NBA Trade Rumors: Top 15 Players That Could Be Moved After December 15

Ethan SAnalyst IDecember 15, 2010

NBA Trade Rumors: Top 15 Players That Could Be Moved after December 15

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 07:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets watches on against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 7, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    December 15 marks the day when any player in the NBA that signs a contract over the summer is officially eligible to be traded.

    This season, like every other, has had its share of ups and downs. Some players and teams have overachieved while others have yet to live up to expectations.

    Underachieving on the basketball court is one way to get traded during the season.

    Financial reasons, such as expiring contracts or team and player options, provide other reasons to work out trade scenarios between teams.

    Sometimes superstars can force their way to a different team.

    And often times, it is a combination of these reasons that leads to a player’s departure.

    This article breaks down the top 15 players that could be traded between December 15 and the trade deadline in February. It also includes possible trade scenarios with salary cap rules in mind.

    As always, your comments are welcome. Feel free to state if there are any players that should have been included on this list, as well as possible trade scenarios.

Baron Davis (PG) – LA Clippers

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    Baron Davis
    Baron DavisHarry How/Getty Images

    What a season it has been for Baron Davis.

    First, he has to play for the Clippers—a team that has never been known as a winning franchise. Second, he has missed most games this season due to injury.

    If that wasn’t enough, team owner Donald Sterling has been heckling him for his poor performances during games.

    The time has come for Davis to leave the Clippers.

Mo Williams (PG) – Cleveland

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    Mo Williams
    Mo WilliamsElsa/Getty Images

    Mo Williams was unhappy with Cleveland after the team lost LeBron James in free agency.

    While he is a great outside shooter, it is clear that the team is not going anywhere with Williams as the leader since he does not fit the traditional point guard mold.

    Possible Trade Scenario:

    LA Clippers trade Baron Davis to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mo Williams and Leon Powe.

    Why It Makes Sense:

    Both teams clearly need to go in a different direction.  Eric Bledsoe has done a great job at point guard for the Clippers, and Mo Williams can provide some extra outside shooting for LA.

    He has a player option next year, but even if he leaves, LA will have more cap space to sign a top free agent to team with Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon. Leon Powe can add to the frontline and provide insurance for the injured Chris Kaman.

    Cleveland gets rid of Mo Williams who was unhappy once Lebron James left. With Davis, the Cavaliers can change directions by running a more up-tempo offense with a player that is a true point guard.

    While not quite the outside shooter that Williams is, Baron Davis can create shots for teammates more easily while having a better all-around offensive game.

Vince Carter (SG) – Orlando Magic

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    Vince Carter
    Vince CarterSam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Let’s face it: Vince Carter in Orlando is not working out.

    After some dismal performances in last year’s playoffs, his $17 million salary cannot be justified by a meager 15 ppg average. Clearly, Carter has not become the secondary scorer the team had hoped for.

Steve Nash (PG) – Phoenix Suns

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    Steve Nash
    Steve NashChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Steve Nash is having another great year. His three-point shooting may be down, but he is playing as if he were five years younger.

    Unfortunately, Nash will never win a coveted NBA title with the Suns.

    Possible Trade Scenario:

    Orlando Magic trade Vince Carter and Chris Duhon to the Phoenix Suns for Steve Nash and Hedo Turkoglu.

    Why It Makes Sense:

    Orlando gets Steve Nash, a two-time MVP, who can run an offense better than most point guards in the league. Meanwhile, trading for Turkoglu basically negates the trade for Carter last season.

    Besides fitting better into Orlando’s offense, Turkoglu and Nash would provide the Magic with some much-needed outside shooting that would help space the floor better for Dwight Howard to operate in the paint.

    Although Nash’s three-point shooting is off this year, expect his percentage to soar with all of the wide-open looks he would be getting in Orlando’s offense.

    In addition, Nash is near retirement, and this could give him a legitimate chance at winning a title.

    The Phoenix Suns can use Duhon as a reliable backup point guard to Goran Dragic while Carter may be able to rejuvenate his career. He is a few years younger than Nash and can help sell seats with his exciting plays.

    In the worse-case scenario for Phoenix, the team would have the option to let Carter go next summer if things do not work out.

    Phoenix is clearly in rebuilding mode now. The team is not going anywhere with the current lineup. With the potential of Carter’s $17 million salary able to come off the books next year, the Suns can go after a marquee free agent during the offseason.

Brandon Roy (SG) – Portland Trailblazers

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    Brandon Roy
    Brandon RoyChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Brandon Roy was billed as Portland’s franchise player. However, this year he is having his worst all-around season.

