NBA Trade Rumors: Power Ranking All The Buyers
The trade deadline is just over a week away and there has never been more talk and speculation.
Rumors of players being shipped to different teams have been going on for months now. Unfortunately, for us NBA geeks, not a lot of action has taken place.
Keep your faith though, trades will happen.
There is just too much money, reasoning, expiring contracts, players, and trade-happy general managers out there for trades not to happen.
Here is a power ranking of all 30 NBA teams that will be the most active around the trade deadline, starting with the least active.
30. Boston Celtics
Sitting on the most set (and possibly the best) roster in the NBA, the Celtics are in no position to make any moves.
In fact, there hasn't been a shred of a rumor suggesting that Boston might look to trade.
With the Big Three (Garnett, Pierce, Allen) all well over 30 years old, there isn't a whole lot of value in trading these guys. On top of that, general manager Danny Ainge wouldn't even consider breaking up a core that might be on its last title run.
Almost every single player on Boston's roster gets in the game on a nightly basis. The Celtics exude the "team" concept and show that every single game.
Rest easy, Boston, and hope everyone can stay healthy for the playoffs.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City is another team appearing to be content with their roster.
They are building around the young nucleus of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Jeff Green.
On top of that, youngsters James Harden and Serge Ibaka seem to be settling into their roles.
The Thunder really don't have many options of trading players.
They need to keep the $6 million expiring contract of Morris Peterson, so they can re-sign Green after this year.
After that, almost everyone on the team is either already signed long term or still on their rookie contract.
Expect the Thunder front office to sit back and watch their young core grow into NBA stars.
28. Miami Heat
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last year, you know the Miami Heat made a huge splash this offseason.
Signing Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, the Miami Heat created the new “Big 3.”
After those three, it was up to Pat Riley to fill in the rest.
Riley inked role players like Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem, Juwan Howard and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
Already well over the salary cap, the Heat don’t have much wiggle room.
Do not expect Miami to even come close to making a trade before the deadline.
Miami has only two options going forward if they want to tweak their roster.
The choices they have are picking up a waived player after March 1 or calling up a player from the NBDL.
27. New Orleans Hornets
Unfortunately for Chris Paul, the Hornets are not poised to make a move.
They do possess some expiring contracts, but none are significant enough to warrant major trade value.
Instead, it’s probably a good idea for the Hornets to absorb those contracts, allowing them to chase potential free agents this summer.
However, David West and Chris Paul will be free agents at the same time, making things very tough for the New Orleans front office.
Don’t be surprised if Chris Paul trade rumors dominate the NBA next year, since rumblings about him going to New York have already surfaced.
26. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have one thing most teams in the NBA want dearly. No, it’s not up and coming point guard Brandon Jennings.
It’s Michael Redd and his humongous $18.3 million expiring contract.
Even though the Bucks could trade Redd for exceptional value, there has not been a whisper of Milwaukee wanting to lose his contract.
If Milwaukee stays smart and holds onto his contract for the rest of the year, they will have exceptional power when it comes to the next class of free agents.
Since they have most of their team locked up for the next few years, expect Milwaukee to be in the discussions when free agency rolls around.
For now, Milwaukee will sit back, let Redd’s contract expire, fall into the lottery for draft picks, and hope they can land another future star or two via draft or free agency.
25. Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks are in somewhat of a tricky situation.
They have all their major pieces locked up long term (Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, and Al Horford), which is good.
However, they are drastically overpaying players like Mike Bibby, Zaza Pachulia and Marvin Williams. The sad part about these players being over paid is that they are signed for two, three and four years, respectively.
Looking at it like that, the Hawks are in a hole.
Working to their advantage, they have the $10.8 million contract of Jamal Crawford expiring after this year.
If they could trade his contract for good value, it would be a smart move.
While Crawford is a real part of their rotation, they need to move on. They will still be over the salary cap if his contract just expires, leaving them little room to sign free agents.
