Trade Rumors

Recapping latest NBA Trades: Jamison to Cavs, Salmons to Bucks, don’t forget about Darko

The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching, with only, let’s see, 15 hours remaining. As the rumors continue to fly, here’s a look at the deals that went down Wednesday evening.

Cavs strike it rich with Jamison, Wizards get Big Z, Drew Gooden traded (again!!!) to Clippers

Details: Cleveland pulled off the big trade it failed to execute at this time a year ago, and it could provide the spark needed to propel the Cavaliers to an NBA Title. Antawn Jamison heads to Cleveland, headlining a six-player, three team deal. The Wizards received Big Z, the draft rights to Emir Preldzic, and a first round pick from the Cavaliers. The Wizards sent newly-acquired Drew Gooden to the Clippers in exchange for Al Thornton and Sebastian Telfair–yes, the young, immature gun-toting NBA bust. Don’t worry Wizards fans, Telfair won’t be staying–he will join Jamison in Cleveland.

Analysis: A superb deal for the Cavs and Wizards and a decent deal for the Clippers. Jamison will be a perfect fit in Cleveland for several reasons: He moves well without the ball, something few NBA stars today even bother attempting, and is able to put up very productive numbers without being a ball-stopper. He can score without having plays run for him–sort of like a younger Shawn Marion with a much better jump shot. Jamison is adequate defensively and can play inside and outside. He is the perfect player to defend against Orlando’s Rashard Lewis, who gave the Cavs fits last year during the Eastern Conference Finals. The Magic once again appear to be the primary obstacle between Cleveland and the NBA Finals.

The Wizards are going nowhere and management knows it. Josh Howard won’t be a Wizard for long, and unloading Jamison and Gooden opens the door for Andray Blatche and Nick Young to get minutes they might not deserve but need in order to develop. Who knows about Preldzic and the first round pick probably will yield a decent player but not much more. Al Thornton (another guy who should have been in the dunk contest instead of the crappy selections) is young and has shown tremendous potential. He had fallen out of favor with the Clip Joint, but that’s likely the result of being coached by the idiotic Mike Dunleavy. The Clippers might have given up on Thornton too soon, and add another weird dude to play alongside the NBA’s weirdest dude Baron Davis. Gooden has played for nine teams during his eight years in the NBA–that should probably tell you something. The Clips won’t keep Gooden for long and will most likely turn the small forward spot over to newly-acquired Travis Outlaw.

Salmons to Bucks for next to nothing

Details: The Bulls are probably not done yet. The team freed up cap space this season and next by sending John Salmons to the Bucks for Francisco Elson and/or Kurt Thomas.

Analysis: Salmons provided the Bulls with something they hadn’t had since before I start college long, long, long ago–a shooting guard taller than 6’2″. His poor shooting led to losing his starting spot earlier this season, but he has played better since mid-January. The Bulls will miss his scoring ability and size, but in reality his nothing more than a decent NBA player. Salmons should help the Bucks dramatically this season and maybe next–his player option for the 2010-2011 season was the primary reason the Bulls wanted to move him. Thomas and Elson would provide exciting 2-on-2 matchups with Lindsey Hunter and Jerome James during Bulls’ practices.

Darko to Wolves for…Brian Cardinal!!!

Details/Analysis: In terms of salaries, this was actually a fairly significant deal. In terms of basketball value, it is basically worthless. We forget that Darko is still only 24 and might, possibly…not totally suck if he gets minutes and takes the game seriously. I’m not sure if both of these things will happen, but you never know. Darko will most likely return to Europe once his contract expires following this season. Brian Cardinal got arguably the worst contract in NBA history from Jerry West and is still making tons of money for doing nothing. He offers no value whatsoever. None.

Stay tuned for the latest updates and rumors, including the possibility of T-Mac going to the Kings…

Report: Vince Carter headed to Magic

Multiple sources are reporting the Magic and Nets are close to completing a deal that would send Vince Carter to Orlando in exchange for Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee, and Tony Battie.

According to a Yahoo! report, the deal could be finalized by the end of the day.

The deal likely means Hedo Turkgolu’s days in Orlando are over. Carter has three years, 51 million remaining on his contract.

The Magic wanted to part with Rafer Alston, but it seems strange Courtney Lee is involved in the trade. Lee showed promise as a rookie and would have likely held down the shooting guard position for years in Orlando.

The Nets get younger and faster with this trade. New Jersey is expected to select either Terrence Williams or Gerald Henderson at No. 11 in today’s draft to fill the void left by Carter.

Word now that the Warriors and Suns are close to a deal that would send Amar’e Stoudemire to Golden State. Stay tuned for more trade updates.

Breaking News: Shaq joining LeBron in Cleveland

Shaq has found himself another pretty decent sidekick.

Shaq has found himself another pretty decent sidekick.

A long-rumored trade involving the Cavs and Suns has been completed, ESPN reported moments ago.

