Trade Buzz: Who's making a move?
Can somebody post this article. It is on ESPN. You have to be an ESPN Insider to read it.
SPN.com IllustrationWhat will happen to Kirk Hinrich, Andre Iguodala and Monta Ellis at Thursday's trade deadline?
With the trade deadline on Thursday, trade talk is flying around the league.
The Dallas Mavericks' acquisition of Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood from Washington for Josh Howard has prompted other teams to focus their efforts to make deals, especially with the deadline looming.
WHAT ABOUT THE CAVS?
For Chad Ford's report on what the Cavs are likely to do, click here.
If the much-discussed swap of Amare Stoudemire for J.J. Hickson happens between Phoenix and Cleveland, that will mean that several major assets are apparently no longer available by trade: Stoudemire, Butler, Haywood, Howard and Hickson.
Still, that would leave at least 10 teams interested in making moves.
Here's our rundown of who might be buying and who might be selling this week:
Teams willing to increase their long-term payroll
Assets: Ray Allen's $18.8 million expiring contract; other, smaller contracts
Celtics president Danny Ainge has said it's "unlikely" that the Celtics pull off a deal before the deadline. But numerous GMs around the league say Boston has been very active in trying to make things happen.
To quote one general manager who spoke with Ainge in the last 48 hours, "I get the feeling Boston's getting desperate."
With the Celtics looking more like an NBA Legends team than a serious title contender at the moment, Ainge has a difficult decision to make.
If he believes that a tweak of the roster will put the Celtics into contention, then Ainge has a number of smaller contracts he could use to land a player.
If Ainge believes a bigger change is in order, now is the time to make a move. If he doesn't trade Allen now, his hands could be tied until the summer of 2012, unless he wants to consider trading Paul Pierce (whose contract expires in 2011) or Kevin Garnett (whose contract expires in 2012) at some point.
What could Ainge get for Allen? The Celtics have looked into the possibility of acquiring Andre Iguodala, Kirk Hinrich, Kevin Martin or Monta Ellis. Each would be expensive over the long haul, and it's not clear that Boston has what it takes to get Iguodala, Martin or Ellis. Given that, Hinrich, the least expensive of the four, might be Ainge's best bet, but he's also the oldest and least desirable of that foursome.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Assets: Derek Fisher's expiring contract; Adam Morrison's expiring contract
L.A. has been hesitant in years past to make a trade-deadline deal. Lakers coach Phil Jackson's offense isn't easy to pick up on the fly and the team has preferred to make moves in the summer. Yes, the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol two years ago, but that deal was a no-brainer.
The Lakers' point guard play of late has raised concerns. Derek Fisher has lost another step, especially defensively. Jordan Farmar has been solid, but the Lakers believe they may need more than "solid" to get past teams like the Nuggets and Mavs.
If the Lakers want to get a point guard, they face two big issues:
First, there aren't a lot of great point guards available right now. The Bulls' Kirk Hinrich has been the name most associated with the Lakers, and the team has explored smaller deals, such as one for the Pacers' Earl Watson.
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Second, a deal could be very costly. The Lakers already have the highest payroll in the league and would prefer to avoid adding more long-term commitments.
Here's one potential solution: The word out of the All-Star Game late Sunday had the Lakers recruiting the Portland Trail Blazers as a third team in trade talks with the Bulls. According to one source familiar with the discussions, the Lakers would get Hinrich, the Bulls would get Adam Morrison, Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw and Juwan Howard, and the Blazers would land Tyrus Thomas and Sasha Vujacic. Such a deal would lessen the amount of money the Lakers would be adding to their payroll next season.
Assets: Michael Beasley; Jermaine O'Neal's expiring contract; Udonis Haslem's expiring contract
The Heat are in a precarious situation and are trying to hedge their bets. While on paper Miami is an ideal destination, there is no guarantee the Heat can get any of the marquee free agents this summer. If LeBron James and Chris Bosh decide to stay with their current teams or go somewhere other than Miami, Wade might see that as a signal that he should walk.
That's led the Heat to explore making a deal now, while they can control their fate a little more, and they've focused most of their energy on acquiring Stoudemire. The thinking is that if they add Stoudemire now, they can (a) still have the flexibility to re-sign him and add another significant free agent and (b) persuade Wade to stay.
The problem is that Cleveland now looks like the front-runner to land Stoudemire. If the Heat can't get him, my guess is that they sit tight and hope they make a major coup in free agency.