Look for a Crawford suitor while you can, Atlanta.
24. Sacramento Kings
Does it come as a surprise that the Kings have the lowest payroll in the NBA? Didn't think so.
They have done just about everything they can to play just like it.
Sacramento has been in rebuilding mode for quite some time, and it does not seem to be ending soon.
With the team building around the last two years' first-round picks (DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans), they are slowly acquiring quality talent.
Evans was so impressive in his first year, he was named the 2009-10 Rookie of the Year.
Cousins clearly has notable NBA talent, but until he can mature as a player and person, he will find himself on the bench way too often.
With $13 million already in cap room, the Kings will basically double that next year.
They have the expiring contract of Samuel Dalembert that goes for a cool $13.4 million.
Expect the Kings to keep rebuilding, banking on getting really good draft picks every year.
23. Washington Wizards
Just like the Kings, the Wizards are in a heavy rebuilding phase.
If the Wizards did not get John Wall No. 1 in last year’s draft, it’s almost scary to think how bad they would be.
Besides Wall, this team is going nowhere fast.
Rashard Lewis is locked up for way too much money over the next three years. On top of how overpaid he is, Rashard recently revealed that he has tendinitis in his knee.
If you have seen Rashard play lately, this is probably the least surprising news you have heard in a while.
He is nowhere near the same player that put the Magic on his back en route to the NBA Finals a few years ago.
Sorry, Wizards fans, it’s going to be a while before you are relevant again.
22. Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets seem to be in somewhat of a transition phase.
With Yao Ming continuing to pile up major injuries, they miss out on tons of winnable games.
The Rockets have been rumored to be in some trade talks, but nothing significant has been mentioned.
Head coach Rick Adelman recently stated he will have to think about when he wants to retire.
If you’re a Rockets fan, you hope it’s soon.
The team just cannot get it going and it’s time to head in a new direction.
Houston needs to build around Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and Aaron Brooks.
With Yao Ming's $17.6 million deal set to expire after this season, Houston will have some room to make an offseason move.
Adding to Yao’s huge expiring deal, the Rockets announced they don’t plan to re-sign veteran forward Shane Battier after this year.
Battier has a $7.3 million deal, which will give the Rockets good money to work with.
Give up on this season, get a new head coach, and try to make a splash in free agency this summer, Houston.
21. Los Angeles Clippers
With Blake Griffin exploding onto the national scene (literally), the Los Angeles Clippers have a lot of options moving forward.
The Clippers future plans involve two guys: Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin.
It’s going to take a while for the Clippers to get the right pieces to help these two succeed, but they are moving in the right direction.
Center Chris Kaman has been very disappointing for the Clips with his nagging ankle injury.
Rumors have sprouted that the Clippers might trade Kaman before the deadline. This would be a great move for Blake and Co.
DeAndre Jordan has shown he can handle his own at center.
So why not trade Kaman for a small forward that you desperately need?
Don’t be surprised if the Clippers can find a suitor for the former All-Star center.
It will take some creative trade talks, but if the Clippers can ship Kaman and his big contract out of town, they could be in for some serious success in years to come.
20. Golden State Warriors
Another team in the midst of a transition, the Golden State Warriors will have some important decisions to make soon.
With the team apparently set on building the franchise around Monta Ellis and David Lee, emerging star Stephen Curry might be up for grabs.
Earlier in the season, Golden State management discussed possibly shipping out Curry, a remark that shocked the NBA.
Curry has the sweet shooting stroke and quality decision-making skills that will make him an All Star for years.
However, the Warriors have decided they want Ellis to be the backbone of the team, meaning Curry has to go at some point.
Curry and Ellis both play a combo guard type of role, wanting the ball in their hands and being able to do anything with it.
Although no trade rumors have come up about Curry this year, he might be the main person of discussion next year.
Don’t be surprised if Golden State is presented an offer they can’t refuse, potentially causing them to pull the trigger on Curry before they should.
