NBA Trade Rumors: Players Destined to Change Teams

John FrielAnalyst IDecember 1, 2011

NBA Trade Rumors: Players Destined to Change Teams

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    With the 2011-12 NBA season starting less than four weeks from today, general managers are scrambling to make the proper moves necessary in order to get their teams on the right track and looking to either re-build or make a significant postseason push.

    Despite the 2011 free-agency class not having too many big names and all of the superstars being a part of the 2012 free agency, a number of big names could eventually be on the move within the next three weeks, with a few of those names being recent MVP contenders.

    Teams are sure to be in a frenzy when looking for the right player this offseason and it's going to result in overspending on certain free agents and the trading of big-name players that have become disgruntled with the direction of their organization.

    These possible trades and signings would greatly shake up the balance of power atop both conferences.

    These five players have already been in the talk of trade and free-agency rumors. We'll see just who these players are and where they could find themselves very soon.

Chris Paul

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    As depressing as it would be for the city of New Orleans to lose out on possibly their biggest sports star, it seems that losing Chris Paul possibly by the end of the year may be a primary option for the team just so they can get something in return.

    If the team waits until Paul's free agency period in the next offseason, the Hornets might just walk away with nothing instead of the few quality pieces that his stock would bring in.

    With trade rumors swirling around involving Paul and the likes of Rajon Rondo before the period to sign or trade for players has even begun, it's already becoming obvious that the Hornets are open to deals and are willing to listen to any team's offer.

    Paul has been with New Orleans since being drafted third overall in 2005 and has led the team to some of their best years during that sequence.

    He came a few votes away from becoming the first Hornet to win an MVP in 2008. That same year, he led the team to a franchise record 56 wins and the team's first division championship over the likes of the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.

    With the Hornets already listening to offers involving their superstar, the team not prepared to make any significant moves to keep him around and the ownership currently being the league itself, Paul on the move is looking to become more and more of a reality.

    Teams of interest: Boston, Los Angeles Clippers, New York, Oklahoma City

Andre Iguodala

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    If there's ever been a player more destined to be traded, it would be the Philadelphia 76ers small forward Andre Iguodala.

    Iguodala has been at the center of trade rumors for a few years now with talk of him going to Golden State or the Los Angeles Clippers amongst others, all surfacing at one time during the speculation of him being traded. So far, there has been nothing involving Iguodala being moved as he continues to remain a relevant piece on the Sixers despite the teams overall need for a pure scorer that can lead the team on offense.

    The Sixers fan base and the organization expects too much out of Iguodala. Rather than accepting him as a stellar athlete who can drive and hit the jumper from time to time while playing arguably the best perimeter defense in the league, the team expects him to be this All-Star that scores upwards of 25 points per game and leads the team to the post season.

    The problem is that Iguodala shouldn't be a number one scoring option on any team. At best, he's scored 19 points per game and it came as the result of him being one of the few scoring options on what was an offensively inept Sixers team for team for the most part. With the team now finding offensive answers in Jrue Holiday, Louis Williams, and Elton Brand, the need for Iguodala is becoming slim and a trade may actually happen now.

    If the Sixers were to complete a trade, it's going to have to be a player like Monta Ellis of the Warriors. The team wants to begin their development of last years number two pick in Evan Turner and starting him at small forward will be the intention which means there's still the vacancy at shooting guard which is currently occupied by Jodie Meeks who is expendable at the position.

    The Sixers want to be relevant in the post season again and they're going to need a high-octane scorer if they want to achieve those heights.

    Teams of interest: Golden State, Atlanta, L.A. Clippers

Josh Smith

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    It turns out that the Atlanta Hawks may not be losing out on just one star over the coming months.

    With the team finishing in the middle of the pack and suffering another quick second-round defeat last year, changes are set to be made from a team that's looking to be put over the top instead of being fodder for the elite teams of the East.

    The second-round exit last year was the third postseason in a row that the Hawks have bowed out, as the team has gone 12-2 in those three series.

    With Jamal Crawford set to test free agency and the prospect of losing him becoming a real thing, the team has also decided to test the trade market by throwing up forward Josh Smith's name with the athletic forward offering no objection.

    In fact, he's already shown preferred interest in Boston, New Jersey, Houston and the division rival Orlando Magic.

    The prospect of a trade between Smith and Dwight Howard has also been a rumor that has popped up, but it would be unlikely to see the two switch teams when considering that they're both a part of the Southeast division.

    Smith has been a solid player since arriving out of high school in 2004, but the Hawks have yet to see a player that can put them over the top. The fact that he's one of the most athletic players in the league and only utilizes it on fast breaks is enough reason for the Hawks to attempt a trade involving Smith.

    They're looking to take a step in a new direction with new stars that may be able to do with Smith couldn't.

    Teams of interest: Orlando, Boston, New Jersey, and Houston

Chris Kaman

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    With three of his past four seasons spent on the bench for the majority of the year, Chris Kaman could be heading for a split from his Los Angeles Clippers after coming to a few realizations during his injury last season.

    After a productive 2009-10 campaign where Kaman played in 76 games and averaged a career high 19 points per to go along with nine rebounds, he'd find himself only playing 32 games this past year, averaging only 12 points and seven boards per.

    Injuries have become persistent on Kaman as this is the second time in three seasons that Kaman has played in 32 games or less.

    It could also mean his departure from the team could be imminent, especially with him becoming a free agent next off season and the fact that the team enjoyed watching the exploits of DeAndre Jordan in his place.

    In Kaman's place, Jordan started 66 games at center and finished the season with seven points, seven rebounds and two blocks per to show for it.

    His athleticism was the biggest selling point as it allowed him to give Blake Griffin some competition on his dunks while also making the Clippers feared in the post thanks to his shot-blocking.

    With Jordan impressing the Clippers and complementing the team very well in terms of being young and athletic, the team may not want to deal with another year of Kaman getting hurt and then attempting to re-sign him to a lucrative deal when he becomes a free agent next year.

    Rather than just allowing him to walk, using Kaman as trade bait could very well be an option for the Clippers as they look to make a big splash over the next three weeks.

    Teams of interest: 90 percent of the league

Dwight Howard

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    Much like the situation involving Chris Paul and New Orleans, this debacle between Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic is about to get depressing as well when considering that this has already happened to the team.

    Shaquille O'Neal spent the first years of his career with the Magic and would lead them to the NBA Finals, but would take a lucrative offer from the Los Angeles Lakers and wouldn't be seen since.

    With Howard already receiving attention from the likes of the Lakers, New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks, it's appearing that the Magic may not even wait for Dwight to test the waters of free agency before he makes his decision.

    To prevent walking away with nothing, the Magic just may trade Howard in return for a few star players from a different team in order to at least get something out of the potential of losing Dwight.

    Howard is coming off of the best statistical season of his career averaging a career high 23 points per to go along with 14 rebounds and two blocks per. His Magic finished with 50 wins and a fourth seed, but lost in the first round to the rival Hawks in a series where Dwight averaged 27 points and 15 rebounds per. The Magic averaged 30 three-point attempts per game that series and it was a direct result of the team falling in six games to Atlanta.

    Dwight has been relatively unhappy with the way things are being handled by the Magic organization.

    While he has come to love the city that has embraced him since he was drafted in 2004, the team has failed to give a championship-worthy roster and it showed in 2009 when they made it to the Finals and were upended by a much stronger Los Angeles Lakers team in five games.

    Howard was constantly double-teamed that series and his passes to the perimeter would usually end up with no points. Change could be on the horizon with Howard and it's going to result in an unbelievable shift of power at the top.

    Teams of interest: New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles Lakers