NBA Trade Rumors: 'Melo and 15 Players Who Desperately Need a Relocation
A new year is upon us, and with that new year will come major changes in the NBA.
The next two months will be dominated by hundreds of trade rumors and reports of players that will be potentially be moved by the February trading deadline.
The No. 1 name on everyone's wish list is Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony.
Offseason rumors of Anthony leaving the Denver Nuggets in the summer of 2011 have driven the rumors of the Nuggets potentially trading Anthony in order to get some return for their star.
I mean, I don't think the Nuggets want to end up with future draft picks and a trade exception like the Cleveland Cavaliers got when LeBron James left.
The Anthony rumors have him ending up anywhere from New York to New Jersey, with a couple of surprise teams like the Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks possibly making plays for him before the trading deadline.
But Anthony won't be the only player on the move before the deadline.
Thanks to a slew of NBA teams performing well below their expected levels, there are going to be a wide variety of players available over the next two months.
These players will be traded because they are older veterans seeking a shot at a championship, young players who don't fit in the rotation and because teams are attempting to clear up cap space.
There will be plenty of names rumored to be on the move, but I have narrowed down a list of 15 potential players who should be moved by the deadline.
As always, don't forget to comment with players that you think will be on the move as well.
15. Hasheem Thabeet, C, Memphis Grizzlies
In 2009, the Memphis Grizzlies made Thabeet the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft.
The team expected Thabeet to develop into one of the game's most dominant inside presences thanks to his 7'3" size and supreme shot-blocking abilities.
However, things didn't go according to plan with Thabeet.
Last season he had to be sent down to the NBA D-League because he wasn't performing up to the team's expectations.
Now, Thabeet can't seem to find his way off the Memphis bench.
He is averaging just under nine minutes per game this season and scoring only 1.3 points per game.
Thanks to the emergence of Marc Gasol as the Memphis center, the team has seemingly given up on the former No. 2 overall pick, and he could be available very soon to any interested team.
There are a few teams that would be willing to take a chance on the 23 year old center.
The first one that comes to mind would be the Portland Trail Blazers.
They have lost former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden for the season due to injury again, and currently only have Marcus Camby and Joel Przybilla for depth at center.
Another team that could be interested in Thabeet would be the Cleveland Cavaliers.
They are a team in transition that lacks a a true center on their roster, no, Ryan Hollins does not count as a center.
The Cavaliers could provide the Grizzlies with expiring contracts, future draft picks or even part of their trade exception in a deal with Memphis.
14. Chris Kaman, C, Los Angeles Clippers
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Injuries have played a huge part in the decline of Chris Kaman's game this season.
He has only played in 10 games this year, but his scoring average is down eight points from his career average.
Not to mention that he has two years left on his current contract that is paying him $11.3 million this year and $12.2 million next season.
If Kaman can come back from injury, he would be an excellent frontcourt addition to any contender looking to add a scoring and rebounding threat down low.
Even if Kaman does come back, the Clippers may be too far out of the playoff race to attempt to work him back into the starting lineup this season.
They have DeAndre Jordan, a 22 year old who has began to show promise in Kaman's absence.
Any number of teams would be interested in Kaman, but the Houston Rockets are the first team that comes to mind with a center need.
They have lost Yao Ming for the season, and could offer the expiring contracts of Shane Battier or Jared Jeffries with another player to help the Clippers shed some salary at the end of the season.
13. Michael Redd, G, Milwaukee Bucks
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The Milwaukee Bucks have been one of the league's biggest disappointments thus far this season, and Michael Redd has failed to remain healthy again.
Since the 2007-2008 season, Redd has only played in 51 of 164 regular season games.
Even with his health issues, Redd has something that could help the Bucks get back in the playoff race in the East.
An expiring contract.
Redd's 18.3 million dollar expiring contract could be sent to a losing team in order to help them clear salary next season, and bring in a star player with a big contract in return.
One team that comes to mind would be the Philadelphia 76ers and Andre Iguodala's big contract.
The Bucks currently have no depth behind John Salmons at shooting guard, and Iguodala could be just what the doctor ordered for the struggling Bucks.
Not to mention that the 76ers could help the rebuilding process by freeing up around $18 million in salary for next summer's free agency class.
12. Andray Blatche, PF, Washington Wizards
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Normally when a team has a 24 year old power forward who averages 16 points and eight rebounds per game, that player is a building block for the future.