Terms of the deal haven’t been finalized at this hour, but it’s expected the Cavs would land Shaq in exchange for Sasha Pavlovic and Ben Wallace. Phoenix would have the option of buying out both contracts at a relatively minimal cost in an effort to cut salary and get younger. Cleveland would pick up Shaq’s massive 20 million-dollar salary.

The Cavs are willing to take a chance on O’Neal with the hope he is the missing piece in the championship puzzle. He is a shell of his former self, but certainly will offer a bit of resistance to Dwight Howard should the Cavs and Magic meet again in the playoffs.

This blockbuster deal shouldn’t have an effect on tomorrow’s draft. The Suns would be highly unlikely to trade Amar’e Stoudemire for draft picks now that Shaq (and his huge contract) is out of the picture.

We’ll have more reaction to this deal tomorrow on TTT.

T-Wolves acquire No. 5 pick from Wizards in exchange for Foye, Miller

David Kahn promised the Timberwolves would make a splash in the 2009 NBA draft when he was named the team’s president of basketball operations in May. It looks like he is going to live up to his bold statement.

The ‘Wolves shipped former lottery pick Randy Foye and veteran G/F Mike Miller to the Wizards in exchange for the No. 5 pick, F/C and aspiring poet Etan Thomas, F Oleksiy Pecherov, and journeyman Darius Songaila. The deal isn’t official as of yet, but should be completed by Wednesday.

The trade doesn’t seem to make much sense for the Wizards on the surface. But with the team struggling financially, this could be the first move to get younger and unload salary. Veterans Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, and Gilbert Arenas could be on the move this summer.

The Timberwolves now control the Nos. 5 and 6 picks in the draft and has a total of four first round picks. Tyreke Evans will almost certainly be one of the players selected, with Stephen Curry, Jonny Flynn, and even possibly Brandon Jennings also in the mix.

Minnesota could also look at DeMar DeRozan if it decides to give up on Corey Brewer, who is recovering from a knee injury.

Kevin McHale may soon be only a distant memory in the Twin Cities.

Spurs acquire Richard Jefferson from Bucks

The first major NBA trade of the summer has apparently gone down Tuesday, with the Bucks sending Richard Jefferson to the Spurs in exchange for Bruce Bowen, Fabricio Oberto, and Kurt Thomas.

The deal is still being finalized at this hour but should be completed soon.

Milwaukee is one of a handful of NBA teams struggling financially and had been looking to unload the two years, 29 million remaining on Jefferson’s contract. The Bucks will most likely buyout the contracts of Bowen and Oberto and look to trade Thomas.

Jefferson has battled injuries throughout the past few seasons. A change of scenery might be just what he needs to return to All-Star form.

The Spurs clearly benefit from this deal. The franchise also was rumored to be in pursuit of Jefferson’s former teammate Vince Carter.

Report: Celtics looking to move Rondo, Allen

With the NBA draft just two days away, NBA trade rumors are beginning to intensify. According to a Yahoo! report, the Celtics and Pistons discussed a deal that would send Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen to Detroit in exchange for Rodney Stuckey, Richard Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince.

Both Danny Ainge and Joe Dumars confirmed the deal had been discussed.

The Celtics are apparently looking to overall its roster, but the involvement of Rondo in the deal seems puzzling. At 24, he was the best player on the Celtics for long stretches in the 2009 playoffs, especially in the First Round series against the Bulls.

However, his punkish attitude also showed itself throughout the playoffs. A handful of cheap plays and a growing tendency to shoot first pass second raised questions about what goes on in Rajon’s world.

Rondo will be a restricted free agent next summer and is expected to seek a huge contract. Despite his strong all-around game, his horrible jump shot may prevent him from becoming a superstar and reduce his value. His efficiency figures to decrease once he is no longer surrounded by three future Hall of Famers.

Ainge declared Rondo to be “off limits” earlier this summer.

Moving Allen is a no-brainer. At age 34, he will make 18.7 million next season in the final year of his contract. It remains to be seen if any NBA teams want to acquire Allen in a potential cap-clearing deal.

The 2009 NBA draft has a strange feel resonating around it. Don’t be surprised if several deals precede Thursday’s draft.

Stay tuned for more trade updates.

Sam Smith spinning the rumor mill yet again

Sam Smith made a name for himself over the years as a Bulls beat writer for the Chicago Tribune. From the highly-successful Jordan Rules to his fantastic trade rumors, Smith has always had an uncanny ability to embellish – and get away with it.

His latest rumor concerns the free agency of Bulls star Ben Gordon. Smith claims the Detroit Pistons has essentially promised Gordon a contract even before negotiations have begun.

Before you start to wonder if Pistons GM Joe Dumars is mind, consider the source.

Every year around the trading deadline, Smith gives his readers some “inside information”, i.e. bullshit. Any trade is a good trade in Smith’s world, regardless if it makes any sense in the real world.

The signing of Ben Gordon, especially at 11 million per year as Gordon’s agent has apparently hinted to Smith, makes absolutely no sense.

