As the 2013 NBA trade deadline–3:00 p.m. (ET) on Feb. 21–approaches there will be a number of teams looking to make a deal.
Contending teams will be looking to bolster their rosters with a final piece needed to make a deep run in the playoffs. Teams out of the playoff hunt, will most likely be looking to the future with trades geared toward clearing cap space, adding draft picks or giving away draft picks in the hopes of securing a franchise player.
There will be a great deal of speculation and rumor milling as the trade deadline approaches. While fans would love to to believe every rumor as truth, in most cases rumors are a dime a dozen.
Let’s take a look at five teams that should be very active as we approach the trade deadline on February 21st.
No team has more attractive veterans with expiring contracts than the Dallas Mavericks, and when I say veteran players, I mean veteran players–yes, I’m looking at you Shawn Marion and Vince Carter.
The Mavs are currently four games out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference and have struggled to beat the best of the best in both conferences. For the first time in over a decade, the Mavs may be forced to admit they are in the position of being a seller rather than a buyer as we near the trade deadline.
Shawn Marion and Vince Carter are two names to keep an eye on. Both have played well this season and would be attractive players to a number of contending teams.
Despite the loss of Rajon Rondo the Celtics have reeled off four straight wins and have a firm grasp on the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics recent play is encouraging for the Celtics and their fans but an honest assessment by General Manager Danny Ainge would reveal a team that is no longer a legitimate title contender. Playoff contender? Yes. But that won’t sit well with Ainge.
Expect Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett’s name to surface in a number of rumors in the next few weeks. Pierce and Garnett are leaders with the championship experience that many teams lack. The Celtics may also be looking for a team willing to take on Brandon Bass and Jason Terry, both of whom have multi-year contracts the Celtics may want to shed.
The Suns were involved with Memphis in discussions for Rudy Gay before the star forward was shipped to Toronto in a three team deal involving Memphis, Detroit and Toronto. The Suns could dangle Marcin Gortat–only one year left on his contract after this season–Jared Dudley or Wesley Johnson.
The Suns have been rumored to have interest in Josh Smith but may lack the assets to acquire him without the involvement of a third team like the Boston Celtics or Orlando Magic.
Gortat has been unhappy this season in Phoenix and has expressed his desire to play elsewhere.
As shocking as it may be–note the sarcasm in my voice–the Kings are once again near the bottom of the Western Conference.
Despite their poor record the Kings have a number of players that contenders may find attractive. Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson, Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette are all names to keep an eye on.
The Kings will likely be looking to acquire a combination of expiring contracts and draft picks. DeMarcus Cousins may be sought after by a number of teams but to this point the Kings have stated they have no interest in trading their highly talented but immature big man.
What contender would not make room for on their roster for a sharp shooter like J.J. Redick?
Redick is having a career season, and is in the last year of his contract. If the Magic decide he is not part of their future or if feel they will be unable to retain him then they will likely look to see what he may bring via trade. If a team is able to pry Redick away from Orlando they may be asked to absorb the contract of Al Harrington (owed over $14 million the next two seasons).