However, reports of attitude issues have led to the Wizards shopping Blatche around the league.
One of those reports has linked the young, 6'11" power forward to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a swap for J.J. Hickson.
Blatche is locked in for the next five seasons, and his contract never reaches more than $8.9 million per year.
So a young, affordable and productive power forward is available for trade: NBA teams better act fast before the Wizards change their minds.
11. Jose Calderon, PG, Toronto Raptors
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The rebuild in Toronto officially started when Chris Bosh left this summer for Miami.
That rebuild continued when the Raptors pulled off a deal with the Hornets that brought in young point guard Jerryd Bayless.
A young starting point guard and a team rebuilding means that Jose Calderon could find himself on the way out before the trading deadline.
One of the things that could hold up a deal is Calderon's contract.
He is owed nearly 40 million dollars over the next three years, and there aren't many teams who are able to take on a point guard who is owed that amount of money.
A team that could end up needing a point guard would be the Atlanta Hawks.
Mike Bibby's production has been on a steady decline over the past couple of seasons, and Atlanta could dangle the expiring contract of Jamal Crawford in order to acquire Calderon.
Calderon would provide a younger, distributing option for the Hawks that would open up looks for Al Horford and Josh Smith.
10. Baron Davis, PG, Los Angeles Clippers
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Baron Davis won't be an easy player to move for the Los Angeles Clippers.
He has three years left on his current contract, and is owed $41 million over those three seasons.
But the writing has been on the wall all season for Baron Davis.
It started with the heckling by his owner during games, and has expanded into a 10 minute per game decline in his playing time.
Davis is averaging seven points less per game this season, and has been giving way to rookie Eric Bledsoe for the majority of the season.
Davis could provide a spark to a team looking for a shoot first point guard for the playoff run.
The Portland Trail Blazers have been rumored over the past two seasons to be looking for a shoot first point guard to put alongside Brandon Roy.
If Portland was interested, they could probably package Joel Przybilla's expiring contract with another player to get Baron Davis from the Clippers.
9. Devin Harris, PG, New Jersey Nets
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When a team misses as badly as the Nets did in free agency this summer, you normally don't want to trade your starting point guard.
Especially when that guy is as talented as Devin Harris.
However, Harris' name has been mentioned in every rumor that involves Carmelo Anthony.
Apparently any team that wants to be the third team in the deal between Denver and New Jersey is requiring Harris in return.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been the most recent team linked as a facilitator in a three-way deal, with the Cavaliers using their trade exception to help make up salary in the deal.
The rumor reported the Cavaliers would receive Devin Harris, which doesn't make sense because they already have Mo Williams and Ramon Sessions on the roster.
Devin Harris is a talented point guard and would be an excellent addition to any team, and may end up being a steal if Carmelo Anthony is traded to New Jersey.
8. Troy Murphy, PF, New Jersey Nets
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New Jersey's 9-25 record and Murphy's 11.9 million dollar expiring contract make the trade of Murphy almost a guarantee before the trading deadline.
In his career, Murphy has averaged 11 points and eight rebounds per game, but those numbers have declined greatly since being traded to the Nets.
He is in a bad situation thanks to rookie Derrick Favors and All-Star Brook Lopez, and he needs to be moved as soon as possible.
The Nets may choose to hang on to him and let the contract expire, giving them additional salary cap space in the offseason.
However, I think that Murphy will be a key part in a trade with the Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony if it happens.
7. O.J. Mayo, PG/SG, Memphis Grizzlies
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I'm not sure whether you label O.J. Mayo as a bust or not at this point in his career.
He has already given way to rookie Xavier Henry in the Memphis starting lineup this season, and has been rumored to be on the way out of Memphis all year.
When he was drafted, Mayo was supposed to be the next big star in the NBA.
But it seems that Mayo has yet to find a role on a team that features Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol primarily in their offense.
Mayo's points per game average is down this season, and that could be a direct result of his reduced role in the offense.
The rest of Memphis' core is getting contract extensions, and Mayo could end up being the odd man out when it comes to more money.
He is under contract for the next three seasons, and if he can regain form he would be a bargain for any team.
There are plenty of teams out there with a need for a scoring guard who can play both the point and shooting guard positions.
The Dallas Mavericks could be the first team in line for Mayo's services after Caron Butler's season ending injury.
But personally, I would like the Cleveland Cavaliers to get involved if Mayo becomes available, because he fits multiple needs on a young, rebuilding team.
