard in the league, losing Boris Diaw would be a huge detriment to the Bobcats. A starter with both scoring and rebounding abilities, Diaw's rare package is something that would be a shame to give away, even with the extension of Tyrus Thomas.
As demonstrated by the Bobcats' depth chart (Thomas being the direct backup to Diaw), the Frenchman is arguably the more valuable asset.
Jamison is aging and has a contract not worth the Cavs' time. In the post-LeBron James era, Cleveland is kind of like a store on the verge of declaring bankruptcy. Everything Must Go!
The Cavs need young talent, and the Cavs need cap space. Being that Jamison provides neither, it would be wise to ship him out of town.
Still serviceable, he could definitely be used in a backup role for a title contender, as his experience and scoring abilities could provide a consistent presence off the bench.
A possible suitor for Jamison could be the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs wouldn't object to having an off the bench scorer who could also rebound some. Caron Butler has an expiring contract, so the Cavs could part ways with Butler after the year is over.
Why in the world would the Chicago Bulls want to trade Luol Deng for an over the hill has-been?
The answer can be summed up in two words: Carmelo Anthony.
Orlando would likely benefit from this move, as Deng's services could complement those of Quentin Richardson, J.J. Redick and Mickael Pietrus at the wing positions. Deng may not have the star power of Vince Carter, but we all know that Carter's gas tank is gradually approaching E.
Strictly a cap move, this action would enable the Bulls to aggressively pursue Anthony come the 2011 offseason. With Anthony playing alongside Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, it's hard to imagine an NBA title staying away from Chicago over the next few years.
If that's the case, then why would the Bulls want to steer clear from this trade?
The trade is way too speculative to give up a piece as valuable as Deng. There are simply too many variables at stake. Carmelo could easily sign an extension, get traded before the offseason or sign elsewhere.
Caron Butler, a two-time All-Star, is currently in his contract year. In the business side of basketball, contract year can easily be translated into trade now to maximize value.
Trading Butler would be a huge mistake for the Mavs. Dallas, at 16-4, is looking as strong as ever, primed for an NBA title run. One of the more complete teams in the league, there is not much Dallas is in need of, and it would be tough to find a better slasher than Butler in the trade market.
Adding any potential tools for a title run would be significantly compromised by losing Butler, whose 13.7, 4.1 stat line has helped Mark Cuban and company ascend to the top of the Western Conference.
If the Nuggets trade away Carmelo Anthony, they likely also trade away the next five to seven years of their franchise, something that it may take quite a while to recover from.
Denver has been extremely hot as of late and is a top 10 team in the league, arguably a top five. If the Nuggets could stay relatively hot through the trading deadline, it'd be hard to imagine Anthony wanting to jump ship on a potential championship run.
For the Denver Nuggets, there is simply no other option.
For the Cavs to enter rebuilding mode, it is likely that they will have to move at least one of their three biggest contracts, those belonging to Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao.
The Cavs will likely be least reluctant to trade Williams, as he is both the cheapest ($9.3 mil this season and $17 mil player option next two seasons) and most vital to the team.
LeBron's former wingman, however, would be far and away the most desirable for the Pistons, and if the Cavs are unable to deal Jamison or Varejao, it is highly likely they'll look to send Williams packing.
On the surface, the trade actually looks pretty good for the Pistons. They get some added stability at guard while getting rid of Prince's expiring contract, all in one shot.
Then why is this trade undesirable for Detroit?
Like it or not, Joe Dumars needs to accept that the Pistons need to rebuild. Holding on to Prince's expiring contract would mean significantly more cap space come next summer, allowing them to make a more thought-out decision about the team's future. Williams is a quick fix. If he doesn't work out, it'll be tougher and tougher for Detroit to return to contention.
The Warriors have been a struggling franchise for the better part of the last decade and are seemingly always looking to rebuild. Monta Ellis, although not high on the trading block as of now, was an item on the NBA hot stove late last season and early in the summer.