With Rodney Stuckey tabbed as the future of the franchise, the Pistons could use a veteran point guard to build around the young player. A backcourt featuring Gordon and Stuckey would be small and struggle defensively. Gordon’s tendency to dominate the ball and rarely pass would render Stuckey a spectator.

And then there is the issue of Rip Hamilton already being in place at shooting guard. Not surprisingly, Smith suggests the Pistons would simply trade Hamilton. It remains to be seen which teams have interest in Hamilton, whose contract expires after next season.

Gordon probably won’t return to the Bulls next season, but I would be absolutely shocked if he ends up in Detroit.

Whatever happened to journalistic integrity?

No Deal: T’Wolves say Jefferson-Stoudemire trade is dead

Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said Thursday the rumored deal involving Al Jefferson and Amar’e Stoudemire is no longer being discussed.

The framework of the trade centered around swapping Jefferson and Stoudemire, and also included the T’Wolves’ No. 6 pick in this year’s draft.

Thanks in part to the Kevin Garnett trade, Minnesota has three first-round picks in the 2009 draft.

Stoudemire could still be moved even if this deal is off. The Suns are also reportedly shopping Shaq in an attempt to get younger and reduce payroll.

Phoenix is interested in moving up from the No. 14 slot to pick a quality wing in the draft, mainly DeMar DeRozan or Tyreke Evans. The Suns will likely select a point guard at that spot if it can’t find a trade partner.

I’m not convinced this trade is completely dead. One possible hindrance to the deal is Jefferson’s health; he is recovering from ACL surgery but should be ready for the start of next season. It’s also possible Amar’e has no interest in playing in frigid Minnesota for what has become a woeful franchise.

Stay tuned for more updates on this story.

Rumor: Cavs interested in acquiring Shaq

Shaq's run with the Suns could be over.

Shaq's run with the Suns could be over.

A trade that was rumored to be in the works this February could soon be coming to fruition, according to the Arizona Republic and several other sources.

The proposed deal involves swapping Sasha Pavlovic and Ben Wallace for Shaq. The Suns would be able to reach a buyout with Wallace, who is expected to retire, and could release Pavlovic at only a minimal cost.

There is no doubt the two teams are discussing the trade, but it is unclear how close they are to reaching a deal. ESPN the Magazine’s Chris Broussard reported the trade is not imminent at this time.

Phoenix would love to unload Shaq as it begins to try to rebuild an aging squad. The Suns also would like to avoid paying him the 20 million he is owed next season.

Aside from drafting LeBron and signing Mo Williams, the Cavs management has done an absolutely awful job of constructing a team in the last ten years. Making this deal would be another step in the wrong direction to say the least.

Here are some reasons Shaq wouldn’t be a good fit in Cleveland:

– Shaq posted impressive numbers last season with the Suns, but the end is near. He was given nights off to rest throughout the season, played limited minutes in certain games, and his health is a risk.

– Big Z will most likely pick up his player option for next season. That sets up the possibility of a two-headed monster (literally) at center, which isn’t a bad thing until you consider the platoon would cost roughly 32 million.

– Dwight Howard hurt the Cavs with his quickness in the playoffs, illustrating Cleveland’s lack of interior defense. Regardless of what so-called “experts” think, Shaq cannot guard Dwight Howard. Not even close.

– Pick ‘n roll defense has never been Shaq’s strength, and more and more NBA teams are using that offensive scheme in some fashion. The addition of Shaq would make Cleveland’s defense against the set even worse.

– Mike Brown’s offense is painful to watch at times mainly because of an alarming lack of spacing and player movement. Shaq’s presence would clog the driving lanes and reduce ball movement.

Cleveland faces a difficult problem this offseason. It must add tools around LeBron to make the superstar happy and improve the team. Shaq might make LBJ happy, but he certainly won’t improve the team in the long run.

Stay tuned for more details on this story as it continues to develop. Until then, enjoy the national media’s “what ifs.”

Little activity prior to today’s NBA trading deadline

All of the rumors and conjecture regarding potential NBA blockbuster trades came to a merciful and uneventful end today at 12 EST.

The biggest news of the day involved the failed deal between the New Orleans Hornets and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The deal was completed Tuesday but was rescinded last night after Tyson Chandler failed his physical. Today, the Thunder said that concerns over Chandler’s toe caused the deal to be voided.

Rafer Alston headed to Orlando, Kyle Lowery headed to Houston in deal involving Memphis

This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it appears that the Magic have acquired Rafer Alston from the Rockets by sending Brian Cook and a 2009 first-round pick to the Grizzlies. The Rockets then acquired Cook and Kyle Lowery from Memphis. Alston will give the Magic stability at point guard, while Lowery will compete with Aaron Brooks for playing time in Houston. Stay tuned, because this isn’t official yet.

