NBA Trade Rumors: 10 Big Names on the Block and Where They'll Land

Matt Parker@@parkem24Contributor IIIFebruary 3, 2011

NBA Trade Rumors: 10 Big Names on the Block and Where They'll Land

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    DENVER, CO - JANUARY 21:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during a break in the action against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Pepsi Center on January 21, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Lakers defeated the Nuggets 107-97. NOTE TO USER: Use
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    As the league heads toward its annual All-Star break, teams are beginning to round into mid-season form.

    For better or worse.

    Some teams have exceeded expectations (Bulls, Knicks, Clippers) while some have fallen into a complacent rut they may be unable to shake (Lakers).

    Still others are playing well beyond their years (Celtics, Spurs).

    So which team is just a piece away from postseason success?

    Which team is just one big name from getting over the hump, from threepeating or from simply crashing the playoffs?

    With the February 24th trade deadline looming, I take a look at some familiar names and faces that could be on the move as teams re-evaluate what they need to compete for a championship.

    Without regard for the salary cap or the impending expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA), let's call this a make believe trade article, where the rich get richer and the entertaining become even more so.

    So let's pick 10 teams and try to plug their holes.

Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 27:  Andre Iguodala #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers in action during the game against the Miami Heat at the Wells Fargo Center on October 27, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that
    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    The New Orleans Hornets recently won 10 games in a row  and no one noticed. That's because they aren't viewed as contenders in the Western Conference. So who would make them legit?

    How about Andre Iguodala? The Hornets could give up Trevor Ariza and Marcus Thorton in exchange for the versatile forward.

    Iguodala makes nearly twice what Ariza and Thorton bring in together, but I'm sure Philly would take draft picks.

    Chris Paul needs a new target. Iguodala needs a career boost. If Chris Paul can help save Tyson Chandler's career, I like his chances with Iguodala's.

    Then again, if Team USA didn't work, maybe this won't either.

    But just imagine those highlights.

Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns

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    PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns makes a leaping pass guarded by Jason Smith #14 and Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets during the NBA game at US Airways Center on January 30, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    He's too nice of a guy to say so but he wants to play for a contender. And as great as he is at his advanced age (he'll be 38 on Feb. 7), it'd be a shame for him not to.

    It is a waste of his talents for him to remain in Phoenix as long as they're content to be a .500 team.

    The biggest shame is he could really make a difference; he's playing like a much younger version of himself, averaging 17 points and 11 assists per game through Monday, in the midst of a gaudy 50-40-90 shooting season.

    Unfortunately for the Nash led Suns, the Vince Carter experiment isn't working.

    The Suns are 22-24 and looking up at the playoffs, three games out.

    They made the Western Conference Finals last season before Amar'e bolted for the Big Apple. What if Nash joined Stoudemire in New York and reunited with coach Mike D'Antoni?

    Now we're talking contender.

    The Knicks give up Felton, who has nearly played himself into All-Star status this season, and maybe impressive rookie Landry Fields for Nash and Marcin Gortat.


Steve Nash To The Lakers?

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 27:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns drives with the ball on Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the third quarter of Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 27, 20
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    How about the division rival Los Angeles Lakers?

    Magic Johnson says they need a roster shake up. I say they need a new point guard. But would the Lakers give up Derek Fisher again?

    His three years away from LA were a struggle for Kobe Bryant and the Lakers and his return in the 2007-08 season coincided with LA's return to the Finals and two more titles since.

    Bottom line: Kobe would never let it happen.

    Would Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak give up walking highlight and improved three-point shooter Shannon Brown to get an upgrade at PG?

    Would the Suns take Artest's baggage, fading contributions and the $12 million still owed on his current deal?

    Who knows but just imagine Nash on the Lakers or Knicks in the NBA Finals.

Richard Hamilton, Detroit Pistons

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    MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 01:  Richard Hamilton #32 of the Detroit Pistons dribbles around LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat during a game at American Airlines Arena on December 1, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees th
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Rip is a former All-Star and NBA Champion who may have finally worn out his welcome in Detroit. He hasn't played since Jan. 10 and looks to be on the trading block. So who's best positioned to land the disgruntled shooting guard?

    How about Chicago?

    Hamilton would give them a sure upgrade at the 2 over Keith Bogans and Ronnie Brewer while still allowing Kyle Korver to come off the bench.

    Second year forward Taj Gibson was impressive during Carlos Boozer's absence in November and could be appealing to a Pistons team looking to get younger. 

    The Bulls would get a player who can space the floor while not being a defensive liability.

    Oh yeah, and he's got big game experience.

Gerald Wallace, Charlotte Bobcats

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 29:  Daniel Gibson #1 of the Cleveland Cavaliers backs away from Gerald Wallace #3 of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 29, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User express
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    With Caron Butler out for the year, the Mavericks need a gritty small forward to crash the boards, mix it up down low, block shots and finish on the break.

    Insert Gerald Wallace.

    An All-Star in 2010, Wallace could bring the Mavericks some toughness that could come in handy in April and May.

    And I'd like to see just how good Gerald Wallace really is.

    We'll never know as long as he's in Charlotte.

Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    BOSTON - MAY 13:  Glen Davis #11 of the Boston Celtics is called for a loose ball foul on this play as Anderson Varejao #17 of the Cleveland Cavaliers falls to the floor during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at TD G
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Yeah, he's hurt but every team needs a guy like this. A Dennis Rodman-type who busts his ass and plays within himself (most of the time).

    Let's pretend that he opted for surgery instead of rest for his torn tendon and will be back for the playoffs.

    I'd like to see him go to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who was rumored to be looking at Varejao pre-injury.

    The young guns in OKC could use a scrappy playoff vet like Varejao, whose energy on the glass creates more shots for his team and gets under the skin of opponents, like Blake Griffin with 10 percent of Griffin's offensive game.

    The Thunder could send Nick Collison and Ohio State alum Daequan Cook to Cleveland.

    But who would take Collison's $13 million a year contract? 


Tracy McGrady, Detroit Pistons

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    MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 28:  Tracy McGrady #1 of of the Detroit Pistons drives against James Jones #22 of the Miami Heat during a game at American Airlines Arena on January 28, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    If Ron Artest wants out of LA, Tracy McGrady would be happy to take his place. T-Mac wants to win a playoff series more than anything at this point in his career. 

    A trade to the Lakers would all but assure him that success.

    The former scoring champion has settled into a point forward role for the Pistons this season, breathing a little fresh air back into his career. His play of late has helped make Detroit competitive again.

    Detroit's recent trip to Florida included a win at Orlando and a one-point loss to the Heat.

    Although he's not the physical defender that Ron Artest is, he would fit in beautifully in the triangle offense.

    Moreover, his goals are singular right now: NBA Championship.

    Now, I'm not saying Ron Artest is going to the Pistons, but maybe a third team could be talked into taking the controversial forward.

James Posey, Indiana Pacers

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    PHOENIX - DECEMBER 03:  James Posey #41 of the Indiana Pacers puts up a shot during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on December 3, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloadi
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    James Posey is going to Utah.

    His game is built for good teams as proved by title runs with Miami in 2006 and Boston two years later.

    Plus, Posey just seems like a Jerry Sloan kind of guy: a mentally tough, timely shooter who's not afraid to mix it up in the paint.

    Indiana would no doubt accept small forward C.J. Miles in return, an athletic shooter much younger than Posey. 

O.J.Mayo, Memphis Grizzlies

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 02:  O.J. Mayo #32 of the Memphis Grizzlies attempts a lay up against the Los Angeles Lakers during the game at Staples Center on November 2, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Grizzlies 124-105. NOTE TO US
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    O.J. Mayo could be on his way out in Memphis. 

    The third year guard is currently serving a 10 game suspension handed down by the league for breaking its anti-drug policy.

    Mayo tested positive for a banned substance he says he thinks came from an energy drink.

    This could be a red flag to some, but for the right price Mayo could get the fresh start his young career needs. 

    Mayo averaged 18 points per game during his first two seasons in the league. 

    Who couldn't use that extra punch in their lineup going forward?

    How about New Jersey? 

    The Nets could certainly use scoring off the bench and could offer Sasha Vujacic or Anthony Morrow packaged with Stephen Graham to steal Mayo while his value is low.

Chris Kaman, Los Angeles Clippers

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    LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 3: Chris Kaman #35 of the Los Angeles Clippers shoots against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on November 3, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers won 107-92.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    An All-Star last season, the Caveman isn't really needed in Los Angeles anymore with the emergence of Blake Griffin and third year center DeAndre Jordan.

    He'll be back from injury soon and the Clippers may consider trading him.

    The Thunder could look to strengthen their front court by adding Kaman for Nenad Krstic, a player whose shooting touch could help space the floor for Griffin.

Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets

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    DENVER, CO - JANUARY 13:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during a break in the action against the Miami Heat at the Pepsi Center on January 13, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Heat 130-102. NOTE TO USER: User express
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Could the 'Melo drama be coming to an end?

    We may have only seen the beginning.

    With the trading deadline just over three weeks away, the race is on to procure one of the best natural scorers in the league. 

    While much of the talk in December and early January was Anthony to the Nets, he's been pining to play in New York.

    He played his college ball at Syracuse and wants to play with an equal like Amar'e Stoudemire. 

    And let's face it, the Nets will always be the Knicks little brother. Heck, even when Julius Erving was a Net, they were based in New York.

    The Knicks have some enticing trade chips like Danilo Gallinari and rookie Landry Fields, who leads all guards in rebounding this season.

    And don't forget Blake Griffin poster boy Timofey Mozgov who posted 23 points and 14 rebounds Sunday night against Detroit.

Stay Tuned

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    DALLAS - JUNE 20:  Series MVP Dwyane Wade #3 and Shaquille O'Neal #32 of the Miami Heat celebrate together after the Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks in game six of the 2006 NBA Finals on June 20, 2006 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  The
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Well, even if we don't see a repeat of 2008 when Pau Gasol, Shaquille O'Neal and Jason Kidd all switched teams, we're bound to see some movement before Feb. 24 that will greatly influence which team is hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy come June.