Sunday, February 14, 2010

Who's on the Block?

February 14, 2010

Every time this year the breeze of trade speculation begins to churn up and form into a full blown wind storm of who is expected to be dealt before the NBA trade deadline (February 19th). While the still-lucrative 2010 free agency awaits at the end of the season, many key players are currently on the block. We weigh in on those players, what teams are in search of their services and the likelihood of the player's departure.

Amar'e Stoudemire, F, Phoenix Suns - How many times have people heard this name emerge in trade rumors over the last few seasons? It's fair to say lots of times. The intriguing part of this go-around is that the Miami Heat, which built their roster for the 2010 free agency, are allegedly the strongest pursuers of Stoudemire. Yahoo! Sports reports that Pat Riley has offered players such as Michael Beasley, Dorrell Wright, Jermaine O'Neal and Quentin Richardson in return for Stoudemire. It seems that the most enticing aspect of Amar'e's coming to Miami is his expiring contract and instant impact (i.e.another attempt to please Dwyane Wade and keep him beyond this year). But this may backfire if executed, as Wade is very close to both Wright and Richardson. Likelihood of Departure: 50%

Antawn Jamison, F, Washington Wizards - With Caron Butler gone, Jamison is also likely on his way out of D.C. He has been highly sought after by elite teams, such as the Cavaliers and Celtics, and could be an immediate impact anywhere he goes. Rumors had him departing the Wizards in a package deal with Butler, but Washington might now receive more value from trading of each separately. Jamison has traveled around the league in the past, so don't be surprised if his bags are pre-packed and ready for a flight to Cleveland or Boston. Likelihood of Departure: 80%

Tracy McGrady, G/F, Houston Rockets - He's still in the league? Hard to believe, but not only is McGrady still in the NBA, but he's of interest to certain teams. Most notably the New York Knicks have come up in trade discussions for T-Mac as they continue to fix the mess left by Isiah Thomas. McGrady has been in trade rumors for quite some time, but has never been dealt. This may be another boy-who-cried wolf situation and the reality is the T-Mac will either stay a Rocket or eventually be bought out. His prime has come, gone and filed for social security. Likelihood of Departure: 20%

Ray Allen, G, Boston Celtics - With Boston not playing up to their expectations this season, speculation potential roster shuffling has become more evident. Similar to the Shaq-era Heat, the Celtics have now been plagued with being "too old" to win. Allen is 34 years old and is clearly a part of the elderly stigma that has been placed on the Celts. With Boston considering Antawn Jamison, Allen could be the piece that makes such a deal happen. Allen is not a part of the Celtics future and his $19.7 million expiring contract are surely to be a lucrative bargaining chip. Despite this, Boston could very well stick with him until season's end. Likelihood of Departure: 40%

Tyrus Thomas, F, Chicago Bulls - The athletic swingman of the Bulls has been caught in perhaps the most rumors of all as his dynamic talent is appealing to many teams. A list of interested parties include the Bobcats, Trail Blazers, Knicks, Kings, Spurs, Nuggets and Hornets (just to name more than a few). Thomas' defensive ability, freakish length and high flying vertical leap all provide great incentives for teams of interest. With the Bulls still in flux, Thomas is ideal trade bait for revamping key roster spots on the team. Teammate Kirk Hinrich has been mentioned in the same breath in what could be a combo trade. Likelihood of Departure: 70% 

Other Notable Players in Trade Talks:
  • Troy Murphy, F, Indiana Pacers
  • Marcus Camby, C, Los Angeles Clippers
  • Kevin Martin, G, Sacramento Kings
  • Kurt Thomas, F, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Andris Biedrins, F/C, Golden State Warriors
Wizards Make First Move

The Wizards and Mavericks have agreed to exchange Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson for Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross and James Singleton. The deal provides Howard with the opportunity to step in as the Wizards' new star player. Realistically, Gooden, Ross and Singleton were only thrown in to match salaries, but will have a shot at being impact players on the team. On Dallas' end, Butler and Haywood are instant improvements that will fit nicely into the roles they will be assigned. Stevenson was not a desired pick by the Mavs, but he does provide offensive sparks from time to time. Both teams benefited from this trade, but only one team increased their chances to make a playoff run, and that team is owned by Mark Cuban.

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