Hughes freed from basketball prison, heading to NYC

The Bulls sent disgruntled G/F Larry Hughes to the Knicks for often-disgruntled F Tim Thomas, C Jerome James, and G Anthony Roberson. Hughes has been inactive for almost three weeks and had been leaving practices early. Thomas has seen a reduction in minutes in recent weeks, while James has made 6.6 million these season despite appearing in only two games. He has a torn achilles’ tendon and will probably never play for the Bulls. Hughes’ shoot-first shoot-second shoot-third mentality will clash with Knicks star Al Harrington. Meanwhile, Thomas played only three games for the Bulls in 2005 before being suspended and then traded. This should be fun.

Chris Wilcox also headed to NYC

Hours after learning that he would no longer be heading to Mardi Gras, Chris Wilcox learned that he would be lucky enough to join the Knicks. The Thunder acquired Malik Rose, who apparently still plays in the NBA. Wilcox will probably not see big minutes in NYC, but who knows.

McCants headed to Sacramento

The T-Wolves sent former UNC star Rashard McCants to Sacramento along with Calvin Booth in exchange for Candice Parker’s husband Sheldon Williams and former R&B star Bobby Brown.

Bulls acquire first-round pick from Thunder

The Bulls somehow tricked OKC into sending a low first-round pick in the 2009 draft to Chicago in exchange for G/F Thabo Sefolosha. This one makes no sense, because Sefolosha hasn’t improved since joining the NBA two years ago and has shown little potential to get better.

3-team deal between Raptors, Celtics, and Kings

The Celtics traded Patrick O’Bryant to Toronto, the Raptors sent Will Solomon to the Kings, and the Kings sent a second-round pick to Boston to acquire Sam Cassell. The Kings then waived Cassell, Quincy Douby, and Mikki Moore.

Nocioni to stay in Sacramento, Bell to stay in Charlotte

Yahoo Sports! reported this afternoon that the Kings received calls from several teams regarding newly-acquired F Andres Nocioni. The Celtics showed strong interest in Nocioni, but the Kings were unwilling to part with the Argentinian. The Celtics also expressed interest in Charlotte’s Raja Bell, but were unable to make a deal.

NBA Trade: Shawn Marion to Raptors, Jermaine O’Neal to Miami in four-player deal

O'Neal gives the Heat a much-needed presence in the paint

O'Neal gives the Heat a much-needed presence in the paint

Miami announced today that it has acquired Jermaine O’Neal and F Jamario Moon from Toronto in exchange from Shawn Marion and G Marcus Banks.

This deal had been rumored for months, but seemed dead in recent weeks.

O’Neal has played well lately and is averaging 13 ppg and 7 rpg. Marion had a game-winning dunk last night in Chicago and 12 ppg and 9 rpg this season.

Both players have missed extensive time while battling injuries this season.

Moon is a fabulous athlete, but fell out of favor in Toronto because of his lazy defense. Banks was behind Chris Quinn in Miami – that pretty much says it all.

The Heat clearly benefit from the trade, adding a talented scorer and shot-blocker in O’Neal. Moon has potential to improve offensively and should get some minutes in Miami.

Toronto wanted to move O’Neal’s contract and acquired Marion’s expiring contract in the trade. Marcus Banks provides added depth behind the oft-injured Jose Calderon.

Both O’Neal and Marion should move into the starting lineup immediately. From a fantasy perspective, O’Neal should flourish alongside Dwayne Wade. Also expect rookie forward Michael Beasley to possibly move into the starting lineup and get big minutes following the trade.

Marion should finish strong if his body holds up. Money is always a fantastic motivator for NBA players.

Amar’e heading north? Blazers in talks with Suns

Multiple outlets are reporting today that the Phoenix Suns are closing to sending disgruntled star Amar’e Stoudemire to the Portland Trail Blazers in a deal involving LaMarcus Aldridge.

Phoenix would also aqcuire talented rookie Jerryd Bayless and Raef LaFrentz (and his expiring contract) in the deal.

I’m not normally a big believer in trade rumors, but this one makes a lot of sense. Stoudemire would team with Brandon Roy to give Portland a dynamic scoring duo. The Blazers are in need of another scorer to compliment Roy.

Aldridge much less talented than Stoudemire, but he would provide stability for the Suns. He is a capable defender, a good rebounder,and his accurate outside shot could help Shaq flourish inside.

The wildcard of the deal could be former Arizon Wildcat Jerryd Bayless. With Steve Nash in the twilight of his career, Bayless would figure to give the Suns a terrific replacement for the two-time MVP.

Portland will have room under the salary cap to negotiate a long-term deal with Stoudemire, who can opt-out of his contract in 2010. Although he has said he would prefer to play in a big-time market, Amar’e should know that NBA players seem to enjoy playing in Portland.

Stay tuned.

Rumor: Chris Bosh Reportedly Wants Out of Toronto

Stephan A. Smith reports that Chris Bosh has told the upper-management of the Toronto Raptors that he wants out.

The reason is reportedly because Bosh feels like he’s not surrounded by enough talent. Which, I guess is a fair argument when looking around the league. But how many players in the league have a strong desire to play in a different country?

I know I wouldn’t.

SAS says that the Heat and Mavs are reportedly very interested, and have started talking with the Raps about a trade. More teams figure to get involved as time progresses, so expect more in the coming days with this rumor

This is Dumb: Amar’e Trade Rumors

Don’t you just love it when writers make up trade rumors?

