With the NBA trade deadline coming this Thursday, rumors are beginning to heat up and we should see some fun transactions around the league. Here are some of the lastest rumors, as well as some players who could be on the move by week’s end.
It’s important to note when discussing Clippers’ trade rumors that it is more than likely that nothing will happen. First and foremost, the Clippers front office reportedly doesn’t want to make a move, however Vinny Del Negro is pushing for it. Blake Griffin has a pretty telling quote on were the team stands, saying (via ESPN) “Sometimes you have to plant the seeds and let them grow and all that, but with the pieces we have now is the time to continually keep attacking and make those moves to be a championship team.” If Garnett came to Clipper land, his outside jumper would add a whole new dimension to their offense, however there’s no doubt the loss of Eric Bledsoe would hurt the second unit. From the Celtics’ standpoint, I don’t see why they wouldn’t pull the trigger on such a deal, however Garnett has publically stated he would not waive his no trade clause to allow the deal to take place. Billups, being one of Garnett’s closest friends, has given the Clippers’ organization confidence that they can convince Garnett to do so, but at this point, it is looking like a longshot.
Clippers trade Eric Bledsoe to the Jazz for Paul Millsap
Millsap is the second power forward to now emerge into Clippers’ trade rumors. Some sources have said that a Bledsoe for Millsap trade has been talked about, and I like it. The Clippers obviously lose a key asset in Bledsoe’s energy and defense, but Millsap is a damn good player, and was arguably the best power forward in the league over the last two months of last season. There’s no question the Jazz would do it, getting rid of someone they can’t retain in free agency for a good young point guard. Plus, though Bledsoe will also be a free agent at the end of next season, he will be restricted, so the Jazz would have the ability to match any offer he receives.
For this deal to work, the Sixers would also have to send some extra money Toronto’s way, and many are speculating that would be Royal Ivey. I guess this is dependent on if the Sixers believe a Holiday-Turner-Thad Young-Bargnani-Bynum core could be a contender. Personally, I just think this would be a classic Sixers move of falling deeper into mediocrity.
Bulls trade Carlos Boozer to the Raptors for Andrea Bargnani
Many reports have indicated that the Bulls initiated this discussion, and the Raptors aren’t very interest, and I don’t really see the point of it. Boozer is playing well this season, and the Bulls are actually a solid team despite no Derrick Rose. The winds are slowing on this one, and it doesn’t seem like anything will happen.
Other Trade Candidates:
Josh Smith- The Celtics are reportedly pursuing Smith with intentions of trading Brandon Bass and Jeff Green in the process, but there is no way the Hawks do that. Just about every team in the league has showed interest in Smith at one point or another. He has stated he probably won’t resign in Atlanta, but at this point the ball isn’t rolling on any particular deal.
Ben Gordon- Gordon and head coach Mike Dunlap had an altercation during the team’s shoot around prior to beating the Celtics, and now the Bobcats are trying to trade him and his horrible contract. This summer, the Pistons basically gave the Bobcats a pick to take him off their hands, in addition to receiving Corey Maggette’s expiring contract. So unless he’s moved for another bad contract, it’s tough to tell what team will take him.
Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Samuel Dalembert, Ersan Ilyasova- It wouldn’t be trade season if we weren’t talking about Monta Ellis now would it? The trigger-happy guard has once again found himself as nothing more than a nuisance to his team’s chemistry and game plan. Let’s remember, Scott Skiles stepped down from his job as head coach because someone close to the situation said “he hated his team.” Jennings will be a restricted free agent this summer, so if a team is able to acquire him, they will also have the ability to match any contract offer he receives. It’s been reported he wants out of Milwaukee, and the Mavs are interested in him but he won’t come cheap to any bidders. Ilyasova is said to be in very high demand by other teams, but there haven’t been any significant talks around him. And as for Sammy D, if someone is looking for some interior defense off the bench he could possibly get a call.
Al Jefferson- With Favors and Kanter both having great young talent, either Jefferson or Millsap (or both) will be out in Utah after this season. The Clippers and Nets have rumored interest in Millsap, while the Spurs, Pistons and Suns have all showed up in Jefferson rumors. Utah has stated they’d rather keep big Al, but at the right price I’m sure Utah would let him walk. It’s not too long ago that they surprised us with a deadline dealing of Deron Williams.
J.J. Redick- The sharp shooter has gained a lot of attention this season, and it’s to no one’s doubt that he can be a very valuable asset on a contender. There haven’t been many major rumors with his involvement, but expect that to change in the coming days.
J.J. Hickson- Well would you look at that, two straight J.J.’s on the trade watch. Hickson has really found himself in Portland over the past two seasons, and the nets are said to be interested in acquiring him if they strike out on Millsap.