19. Chicago Bulls
Nearing the deadline, the Bulls are looking to acquire one position in particular: shooting guard.
The Bulls have little financial room, so trading for a big name is out of the question.
So far, two names have surfaced on the Bulls' radar.
Those players are Courtney Lee and J.R. Smith.
If the Bulls can make this happen, it would definitely help their team.
Both have the ability to drain threes, so Derrick Rose could drive-and-kick to them all day.
If the Bulls are serious about going deep in the playoffs, they will complete a trade for one of the two.
18. Utah Jazz
Jerry Sloan shocked the basketball world this year.
After 17 years as head coach for Utah, Sloan suddenly resigned just days after signing a one-year extension.
Sloan was supposedly upset with how things were going, in particular the play of Deron Williams.
Rumors surfaced of Williams being insubordinate and not running the plays Sloan called.
Recent talks have said that Williams was in so much trouble with the front office that he might indeed be traded.
The Jazz would be out of their mind to trade a talent like Williams.
Utah is currently sitting on a very big expiring contract.
Andrei Kirilenko currently has a $17.8 million expiring deal, one of the tops in the NBA.
Unfortunately for the Jazz, they are $19 million over the salary cap, meaning Kirilenko’s expiring deal does not help them an incredible amount.
With the sudden departure of Sloan out of Utah, anything is possible with the Jazz roster.
17. San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs have had the league’s best record for what seems like forever.
The Spurs started off the season red hot and have not looked back.
Many critics believed the Spurs could not keep it up, but they have in a big way.
San Antonio is scoring at will this year, something very uncommon for a Greg Popovich-led squad.
Even though they have the best record, rest is crucial for a team with plenty of age.
If the Spurs do make any sort of move, it will most likely be after the trade deadline.
Whether they sign a veteran big man (Fabricio Oberto), or call up a player from the NBDL (James Anderson), the Spurs will make subtle moves.
Expect the Spurs to relax this trade deadline, and start to get ready for what could be their last title run.
16. Orlando Magic
The Magic have made two blockbuster deals so far this season.
First, they shipped Rashard Lewis to Washington for Gilbert Arenas.
Next, they sent away Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, $3 million and a first-round pick to Phoenix. In return they received Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark.
So far the two deals have been so-so for Orlando.
However, the Magic may not be done dealing.
Since the trade, Orlando, and specifically Dwight Howard, are having trouble down low.
Now don’t get it wrong; Howard is still putting up his monster numbers. It’s just with only Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson as power forwards, they need some help.
With plenty of power forwards on the market, don’t be surprised if the Magic shake things up before the trade deadline.
Remember, rumors about Dwight Howard possibly leaving Orlando next year have surfaced, so the Orlando front office has to keep the big man happy.
15. Phoenix Suns
Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns are definitely at the crossroads.
Nash, now 37 years old, has two years left on his deal.
While the Suns insist they will not trade their franchise point guard, teams have been calling.
Most recently, the Minnesota Timberwolves have called to see what can be done about acquiring Nash.
As sad as it is, the Suns should deal Nash.
The team is getting very old and it is obvious they have no serious playoff runs left in them.
On top of that, obtaining Vince Carter did not help the Suns get any younger.
If the Suns decide to deal Nash, they have an interesting piece that could go with him.
Mickael Pietrus and his $5.3 million expiring contract is one to keep an eye on.
If the Suns do trade Nash, expect serious value in return.
Phoenix might be on the verge of a rebuilding stage, and this trade deadline could start it off.
14. Cleveland Cavaliers
After LeBron left Cleveland we knew things would be bad. Nobody expected them to be this bad.
Let’s just say when your record is 9-46, anything can happen except a lot of winning.
The Cavaliers are so bad they gave us a history lesson this year.
They set the NBA record for consecutive losses, at a whopping 26.
Not only do the Cavs have by far the worst team in the NBA, they are nearly $10 million over the salary cap!