    Roy is currently averaging career lows in rebounds, assists and field goal percentage, while scoring less than every other season besides his rookie year.

    With a string of knee injuries, many fans are wondering if Roy should be the centerpiece of the franchise’s future.

Peja Stojakovic (SF) – Toronto Raptors

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    Peja Stojakovic
    Peja StojakovicSam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Peja Stojakovic was one of the NBA’s deadliest sharpshooters and dominant offensive wing players during the early 2000s. Unfortunately for him, those days are long gone.

    While he still is able to shoot at high percentages, his play has limited him to just 11 minutes per game this year on a contract that is paying him over $15 million.

    Possible Trade Scenario:

    Portland Trailblazers trade Brandon Roy and Fabricio Oberto to the Toronto Raptors for Peja Stojakovic.

    Why It Makes Sense:

    With the injury to Greg Oden and the knee injuries to Roy, it seems as if the Trailblazers may need to go in a new direction.

    Rather than being locked in an expensive contract for another four years that probably will overpay for Roy’s services, Portland can acquire Stojakovic for a season before his contract expires. The resulting cap space would allow Portland to go in a new direction and try to sign a top free agent or two.

    Oberto may be retired from the NBA, but he is included in the trade scenario in order to make the salary exchange work.

    The Toronto Raptors have been looking for a franchise player since Chris Bosh left town.

    Brandon Roy gives them one of the better shooting guards in the league. While there is a concern that Roy’s health may not hold up so well, having him on the team is a big upgrade over Stojakovic and can help the team to a higher winning percentage.

JR Smith (SG) – Denver Nuggets

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    JR Smith
    JR SmithStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

    JR Smith has been Denver’s best scoring option off the bench over the past few years.

    He tends to be a streaky shooter but can be one of the most prolific scorers when he is on a hot streak.

    This is the last year of Smith’s contract, which makes him a valuable trading asset. And it doesn’t help that he has been at odds with coach George Karl for years.

Leandro Barbosa (SG) – Toronto Raptors

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    Leandro Barbosa
    Leandro BarbosaStephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Barbosa spent most of his NBA career as the super-sub with the Phoenix Suns.

    Now with the Toronto Raptors, he seems to be lost in the offense, not really fitting in well.

    Despite the ability to play some point guard where he is the primary ball handler, the point guard rotation among the Raptors is too deep for Barbosa to utilize that part of his game.

    Possible Trade Scenario:

    The Denver Nuggets trade JR Smith to the Toronto Raptors for Leandro Barbosa.

    Why It Makes Sense:

    Leandro Barbosa still has the potential to be a top scorer off the bench. In Denver, he may provide a more steady personality than the volatile Smith.

    Barbosa’s ability to play the point guard position can also provide insurance in case Chauncey Billups or Ty Lawson get injured.

    JR Smith could fit in well with the Toronto Raptors, adding some much-needed toughness to the team. Like Barbosa, Smith can provide a scoring spark off of the bench.

    However, this is a short-term experiment for the Raptors. If Smith doesn’t fit in well, his expiring contract will be valuable and would clear up about $6 million next summer.

Zach Randolph (PF) – Memphis Grizzlies

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    Zach Randolph
    Zach RandolphChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Zach Randolph may be one of the more productive power forwards in the NBA, but he has had his share of behavior problems throughout his career.

    While he has asked for a contract extension since his current one expires after this year, the Grizzlies have not been able to come to agreement with him.

    It has become painfully clear that Randolph is unlikely to stay with Memphis.

Tayshaun Prince (SF) – Detroit Pistons

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    Tayshaun Prince
    Tayshaun PrinceKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Tayshaun Prince is a versatile player who has won an NBA championship. Unfortunately for the Detroit Pistons, the team is back to rebuilding mode.

    Despite his past success with the team, Prince seems like an ideal player to move due to his expiring contract.

    Possible Trade Scenario:

    The Memphis Grizzlies trade Zach Randolph to the Detroit Pistons for Tayshaun Prince and Jason Maxiell.

    Why It Makes Sense:

    The Detroit Pistons need a big player to dominate inside, and Randolph can be that player. The risk is short-term as Randolph’s $17 million contract will come off the Pistons’ books at the end of the season.

    If he fits into the system well, then Detroit can re-sign him. If not, then the Pistons can try getting lucky in the free-agent sweepstakes.

