Trade deadline: Latest buzz around NBA
• Racine Journal Times: The scuttlebutt around the league is [the Bucks] are poised to make more trades with virtually everyone on their roster available. [Ersan] Ilyasova is arguably the Bucks’ best trading chip and several teams are believed to be interested in him. According to multiple sources, Ilyasova has expressed a desire to be traded, apparently having had his fill of the Bucks’ continual rebuilding project. Ilyasova downplayed talk about him wanting out of Milwaukee and declined to comment on whether he or his agent, Andy Miller, had requested a trade. Ilyasova made it clear, though, the Bucks’ revolving door policy with players has irritated him. … According to league sources, Bucks veteran backup shooting guard Gary Neal and his agent, David Bauman, have talked to [Milwaukee general manager John] Hammond in recent weeks about the possibility of a trade.
• Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: The Charlotte Bobcats, clinging to the eighth playoff spot in the East, will be aggressive buyers at the deadline, league sources say. The team’s interest in Sixers guard Evan Turner is real. Philadelphia GM Sam Hinkie wants a first-round pick for Turner (and the same for Spencer Hawes). The Bobcats can offer their Detroit pick if they’re serious about making a push.
• Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: Several teams have called Milwaukee about point guard Luke Ridnour, including Washington and Sacramento, a league source said.
• Kevin Ding, Bleacher Report: [Lakers big man Pau] Gasol is sitting out with a minor groin strain now, and it remains awfully tricky to make a deal because of his $19.3 million salary, larger even than LeBron James’ annual take. Still, the team is increasingly open to moving Gasol before the Feb. 20 trade deadline. The Lakers have been fine with a fallback plan of letting Gasol’s contract expire and filling his salary slot through future free agency. As disjointed and downright negative as this season has become, though, things have changed. The 18-35 Lakers are now more likely to take whatever first-round pick they can get in a trade for Gasol when it comes down to it. … Other veterans with expiring contracts such as Chris Kaman, Jordan Hill and Steve Blake are also prime candidates to be moved for future considerations. If no trade with Gasol happens, that doesn’t change L.A.’s readiness to divorce at season’s end. He’s basically leaving, one way or another.
• Chris Haynes, CSNW.com: Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge says he doesn’t think team needs to make a move at trade deadline [after losing center Joel Freeland for four to eight weeks with a knee injury]. Says he believes Meyers Leonard will step up.
• Frank Isola, New York Daily News: [New York's Carmelo] Anthony has expressed frustration with the direction of the team this season. The Knicks are 20-32 at the All-Star break and currently in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. They will play 19 of their final 30 games on the road, starting Tuesday in Memphis. Anthony said that embattled head coach Mike Woodson will be coaching the team next week. The trading deadline is Thursday, and Anthony dismissed rumors that the player [owner James] Dolan moved heaven and earth to acquire three years ago will be dealt in five days. “I don’t think I’ll be traded,” he said. “When is the trade deadline? I don’t think there’s no way possible I’ll be traded. I don’t think they’re even considering it. If they feel they want to get rid of me, we’d already have had that conversation already. I don’t think that. I know for a fact I’m not being traded, and I know for a fact I’m not going in there saying I want to be traded.”
• Doug Smith, Toronto Star: With the trade deadline looming, Ujiri is unwilling to sacrifice the longer-term future for immediate satisfaction. This a good team, far from great, with lots of room for improvement. But trying to hit a home run for the rest of this season runs counter to Ujiir’s personality, and his job description. He appreciates what’s going on, was its architect in many ways with the roster-changing trade of Rudy Gay, but he also has to be beholden to the future. He is not an impetuous GM looking for a quick fix.
• Jared Zwerling, Bleacher Report: [Orlando's Jameer Nelson] is one of a handful of players in the game today — including Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki – who has a good chance of remaining in the same jersey for the rest of his career. For Nelson, that would only change if he asked for a trade, but he said he never has and never will. And he’s not planning to test the free-agent market after the season. … ”I’ve never ever went to my agent and said I wanted a trade. I’ve never done that. And as far as I know, the management has never said, ‘We’re trading you,’” Nelson said. “I was always a guy who stayed loyal to them and they’ve stayed loyal to me. I want to stay in Orlando.”