Talk about hard times in Cleveland.
The Cavs do have several expiring contracts; unfortunately, none are over $3 million.
If the Cavs make any trades before the deadline, it will likely involve giving up contracts for future picks.
Please Cleveland, for the sake of the NBA and Dan Gilbert’s pride, at least trade someone to make it look like you are trying.
13. Philadelphia 76ers
What an interesting year for the Philadelphia 76ers.
They have had players like Jrue Holiday and Elton Brand have great years.
On the other hand, they have watched Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner fall well below expectations.
While Sixers fans have been frustrated watching the team, they are still in line for a playoff berth. The team sits in seventh place in the East, with a 26-29 record.
Even though Iguodala has been the heart and soul of the 76ers for years, rumors say he could be dealt. No potential suitors or players have been named, giving the rumors tiny credibility.
The real guy the Sixers could trade is shooting guard Jason Kapono.
Kapono is in the final year of his contract, with $6.6 million set to expire.
While plenty of teams could go after a shooter like Kapono, he has not given them much to look forward to.
Kapono has barely seen the floor this year, and does nothing to convince owners he is worth acquiring. A buyout option seems likely scenario if the 76ers can't trade Kapono.
Trade Kapono for value, Philadelphia, and create a stronger push for a playoff run this year
12. Indiana Pacers
Just about anyone on Indiana could be traded at this point.
Will they be traded? No, because Larry Bird still runs the front office.
Larry has a reputation of being very conservative on making trades.
However, the Pacers have plenty of options to get better.
They have expiring contracts in T.J. Ford, Mike Dunleavy, and Jeff Foster. None of these expiring deals are less than $6 million, and Dunleavy's eclipses $10 million.
If the Pacers sit on all these contracts the rest of the year, they will have quality money this off season.
However, the time to act is now for Indiana!
They have won seven of their past nine games since firing Jim O'Brien, placing them in eighth in the Eastern Conference.
If Bird can deal an expiring contract for value, Indiana could be a dangerous team in a couple months.
Cross your fingers, Indiana; maybe Larry will finally do something.
11. Dallas Mavericks
There is not much chatter going on with the Dallas Mavericks these days, believe it or not.
If you know who owns the Mavs, this is shocking news.
Mark Cuban has never been shy to make a blockbuster trade.
With two worthwhile contracts expiring, don't be surprised if Cuban pulls the trigger.
All it takes is one offer for Caron Butler or DeShawn Stephenson, and they will be gone.
Cuban's Mavs have underachieved so far this year, adding to the case of him making a trade.
It's hard to say who Dallas might be targeting, but you know Cuban is making calls.
With Dallas playing below their basketball standards, Cuban will eye improvement.
Expect the Mavs to make some sort of deal, whether minor or major.
10. Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors have plenty of needs to address.
They are deep in the rebuilding stage after losing Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu.
With the season already over for Toronto, why not build up on young players and top picks?
Toronto has two significant expiring deals. Leandro Barbosa is owed $7.1 million for the rest of the year, while Reggie Evans is owed $5 million.
Dealing either of those players would allow for more playing time to youngsters Ed Davis, Demar DeRozan and Amir Johnson.
Not only does Toronto need to make a deal for themselves, Raptors president Jerry Colangelo needs to make a trade to keep his job.
His contract expires June 30 (no, they can't trade his contract), and the Raptors are unlikely to bring him back unless they see a reason otherwise.
Colangelo needs to make something happen if he wants to stay in Toronto next year, although who can blame him if he does not want to stay?
9. Portland Trail Blazers
It seems like every year, the Blazers roster gets depleted by injury.
Nothing changed this year.
Portland lost Greg Oden, Marcus Camby and Brandon Roy to major knee surgeries.
Fortunately for Portland, and specifically LaMarcus Aldridge, Roy and Camby are on their way back.
Aldridge has done a great job of shouldering the load this year, but you have to wonder how long he can do it alone.