Although Keith Smart's squad probably won't reach the playoffs this year, their young core of Ellis, David Lee and Stephen Curry looks rather promising as the team moves towards next season and beyond. Trading Ellis and his prolific scoring ways (25.1) simply doesn't seem to make much sense.
This summer saw rumblings about a trade between these two parties, as Mayo is a young, athletic swingman with a ton of potential. Nowadays, however, Mayo doesn't even start over rookie Xavier Henry.
With both players seemingly heading towards the trading block, is it completely unfeasible that a deal between the two arises?
Such a trade would likely include some supplementary players from both sides, but it would inevitably be centered on these two.
Mayo, who hasn't gotten off to as great a start as some draft experts had hoped, may need a change of scenery to realize his star potential. Brooks, on the other hand, looks to be in a lost cause in Houston, which soon may be entering rebuilding mode.
This trade isn't exactly terrible for Houston, but I will consider it avoidable because it doesn't address Houston's most glaring problem—lack of stability down low. With Yao Ming likely out of the picture, the Rockets need to acquire a strong, capable center to provide stability down low.
Brooks, a rising star, could procure a lot of value. Looking to get a top-notch big man or solid prospect (say DeMarcus Cousins) may be the better move here.
Here's a better one for Houston, but not so much for Indiana.
Aaron Brooks is currently captaining a sinking ship down in Houston, which, as shown by its poor start, does in fact have a problem.
Brooks may have been the 2009-2010 Most Improved Player and may be one of the league's rising stars, but the Rockets may be looking to ship Brooks out of town rather than keep him and have to pay him some hefty loads of dough once his rookie contract expires.
Brooks is a proven player with a ton of potential, and acquiring him would force a team to give up a star player. The Indiana Pacers have a number of players the Rockets would be interested, namely Roy Hibbert. Being that Yao's future with the team is not looking all too promising, Hibbert, who is an early favorite for MIP himself, would provide a consistent, bruising presence down low.
The Pacers don't need Brooks, as they just acquired Darren Collison, the point guard of the future. More importantly, Hibbert is developing into one of the league's best centers and could become an All-Star in the near future. The Pacers have had surprising success thus far with their young core, and it would be irresponsible for a team mired in struggles to break up the band.
DeAndre Jordan was the 35th pick in the 2008 NBA draft and has never averaged over five ppg in his young NBA career. Andre Iguodala is a proven star and could potentially pull the lowly Clips out of the basement.
The Sixers have are looking to trade Iguodala. The Sixers have also expressed interest in Jordan.
Why wouldn't they make this trade?
The Sixers would likely demand a first round draft pick to balance out the trade. With their current record, LA is looking at a basement finish, which would land them one of the top picks, if not the top pick, in the next NBA draft.
A team with Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, Eric Bledsoe and another Blake Griffin-caliber player? In a few years, the Clippers could maybe even overtake the big act in town.
Then again, this team is owned by Donald Sterling.
Sasha Vujacic, despite his game-clinching heroics during Game 7 of last year's NBA Finals, finds himself at the end of the Lakers bench. Not exactly a major contributor, his expiring contract makes him expendable.
Over the summer, numerous reports surfaced about trading Sasha for Delonte West, who was on the Cavs at the time. West, now a member of a Celtics, served as a contributing role player before ceding to a wrist injury.
The Celtics may have interest in Vujacic's expiring contract, as it will give them cap room as they gear up for some revamping sometime in the next few years. West is not a crucial part of the team, and if the Lakers throw in a draft pick or cash considerations, the deal is not too far-fetched.
This deal would be bad for the Lakers for a numbers of reasons. Namely, West, with a number of suspensions under his belt, is not exactly the best influence in terms of character. For a team that has Ron Artest on its roster, adding a troublemaker may not be the best route for the Lake Show.
Secondly, the Lakers already have depth at the wing positions with Matt Barnes and Shannon Brown. Delonte would likely get little playing time.