Asset: Tracy McGrady's $22.5 million expiring contract
Houston is in an interesting position. The Rockets could let McGrady's deal expire and pursue a free agent this summer, or upgrade the team now and avoid gambling on free agency.
Without committing to either strategy, the team has been exploring McGrady trades for weeks to no avail. In particular, the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks have emerged as potential trade partners.
The Rockets would like to get Andre Iguodala from the Sixers and would accept Samuel Dalembert in that trade, but Philly wants some young talent beyond McGrady in return.
Meanwhile, the Knicks remain interested in McGrady, but the Rockets won't take either of the players New York wants to move: Jared Jeffries and Eddy Curry. And while the Knicks have a number of expiring contracts they could swap for McGrady, it's not clear why Houston would want to make such a deal without the Knicks including a young asset.
Assets: Ersan Ilyasova; potential lottery pick; expiring contracts of Luke Ridnour, Joe Alexander and Kurt Thomas
Just months ago, the Bucks appeared to be conducting a fire sale. But now, to the surprise of other teams, Bucks GM John Hammond has been out aggressively looking to move expiring contracts to get back a power forward or a dynamic 2-guard to play alongside Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings.
The Bucks have reportedly talked to both the Wizards about Antawn Jamison and the Pacers about Troy Murphy and shown interest in the Bulls' Tyrus Thomas.
Milwaukee will have to be patient, because other teams might have better offers to make to Washington, Indiana and Chicago. But if the Bucks are willing to throw their first-round pick into a deal, they might be able to trump other teams. As the deadline approaches, don't be surprised to see Milwaukee scoop up someone.
Teams hoping to decrease their long-term payroll
Asset: Troy Murphy
With their playoff hopes dashed, the Pacers have moved into serious rebuilding mode. Their efforts to move Jeff Foster were stymied when Foster underwent back surgery, so now they are focused on moving Murphy.
While he's overpaid, he's one of the few big men who can grab 10 boards and shoot 40 percent from beyond the arc, making him one of the "stretch 4s" coveted around the league.
The Cavs, Bucks, and Kings have shown interest in Murphy. In exchange, the Pacers want cap relief plus at least one young asset or first-round pick. Cleveland has been reluctant to give up Hickson for Murphy, and the Bucks have been unwilling, so far, to give their first-round pick to Indiana.
With similar parameters, Indiana would also move T.J. Ford or Mike Dunleavy, according to several GMs who have had conversations with the Pacers.
For Pacers fans, this has become a long road back to contention. But with a high lottery pick coming and the opportunity for significant cap space in the summer of 2011, the team is showing signs of recovering from the difficulties of the Ron Artest era.
Assets: Kirk Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas and John Salmons
The Bulls are proactively looking to get further under the cap this summer.
The problem is that Hinrich's contract has two more seasons on it after this one, at a total of $17 million. Given the uncertainties about the financial climate in 2011-12, teams such as the Lakers are reluctant to take on his contract.
As noted above, the Lakers are trying to mitigate the damage by insisting the Bulls (or a third party) take Vujacic, who has $5 million coming to him next season.
Assets: Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton
After six consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference finals, Detroit is in free fall.
While Pistons president Joe Dumars would prefer to move Hamilton, his contract is almost impossible to trade, with three years of guaranteed money remaining after this season. So Dumars has reluctantly made Prince available, and not just for cap relief. According to sources close to the talks, the Pistons are looking for a big man. While Detroit would trade Prince to the Jazz for Carlos Boozer, Utah is reluctant, given its current success, to make a deal.
Asset: Andre Iguodala
Right now the Sixers are a difficult team to peg, with a number of teams saying that Philly general manager Ed Stefanski has been vague in trade talks.
But with a payroll bloated by huge contracts for Iguodala, Samuel Dalembert and Elton Brand, the 76ers appear to be willing to move a cornerstone piece, Iguodala, provided they can move Dalembert (and his contract) in the same trade. But they also want young assets in return, which has thwarted trade talks so far, particularly with Houston and Phoenix.
Assets: Kevin Martin; Andres Nocioni; Kenny Thomas' expiring contract
The Kings could be both buyers and sellers, as they have explored using Thomas' contract to acquire a veteran like Murphy or Dalembert. Simultaneously, they've tried to get Nocioni off the books by finding a team interested in the tough-nosed forward.
The big question is this: Would they move Kevin Martin? While they have maintained that they want to see if Martin and Tyreke Evans can coexist, teams around the league remain skeptical. We'll know by the end of Thursday whether a team was willing to offer enough in the form of assets, draft picks and/or expiring contracts to get the Kings to the table.
Thanx fo postin da article
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