It has been unusually quiet around the league with the NBA trade deadline almost three weeks from today. Other than the Carmelo Anthony saga, the activity level among GMs appears to have dropped off, as opposed to last year.
Almost three weeks have passed by since Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov broke all trade negotiations with the Denver Nuggets. New Jersey offered to send six players to Denver, including Devin Harris and Derrick Favors. Two draft picks were also involved in the package. The Nets would have received Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton. The Detroit Pistons would have saved about $17 million in this deal.
It remains to be seen if talks will pick up again.
But, here are some factors that we are aware of now.
The Nuggets will be hard-pressed to find a better package than the one the Nets put together.
Anthony will only sign the extension on the table if he is traded to the New York Knicks. The problem is that the Knicks don't have any assets that intrigue Nuggets Masai Ujiri.
It appears with each passing day that the Nuggets are content to just let Anthony's contract expire. But, Ujiri might wise up and give Billy King a call about that trade package.
But, Anthony might not be the only big name to keep an eye on at the deadline.
Who else? You might ask.
Closer attention should be paid to a point guard in Southern Arizona.
Yes, Steve Nash.
Other GMs have called to ask about the availability of the two-time MVP; those talks did not go very far. And Lon Babby made it clear to other front offices that Nash is untouchable.
One wonders if that stance has changed a little. After all, at the time of this statement the Suns possessed the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Now, Phoenix is three games behind the Trail Blazers for the final playoff berth, and their schedule in March and April is going to be brutal. In other words, they are not making the playoffs.
Nash has publicly said that he would like to finish his career in Phoenix. But, with the Suns in rebuilding mode, it makes no sense. The "Nash Era" peaked last year during the Western Conference Finals. And on a roster full of overpaid role players, Nash stands out as their only trade asset.
There is no telling how long Nash will be able to keep playing this level, he turns 37 in five days and has chronic back issues. He has certainly defied all odds up until this point, but Nash's stock is as high as it has ever been. The scariest thing about age is that it can spring up out of nowhere (ask the 2007 Miami Heat).
To get the right track, the Suns need to fully commit to rebuilding, which means trading Nash. It is like you're dating a girl who you know you’re going to break up with. There is no reason to drag your feet; the sooner it gets done, the sooner you can move on. This is the same situation the Suns find themselves in now.
Other names that could be on the move:
Marcus Camby: In a matter of one year, Camby went from veteran presence on an up-and-coming team to aging veteran on a rebuilding team. Camby is a hot commodity not only for his shot-blocking and rebounding; he is also an expiring contract. He is guaranteed to be pursued by contending teams in need of more size.
Tayshaun Prince: A change in scenery will do Prince a whole lot of good. Teams will desire his $11 million expiring contract. But, there might be a chance that Prince and Dumars agree on a buyout.
Antawn Jamison: Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It appeared that Jamison finally received his chance to play on a perennial championship contender when the Cavs traded for him last year. Fast-forward one year later. LeBron is gone and the Cavs are now the NBA's doormat. The Cavs no longer have any use for Jamison; it would be surprising if he were still wearing the same jersey by the deadline.
Zach Randolph: Memphis overpaid for Rudy Gay and Mike Conley and now it appears that they won't be able to afford Randolph once he becomes a free agent. The Grizzlies might look to trade him now so they don't lose him for nothing.
Richard Hamilton: The Pistons have made it known that Hamilton is available. No takers so far and for a good reason, his contract is poison for teams looking to save money.