With Thursday’s NBA trade deadline fast approaching, teams and GMs are scrambling to figure out whether they are in a position to make moves that could either a.) improve their franchises or b.) clear cap space.
Don’t forget, even though the salary cap ramifications from the new CBA aren’t being felt yet, teams are well aware of the strict penalties that will eventually be imposed. Contending groups may grit their teeth and bear it, but everyone else is looking to position themselves in a way that will both save money and leave them the opportunity to chase a superstar somewhere down the road.
Here are the latest rumors:
As he does just about every day now, Danny Ainge came out on Tuesday and announced he had no intention of trading away Rajon Rondo. Ray Allen, though? No such qualms. According to ESPN, the Indiana Pacers could have had the sharpshooter if they were willing to part ways with Tyler Hansbrough and a first round pick. All signs point to Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett definitely not going anywhere before the deadline. The signals being sent about Rondo’s future are too mixed to read. But Allen – he has a legitimate shot of being in a new uniform come next week.
Talks between Los Angeles’ other team and squads that might be willing to give them a shooting guard (Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers) have come to a standstill, apparently. According to ESPN, the price tags attached to Nick Young, Ray Allen and Jamal Crawford are greater than even what the Clippers are looking to pay. Still, with the way this squad has been playing since Chauncey Billups went down, you have to figure that they’ll make some sort of move before the deadline for fear of the impression that losing might leave with CP3.
New Orleans is currently dangling Chris Kaman out there to all the teams that need a big man, but so far there have been no bites. According to Sporting News the Celtics, Heat, Rockets and Warriors have all expressed interest – but nobody has made a legitimate overture in the last few days outside of Golden State. And the Warriors refuse to part with Ekpe Udoh.
You have to figure that Kaman would have been sent packing a long time ago if Dwight Howard hadn't messed the big man market up so badly this season. Kaman and Andrew Bogut are on the backburner for all the teams looking to upgrade at center, but until the Orlando situation gets resolved, both are going to be in limbo.
New York is looking to move Toney Douglas, a former starter who has watched his role with the team all but disappear since the emergence of Jeremy Lin. According to ESPN, the Knicks are looking to trade him for a big man defender and rebounder who could serve in a Tyson Chandler-ish capacity.
This team is impossible to figure out. Somthing is just off with this group, and it doesn't seem to be a lack of offensively-limited big men.
Orlando reportedly wants Los Angeles’ real team to get back into the running for Dwight Howard because, according to Sporting News, the Magic are realizing that they won’t get anything better than Andrew Bynum offered to them. So, despite the fact that they are trying to pursue every available avenue to upgrade the current team and entice Howard into staying, should they fail to do so, they’d love to be able to swap him for Bynum.
If Howard doesn’t get moved and Orlando can’t add any significant pieces to impress him, all signs point to Howard bolting town for the Nets come season’s end.