NBA Trade Rumors and Speculation: Player Every Team Would Love to Trade Away
By overpaying tons of players who aren't worth superstar money, the NBA's owners basically put themselves in the situation they're blaming the lockout on. The league is full of guys on guaranteed contracts that pay them upwards of $10 million a year.
We don't know exactly what the new CBA will look like, but we can be sure that the salary cap will be lower and more difficult to work around and the maximum that individual players can make will probably be lower as well.
That said, there are several players on inflated contracts that teams may be looking to deal as soon as a deal is in place. That won't be the only reason deals go down.
Here is one player from each team who may be dealt as soon we have a new CBA.
You can follow Andy Bailey on Twitter @_Andy_Bailey
Atlanta Hawks: Marvin Williams
The Hawks have a few players they probably wouldn't mind unloading (that includes Joe Johnson and his massive contract). Marvin Williams has to be chief among them.
Williams was taken with the No. 2 pick of the 2005 NBA draft but has struggled to live up to the hype that comes with that high a selection.
He's set to make over $23 million over the next three years, and it's hard to believe that a career 12 and five guy will be worth that kind of money under the new CBA.
Boston Celtics: Jermaine O'Neal
The Celtics are actually in fairly good shape heading into the new CBA. They only have two players on big contracts after next season (Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce).
Jermaine O'Neal is a shell of the player he used to be and the Celtics would be thrilled if some other team was willing to take him off their hands. There may be a few takers because he's on an expiring contract.
Charlotte Bobcats: DeSagana Diop
The Mavericks are notorious for overpaying average (Brendan Haywood) or below-average big men (Erick Dampier and DeSagana Diop). Diop may be the worst active player in the league, and he's set to make over $14 million over the next two seasons because of the huge deal the Mavs gave him a few years ago.
He's never averaged more than three points a game during any season in his career, and last year with the Bobcats, he posted 1.3 points and 2.5 rebounds a game in 16 appearances.
Charlotte may want to get rid of him, but I have a hard time seeing anyone taking Diop.
Chicago Bulls: Carlos Boozer
The Bulls put up a bunch of money for Carlos Boozer in free agency, and after just one year, it looks like he may not be a great fit for Chicago's system.
He averaged a solid 17.5 points and 9.6 rebounds a game during the regular season but struggled to play Tom Thibodeau-level defense. In fact, he not only fails to meet his coach's defensive standards, but most other teams would be disappointed with him on that end of the floor as well.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Anderson Varejao
Outside of recent lottery picks Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao is the only player on the Cavaliers roster who is guaranteed to make over $2 million after the 2012-13 season (and we have no idea what rookie salaries will look like under the new CBA).
Varejao will make nearly $9 million a year for the next three and then the team can pick up a $9.8 million option on him for a fourth year.
If they can unload the big man and all his flopping glory, they'll be in great shape for the future.
Dallas Mavericks: Brendan Haywood
I don't think Brendan Haywood is a bad player. In fact, he's a great option for a backup center.
Unfortunately, paying him nearly $9 million a year for the next four could make things tough on Dallas.
Denver Nuggets: Al Harrington
Under the current salary cap, the Nuggets have more room than any other team in the league (over $28 million). The only player on a bad contract is Al Harrington.
Denver has been shopping him unsuccessfully for months. If they can find someone to take him on, they'll be in great shape.
Detroit Pistons: Richard Hamilton/Ben Gordon
The Pistons are slowly transitioning from the early 2000s version of the team into a new, young squad (Brandon Knight and Kyle Singler may speed up the process).
The two worst contracts left on the books are Richard Hamilton's and Ben Gordon's. Gordon's may be slightly worse because he has a player option in 2013-14 worth over $13 million.
Golden State Warriors: Andris Biedrins
This seems to happen with a lot of centers these days. They have one or two decent seasons, sign a big paycheck and then completely fall apart.
Biedrins has averaged a paltry five points and 7.5 rebounds a game for the last two years as the Warriors' starting center.
This team has a solid core to build around and may have a couple young guys who could be more productive in Biedrins position (Ekpe Udoh and Jeremy Tyler).
Or, they could make a more aggressive push for Dwight Howard. Both sides would have to consider a deal like this.
Houston Rockets: Hasheem Thabeet
Hasheem Thabeet has averaged 2.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 115 NBA games and is the highest draft pick (No. 2 in 2009) to ever be sent to the D-League.
Indiana Pacers: Danny Granger
I actually don't really think the Pacers want to trade anyone on the roster. If they had to choose, unloading the biggest contract on the team might be enticing.
Los Angeles Clippers: Chris Kaman
The Clippers are another young team in a great position heading into the new CBA. If they can get another young piece or two (or Andre Iguodala) for Chris Kaman's expiring contract, they'll be set.
Los Angeles Lakers: Ron Artest
The Lakers have a few contracts in place that could cripple them under the new CBA (Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum). With a "hard" cap that will almost definitely be lower than the current $58 million, paying three guys over $50 million will be hard to work around.
At least those guys can still play though. Ron Artest provides little support to his teammates these days (and I'm including both ends of the floor). He'll be making over $7 million a year through the 2013-14 season.
