NBA Trade Rumors and Speculation: 12-Best Trade Targets Not Named Dwight Howard
With the 2011 NBA Finals in the rear-view mirror, it's now time to start looking ahead to the offseason.
With the NBA Draft only a little over a week away, teams will be forced to forget about this past season and put all of their efforts into focusing on next season, assuming there is a season and not a lockout, although a lockout is still a real possibility.
A few other ways teams will try to improve their rosters is through both free agency and trades. Teams with very little cap flexibility will be forced to make crucial decisions involving trades that could ultimately make or break their 2011-12 campaigns.
By now, most of us know Dwight Howard could be traded this summer. However, as of late, that scenario is becoming less likely, and Howard seems destined to become a free agent next summer.
Here are twelve other players that could be on the move this offseason.
It seems as though Iguodala has worn out his welcome in Philadelphia, and at this point the two sides appear ready to part ways.
Iguodala won't be easy to move in large part because the 6'6" swing man is owed $44.2 million over the next three years. Additionally, although he has been able to play through injuries in recent years, he continues to be plagued by knee problems.
Still, he is just 27 years old, and even though he is not a superstar, he is a very productive player who may not even have reached his potential yet.
The 76ers seem ready to deal him, so any team interested could certainly acquire him for the right price.
As of now, the most likely trade appears to be between the 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers, with Los Angeles sending Chris Kaman to Philadelphia in exchange for Iguodala.
After seven seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, a change of scenery for Josh Smith might be best for both sides.
Smith has always had enormous potential, but he has yet to realize it on a consistent basis. While he has no problem making highlight-reel plays or posting huge offensive statistics, he also has a tendency to disappear at crucial moments of games.
The Hawks had a nice season, capped off with a series win in the first round of the playoffs, but it feels as if that is the ceiling for this particular group.
Atlanta still has a few holes on their roster, none bigger then the hole in the middle. The Hawks need a true center, and they could use Smith to acquire one.
The team can't trade Joe Johnson with his bloated contract and would probably be unwilling to move Al Horford or Jeff Teague. Smith makes the most sense, and a number of other teams would undoubtedly be interested.
This one is a longshot given the fact that Cousins is a very talented, young player who is under contract for the next few seasons at a very reasonable price.
However, Sacramento might be fed up with the big man's attitude and immaturity already, even after just one full year in the league.
The Kings are a very young team that lacks any real veteran leadership, so they can ill afford to have the actions and immaturity of Cousins affect team chemistry.
If another team comes calling about the availability of Cousins, Sacramento would be wise to listen.
Hamilton has likely played his last game in Detroit, as the Pistons seem destined for a full-blown youth movement. Given the fact that Hamilton doesn't fit in with Detroit's long-term plans, they will be looking to deal the veteran guard as soon as possible.
The only problem could be the fact that Hamilton is owed more than $25 million over the next two years. He can still be a very valuable and effective player for a contending team, but his declining skills don't warrant that kind of money.
He would likely need to restructure his contract for any deal to get done, but after last season, he will probably do anything just to get out of Detroit.
Jackson is another veteran that could be on the move.
The Bobcats don't seem to know which direction they want to head in, although all signs seem to point to them starting a youth movement of their own.
Jackson is owed a little more than $19 million over the next two years, which is reasonable given the fact that he can still get it done at a very high level.
With a number of teams looking to add a starting shooting guard, Jackson's services could be in high demand this summer.
Harris doesn't seem to be the long-term solution for the Utah Jazz at the point guard position, and the Jazz could makes things even more interesting should they take a point guard with the No. 3 pick in the upcoming draft.
I think they will, as I don't see anyway they don't draft Kentucky's Brandon Knight.
Harris is owed $17.8 million over the next two years, but might become expendable if and when Utah adds another point guard to their roster. Harris is still a very solid player in his own right, and a number of teams could use help at point guard.
Now that Jason Kidd has won a championship with the Dallas Mavericks, the next future Hall of Fame point guard that deserves a shot at a title is Steve Nash.
Unfortunately for Nash, that won't happen in Phoenix.
Nash is entering the final year of his contract and is owed $11.7 million next season, but at this point he would love to play for a contending team more than anything else.
The Suns could use Nash to acquire some talented young pieces as they continue to rebuild, and Nash could get his opportunity to chase a championship.
Both sides would win here.
Gay would be a nice consolation prize for several teams that missed out in the free agent frenzy of a year ago.
Although he is signed to a massive contract, Gay could be worth it for any franchise seeking a young, talented player with star potential.
Given how well Memphis performed in the playoffs without Gay, they could entertain the idea of moving him.
This will be one to watch closely.
The Lakers recently labeled Bynum as "untouchable," but that won't stop a number of teams from calling Los Angeles to check on his availability.
Although Bynum has had health issues throughout his short NBA career, and also showed that he still has a lot of growing up to do in this year's playoffs, there is no denying the fact that he is one of the best young centers in the game today.
If the Orlando Magic came calling with an offer involving Dwight Howard, I'm sure that "untouchable" label would be removed in a heartbeat.
As I mentioned earlier, Kaman has been involved in a number of trade talks, including being part of a package that would head to Philadelphia in exchange for Andre Iguodala.
The Clippers will almost certainly re-sign restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan, who is set to become their long-term solution at center. He, along with Blake Griffin, will dominate the paint in Los Angeles for years to come.
Kaman seems to be the odd man out, but it won't be that way for too much longer.
Sessions seems to be the odd man out in Cleveland, and all indications are that he will ask for a trade out of Cleveland if (well, when) the Cavaliers decide to select Kyrie Irving with the No. 1-overall pick.
Cleveland also has Baron Davis, meaning there will be little playing time left for Sessions.
Sessions is a very good player that has never been given a consistent opportunity to prove just how good he can be. He will continue to try and find a situation that would be the right fit, and he could flourish should he find such an opportunity.
New head coach Mark Jackson seems serious about the Warriors not trading Monta Ellis, but only time will tell if that will be the case.
Ellis has been involved in a number of rumors, including possibly landing in Philadelphia in exchange for Andre Iguodala, but nothing has materialized yet.
Still, Ellis is one of the league's best pure scorers, so you have to believe there is a ton of interest around the league regarding the shooting guard.