That’s what the Toronto Sun‘s Frank Zicarelli did today, writing the following at the very end of his article…

All-star forward Amar’e Stoudemire might be the first big-name player moved prior to the Feb. 19 trade deadline.

He hasn’t exactly bought into Terry Porter’s defensive approach and Stoudemire’s penchant for disappearing in games is growing tiresome in Phoenix.

That’s it. Two sentences.

Nice job, fellas. Way to do some original reporting.

Oh, this reminds me. I heard that the Bulls were going to trade Larry Hughes for Andrew Bynum.

Rumor: Rockets, Lakers, Bucks 3-Way Deal; Josh Howard to Toronto

If you believe half of the NBA trade rumors, then there seems to be multiple trades close to being completed.

Larry Hughes is about to be traded to both the Wizards and Nets. The Cavs are about to get Mike Conley Jr. And much, much more.

Oh, and Allen Iverson could be traded (Tayshaun for Capt. Jack too). There’s no one with half a brain who believes this, but people need page views, so they make things up.

Two trade rumors have caught my eye, though.

The first is a three-way deal involving the Rockets, Lakers and Bucks. There are many variations of the deal, but the basics are this, via Hoopsworld

Luther Head and Carl Landry from Houston, Chris Mihm heads out of LA and Tyronn Lue and Charlie Villanueva depart Milwaukee. There are several versions of this out there, with multiple papers now reporting it on their websites.

But here’s the thing: The Rockets aren’t going to move Landry, because he’s a solid player who provides Houston with insurance for Yao, Luis Scola, Ron Artest and Tracy McGrady. The Lakers don’t want Tyronn Lue to steal minutes from Jordan Farmar when he returns. And the Bucks would be insane to trade Villanueva, because he’s been so good of late.

This trade simply won’t happen.

Another more interesting trade is reportedly brewing between the Raptors and Mavericks

A deal being discussed would send troubled forward Josh Howard to the Raptors in a deal that would land Andrea Bargnani and Anthony Parker in Dallas, with a combination that could involve DeSagana Diop or Antoine Wright heading back to Toronto.

It’s obvious that the Raptors need a small forward, and the Mavs could use a bigger PF/C type to launch threes in their offense. But Bargnani has, like Villanueva, been so good of late, that the Raptors can’t possibly trade him away for an older player like Howard.

This deal, even though it seems like it would be an interesting thing for NBA site like this to discuss for a few days, isn’t going to happen. The Raptors won’t part with their #1 pick’s potential, and Howard is damaged goods at this point.

So, with all of these rumors, it appears like the only one that will happen is Larry Hughes to, well, somewhere.

Larry Hughes Is Last Option For Nets

According to the fantastic Dave D’Alessandro at NJ.com, the Nets are not that close to a deal for Larry Hughes, as the Chicago Sun-Times reported yesterday.

The Nets have begun shopping around for an upgrade at small forward, but Larry Hughes — a name they’ve discussed lately — isn’t someone they consider a particularly good option. He’s more like a last resort.

If there was ever bad news that Bulls fans didn’t want to hear, it’s that. The truly bad news for the Bulls and their fans (and Hughes, you would have to think) is that the Nets are also interested in the T-Wolves’ Mike Miller.

The man the Nets have set their sights on (since the start of the week, anyway) is Mike Miller, who has been a washout since arriving in Minneapolis, according to an NBA general manager familiar with the discussions.

One snag, perhaps two: The Timberwolves are not in any rush to move the 28-year-old wing, even though Miller averages fewer than eight shots in 30 minutes per game, so they’re playing hardball. Minnesota is asking for a young player and a draft pick in exchange, which the Nets are not willing to consider.

Yesterday, when I read that the Bulls-Nets deal was immenent from the Sun-Times, it was rather puzzling. Because deals like the Hughes-Simmons trade don’t just pop up. They typically follow the blueprint of: let’s exhaust all our options before settling on a me-first type of player like Larry Hughes.

It would be smart for the Nets to acquire a small forward upgrade sooner rather than later, but we’ll see how long it actually takes.

Yao Wants Tracy McGrady Traded

Things are getting progressively worse in Houston.

This season, many “experts” picked the Rockets to go to the Western Conference Finals, and some even picked them to win the NBA title. And their choice didn’t seem to illogical. The Rockets have an unstoppable big man, a dynamic wing player, a new defensive stopper who keeps defenses honest and some of the best role players in the league (Rafer Alston and Shane Battier).

But after a mixture of injury problems and failing team chemistry, Yao Ming reportedly wants the Rockets’ brass to trade Tracy McGrady after the two All Stars continuous feud. NBA.com has the details…

“They don’t speak,” an extremely plugged-in person tells me. “And Yao wants him out.”