    Meanwhile, the Grizzlies can dump Randolph's large contract that the team clearly doesn’t want. Maxiell can help provide minutes in place of Randolph, while Prince can help bring a defensive edge to the team.

    In addition, Prince’s expiring contract is also attractive as it presents a similar short-term risk.

O.J. Mayo (SG) – Memphis Grizzlies

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    O.J. Mayo
    O.J. MayoChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    This season, O.J. Mayo’s numbers are down across the board, averaging career lows in points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage and free-throw percentage.

    While being relegated to a bench player for half of the games thus far, this cannot be a good thing for the third-year player.

    It is clear that Mayo may not be the best fit with the Grizzlies.

Rudy Fernandez (SG) – Portland Trailblazers

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    Rudy Fernandez
    Rudy FernandezJonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Every Portland fan knows that Rudy Fernandez does not want to play for their team.

    Although he can be one of the best shooters in the NBA, his clear lack of motivation has led to low field goal numbers this season.

    It is painfully clear there is no future for Rudy in Portland, despite his wealth of experience from those Spanish national teams. 

    Possible Trade Scenario:

    The Memphis Grizzlies send O.J. Mayo to the Portland Trailblazers for Rudy Fernandez and Luke Babbitt.

    Why It Makes Sense:

    This trade involves trading two players (Mayo and Fernandez) that don’t seem to have much of a future with their respective franchises.

    Memphis would provide a change of scenery for Rudy that might revitalize his career while Babbitt is a promising young rookie that could have more of an opportunity to play with the Grizzlies over the next couple of years.

    Mayo can be an attractive player for Portland, especially if the team pulls the trigger on the Roy/Stojakovic trade mentioned earlier.

    Mayo could help provide extra scoring for the Trailblazers and help fill the void that Roy would leave.

Andre Iguodala (SG) – Philadelphia 76ers

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    Andre Iguodala
    Andre IguodalaDrew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Throughout this season, there seems to be a lot of interest in Andre Iguodala.

    Many teams covet his decent all-around game, only to be heightened by his role on the US national team in last summer’s FIBA World Championship Tournament.

    It seems like only a matter of time until Iguodala finds himself traded to a new team.

Gilbert Arenas (PG) – Washington Wizards

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    Gilbert Arenas
    Gilbert ArenasMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Despite being one of the most talented players in the NBA, it seems as if Gilbert Arenas just cannot get over the gun incident last season.

    His playing time is down this year, as is his shooting and scoring numbers.

    It is clear that John Wall is the point guard of the future for the Wizards.

    Possible Trade Scenario:

    The Philadelphia 76ers trade Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas.

    Why It Makes Sense:

    With Arenas, the 76ers can add some much-needed scoring to the team, where he can pair up with the talented Jrue Holiday in the backcourt.

    Evan Turner seems to be a bust in the 76ers system but paired with the other top draft pick John Wall, these two players can potentially form one of the best backcourts in the coming years.

    Andre Iguodala could bring his intensity and defensive prowess to the Wizards—something the team desperately needs in order to compete.

Carmelo Anthony (SF) – Denver Nuggets

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    Carmelo Anthony
    Carmelo AnthonyStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Some of the greatest speculation this NBA season has revolved around Carmelo Anthony. One of the top scorers and clutch players in the league, he recently made it known that he will only sign a contract extension with the New York Knicks.

    It is clear that he has become jealous of his 2003 draft classmates Dwyane Wade, Lebron James and Chris Bosh teaming up in Miami.

    Possible Trade Scenario:

    The Denver Nuggets trade Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks for Eddy Curry, Danilo Gallinari and Roger Mason.

    Why It Makes Sense:

    By teaming Anthony with Amare Stoudemire, the Knicks would become instant contenders as the team would suddenly find itself with two of the Top 15 players in the NBA.

    If New York ever got matched up with Miami in the playoffs, probably 95 percent of the country would root for the Knicks given the hatred surrounding the Heat.

    New York would be able to dump Eddy Curry’s massive contract. With Curry’s and Roger Mason’s contract expiring after this season, this would free up about $13 million in cap space for the Nuggets.

    In addition, the Nuggets would get Gallinari who is one of the best young shooters in the NBA. The Knicks do not want to give Danilo up in any trade, but the team will have to in order to entice the Nuggets to trade Anthony.

    Also, this trade would allow the Nuggets to at least get something in exchange for their star player. If Denver is foolish enough not to deal Anthony, the team will find itself in a similar situation to that of the Cavaliers and Raptors and get nothing in return.

    Better to get something rather than nothing.

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