ESPN: trade buzz
Old 01-30-2010, 09:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ESPN: trade buzz

Over the past couple of weeks, we've looked at more than 30 players who could be traded before the Feb. 18 trade deadline.

For players like Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire, the trade talk continues to heat up. For others, like Portland Trail Blazers point guard Andre Miller, the talk has died down; in Miller's case, GM Kevin Pritchard declared recently that the team doesn't want to trade Miller.




This week we adjust our gaze to another question: Which teams are most likely to make a deal before the deadline?

Some teams are looking for the missing piece. Others are throwing in the towel and looking to rebuild. And for a few others, the trade deadline is an opportunity to save some serious cash.

Here's a look at the 10 teams most likely to deal:


The contenders
One piece away from a championship?



Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs are sporting the best record in the league and have swept the Western Conference favorites, the Lakers, 2-0. But after last year's playoff collapse, you can be sure GM Danny Ferry will take every precaution. And Cleveland has another big reason to make a deal: LeBron James can be a free agent this summer, and the Cavs want to do everything in their power to persuade him to stay long term.

The Cavs have some good assets, including Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Shaquille O'Neal, whose contracts are expiring, and the semi-retired Wally Szczerbiak, a sign-and-trade candidate. They also have a young player, J.J. Hickson, in whom some teams have shown interest. Plus, the Cavs would be willing to give up this year's first-round pick.

But those assets are of value primarily to teams trying to clear cap room. Hickson and a late first-round pick alone won't net a star.

As trade targets, the Cavs have been concentrating mostly on 4s who can spread the floor. The Wizards' Antawn Jamison and the Pacers' Troy Murphy are reportedly at the top of their list. While both the Wizards and Pacers have some financial reasons to make a deal with Cleveland, both teams are seeing whether they can get something more from another team.



Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers, like the Cavs, are perched atop their conference at the moment, and they are favored to win a second straight NBA title. So why would they mess with a good thing?

There is a growing fear in L.A. that the point guard position has become a real problem. Starter Derek Fisher looks as though he's run out of gas, and reserve Jordan Farmar, while decent, is hardly world-class. If the Lakers can acquire even an average point guard, they may have to do it.

They, too, have assets for a team that needs to save money. Both Fisher and Adam Morrison come off the books this summer, for a total of more than $10 million in expiring contracts.

The three big names mentioned in connection to Los Angeles have been Devin Harris, Andre Miller and Kirk Hinrich. The Nets want more than expiring contracts for Harris, so I think they're out. The Blazers aren't eager to move Miller, especially down the coast to a Western Conference rival. That leaves the Bulls, who want to get further under the salary cap to make a run at two free agents this summer. Hinrich has been solid in a backup role for the Bulls, but he's expendable. While the Lakers would have to commit to the remainder of Hinrich's contract, it's a deal that makes a lot of sense for both sides.



Orlando Magic
The Magic were a preseason pick of many, including me, to make it to the Eastern Conference finals and perhaps beyond. Vince Carter was supposed to be an upgrade over Hedo Turkoglu. The addition of Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson was supposed to give them depth inside. And a healthy Jameer Nelson was going to put them over the top.

It hasn't happened yet. The Magic have been shaky, playing roughly .500 ball for the past couple of months. Several GMs have told ESPN that the Magic have been aggressive in their efforts to shake up the roster and regain their swagger.

They have a number of assets. They could find takers for several of their reserve bigs, including Marcin Gortat and Bass. Rashard Lewis would also garner interest if he were available. And while they would be interested in moving Carter, sources around the league say that the market for VC is lukewarm at best.



Dallas Mavericks
Mavs owner Mark Cuban has always broken the bank to put a quality team on the floor. This year's Mavs, for instance, have the third-best record in the West and the league's second-highest payroll.

So, despite what he's already spending, Cuban will try to add another piece to put them over the top. Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry aren't getting younger. The Mavs need to win now.

The team has a number of unusual and intriguing assets. Josh Howard is a valuable player, and his contract isn't guaranteed for next season. Likewise, a team can trade for starting center Erick Dampier and decide whether to pay him in 2010-11. Between Howard and Dampier, any team (Mavs included) could get about $24 million off the books for next season.