That’s not likely this season, as McGrady’s $20.3 million is toxic to too many teams’ luxury tax plans. Next summer, though, when McGrady will have an expiring, $22.4 million contract, teams may well circle the Rockets looking to make a deal. It’s not personal between Yao and McGrady. They like one another. But Yao’s frustration is real. And Yao is not the only person that’s grown tired of McGrady’s self-diagnosis, his up-to-the-last-minute decisions on whether he’ll play or not.

We’ve seen what a feud between an unstoppable big man and an elite wing player does to a team a few years back with Shaq and Kobe. Obviously, their fight was much more of a national story because of their personalities and the city where they played, but it’s the same type of thing. The Lakers unquestionably had the most talent in the year they were crushed by the Pistons in the finals, but they fell apart at the end of the year because they lacked the cohesion (and health) to win a championship.

With that being said, I would advise the Rockets to try to deal McGrady once he comes back and proves that he is once again healthy. It’s not like they were going to win with the Yao-McGrady combination, anyway.

Massive TTT Special: Trades that Should Happen but Probably Never Will (Part 1)

Unlike Major League Baseball, the NBA rarely has a great deal of activity prior to the trading deadline, but this year could be different. Many contending teams, especially the Boston Celtics and the New Orleans Hornets, need to make moves to bolster depth…TTT presents a breakdown of trade possibilities involving all 30 NBA teams. This is part one. Let’s get started…

Atlanta Hawks – The Hawks have a solid starting five but lack depth. Without many cards to deal, the Hawks will likely stand pat for this season. But with attendance on the increase, don’t rule out a move to acquire some depth, especially at center or point guard. Chris Wilcox and Earl Watson of the woeful Thunder would be good additions.

Boston Celtics-An injury to Rajon Rando or Paul Pierce would be a complete disaster given the C’s current roster, so something needs to happen. Last week ESPN reported that GM Danny Ainge has expressed interest in acquiring Stephon Marbury from the island of misfit point guards. Kevin Garnett despises Marbury and it will be interesting to see this story continue to develop. The Celtics might not need Starbury, but they certainly need some help in the backcourt with Eddie House and Tony Allen currently being the two best options of the bench.

Will Steph and KG be reunited again in Boston?

Will Steph and KG be reunited in Boston? (EV - Cripes, KG is dark)

Charlotte Bobcats – The Bobcats got rid of Jason Richardson to acquire Boris Diaw and Raja Bell in December, and seem determined to move Raymond Felton. The proposed deal sending Felton to the Warriors for Brandon Wright seems to be dead, but Larry Stalin Brown will probably force a deal before seasons end. The Bobcats would love to move Adam Morrison and possibly Gerald Wallace as well. Morrison has no value whatsoever and Wallace has a big contract, so don’t count on a deal happening.

Chicago Bulls – The Bulls are a total mess. Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Andres Nocioni, and Ben Gordon are probably on the block, but there are few takers. Nocioni could help the Celtics and the Spurs, and Gordon is a dynamic scorer who would help the Knicks. Hughes loves shooting and is not very good at it so he will be difficult to move. Nocioni also loves shooting and is no longer interested in playing with the hustle and defensive intensity that helped him break into the NBA, but should be moved sometime soon. Drew Gooden is in the final year of his contract and could help Atlanta, New Orleans, or Denver.

Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cavs don’t need to do much, but could use a big man with Big Z sidelined for up to four weeks. J.J. Hickson should be untouchable, but Sasha Pavlovic could be moved. He has been getting minutes recently even though he sucks, so the Cavs could be trying to showcase him. Good luck with that.

Dallas Mavericks – Josh Howard must be moved. He seems to have lost his mind since last summer, and also seems to have lost desire to do anything besides shoot. The Mavs are at a crossroads, and would be advised to part with Jason Kidd and Howard and look towards the future.

Denver Nuggets – The Nuggs look to be in pretty good shape after acquiring Chauncey Billups from Detroit earlier this season. With few chips to dangle, don’t expect Denver to be very active prior to the trading deadline.

Detroit Pistons – The Pistons have been playing well lately so they may be hesitant to make moves. A number of attractive young players could be moved to acquire a veteran big man to help out the aging Rasheed Wallace, including Aaron Afflalo, Amir Johnson and Jason Maxiell. Detroit would also like to move Tayshaun Prince, but that probably won’t happen.

Check back tomorrow for part 2 of 3 in Elliott Pohnl’s trade extravaganza.

Massive TTT Special: Trades that Should Happen but Probably Never Will (Part 2)

Golden State Warriors – Not sure where to begin with this mess. Everyone on the Warriors is on the block, with the possible exceptions of Andris Biedrins and Monta Ellis. The Warriors lost Baron Davis to the Clippers prior to the start of the season, and then perhaps out of spite decided to sign Corey Maggette. And so began GM Chris Mullin’s obsession with shooting

Captain Jack and friends aren't okay in Golden State

Captain Jack and Golden State are struggling in lovely Oakland

guards. Flat Top needs to move Maggette or Stephen Jackson once Ellis returns, and also is apparently trying to trade Brandon Wright. Maybe he should also look to move newly-acquired Jamal Crawford, who has the lowest winning-percentage of any NBA player in history. It won’t be easy for Mullin reshape the Warriors because of bad contracts, bad attitudes, and bad players. At least Warrior fans should be able to watch Rob Kurz for the remainder of the season. Enjoy!