Memphis Grizzlies: O.J. Mayo
The Grizzlies have a few really big contracts that could make things difficult for them in the future (Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay, Mike Conley), but they've already shown a desire to move O.J. Mayo.
The once promising combo guard seems to have become a staple on Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins' crap list.
Mayo started all 82 games in each of his first two seasons, averaging 18 points in 38 minutes a game and hitting 38 percent of his three-point attempts. Last year, he started just 17 games and averaged just over 26 minutes a game.
He could be a steal for whatever team winds up with him.
Miami Heat: Mike Miller
Personally, I think the Heat should trade one of their "Big Three." They should see if they can get one or two decent players for Bosh or they should at least offer LeBron James for Dwight Howard just to see what Orlando says.
But obviously, Bosh, James and Dwyane Wade aren't going anywhere. The only contracts they have a decent shot at moving are Mike Miller's and Joel Anthony's.
Milwaukee Bucks: Drew Gooden
The Milwaukee Bucks have two players under contract through 2015, and Drew Gooden is one of them.
For years, I actually thought Gooden was underrated (16 and 10 per 36 minutes for his career). He's still under 30 years old (barely), but nearly $7 million a year for the next four will seem very steep for him under the new CBA.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Darko Milicic/Nikola Pekovic
Assuming the new salary cap is around or under $50 million a year, Nikola Pekovic and Darko Milicic will be taking up about one-fifth of the team's space. Nikola Pekovic and Darko Milicic.
New Jersey Nets: Travis Outlaw
Travis Outlaw is the only New Jersey Net whose contract is guaranteed beyond 2013. He's set to make $7 million a year for the next three seasons.
That's a lot for a guy who averaged 9.2 points and four rebounds a game last season.
New Orleans Hornets: Emeka Okafor
When the Chris Paul rumors were running rampant last summer, a lot of people thought New Orleans would only pull the trigger if Okafor was included in the deal.
The only guys guaranteed through 2014 for New Orleans are Okafor and Trevor Ariza. Okafor is set to make about twice as much as Ariza for that season. He'll be making over $40 million over the next three seasons.
New York Knicks: Chauncey Billups
After next season, the only noteworthy contracts on New York's books are the ones attached to Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, and they're not going to trade either of them.
Billups will be making over $14 million this season, and his expiring contract could be an attractive asset for a few teams.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Kendrick Perkins
Oklahoma City has two big contracts on the books: Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins. Durant is worth it, Perkins is not.
He is perhaps the most overrated player in the league. The Thunder would be much better off with Nick Collison or even Serge Ibaka starting at center.
Orlando Magic: Gilbert Arenas/Hedo Turkoglu
Orlando is in a serious bind. The only way they can keep Dwight Howard is if they bring in another star or two, but their hands are completely tied behind their backs because of contracts like Arenas and Turkoglu.
If both players exercise their player options, they'll be making nearly $35 million between them during the 2013-14 season.
They need someone to take at least one of these guys off their hands.
Philadelphia 76ers: Elton Brand
The 76ers almost certainly will trade Andre Iguodala, but the guy they really need to get rid of is Elton Brand.
It's hard to believe that management isn't regretting that signing right now. He'll be making $35 million over the next two years.
Phoenix Suns: Josh Childress
The Suns took a chance on Childress when he returned from his brief stint overseas. After one season, it looks like he may not have been worth the risk.
He averaged five points a game in 54 appearances last year.
He's set to make nearly $7 million a year over the next four.
Portland Trail Blazers: Brandon Roy
Prior to all the injuries, Brandon Roy was on his way to becoming one of the top two or three wings in the NBA. Unfortunately, his career path seems to have taken a bit of a turn and he won't be worth the nearly $70 million left on his contract.
He was good enough before the injury that another team may still take a chance on trading for him. Chances are, the Blazers will keep him though.
Sacramento Kings: John Salmons
The Kings have at least four ball-dominating guards on their roster right now (Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, John Salmons and now Jimmer Fredette).
They would be wise to move one of them, and Salmons is the only player on the team on a decent-sized contract (over $30 million through 2015).
If they could unload him to a team in need of a scorer on the wing, they'd be in great shape heading into a new CBA.
San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker/Richard Jefferson
Both players will be overpaid under the new CBA, and all signs point to Parker not even wanting to be there.
He does have enough talent and prime years left for some team in need of a point guard to still take a chance on him (maybe even enough to get a team to take Jefferson with him).
Toronto Raptors: Andrea Bargnani
Andrea Bargnani trade rumors have been flying around for months now, and he could be a nice pickup for a team in need of a little offense in their frontcourt.
Utah Jazz: Al Jefferson/Paul Millsap
Utah has a little bundle of quality power forwards with Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors. All three could be starters for a number of teams.
Considering Utah's current situation, trading one of the older forwards to make minutes for Favors would be a good call.
Washington Wizards: Andray Blatche
Rashard Lewis has an insane contract, but I have a hard time seeing anyone taking on that contract. It looks like they'll just have to eat the nearly $46 million he's owed over the next two years.
They could move Blatche (who's often a headache anyway) to make room for Jan Vesely in the rotation.