But the Mavs don't have the kind of young talent or draft picks normally needed to sweeten such trades. Because of the Kidd trade, the Nets own the Mavericks' first-round pick this year. Therefore, given NBA rules, the next first-round pick they can trade is their 2012 pick, which doesn't have much value now.

What do the Mavs want? According to the rumblings out there, they are looking for an athletic wing like Philly's Andre Iguodala or the Kings' Kevin Martin. Or they'll save their assets to make a move this summer.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Playing the lottery
Looking to next season



Washington Wizards
The Wizards as we knew them appear to be history. Before the season, many of us had them pegged as a potential playoff team. But all of that was on the assumption that the team would have Gilbert Arenas for the season. Now that Arenas has been suspended for the rest of the season and with his future appearing very shaky, the word is that Washington is contemplating a fire sale.

The Wizards will explore the market for Arenas, of course, but, with four more seasons remaining on a huge contract, he's going to be very difficult to move.

And we've all heard the rampant trade talk about Jamison, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood, whose contract is expiring. Basically no one is safe on the roster at the moment.

Right now, it's not clear exactly how the Wizards want to play this. Will they insist on getting talent back for players like Jamison and Butler, or are they willing to settle for immediate cap relief? If the latter, the chances that the Wizards are active between now and Feb. 18 are very, very high.



Indiana Pacers
The Pacers thought that if everyone stayed healthy this season, they might have a shot at the playoffs. But the team has been a disappointment. While injuries have played a major part in their struggles, there are other problems. T.J. Ford has been awful, second-year guard Brandon Rush has struggled, and Mike Dunleavy has been slow to return to form.

With so many teams interested in both Murphy and big man Jeff Foster, it looks as though the Pacers are primed to make a move that could set them back in the short term and help in the long term.

The question is, what do Pacers execs Larry Bird and David Morway want in return? If they want cap space, there are plenty of willing suitors. If they want more -- and that would be understandable given their dearth of talent -- it may be harder to find the perfect combination.

Whatever they choose, the Pacers' best play appears to be forgetting about this season and looking to the future, even if it means more losses now. The draft might be their quickest route to getting an elite talent, such as John Wall or another high lottery pick, to play alongside Danny Granger.



Detroit Pistons
After Detroit's disappointing 2008-09 season, Pistons GM Joe Dumars knew that the days of his team making the Eastern Conference finals every year was over. But he didn't expect this.

The Pistons, fresh off spending a boatload of money this summer on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, have been awful. Injuries have played a significant role, but the Pistons' pain goes deeper.

Detroit, known for its gritty defense for most of the past three decades, has become a team interested more in outscoring teams than in stopping them. The talent is also unbalanced, with a loaded backcourt and a desperate need for big men who can guard elite bigs and command a double-team in the post.

Moving Richard Hamilton would be ideal, but there's probably no way the Pistons can trade his contract right now, especially with Hamilton still trying to get back to full strength. So Tayshaun Prince has become the primary bait. But I'm willing to bet everyone but Rodney Stuckey is available -- and even Stuckey might be had at the right price.

Dumars will be patient as his team returns to health, but ultimately he wants to get the team back into championship contention. His current roster appears to have a ceiling no higher than fifth-best in the East. So I think Dumars will do what it takes to put a stop to the slide.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The tax man cometh
A penny saved is more than a penny earned



Utah J***
J*** GM Kevin O'Connor continues to insist that the J*** are interested in making only basketball moves, not cap-related moves. Still, the J*** could save millions of dollars by moving Carlos Boozer (or another highly paid player) and getting under the luxury-tax line.

While the J*** have made cost-saving moves in the past, O'Connor seems to have more swagger this year. But will things change as we get closer to the trade deadline? Knowing O'Connor, I doubt it. Ultimately, though, that might be ownership's decision.



Philadelphia 76ers
It sounds as if the Sixers are very motivated to make a deal that gives them salary relief right now. They've been dangling Iguodala, once the cornerstone of the franchise, to any team willing to take Samuel Dalembert, too.

Cleveland, Dallas and Houston have been mentioned as possible suitors. While Iguodala might be a little overpaid (and Dalembert is way overpaid), both players could help a team. Given that, I have to believe Philadelphia is going to find a way to make this happen.



Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have been stiff-arming all trade rumors and declaring that they like the young guys they have and just want to be patient and let them develop together.

