Everyone knows that Carmelo Anthony is the jewel of the 2011 trade market.
After learning from the Chris Bosh debacle last year, teams with unhappy stars are beginning to realize that loyalty is dead and you cannot rely on players to stay with your team, even if they have been there for years.
In order to acquire Anthony, it appears that teams do not need players, as much as assets in the form of draft picks and expiring contracts.
The league is no longer about trying to stay competitive; It is about stockpiling resources and putting your eggs all in one basket and hoping to hit the jackpot in the draft or free agency.
These are the top assets on the market that are flying under the radar, but will be most important in completing trades in the next few weeks.
While Anthony is a great player to acquire, he is not a great trade piece because the Nuggets want way too much in return. Carmelo is also a rental at this point, until he agrees to sign an extension with other teams.
Crawford's $10 million price tag is not as large as it appears. He is a free agent after this year, making him a high value, low cost, low commitment player, with something to prove.
The Hawks know he will probably depart after this year and will try to get good value for him while they still can.
Jamison remains high on this list due to his high price tag for next year ($15 million), but I still think he has something left in the tank.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are going nowhere with him, making him very trade-able and for little in return.
Look for a deadline deal for this aging scorer.
This pair of Nuggets are both free agents after this season and could be part of the eventual Nuggets fire sale.
They will probably go as a package to a team that is looking to shed a lot of salary or rebuild their team.
Remember the days when Tayshaun Prince and Shane Battier were lock-down defenders?
Prince was the superstar stopper for the highly touted Piston's defense and Battier wouldnt let you breath, let alone score.
There is no doubt there are still great minutes left to be played for these experienced, hungry veterans, who come with $11 and $7.3 million dollar expiring contracts to boot.
They are a great rental at a bargain price.
Randolph is under the category, "we are better off with him than without him...but he isn't coming back".
The Grizzlies want the $17 million he is making this year for Marc Gasol's pending free agency.
Randolph is an instant double-double; just get him the ball and you wont be disappointed.
How many times is David Kahn going to mess up and take more point guards?
The only way to find out is take the TImberwolves' draft picks and find out.Right now, the team has given up some of its most valuable draft picks, so why not pick up the phone and ask Kahn what is on sale?
I think Murphy is in the process of legally changing his name to "The expiring contract of Troy Murphy", which he is now regularly referred to.
(See Troy Murphy)
He is also so valuable because he can be part of many different deals the New York Knicks have in the works and is a nice compliment to any young player.
Why is he such a great trade asset?
1. He has more than one year left on his contract, therefore he is not a rental
2. He will make your team immediately better
3. He is hungry for a title
4. The Suns know they are not going anywhere and will want to acquire assets for him instead of star players.
Nash is too classy to ask for a trade but he is one of the best guys and leaders in the league. Any team would be lucky to have him and the trade market is bountiful.