With Roy and Camby set to come back after the All Star break, we won't find out.
Portland could, and should, deal the expiring deals of big men Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden.
There has to be a team willing to trade for and re-sign Oden. He just has too much ability left in the tank not to.
Andre Miller has expressed his frustration with the team, so don't be surprised if he gets shipped out.
Help LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland, and make some sort of trade.
8. Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies have definitely made front page news this year. In particular, O.J. Mayo has made front page news for all the wrong reasons.
Mayo has been suspended twice this year. Once for getting into a fight on the team plane, the other after failing a drug test.
As if Mayo's reputation was not hurting enough, he claimed he failed the test because of an energy drink from a gas station. Yeah, right.
O.J. is too good to not be getting starter minutes in the NBA. When given time, Mayo can score at will.
Also, Memphis could add depth that does not come at the cost of team chemistry.
As of today, rumors of Mayo to Houston recently surfaced.
While there might not be a lot of value to Mayo because of his troubles, somebody will bite.
Memphis has also been looking to deal 7'3 center Hasheem Thabeet. Good luck.
Every time Thabeet steps on the court he proves all his doubters correct. He is sluggishly slow, can't score, and provides little presence inside for being 7'3.
Memphis does need to build around Rudy Gay, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. However, they need to be smart about it.
Watch out for Memphis around the trade deadline; things could get interesting.
7. Los Angeles Lakers
Whether Los Angeles is even looking to make a trade, everyone wants to think they are.
Supposedly, the Lakers turned down a deal involving Carmelo Anthony for Andrew Bynum. If they did, serious changes need to take place in the Lakers front office.
Outside of Greg Oden and Yao Ming, nobody gets hurt more often than Lakers big man Andrew Bynum.
If this deal is supposedly still on the table, L.A. needs to jump on it right away.
Other than that, L.A. has brought up trading Ron Artest.
But who would want him?
Artest is 31 years old, has four years left on his deal, and has been absolutely terrible this year.
In 28.3 minutes per game this year, Artest is averaging a measly eight points and three rebounds.
If Los Angeles can find a Trevor Ariza/Ron Artest hybrid to fill in for Ron-Ron, then expect them to pull the trigger.
However, the bottom line comes down to Carmelo Anthony. The Lakers need to find a way to make this deal work, and then lock him down long term.
Did you think the Lakers were a dynasty already? Wait until they can run the triangle offense with Kobe, Carmelo, and Pau Gasol.
Now that's a dynasty!
6. Detroit Pistons
Rumors of Richard Hamilton being traded out of Detroit are months old now.
Initially, Rip was said to be a main piece in a three-team deal involving Carmelo Anthony.
However, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov supposedly ended the talks with Denver, leaving Rip on the bench in Detroit.
Detroit is going nowhere fast, and they need to start the long rebuilding phase.
Trading Rip for draft picks or young talent would be a good first move.
Unfortunately, the more likely move is to do nothing. Detroit could attempt to buy out Hamilton, but that would mean Rip would have to sacrifice a big chunk of money he is owed.
Tayshaun Prince, another veteran on Detroit, is in the final year of his contract. He is owed $11.1 million and could be solid trade bait.
Sorry, Detroit fans, but don’t get your hopes up. It would not be surprising if the Pistons did absolutely nothing before the deadline.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota is building momentum in trade talks.
Earlier this week, Minnesota allegedly offered New York for Anthony Randolph.
On top of that, the T-Wolves have openly expressed their interest to deal Corey Brewer.
Brewer should have plenty of buyers before the deadline.
Corey is in the final year of his deal, but is only due $3.7 million.
Pair that with the fact that Brewer can play at a high level, and you have a solid player teams will want.
Expect some veteran teams looking to make a late playoff run to add Brewer. He is tall, can play multiple positions, does not demand the ball and most importantly, he can guard really well.
For potential playoff teams, a shut-down defender like Brewer could make a good fit.