Zach Randolph is in the final year of his contract and is not exactly happy about it.
The Memphis big man had hoped to sign an extension with Memphis, but no such agreement has been reached. If Randolph finishes the year without an extension, he will enter the summer as an unrestricted free agent.
Judging by the Griz's unwillingness to sign Randolph for more money, it's hard to believe he'll stay in Memphis.
Randolph is one of the more talented big men in the league, and the Griz may want to get someone out of him rather than let him walk. SI.com has reported that "If the Grizzlies are looking to deal (Randolph), multiple sources say Randolph's preferred destination is Detroit, where he would fill the gaping hole in the Pistons' frontcourt."
The move would be undesirable for Memphis for a few reasons:
-The Pistons have virtually nothing to offer in terms of size unless Memphis looks to acquire rookie PF Greg Monroe, although I don't see the Pistons giving him up.
-Detroit has been looking to trade away Tayshaun Prince and/or Richard Hamilton. Either one of these players would even further clog the logjam of wings in Memphis. Between Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo, Xavier Henry and Sam Young, there is not exactly a ton of room for either of these players in the lineup.
-Without Randolph, Memphis' front line will be absolutely decimated, giving them little chance to compete.
Woah. Take that back. This is actually serious?
Partly. In today's flooded NBA media market, unfounded rumors are more common than articles written about why LeBron James is a menace to society.
We all know the Heat haven't gotten off to the start they envisioned, a lot of that having to do with lack of on the court chemistry. The culprit here is obviously Chris Bosh, as Dwyane Wade and LeBron are both simply too good to have blame fall on them this early in the season.
Thus, according to this crazy mindset, Bosh would have to be shipped out of town in order to salvage the Heat's title aspiration. The only player available that could possibly compensate for such a high-caliber player?
I'm not even going to elaborate on this one. Although far from reaching any level of real significance, this rumor is just plain silly.
The Bucks don't have many trading chips. Andrew Bogut isn't the most talented or cheapest of players, but he is talented enough to make teams look Milwaukee's way.
The Rockets, who may be looking to trade Aaron Brooks, could be highly interested in Bogut, as the Yao Ming predicament has them without a big-time center. Bogut could alleviate those worries in a huge way.
Although Brooks is a considerable talent, this trade wouldn't be preferable for Milwaukee due to its existing guard combo of Brandon Jennings and John Salmons—a large reason as to why Milwaukee made the playoffs last year. Brooks is simply not needed.
More importantly, the Bucks would effectively have no post presence, something that is never good to be lacking in the NBA.
The T-Wolves haven't gotten off to a great start, though big things weren't expected out of Minnesota.
As the trade deadline approaches, teams are going to look to add pieces to gear up for the playoffs. With the Wolves likely out of it by then, it wouldn't be too surprising if teams looked to David KAAAAAAHN's arsenal, offering him a combination of young projects and draft picks.
Flynn had a pretty impressive rookie year but finds himself coming off the bench in favor of Luke Ridnour. The former Syracuse Orange is expected to make his return from injury sometime soon. If impressive, he may garner interest in contenders looking for a backup point guard.
The Wolves should hold on to Flynn. An extremely tough, talented and fearless player, his captain-like ability could go a long way for this promising young core. A team anchored by Flynn, Kevin Love and Michael Beasley could be a scary one in around five years.
Melo has seemingly been on the trade block for the last five years, despite the Nuggets enjoying considerable success thus far in this young season.
The truth remains, however, that Carmelo Anthony no longer wants to be a Denver Nugget. (Again, not sure what he is thinking being that the first Chipotle was founded there, but I digress.)
The New Jersey Nets have surfaced plenty of times in trade talks. Recently, it has been reported by Yahoo! Sports that the Nuggets have asked for center Brook Lopez to be part of any potential deal that would send Melo to New Jersey.
Such deal would be obnoxiously stupid for New Jersey, who would be giving up the centerpiece of their team—a very young, athletic centerpiece who happens to be a top five center in the league and probably hasn't even reached his full potential yet. The Nets, in rebuilding mode, would be getting a rental superstar exchange for half their franchise.
