As we’re pretty close to the second half of the 2012-2013 NBA Season, some likely names are circling when it comes to trade rumors, while others, like Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard, fall into the bizarre category.
Dwight Howard is a weird one to talk about. Still not halfway through his first season, and his contract is up in five months. But really? Trade him? Are things that bad in Los Angeles? Not yet, although no one imagined they will kick off the season three games under .500.
Some suggest that Howard and Kobe Bryant aren’t getting along all too well, which resulted in a tweet from Bryant, keeping up appearances. Still, off court sillyness thrown aside, on the floor the chemistry doesn’t look all that good. Maybe it’s Bryant’s fault, maybe it’s Howard’s as well. Maybe it’s the man who decided to build this superstar team.
Whatever the reason is, some suggest that moving Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez will make everyone happy, as Howard will be teamed up with Deron Williams. Problems? Lopez can’t defend, and the Lakers are bleeding points. Howard’s expiring contract is also an issue.
One of the more popular names that has come up recently in regards to likely NBA trades is that of DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings. After something of a breakout season last year, Cousins’ behavior off the court is once again derailing his chances of having a long term future in Sacramento, if he actually wants one. Cousins is averaging 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, but it’s hard to see a team biting the trade bait with an offer that’s worthy of the man’s talents.
Teams that are interested – Boston, Orlando, Dallas and Charlotte. The Bobcats are reportedly offering Bismack Biyombo and Jeff Tyalor, two players who aren’t nearly as talented as Cousins, but are slightly better defenders. There’s also been talk of a bigger trade, as Charlotte will take in Jeff Salmons as well while sending DeSagana Diop, but it’s hard to see a deal happening without the Bobcats giving up either Kemba Walker or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and that simply won’t happen.
The Mavericks, soon going into rebuild mode, although they don’t exactly know who around, are probably in his one with three players. Brandan Wright (8 points, 3.1 rebounds), a guard, probably Darren Collison (averaging 12.6 points and 5 assists) and another young player, probably Jae Crowder, averaging 5.8 points this season. A problem with this one, despite getting more talent than they do in the Charlotte deal, is both Collison and Wright become free agents after this season, not leaving Sacramento with too much in their hands.
Out of all the possible trade scenarios, the one that Sacramento might get from the Orlando Magic brings them the best available center. Nikola Vucevic, averaging 11.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, has been doing a good job in the paint for the Magic in the post-Dwight Howard era. Maurice Harkless who isn’t getting too much playing time but some see him as quite a decent potential at small forward.
The Boston Celtics, on paper, offer a nice combination of role players for someone who just might turn into a centerpiece to build around under the right kind of tutoring. Avery Bradley, a solid defender at shooting guard but not a big-time scorer; Fab Melo, a rookie who still hasn’t played this season and Jared Sullinger, another rookie. The Kings will be getting pieces for the future, but once again stuck without a potential franchise player.
One interesting deal is the one involving Rajon Rondo. Rondo is supposedly the future of the Boston Celtics, but there are always multiple futures to discuss. The Celtics currently rank 20th in offensive efficiency, a bit better than they were last season. This season Boston is just 0.3 points per 100 possessions better with Rondo on the floor, and 0.4 points better on offense when he’s off it. Remember, the Celtics don’t have a second point guard to back him up. Sacramento will be willing to trade Cousins for Rondo, but despite the Celtics sometimes seeing a Rondo-era as something that’s not going to be too bright, it’s hard to see them giving up on him for a question mark of a player.
Speaking of the Celtics, they are looking for a big man, with Marcin Gortat the most likely man to join them, using some of the players mentioned earlier and possibly another first round draft pick in order to move Garnett back to the power forward position. Gortat is averaging 11.5 points and 8.6 rebounds this season, but isn’t happy in Arizona. His salary for next season is an affordable $7.2 million.
The Brooklyn Nets are looking for more defense from their forwards, and are really liking the option of signing Tayshaun Prince, making more than $7 million at the moment. The most likely player the Nets might be giving up is Kris Humphries, getting Jonas Jerebko as well in the trade, with the Nets rather limited in terms of cap space.
Paul Millsap from the Utah Jazz is another player likely to be moved, with his contract running out at the end of the season. The Houston Rockets need a ‘4’ badly, probably their weakest position on the floor. Likely players to be used in such a trade might be Patrick Patterson and Terrence Jones. The Jazz are always considering breaking up their big-man duo as Al Jefferson is also someone on the imaginary trading block for quite some time. The Jazz do need a point guard, so if there will be a chance to get Jose Calderon or possibly one from the Timberwolves (Ridnour, Barea), we might see a bigger trade involving one of their two big men.