There are no shortage of rumors flying around as the NBA's trade deadline approaches. The cut-off to make a deal is 3 p.m. on Thursday. The deadline used to come after the All-Star Game, but the league decided to move the date up in order to give players more time to get settled in with their new squads.
That decision has compressed the timeline for franchises to evaluate their rosters and figure out exactly how they are going to move forward. Some are looking to blow things up and rebuild, while on the other end of the spectrum, teams are looking for the missing piece for a championship push.
Perhaps the most notable name in the rumor mill in these final few hours of the trading period is Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan. With the Clippers trading Blake Griffin to Detroit in late January and Chris Paul getting traded to Houston before the start of the season, the days of Lob City are firmly a thing of the past.
Trading Jordan would mean the Clippers are staring at a page-one rewrite, and plenty of teams could use a durable, defensive-minded center like Jordan (11.5 points, 14.9 rebounds per game) in the playoffs.
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the Washington Wizards are dangling center Marcin Gortat, and could be keen on Jordan:
"Several teams have shown interest, but the Wizards are looking to improve their team now while not taking on additional long-term money, sources said.
"Washington has expressed interest in L.A. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, ESPN's Zach Lowe reported. Gortat has one year and $13.5 million left on his contract. Jordan can opt to be a free agent this summer."
The Los Angeles Times' Broderick Turner also recently reported the Portland Trail Blazers discussed trading for Jordan, while USA Today's Sam Amick has said the Cleveland Cavaliers remain stubborn in their Jordan interest, as the team "continues to offer only its own first-round pick and this kind of unwanted money in those stalled negotiations."
Here's how an anonymous Cavalier put it to the Associated Press' Tom Withers:
If the Cavs don't budge, the Wizards could be even more tempted to pull the trigger on some version of a Gortat-plus-assets swap for Jordan. They are fourth in the Eastern Conference and are finding ways to win even without John Wall on the floor.
Jordan would give them a defensive anchor who is still just 29 years old, but it could be tough for the Wizards to make an appealing offer with Jordan as a rental in mind. The Clippers might want too much for him as they look to rebuild.
Portland would make for a nice landing spot for Jordan as they try to gain a better foothold in a tough Western Conference, but in contrast to the Wizards looking for financial flexibility, they would likely want assurances that Jordan would stick around for the long haul. According to Turner, Jordan's ability to opt out is making teams hesitant to pull the trigger on him.
While Jordan might well end up staying with the Clippers this season, another player looks far more likely to move.
The Atlanta Hawks' Marco Belinelli appears set to switch teams, per the New York Times' Marc Stein:
Belinelli is averaging 11.4 points per game this season on 41 percent shooting from the floor and 37.2 percent from three-point range.
The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson reported the Miami Heat may be interested in Belinelli, though it may be tough to seal a deal for the 31-year-old swingman:
"Belinelli is making $6.6 million and the Heat's disabled player exception is for $5.5 million. Heathoops cap expert Albert Nahmad said a contract cannot be prorated for purposes of using the disabled player exception in a trade and thus Belinelli's contract wouldn't fit into the Heat's exception.
"A Belinelli-for-Tyler Johnson trade would work within cap rules, but it's unknown if the Hawks would be willing to take on the last two-plus years of Johnson's contract, with Johnson set to earn $19.2 million next season and the season after.
"The Hawks have said they would be looking for draft picks or young players in a trade."
Jackson also mentioned Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans as a potential fit for the team, but according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Heat will have plenty of competition for his services:
Evans is averaging 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game this season. He would provide Boston with a much-needed scoring presence on the wing and could really take the team to new heights as they look to make a run at the NBA Finals.
Philadelphia and Denver are both clinging to low playoff spots in their respective conferences. A player like Evans would provide veteran stewardship and another offensive weapon as the season winds down and players get stretched thin.