With Melo's future following this season up in the air, this would be stupider than selecting to kick in NFL overtime (sorry, Marty Mornhinweg).
Call me crazy, but the Knicks shouldn't try to go for Chris Paul. Not yet, at least.
Amidst the post-LeBron fallout, Paul gave Knicks fans a reason to keep the dreams of an imminent championship alive. Disgruntled by the incompetency and losing ways of the New Orleans franchise, rumors surfaced that he was seeking a trade, with New York being atop his wish list.
It was perceived that Paul's hypothetical plan would be to join new addition Amar'e Stoudemire and disgruntled star No. 1 Carmelo Anthony. The thinking here ran along the lines of an exciting, more well-rounded big three to rival the Heat, something Paul alluded to at Anthony's wedding over the summer.
Meanwhile, the Knicks acquired Bobcat Raymond Felton, who is having far and away the best year of his career, averaging 18.1 ppg and 8.3 apg. Felton has been largely responsible for the Knicks' major turnaround, as they haven't been over .500 this late in the season since 2005.
The Hornets, led by Paul, have been the surprise of this season, with Paul emerging as an early MVP candidate. However, the team's recent string of losses combined with ownership troubles (it has been reported that the NBA will take over the franchise from longtime owner George Shinn) have cast a dark cloud over an otherwise successful season. If the financial woes and losses escalate, don't be surprised if Chris Paul trade rumors resurface.
The Knicks should not try to acquire Chris Paul RIGHT NOW for the following reasons:
-Felton has more than proved his competency at the position.
-They would have to give up Felton and another key player (Danilo Gallinari or Landry Fields) and/or a first round draft pick. New York is not the deepest team and could use the draft picks to add some future direction to their current upward trend.
-The Knicks are winning for the first time in forever. Giving up significant pieces to acquire Paul would threaten homeostasis, as the team would have virtually no depth.
In a year or two, however, when the Knicks are a stable franchise with more pieces to offer, the Chris Paul situation becomes an entirely different story.
If anyone was wondering who the league's best point guard (and possibly best player) was before the start of the season, they've gotten their answer.
Paul led the Hornets to a 8-0 start, something that not even Hammerin' Hank Goldberg could have bet would happen.
Although New Orleans has certainly come back to earth since then, the Hornets are still regarded as a legitimate Western Conference contender, something nobody would have thought possible a mere six weeks ago.
Paul, who is averaging 16.1 ppg and 10.3 apg with a 25.50 efficiency rating, has emerged as an early MVP candidate and is practically the sole reason why the Hornets are even relevant.
With the NBA taking over the team, this bright season just got a whole lot darker. If the move proves detrimental to the future direction of the franchise, Paul may demand a trade again. The Hornets must keep winning and keep Paul happy. Losing him would destroy this franchise in a way too far removed from how losing LeBron has destroyed Cleveland.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, the darlings of the NBA, have perhaps the brightest long-term future of any team in the NBA. With Russell Westbrook playing completely out of his mind, this team will be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time.
With the 76ers looking to shop Iguodala, they'll be looking to acquire some young pieces that could develop into franchise mainstays. An All-Star-caliber player, Iggy will mandate a slew of quality players.
A sensible trade for the Sixers would be Iggy for Jeff Green (more or less a positional swap), Cole Aldrich and Nenad Krstic. Green is essentially a younger, less proven version of Iguodala, although he is having a rather terrific year. Krstic, although a solid player, is likely replaceable, and Aldrich is an experienced player with a ton of upside.
Although the prospect of having Kevin Durant, Westbrook and Iguodala in the same lineup is downright frightening, this trade would be awful for Oklahoma City.
One, they don't need to make any moves, as they more or less have all the pieces intact for a championship run. Two, Green might actually prove to be better than Iguodala in the coming years. Three, Aldrich could develop into a powerhouse. Four, disrupting the Thunder's chemistry could be catastrophic for Scott Brooks and company.
