Trade deadline: Latest buzz around NBA
Here is the latest buzz around the NBA with one week remaining before next Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline:
• Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports: The Toronto Raptors are showing significant resistance to trading point guard Kyle Lowry and appear determined to keep him as they pursue a postseason berth, league sources told Yahoo Sports. “We’ve heard it from [Toronto] that he won’t be moved,” a rival front office executive told Yahoo Sports.
• Chris Mannix, SI.com: This trade season has been among the busiest in terms of calls, several execs told me, but there’s growing skepticism anything big gets done. The reason: Sellers outnumber buyers. Teams with picks won’t surrender them and teams with players won’t give them up without them.
• Zach Lowe, Grantland: [The Wizards would] surely love to upgrade the backup point guard slot after the Eric Maynor flop, and given the front-office connections between Denver and Washington, a deal involving the exiled Professor Andre Miller, PhD, would seem to make sense. But the Wizards are just $1 million under the tax line, meaning they’d have to send out significant salary to offer Miller tenure.
• Christopher Dempsey, Denver Post: The Nuggets aren’t likely to be overly active at the trade deadline anyway, beyond the expected dealing of disgruntled point guard Andre Miller. Injuries — and Miller’s absence — have pared the Nuggets roster down to 10 active players, but they hope to get the services on injured guard Ty Lawson back soon after the All-Star break, as well as any individual brought over in a deal.
• Marc Stein, ESPN.com: The Knicks, I’m told, are trying to re-engage Denver in what has become a season-long crusade to convince the Nuggets to consent to a trade that essentially swaps Iman Shumpert for Kenneth Faried.
• Marc Berman, New York Post: The Wizards reportedly have interest in [New York guard Beno] Udrih. The Knicks would love to stockpile a second-round pick or Wizards rookie Glen Rice Jr., whom the Knicks had as one of the candidates to draft last year at No. 24 if Tim Hardaway Jr. was off the board, according to multiple sources.
• Zach Lowe, Grantland: The Bobcats are absolutely serious about pursuing [Evan] Turner, per several league sources, and the Sixers could take on Ben Gordon’s expiring contract along with one of Charlotte’s extra first-rounders (likely the 2014 pick Portland owes it) if that closes the deal.
• Zach Lowe, Grantland: A lot of folks have mentioned a potential [Anderson] Varejao–Omer Asik swap, and that does make some theoretical sense. The Cavs need a rim protector, and Varejao is versatile enough to play at least some minutes with Dwight Howard. He’s not the Ryan Anderson–type floor-spacer Daryl Morey really wants, but he wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize if the Rockets wish to go for the whole hog this season.
• Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston.com: [Brandon Bass] quietly has had another excellent season for Boston, but he also makes an awful lot of sense for a contender. Bass is a versatile defender with a reasonable contract and a lunch-pail worker who won’t disrupt the chemistry in the locker room on a winning team. Boston is overstocked at the 4, with Jared Sullinger the future at that position (assuming the team eventually adds a legit center next to him) and Kelly Olynyk and Kris Humphries deserving of more consistent minutes. Moving Bass would create playing time for rookie Olynyk to develop, while maybe also further trimming payroll next season.
• Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston.com: Even as [Rajon] Rondo shows signs of returning to All-Star form, it’s hard to imagine a contender offering the sort of deal that would come close to Danny Ainge’s lofty price tag for the team’s captain. Let’s remember, the only time the Celtics have come close to actually trading Rondo — despite those annual trade murmurs — was when Chris Paul would have been coming back in return. It seems unlikely that another team would offer an irresistible in-season package for a player coming off a major injury.
• Jared Zwerling, Bleacher Report: Hearing the Celtics are not likely to trade Jeff Green, with the mindset they want to build around him, Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger.
• Tom Sorensen, Charlotte Observer: [Bobcats president Rod] Higgins says he can’t put a percentage on the likelihood of a trade. “But the thing you should know is we’re definitely shaking the tree,” he says. Higgins wants to trade. He wants to improve. He goes so far as to say that he hopes “a trade pans out.”
• Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel: The Magic might make at least one move before the deadline, and much of the speculation revolves around three of their most well-known veterans: [Arron] Afflalo, [Glen] Davis and the team’s longest-tenured player, [Jameer] Nelson. Afflalo, a 28-year-old shooting guard, likely is drawing the most interest of any of Orlando’s veterans. He’s having the most productive season of his pro career, averaging 19.6 points per game, and his shooting ability would be a significant asset in the playoffs.
• Sam Amick, USA Today Sports: According to a person with knowledge of the Warriors’ situation, Golden State is on the lookout for bench help and is hoping to use its trade exceptions as a way to facilitate such a deal that would likely need to involve three teams. … The Warriors have two sizable trade exceptions ($9 million and $4 million) that don’t expire until next summer, as well as two smaller exceptions (approximately $780,000) that expire on Feb. 17. … As for the possibility of a bigger deal being done before the deadline, rival executives told USA TODAY Sports last week that anyone outside of point guard Stephen Curry and center Andrew Bogut is, to varying degrees, up for discussion. That includes second-year small forward Harrison Barnes, the Warriors reserve who is known to have sparked serious interest from a long list of suitors but who is unlikely to be traded unless it was part of a package for a big-name player.
• Stefan Bondy, New York Daily News: Heard there’s only a slim chance the Nets make a move by the deadline. The number was less than 10 percent.
• Eddie Sefko, Dallas Morning News: I don’t think [the Mavericks] want to lose any of their rotation players because they feel that they are pretty intertwined. Take away [Shawn] Marion and the defensive system might fall apart. Take away [Sam] Dalembert and the pick-setting and defense are impacted. Take away [Jose] Calderon or [Devin] Harris and things get dicey at the point. It’s all a puzzle and the pieces right now fit pretty good. The one guy who I’d say could be available would be Wayne Ellington, who I still believe is good enough to be in the rotation but simply can’t earn any minutes. His $2.5 million next season would be easy to trade and the Mavericks could add that to the $34 million they already are going to have this summer if they could bring back an expiring contract.
• Mike McGraw, Daily Herald: The Bulls aren’t expected to do much before next Thursday’s NBA trade deadline and general manager Gar Forman confirmed there isn’t much going on right now besides checking in with the other 29 teams.