NBA Trade Deadline – March 15
The focus has been on the NBA and deservedly so. They just had All Star Weekend and some big names might get traded, such as: Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, Steve Nash, and Carlos Boozer.
Dwight Howard gave a pre-game speech to the fans of Orlando on all star weekend, but his 10-point, 9 rebound effort may have been his last. He did not come off as sincere or energetic, but the Magic might gamble and hope he resigns at the end of the season. He would make $30 million more for a basketball contract as opposed to signing elsewhere.
New Jersey Nets
Perhaps he can make up for that in endorsements if he went to Jay-Z’s Brooklyn Nets. Playing alongside Deron Williams sounds great, but that would not make them better than Miami or Chicago. And that’s if Williams chose to stay, instead of going home to Dallas. From Orlando’s perspective, Brooke Lopez is not a franchise player to build around. Word is that they would include Hedo Turkoglu and his massive contract in any trade, as well as wanting veterans in return.
Los Angeles Lakers
There are rumors of Orlando denying Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, but there are only a short list of teams that Howard gave them. They certainly would love to keep the all star center, but if they traded them they would prefer to ship him to the Western Conference.
There are rumors evolving around a Pau Gasol for Carlos Boozer trade. Chicago would include point guard C.J. Watson, something the Lakers are desperate for. Watson can distribute, score, and defend; he could be their short-term option.
Chicago has the assets to pull the trigger, and maybe the best package available for Orlando. They could offer a combination of any 2-3 big guys: Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Omer Asik, and overseas 7-footer Nicola Mirotic. The bigs collectively, rank as the best power forward-center production in all of basketball (scoring, rebounding, etc.). They also have the best bench in basketball with depth in C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer, and Kyle Korver. If they really want to sweeten the deal, they could add all star forward Luol Deng.
Say Miami proposed a trade that Orlando simply couldn’t refuse. Something like LeBron James and Mike Miller for Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu. IYou know there are several teams trying to come out of the blue and pry Howard away, even if it’s only a rental for the rest of the season to make a championship run.
Boston have shopped around point guard Rajon Rondo and are at it again. On the basketball court he appears to be their best player, but they are reluctant to build around the all star. The contracts of Kevin Garnet and Ray Allen expire after this season, and many believe that Allen will leave town to join a contender. As far as Garnet is concerned, it will be interesting to see if a contending team can detour him from staying in Boston.
The player they can get the most for, out of their veteran big 3, is Paul Pierce. Although his all star status is debatable, he would certainly bring young talent to Boston in a trade. He has been a career-long Celtc, so perhaps he retired in green and white.
The feeling is that Rondo wants to be the face of a franchise. He has played in 3 all star games, as well as 3 all-defensive teams. This season he averages nearly 15 points, 9.5 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals per game.
Point Guards & Centers
Rumors have swirled around about a swap with the Phoenix for Steve Nash, and a long-shot rumor for OKC’s Russell Westbrook, both all stars. Trading for Toronto’s Jose Calderon could be the dark-horse move that gets done. Calderon could also be on the Lakers’ radar. Orlando has shown aggressive interest in acquiring Steve Nash as of late, in attempt to influence Howard to stay.
Oklahoma City, Golden State and the Miami Heat could use help at the center position. Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut has struggled with injuries but he can perform at a high level when he plays. Thunder may also be looking for a backup point guard since losing Eric Maynor to injury, but it is unlikely that they part with James Harden. The Warriors may use guard Monta Ellis to lure a trade for a big man, maybe one from Chicago or from the Lakers. We could very well see an interstate trade with the Lakers and Warriors, involving Pau Gasol and Monta Ellis.
Kyle Lowry has been a hot commodity down in Houston, but he was snubbed from the all star game and has played at an elite level all season. There isn’t much that Lowry can’t do on the floor, he is a special up and coming talent (15.6 points, 7.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 2 steals per game).
Swingman Chase Budinger may be on the block since losing his starting gig to rookie Chandler Parsons. Budinger was in the Slam Dunk Contest this past weekend.
Luis Scola has been mentioned around the league. A scrappy power forward on the defensive end that can score inside and along the perimeter.