Orlando Magic President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith and Gilbert Arenas are close friends, a relationship stemming from their days together with Golden State.
Whether or not this has something to do with the recent Arenas-to-Orlando rumors validated by the Orlando Pinstriped Post is yet to be seen. However, it'd be hard to imagine that Smith didn't take note of Arenas' 31-point thrashing of the Magic in a near upset.
The proposed deal would likely include Vince Carter and might also include Wizards big man Andray Blatche and Magic PF Rashard Lewis.
Arenas, although talented, brings a massive contract along with him. Gilbert is one of those players who is just past his prime. Although clearly skilled now, his contract may become a huge burden in years to come.
Furthermore, the Magic look to have a legitimate shot at the NBA title. Arenas is one of those players who demands a lot out of an offense. With Jameer Nelson carrying the load at point, he may not get as many touches as he's used to, especially because both Dwight Howard and Lewis (assuming he's still there) demand a lot of offensive attention from Nelson as well.
More or less, there are too many variables regarding Arenas for an arguably complete team to revamp a major portion of lineup. Although Orlando may want to add a final piece for a title run, this piece may be a little too big, and adding it to the puzzle could end up being forced.
Trade rumors surrounding Andre Iguodala have been out there since the Sixers used their second overall pick in this year's draft on Ohio State standout Evan Turner, who happens to play the same position as Iggy.
Now, after the Sixers' abysmal start to the season, it looks like the team will be starting work on "operation rebuild" sooner rather than later.
Stage 1 of Operation: Get rid of Iguodala.
With the Raptors being the Raptors, wins and money are never really a-plenty. Acquiring Iggy could be huge for this team, as it would take the scoring load off Andrea Bargnani while giving the team another centerpiece to rally around.
In exchange, the Raptors could offer Peja Stojakovic, whose expiring contract may be worth more than him. The move would clear tremendous cap space for the Sixers, giving them some extra flexibility as they proceed to revamp their team.
Andre Iguodala is an established name in the NBA. In other words, he's worth something. Thus, the Sixers shouldn't just settle on clearing cap—they could do much, much better than that and need actual talent in order to make an marked improvement, not just money to spend. The Kings, T-Wolves, Nets and a slew of other teams have moveable pieces that would actually make logical sense for the 76ers to pursue.
Of course, if there ends up being no better option, clearing cap may be the best way to go.
Make no mistake about it; Steve Nash is not thrilled about the Suns going into "rebuilding" mode.
Nash is not at the point where is demanding a trade—and he probably won't be anytime soon—but anything is possible in the NBA. Without a title, I'm sure he wouldn't mind winning one. If the Suns end up entering full rebuilding mode, trading Nash may not be completely off the table.
So that the Suns faithful don't tie Robert Sarver to a cactus, it may be best NOT to trade Nash. Phoenix is still very much in the playoff hunt, and it could hurt the image of the franchise tremendously if they put up the white flag.
It's no secret. Rudy Fernandez is not exactly thrilled about being a Portland Trail Blazer.
Shunted between All-Star Brandon Roy, Wesley Matthews and young Patty Mills, Fernandez has not gotten the amount of playing time he's felt that he's deserved.
The Blazers were close to dealing Fernandez to the Knicks this summer, but a trade fell through after Portland demanded a first round pick. The Blazers also expressed interest in Raptors guard Jose Calderon, but after dealing away Jarrett Jack, it's unlikely the Raptors would want to reciprocate.
Anyhow, Fernandez is dead weight on this team, and the Blazers would do good by everyone to trade him away. While there are not really any viable offers out there right now, things may change by the deadline.
This trade is more or less concocted out of thin air, but after thought, it is certainly tenable.
If the Kings are in fact looking to trade DeMarcus Cousins, they will probably try to get a point guard to complement Tyreke Evans in the backcourt.
