NBA Trade Rumors: Pre-Deadline Buzz on Goran Dragic, Arron Afflalo and More

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIFebruary 18, 2015

Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) drives during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
LM Otero/Associated Press

Here we are on the eve of the NBA trade deadline. Time is winding down for teams to strike deals before the final buzzer, and based on several current rumors, we're still likely to see a big move or two.

There are a couple of squads that simply seem determined to move certain players, as negotiations with several suitors have been ongoing since well before the deadline. We can also expect trade chatter to continue to surface regarding names not previously believed to be available, adding to the intrigue of this time of year.

So, before the clock strikes 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 19, let's take a look at which players could potentially be on the move based on the latest reports from trusted sources around the Web.

Goran Dragic

Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

Goran Dragic is an example of one name that has been floating around the rumor mill for quite some time now. The Phoenix Suns placed a price tag of a first-round pick on the guard, and despite the cost, there was immediate interest from both the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com.

However, Phoenix continued to weigh its options with Dragic. The team began to explore the possibility of trading Isaiah Thomas instead, but also remained open to potential deals. On Tuesday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported where the team stands in regards to the guard:

The Suns haven't completely closed the door on possible Dragic trades, but that scenario is extremely unlikely, league sources said. The Suns' asking price would be high—a young player with All-Star potential and significant draft compensation—and any deal would have to be with a team that Dragic wants to sign an extension.

Apparently, the Suns don't even sound too interested in actually trading Dragic, according to one rival executive who spoke with Wojnarowski, "They don't sound like a team that wants to trade him—or even really consider it. They still believe they'll re-sign him in the summer."

It makes sense for Phoenix to hang onto Dragic and attempt to sign him to a long-term deal during the summer. The team has a crowded backcourt, but he's been phenomenal this season, averaging 16.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game while shooting 50.1 percent from the floor. That kind of production isn't easily acquired.

So, for those Lakers or Rockets fans hoping to see Dragic in your team's backcourt in the near future, don't get your hopes up. A deal doesn't appear to be imminent.

Arron Afflalo

Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

Arron Afflalo is another example of a name that continues to generate interest on the trade front. The guard was made available by the Denver Nuggets for a price that may be as high as two first-round picks, according to Grantland's Zach Lowe.

While that's certainly a lofty cost, Afflalo is still a highly coveted player by contending teams in need of a shooter. Despite the lack of a viable supporting cast in Denver, he's still managing to average 14.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 42.8 percent from the floor. Those number should elevate in a better system.

Needless to say, Afflalo is generating plenty of interest around the Association. Wojnarowski's report revealed who may be the top contender to acquire the guard's services: "Denver guard Arron Afflalo's market is still developing, but Portland remains the contender with the assets that could best make an eventual deal work, league sources tell Yahoo Sports."

That's an interesting development considering a prior report from ESPN's Ramona Shelburne didn't list the Portland Trail Blazers as a team in the mix:

Ramona Shelburne @ramonashelburne

No serious talks yet for Arron Afflalo, but word is OKC, Kings, Bulls, Clippers have discussed. Would be an interesting add for a contender

However, one team she did mention was the Sacramento Kings, and according to a tweet from Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher on Tuesday, the team is in hot pursuit of Afflalo:

Ric Bucher @RicBucher

Sources: Kings trying to reunite SG Arron Afflalo with new HC George Karl.

Afflalo spent three seasons in Denver with George Karl, as the guard was able to get his career kick-stared with the coach at the helm. That could bode well for a reunion.

Joe Johnson

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 22: Joe Johnson #7 of the Brooklyn Nets handles the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers on January 22, 2014 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets have been attempting to move several players for the better portion of the season, and veteran guard Joe Johnson is on that list. Johnson is 33 years of age, but he still produces at a relatively high level, averaging 15.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 43.6 percent from the floor this season. Contenders in need of a shooter may be intrigued.

That appears to be the case for the Detroit Pistons as they remain in contention for a playoff berth. ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk tweeted the rumor:

Ohm Youngmisuk @NotoriousOHM

Hearing Detroit has reached out to Nets to inquire about Joe Johnson according to league sources.

The move makes sense for Detroit because the team could really use some depth on the wing, and Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweeted how the move would affect the salary cap:

Chris Mannix @ChrisMannixYS

Pistons project under the tax this summer, have cap flexibility next: A run at Joe Johnson makes some sense, at least financially.

So, what are the Pistons offering for Johnson? Youngmisuk has those details as well:

Ohm Youngmisuk @NotoriousOHM

Detroit's interest in Joe Johnson included reaching out to Nets about a package of Brandon Jennings + expiring contracts for Joe per sources

Brandon Jennings is out for the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles, but he was performing at a high level before the injury. In 41 games this season, he averaged 15.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game while shooting 40.1 percent from the floor.


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