Houston Rockets – Things are complicated in Houston thanks to T-Mac and Ron Artest. Both players have been largely ineffective due to mysterious injuries that don’t seem to be getting better. During the Christmas Day NBA broadcast, ABC/ESPN analyst foolishly predicted the Rockets to win the Western Conference. The Rockets are making their former coach look like a fool. Houston could move Carl Landry to acquire some perimeter help, but don’t expect the Rockets to be very active in the trading frenzy this year. Rick Adelman could be stuck with Von Wafer and Brent Barry for the remainder of the season…Go crazy.

Indiana Pacers – The Pacers have a large amount of bad white players who probably won’t be moved. Jamaal Tinsley is still technically on the Pacers roster, but is not an attractive option to NBA teams. He is also probably about 280 pounds, and who knows where he is or what he is doing. It is possible that the Pacers could look to move T.J. Ford or Marquis Daniels, but not very likely.

L.A. Clippers – The Clippers are glad that they didn’t re-sign Elton Brand, but very unhappy that they broke the bank to sign Baron Davis. B Diddy is rumored to want out of La La land, but his large contract will make that difficult to accomplish. The Clippers need to move Chris Kaman, Zach Randolph, and Ricky Davis to ensure that Eric Gordon and Al Thornton can develop.

L.A. Lakers – Last year’s trade to acquire Pau Gasol means that the Lakers don’t need to make a move this season. L.A. is set.

Memphis Grizzlies – The Grizz are a puzzling bunch. They could look to move Mike Conley Jr. or Kyle Lowry and maybe even Darko Milicic. Memphis has potential to improve if they don’t screw this up, but let’s face it, the Grizz are probably doomed forever.

Miami Heat – The Heat really need a big man and want to move Shawn Marion, who is making 17 million in the final year of his contract. The Matrix has been awful this year, averaging just 11 points and eight rebounds while battling mysterious injuries…like back spasms. The Heat have some decent young players that they can move, including DeQuan Cook and Dorrell Wright, but Marion must be moved to create more minutes for Michael Beasley.

Milwaukee Bucks – Many people forget that the Bucks exist, but they have some players that could be attractive for contenders. Luke Ridnour and Dan Gadzuric could be moved, as could the small-eared Richard Jefferson. Scott Skiles should start to give Ramon Sessions more minutes, making Ridnour expendable.

Minnesota Timberwolves – Well now, this is a real mess. Everyone should be available, especially Brian Cardinal (gasp) and Mike Miller. Al Jefferson is a franchise player and the T’Wolves should keep him unless the price is right. The problem is that Kevin McHale has no idea what he is doing. McHale is the Matt Millen of the NBA, and needs to be fired ASAP before things get any worse in Minnesota.

New Jersey Nets – Maybe the Nets should trade Devin Harris to acquire a veteran point guard…Just kidding. Aside from Jarvis Hayes and Bobby Simmons, the Nets don’t really have many players who could be moved. Don’t look for the Nets to be active prior to the trading deadline.

New Orleans Hornets – The Hornets can count on Chris Paul, David West, and James Posey. But the rest of the roster is unreliable and inconsistent. Tyson Chandler has been especially inconsistent, so acquiring another big man wouldn’t hurt. But the Hornets really need a shooting guard, possibly Mike Miller or Ben Gordon. The problem is that New Orleans doesn’t have much to deal besides Hilton Armstrong and Julian Wright, who has been a huge disappointment this year.

Check back for Part 3 of 3 tomorrow, and enjoy the BCS Championship tonight.

Massive TTT Special: Trades that Should Happen but Probably Never Will (Part 3)

New York Knicks – The Knicks are trying to move F/C David Lee even though he has been very consistent amid

How long will Lee hang on in New York?

How long will Lee hang on in New York?

the turmoil of the past two seasons. Lee is third in the NBA in double-doubles, and plays with great effort and energy. Portland is rumored to be offering Sergio Rodriguez and Martell Webster to the Knicks to acquire Lee, who amazingly has never asked out of New York. And then there is Stephon Marbury. It isn’t likely that the Knicks would actually be able to trade Steph, but they probably will end up buying out his contract. Quentin Richardson and Jared Jeffries will be shown the door soon, but probably not until after the season.

Oklahoma City Thunder – The Thunder have been playing better as of late but they would not hesitate to move veterans including Chris Wilcox, Earl Watson, Desmond Mason, and Nick Collison.

Orlando Magic – One of the more surprising teams in the NBA, the Magic have a horrible bench and will be looking to add depth. However, I don’t expect Orlando to make any moves.

Philadelphia 76ers – The Sixers are struggling and could look to clean house after the season, with Andre Miller and Samuel Dalembert being the primary focus of the fire-sale. Reggie Evans and Kareem Rush could be moved prior to the trading deadline, but don’t expect any major moves.

