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NBA Trade Rumors: Which NBA Superstars Get Moved Before Trade Deadline?

Allen KimSenior Analyst IDecember 14, 2010

NBA Trade Rumors: Which NBA Superstars Get Moved Before Trade Deadline?

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    NBA trade rumors are set to go into overdrive tomorrow once players that signed contracts as free agents this past summer are available to be traded.

    There are a group of high profile players often mentioned in trade speculation with Carmelo Anthony being the prized possession of the group.

    What are the chances these players get moved and what is their likely destination?

Steve Nash

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Steve Nash trade rumors started out as nothing more than speculation on the part of observers around the league.

    However, rampant trade speculation has gotten out of hand since it started.

    Even so, it actually makes more sense for the Suns to trade Nash now while he still retains a lot of value. He's still playing at a high level and the Suns can start the long road toward rebuilding their franchise with the assets they get in return.

    If a team were to trade for Nash, the two that makes the most sense would be the Orlando Magic or Atlanta Hawks.

    The New York Knicks are always being mentioned as a potential candidate, but with the way Raymond Felton is playing, that's not looking very likely.

    The Suns are denying any interest in moving Nash and that looks like it's the case here. Shelve away any Steve Nash trade rumors for now.

    Verdict: No

Andre Iguodala

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    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Andre Iguodala is one of the most highly coveted players mentioned in trade rumors. He is a versatile and talented swingman that could really be a difference maker playing sidekick to another team's established star.

    The one thing holding potential suitors away is his huge contract.

    However, the Houston Rockets appear to have no qualms taking on his contract. They have the money and they're looking for a star to help rejuvenate the franchise.

    Iguodala may just be that man and I'd say they Rockets are not only the front-runners for his services, but his likely destination once all the dust settles.

    Verdict: Yes

Chauncey Billups

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    When Carmelo Anthony finds himself wearing different threads, it's only a matter of time before Chauncey Billups follows suit.

    Billups is owed over $14 million next season and the Nuggets are likely looking to cut costs, so it wouldn't make much sense to keep him around when they're in rebuilding mode.

    Much like Steve Nash, the two teams in dire need of veteran leadership at the point guard position are the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks.

    If I had to hedge my bets, I'd lean toward the Orlando Magic making a move for Billups.

    Jameer Nelson is a solid point guard, but he may not be enough to get the Magic past the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat. Billups brings years of experience, a championship pedigree and clutch shooting to the organization.

    Verdict: Yes

Gilbert Arenas

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Gilbert Arenas  himself appears to be counting the days until he is traded.

    He was recently quoted in a Yahoo! report saying “I know my time here is over.”

    Arenas is not a popular figure in the D.C. area after his gun incident and with his crippling contract, he won't be easy to move.

    However, the Orlando Magic has equally crippling contracts that could work in a swap.

    Arenas' shooting abilities make him a good fit in Orlando and he could pair up nicely with Dwight Howard.

    Verdict: Yes

Carmelo Anthony

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Carmelo Anthony getting traded appears to be more a matter of when and not if.

    If there is any truth to the reports by sources close to the situation claiming that Anthony will only sign an extension with the New York Knicks, then the chances of him eventually ending up in New York are looking pretty high right now.

    Even if a team is willing to trade for Anthony without having him sign an extension, that team isn't likely to offer a very enticing package in order to do so.

    Anthony holds a lot of leverage in this situation and if he isn't traded to New York, he appears to be willing to wait out the year until he reaches free agency.

    As a free agent, he can sign with the Knicks outright instead of forcing them to give up valuable assets.

    The Big Apple will be waiting for him to play under the bright lights of Broadway.

    Verdict: Yes

Yao Ming

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Yao Ming can't stay healthy and the Houston Rockets can't find any consistent success.

    It seems like a smart move to trade Ming away, but it's also a risky ploy too. A risk that goes both ways.

    Ming has been a staple in Houston for quite some time and franchise centers are difficult to come by. Even if it is an injury prone one.

    He'll likely find himself a member of the Houston Rockets for the rest of the year, that way they can evaluate his health and see if it makes sense to extend him further.

    Verdict: No

Antawn Jamison

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    The Cleveland Cavaliers are going nowhere fast and they would be smart to move Antawn Jamison in order to help their post-LeBron rebuilding mode.

    Jamison isn't exactly easy to move because he is owed $13.4 million this season and $15.1 million the next.

    However, Jamison is a savvy veteran still capable of contributing to a contending team.

    Right now, I'd have to say that Jamison is staying put and he'll be a hot commodity in the offseason or next year when his contract is expiring.

    Verdict: No

Jamal Crawford

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    According to OregonLive.com, Portland GM, Rich Cho, reportedly inquired about acquiring Jamal Crawford from the Atlanta Hawks only to be turned down.

    Crawford is unhappy in Atlanta and he's still a productive player with a very alluring $10 million expiring contract.

    It makes sense to a certain extent for the Hawks to move Crawford, but he plays a vital role for the team and it would seriously hurt the team's depth if they moved him.

    The Hawks are likely to hold onto Crawford with the hopes that they can make some serious noise in the playoffs with him on their roster.

    Verdict: No

Troy Murphy

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Troy Murphy is riding the pine barely seeing the light of day.

    Murphy apparently has a contentious relationship with coach Avery Johnson and it's only a matter of time before he is moved.

    He has a very enticing $11.9 million expiring contract and plenty of teams looking for a veteran of cap relief will come knocking by the trade deadline.

    The prevailing notion is that he is going to have to sit in limbo until Carmelo Anthony's situation comes to a resolution.

    For now, Murphy will remain a member of the New Jersey Nets. However, he's likely to be moved by the trade deadline. If Carmelo somehow ended up with the Nets, Murphy's ultimate destination would be the Nuggets.

    Verdict: Yes

O.J. Mayo

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    O.J. Mayo's name has cropped up in trade rumors after his demotion to the bench.

    The Grizzlies have a lot of money invested in Rudy Gay and Mike Conley, and Marc Gasol is likely in line for an extension too.

    This leaves Mayo the odd man out.

    However, Mayo still has another year remaining on his deal and the Grizzlies can sit on it until next year before they move him.

    Memphis is probably hoping for Mayo to shake out of his slump and kick it into gear to raise his trade value. A trade that I doubt will happen this season.

    Verdict: No

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