At the same time, general manager Larry Riley recently said, "We're in a situation where we need to look very strongly at change." And the winds might be shifting for another reason: If owner Chris Cohan is interested in selling the team, as reports have suggested, then a salary dump becomes more likely.

That may be why Monta Ellis and Corey Maggette, despite having strong seasons, are appearing more and more in trade talk. And if names like Anthony Randolph and Stephen Curry start coming up in trade discussions, you'll know that the Warriors are contemplating big change
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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oh real mature...

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Old 01-30-2010, 01:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If Stephen Curry is available, find a way Bryan Colangelo!

take on a sucking contract and give them some draft picks

heard him say he loves Canada btw. Raptors was one of the two road games he looked most forward too.
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't bet on Toronto making any sort of huge move.
Our next five games are most likely going to be wins. If anything I see us going to the all-star break with a 29-23 record-
leaving Bryan Colangelo to think all is well and have no reason to seek a trade . . .
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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He'll realize that a trade was needed once we get slapped in the 1st Round of the playoffs
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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no trades required, unless we can get iguodala or caron butler
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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He'll realize that a trade was needed once we get slapped in the 1st Round of the playoffs
That's what i'm afraid of. Sticking with what we have because of play in December-January is at times a mistake. At the same time it's a tough call, to add to something already going good vs knowing it won't be enough come playoff time. Not only that, the playoffs aren't a given since we're only 1.5 games ahead of 8th place.
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuzzy View Post
Don't bet on Toronto making any sort of huge move.
Our next five games are most likely going to be wins. If anything I see us going to the all-star break with a 29-23 record-
leaving Bryan Colangelo to think all is well and have no reason to seek a trade . . .
I know, I was just daydreaming

Curry
DeRozan
Turkoglu
Bosh
Bargnani

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Old 01-30-2010, 07:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I know, I was just daydreaming

Curry
DeRozan
Turkoglu
Bosh
Bargnani

Yikes....thats your dream lineup?
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Yikes....thats your dream lineup?
haven't watched many Warriors games have you?

Curry > Josť and Jack on the defensive and the offensive end (especially defensive). He is a future all star point guard. The most complete rookie of this draft class as a team player.
Tyreke Evans might have some inches on him but Curry is unbelievably talented imo. Plus that line up has 4 guys under 26 y o. Contention for many years to come.

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Old 01-31-2010, 02:36 AM   #12 (permalink)
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haven't watched many Warriors games have you?

Curry > Josť and Jack on the defensive and the offensive end (especially defensive). He is a future all star point guard. The most complete rookie of this draft class as a team player.
Tyreke Evans might have some inches on him but Curry is unbelievably talented imo. Plus that line up has 4 guys under 26 y o. Contention for many years to come.
Curry's quickly becomming one of my favorite players to watch.. I think he has a bright future. So much so, the Warriors won't deal him.
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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would golden state give him up though? doubtful. i love the guy but i've never thought about getting him before. imagine if we could get curry and butler, holy fuck EPIC LIFE WIN. trouble is both would want a pg included in whatever offer..
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Curry's quickly becomming one of my favorite players to watch.. I think he has a bright future. So much so, the Warriors won't deal him.
yeah I know. But there was a rumour in the OP that even Curry was involved in trade talks... But I agree, he's awesome (equals untradeable ). Too bad the Warriors lost so many close ones, they're my favorite team in the West by a mile.

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Old 01-31-2010, 02:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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yeah I know. But there was a rumour in the OP that even Curry was involved in trade talks... But I agree, he's awesome. Too bad the Warriors lost so many close ones, they're my favorite team in the West by a mile.
Yeah, likewise; big Warriors fan.. And I guess nothing is out of the question when talking about the Warriors incompetant front office. Here's hoping they fuck up again.
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:45 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Yeah, likewise; big Warriors fan.. And I guess nothing is out of the question when talking about the Warriors incompetant front office. Here's hoping they fuck up again.
Well only if it's in favour of the Raps.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:20 AM   #17 (permalink)
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i luvv me some warriors too.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:12 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I would have Jarrett as my point guard over Curry any day
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:37 AM   #19 (permalink)
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really? rofl. we'd probably use him primarily as a shooting guard anyway. but he's not coming so silly to talk about. let's fantasize over butler.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:15 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I would still love to see the Raps grab another big. We got to be able to trick someone into taking a shot on POB!
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