Phoenix Suns – After acquiring J-Rich from Charlotte, the Suns figure to be done making moves this season. There is a slight chance that Leandro Barbosa could be moved. Barbosa has struggled in Terry Porter’s more traditional offense and is essentially a backup point guard now. He makes 12 million per year and could fit in better elsewhere; like in New York.

Portland Trail Blazers – Aside from the Webster-Rodriguez for Lee deal, Portland seems to be content. The Blazers are still probably a couple of years away and might need to make moves after the season, especially if LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden don’t take the next step to NBA stardom.

Sacramento Kings – The Kings are an interesting team. I expect Bobby Jackson to be moved, but Brad Miller and Beno Udrih could help many NBA teams. The Kings gave Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia way too much money and would be advised to start dumping contracts if possible.

San Antonio Spurs – The Spurs have three great players and Roger Mason Jr. and not much else, but that might be just enough to compete in the Western Conference. Don’t expect any activity by the Spurs.

Toronto Raptors – The Raptors could look to unload Anthony Parker or Jason Kapono, but they seem to be content with a roster that has underachieved dramatically this year.

Utah Jazz – Carlos Boozer will be traded eventually, but probably not until after the season. The Jazz need to move his salary to clear playing time and cap room for the sensational Paul Millsap.

Washington Wizards – Gilbert Arenas should be traded after the season, but the Wizards ownership loves Hibachi so that probably won’t happen. The Wiz already dealt Antonio Daniels and could look to move his replacement Mike James as well as veteran forward Darius Songolia.

Damon Jones Requests Trade

You know, I thought I was done with Damon Jones and his crappy sport jacket coats.

And then, I’m sitting at home during Christmas break and what do I stumble upon, but this story: Bucks’ Jones backs off trade demands.

So I did some reporting, and found out that on the same day that Jones retracted his trade request, he learned what supply and demand is.

Check this out again, Damon

Check this out again, Damon

As you can see, this is a supply and demand graph on the right. It has a line for supply and then one of demand. And then, we see a surplus.

A surplus of crappy basketball players is exactly what the NBA has – and Damon Jones should be happy that he has a job.

Am I right? Of course.

I mean, the Bucks have 3-point shooting. Michael Redd is arguably the best in the league, and Damon Jones is the worst defender in the league. So you know that when he trots out in his old man gallop, all he’s out there for is to jack the triple.

But then he has the gall to go out and demand a trade? That’s like the Pope demanding a shot of Jack and an eight-ball.

That shit should not happen.

To remedy the situation, here’s what I propose for you, Damon.

When you’re done playing in the league, like, next week, go work as Shaq’s butler. Get him whatever he wants. Be the Turtle to his Vince. Because Shaq’s the only reason that he weaseled yourself into a multi-million NBA contract.

In closing, shut the f— up Damon. Be happy you’re still somewhat relevant. Well, as relevant as one can be in Milwaukee.

The Suns Rising Again: Breaking Down Wednesday’s Charlotte-Phoenix Trade

On Wednesday the struggling Suns made a surprising move, landing Jason Richardson from the Bobcats in exchange for Raja Bell and Boris Diaw. The trade will mean less shots for Amare Stoudemire, but J-Rich gives the Suns much-needed athleticism and perimeter scoring.

Grant Hill and Leandro Barbosa have struggled this season and will likely see less playing time with Richardson on board. Hill is averaging nine points in 25 minutes per game this season, while Barbosa is averaging 12 ppg and shooting just 28% from 3-point range.

The trade also allowed the Suns to unload Boris Diaw’s huge contract.

Diaw is making nine million this season, and will make 27 million over the next three years. The Frenchman had fallen out of favor with head coach Terry Porter, and was averaging just eight ppg this season. Although Brown has said that Diaw will be inserted in the starting lineup, expect him to rip Diaw for being soft within a few weeks.

Brown will like the toughness that Raja Bell brings to Charlotte. Bell’s defense earned him playing time in Phoenix, and he has become one of the better 3-point shooters in the NBA. He is averaging 9.6 ppg this season and shooting 46 percent from 3-point range, and will certainly be unable to fill the scoring void left by Richardson.

The Suns also added some depth in the trade, picking up F Jared Dudley from Charlotte.

Richardson has been plagued by injuries throughout his career and missed seven games earlier this season with a knee injury. When healthy, he is a good scorer and an explosive finisher. He is averaging 18 ppg this season and shooting 45 percent from 3-point range.

Suns GM Steve Kerr may be looking to make more moves. The Suns have been reluctant to shop Barbosa, but desperately need to find a true point guard to back up the aging Steve Nash and also need help up front behind Shaq and STAT. Barbosa’s numbers declined last season, and his struggles so far this season could convince Kerr to make a move.

At just 26 years of age, the former sixth man of the year winner is still an attractive player despite his recent struggles. Like Diaw, Barbosa is in the midst of a large long-term contract. He will make 27.4 million through the 2011-2012 season.

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