The Timberwolves are young and seem to be content on keeping that same theme going.
Expect the Timberwolves to make a trade or two before the deadline passes.
4. Charlotte Bobcats
The Bobcats are desperate for a trade.
They have been a better team since hiring Paul Silas, but it’s not all there.
With Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson getting into the second half of their careers, watch Michael Jordan move Charlotte in a new direction.
Earlier in the season, Jordan supposedly put every player on the trade block, including break out point guard D.J. Augustin.
While Jordan is a new owner, he won’t be scared to make a move.
Boris Diaw has a $9 million expiring deal. Nazr Mohammad has a $6.8 million expiring deal.
Don’t be surprised if Charlotte ships these guys out for young talent or draft picks.
Anticipate Jordan being a risk taker, just like in his playing days.
Maybe Jordan will make a blockbuster move; maybe he will wait and try his luck on free agency this summer. Who knows?
The Bobcats are unpredictable, but they do need to make a move at some point.
3. New York Knicks
Ah, the New York Knicks.
The city where Carmelo Anthony “desires” to play.
This trade been in discussions forever, and seems to be getting closer to being completed.
Last week, the Knicks supposedly rejected a trade for Carmelo and company.
The trade evidently involved multiple players that would shake up the NBA for years.
Denver was offering Carmelo and Chauncey Billups in exchange for Danilo Gallinari, Eddy Curry (big expiring contract), Raymond Felton, and a first-round draft pick.
Wow. That trade would send shock waves all across the NBA.
The Knicks, at this point, have the best shot at landing ‘Melo and that will not likely change.
Carmelo has made it clear where he wants to play, and more importantly, where he will sign an extension.
If the Knicks don’t get the blockbuster deal done with Denver, they still have options.
The Timberwolves have recently called, looking to acquire forward Anthony Randolph.
If the Knicks decide Denver is asking too much for Anthony, don’t be surprised if New York makes a few small moves before the deadline.
New York can always just wait and try to sign Carmelo this summer, which is an increasingly likely scenario.
Stay by a computer or TV at all times this week, this trade could break at any second.
2. New Jersey Nets
Long been rumored to be heavily involved in the Carmelo talks, New Jersey recently pulled out.
New Jersey, and new owner Mikhail Prokhorov, by all accounts were sick of the work it was taking.
While the Nets are not in talks now with Denver, don’t be surprised if they have been talking behind the scenes for quite awhile.
New Jersey still has plenty of trade bait.
The $11.9 million expiring contract belonging to Troy Murphy has been sought after by seemingly half the NBA.
If things don’t work out with Denver, don’t be shocked if New Jersey sends his expiring deal elsewhere.
After all, Prokhorov did not buy this team to just watch them grow up. He wants to make deals and he wants the Nets to be contenders.
The Nets also have a $5.4 million expiring deal with Sasha Vujacic.
With plenty of picks and expiring contracts, the possibilities are endless in New Jersey.
Worst-case scenario has the Nets sitting on all their contracts, absorbing them, and then making a splash this summer in free agency.
1. Denver Nuggets
The No. 1 team involved in trade talks this year is...you guessed it, the Denver Nuggets.
Unless you have been living under a rock recently, you know that Carmelo Anthony wants out of Denver.
Whether this happens is the big debate.
Several teams have evidently looked into acquiring Carmelo.
New Jersey, New York, Los Angeles and Houston are just a few worth mentioning.
Since, well, this summer, there has not been more speculation involving where a NBA superstar will go.
But not all talks in Denver surround Carmelo (though nearly all do).
J.R. Smith has been a hot topic lately. Several teams seem interested in acquiring the shooting guard, including Houston and Chicago.
On top of that, Denver has a $16.5 million expiring contract in Kenyon Martin.
No team has their phone ringing more than Denver Nuggets. You can bet on that.
So what will eventually transpire? Nobody knows, and that's what makes it all worth watching.