6. Monta Ellis, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors
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They can play together, they can't play together.
And so is the saga of Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry.
Ellis is one of the game's most underrated young stars, as he averages 25 points per game for the Golden State Warriors.
Even with that production, the team has been shopping him around the league for the past year because of the emergence of second year star Stephen Curry.
Curry's current injury means that Ellis will not be traded any time soon, but once Curry comes back to full strength the Warriors could look to move the older, more expensive Ellis.
Ellis makes 11 million dollars a year for the next four seasons, which is a bargain for a player who averages 25 points per game.
Atlanta, Portland, New Jersey, Cleveland and many other teams are just a few of the teams that could end up in the market for a scoring guard some time this season.
Once again, the Dallas Mavericks could inquire about Ellis now that Caron Butler is out for the year.
5. Richard Hamilton, SG, Detroit Pistons
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The glory days are gone in Detroit, and Richard Hamilton will be gone to the first team interested.
The Pistons have a log jam of players making more money than they should on that team.
Hamilton still has value because of his playoff experience and length to defend taller opponents.
He is owed 36 million dollars over the next three seasons, but would be a valuable addition to any playoff contender.
The first team that comes to mind for Richard Hamilton would be the Miami Heat.
They lack depth behind Wade and James, and the addition of Hamilton could be something that helps get more production from their bench.
The Heat would likely have to get a third party involved to make the salary numbers match, but the addition of Hamilton would be a good one for their team.
4. Tayshaun Prince, SF, Detroit Pistons
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Unfortunately for Prince, he will be a casualty of the Detroit Pistons rebuild.
He has an 11 million dollar expiring contract at the end of this season, and is currently playing in front of two youngsters at the small forward position.
Prince's expiring contract means that there will be a number of playoff teams looking to pluck the crafty veteran from the Pistons.
Just like with Richard Hamilton, teams like the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and many others could be interested in acquiring the veteran defensive star from the Pistons to add depth to their playoff roster.
A trade could be just what Prince needs to revitalize his career, and hopefully earn him a solid contract this offseason.
3. Antawn Jamison, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
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Since making his way to the starting lineup, Antawn Jamison has provided a spark to the lifeless Cleveland Cavaliers.
However, 34 year old scorers like Jamison don't belong on teams who are about to blow it all up and start over.
Just like last season in Washington, Jamison will be moved before the trade deadline.
A team will come along and offer the Cavaliers an expiring contract because they feel that Jamison is the missing scoring link to their playoff push.
I'm not sure if Jamison will ever fit that role on a good team, he surely didn't last year with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But Cleveland would be more than happy to move the 34 year old and the two years left on his 28 million dollar contract.
A potential team doesn't come to mind at this time, but when a playoff contender's starting power forward gets hurt—Jamison will be the first player gone from the Cavaliers.
2. Andre Iguodala, SG, Philadelphia 76ers
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I've said it once and I'll say it again, the 76ers will find someone to take Iguodala's big contract off their hands.
Iguodala is in his prime, can play two positions and is one of the best defenders in the game when healthy.
It's true that he has never developed into the scorer that he was supposed to be, but he would be a solid second option on any team.
The 76ers will soon drop out of playoff contention in the East, and the pressure will be on for more playing time for rookie Evan Turner out of Ohio State.
Iguodala's nearly 60 million dollar contract over the next four seasons will make it difficult to find a suitor, but teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks and others could make a move to help improve their teams right now.
1. Steve Nash, PG, Phoenix Suns
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I know you may be surprised to see Steve Nash's name on the top of this list.
But this is something necessary for both Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns.
It won't be a popular move because Nash is averaging 17 points and 10 assists per game, but once the Suns fall out of playoff contention it will have to happen.
The Phoenix Suns owe this trade to Steve Nash.
Nash is 36 years old and the Suns aren't close to winning an NBA Championship in the next two years.
The right thing to do in this situation would be to find a contender in need of Steve Nash and make the deal.
Nash will still command a young player or two and at least one first round draft pick for the Suns.
There are a number of teams who need to upgrade their starting point guard that have been mentioned in this article, and I'm sure if Nash becomes available there will be double that number calling the Suns to make an offer.
It seems wrong to not see Steve Nash on the Phoenix Suns, but unless the team goes on a miracle run in the near future, Nash may be the next star on the way out in Phoenix.