Spring is in the air. Pitchers and catchers are reporting for spring training, the trees will begin to blossom soon, and the NBA trading deadline is buzzing.
After the deadline, we get a good idea of who the contenders and pretenders are. There will be teams that make small tweaks, while others will try to pull off the blockbuster deal. This year, there are some big fish on the market, with multiple teams jockeying for position to make a trade.
Of course, each team has assets, draft picks, and expiring contracts they would like to get rid of. It will be Christmas in February for some teams, while others will be clearing house and talking about next year.
Jamison is a likely trade piece for contending teams that want a veteran shooter and a guy hungry for a championship. What is working against him is that the Cavs traded for him last trading deadline and he was horrible down the stretch and in the playoffs.
Calderon has been trapped in Toronto for years, but still manages to be one of the games most consistent passers. I could see Colangelo making a desperation move and trading his starting point guard.
A team such as the Lakers could be a great landing spot for Hinrich. He is a good point guard, and occasional off guard that is a flexible piece.
Troy Murphy will be traded by the Nets because he has been estranged with the coaching staff all year and has a large salary cap number to come off the books.
Hamilton was almost traded a few other times this year. He does not fit in the team's future plans, and has had many run ins with the head coach.
Boykins is a bona-fide journey man. He has played all over the league, but has remained valuable because he can drive the ball and provide good, energetic bench minutes. If the Bucks decide they have fallen out of contention, he could be traded for a draft pick.
Jackson is one of the bigger names on the list. He is a versatile guard/forward who can knock down open shots and also create his own opportunities. Charlotte has needed a point guard all season and he might be their best option to get someone they like.
Ford is a free agent and a true veteran. His contract is up at the end of the year, making him a low commitment and low priced option for a team that needs a backup. He has shown flashes of his old self this season, but is still low on the depth charts for the Pacers.
It would be hard to say goodbye to Iguodala because he has been such a solid contributor to the 76ers. The team is on the upswing, but there has been speculation as to whether the front office sees Iguodala in the long term future. There are a lot of young players on the team, and he would be a huge addition for a young team such as the Thunder.
Curry is an expiring contract. The Knicks have other major pieces to trade, but no trade can happen without Curry being involved. He is worth more than $10 million in cap space, and has been coveted by many teams so far.
I do not think the Magic will be making any more moves, but if I had to choose someone to trade to really shake things up, it would be Nelson. He is part of the Carter/Lewis contingent that the team was not happy with at the beginning of the season. This trade only goes down if someone blows the Magic away.
Crawford is in the last year of his contract, and has wanted a new one all season. He will probably not re-sign in Atlanta, making him expendable. The Hawks might be going all in; if not, the Hawks can trade Crawford for another big man to help out Horford.
James Johnson appears to be the forgotten man in the Bulls rotation. Taj Gibson has taken over a majority of the bench minutes, and Johnson could fetch a much needed shooter. Other teams know he has potential, but the Bulls would part with him for the right guy.
One of the few disappointments thus far for the Heat has been the sporadic play of House. I see the Heat getting another shooter during the deadline and cutting ties with House.
Robinson is the only player on the Celtics they could possibly trade. I do not believe they will be making any moves, but for argument sake, lets say he holds the most value.
Many teams have shown interest in the Florida product, and while Kahn has said he has no interest in trading Brewer, never put it past management to make a crazy move.
Casspi is a nice player but the Kings are not going anywhere. If the team decides to make a splash during the trade deadline, there are many suitors who would line up for the forward.
Griffin has passed Kaman as the man that controls the glass for the Clippers. He has had injury problems all year but when healthy, has been very good. I would not be surprised to see a team that needs a big man take a flyer on the veteran.
Williams has been surprisingly good. He is a nice wing shooter and a guy that can stretch the floor for the Warriors. It will be had to pry him away from the Golden State, but the team has plethora of shooters and he might be available.
Battier is the defensive stopper that any team would love. He will hit the occasional jumper and always comes to play. The Rockets may want to keep him for a playoff run of their own, but if not, he would be a great addition to teams in need of defense.
Steve Nash has not be officially placed on the trading block but the team seems to be in the rebuilding period. He is still very valuable and an electrifying player that can galvanize teams for a playoff run.
Memphis has been very open about moving the former number two overall pick. He has been a huge disappointment, and the team is trying to get .50 cents on the dollar. Teams that are patient and want a project are perfect for the former UCONN star.
Miles has been a stable force for the Jazz but with uncertainty after the Sloan era ended, there might be change in the near future. It starts by stripping down the outside pieces and rebuilding from within.
Anthony is the biggest name on the market. His name has been there for months now and it should only be a matter of time before someone finally pulls the trigger and sells the house for the superstar.
Andre Miller would be a nice fit for the Lakers. He is a veteran point guard that can score and run an offense very well. He is a great leader and should be a valued asset.
Thornton has not gotten the playing time that he did last year and his point totals have suffered. He is still very young and a player that should be coveted by teams looking to build.
Kristic's contributions have been steady, but Ibaka has become the go to big man.
Artest has been rumored to be on the way out for some time now. His contributions have been down since last year and the team has been very frustrated with the starter at times.
Any trade the Mavericks make is going to involve Beaubois. He is the most coveted asset, despite Cuban's insistence that he will not be traded. In order to get Anthony, they will need to include Beaubois.
Another team that probably does not need to make a move. Bonner is one of the few players that might actually be dealt just based on his expandability.