If they're unable to snag Aaron Brooks, the Kings may turn to rising star George Hill, who was talked up to be the next Spurs starter after rumors regarding a Tony Parker trade surfaced this summer. Now, with Parker's future squarely with the Spurs after a recent contract extension, Hill would be the one to leave.
Cousins could be a great complement/understudy to Tim Duncan, and Beno Udrih would fill the void left by Hill's departure. For both, the Spurs would likely have to throw in a draft pick to balance out the trade.
The Spurs have a shot to win the NBA title. It would be foolhardy to shuffle around the team in any way possible, as it may disrupt the Spurs' chemistry. Cousins, a wild card in the fullest sense of the word, is not exactly the most stable of players.
Within the first month of the season, DeMarcus Cousins has acted up enough to have Kings media question whether or not the Kings were seeking to trade him. Although the rumors have evidently been quashed, this wouldn't be the first time a quashed rumor ended up being true.
Two weeks ago, B/R associate James Smith proposed a potential trade between the Kings and the Rockets, who are looking to deal Aaron Brooks.
The deal, as stated above, would send Cousins and Carl Landry to the Rockets for Brooks, Jared Jeffries and/or Patrick Patterson and Jordan Hill.
Why the deal is bad for the Kings:
-Cousins, despite attitude problems, is a tremendous talent who could end up being a top 10 player in the league down the road. The Kings need to wait at least two years before considering trading him.
-Losing both Landry and Cousins would make the Kings extremely deficient down low.
-Jordan Hill has done virtually nothing in his year and a half in the NBA.
-Jared Jeffries has an expiring contract, but he wouldn't provide much in terms of productivity.
-Patrick Patterson is a nice young project, but the Kings have more nice, young projects than your local craft store.
The Raptors just made quite a big trade with New Orleans, so they may want to recharge their batteries before heading into the market right away. Come the trade deadline, however, the struggling Raptors will likely look to unload.
Toronto is in rebuilding mode. Thus, they need all the talent they could get, and fast.
Peja Stojakovic, although quite a talented player, is a shell of his 2002 self. That said, he could still contribute significantly to a contender in need of a rental shooter.
There could be demand for Peja once the trade deadline comes. It'd be wise for Toronto to maximize his value and get something for him, preferably a younger player. Andre Iguodala would obviously be a huge pickup, but that may be stretching Peja's value a little too far.
The Utah Jazz are a team that keeps its nose to the grindstone. Sit down, shut up and get it done has been the mantra for Jerry Sloan during his 20 years with the Jazz.
In turn, the franchise hasn't been one to make outlandish trades.
It is highly unlikely that the Jazz will look to move Andrei Kirilenko, but they may want to clear his cap if they feel like they're one big name away from a title.
Vince Carter, who may possibly be this big name, would theoretically be perfect for the Jazz. He would provide some very solid input for the rest of the season/postseason, and then Utah would let him walk, as he still gives Utah the necessary cap space.
This is a bad move for the Jazz because the move would hurt the Jazz significantly on the rebounding front, and Kirilenko has been a huge part of the franchise for quite a while now. Furthermore, it is largely speculative.
Although Slam Magazine recently refuted reports that the Wizards were looking to move Gilbert Arenas to Orlando, it is clear that a dialogue between these two teams has been occurring, a dialogue which the Magic blog, the Orlando Pinstriped Post, says seems to be centered on a trade of Arenas for Vince Carter's expiring contract.
This trade wouldn't bode well for the Wizards. Although the record isn't exactly indicative of anything too positive, John Wall and Arenas have actually gelled quite nicely, as both are averaging over 17 points and five assists per game.
Carter is a shell of his former self, and although the move will clear up cap space and allow the Wizards to make some better moves this offseason, Arenas is no schlub. In other words, he could actually elicit valuable players out of a trade.
For Arenas, the Wizards may be better off playing the game that attractive girls do whenever they frequent a bar: Wait to see who comes to you and then choose the most attractive offer at last call.