NBA Best Of The Week: Week 14—Trade Deadline Looms

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The calendar has rolled over to February, which means we’re a little more than two weeks from the NBA trading deadline of Feb. 20.

There have already been a few deals, most notably Rudy Gay moving from Toronto to Sacramento on Dec. 9. But the Kings also picked up Derrick Williams from Minnesota in late November and more recently, the Golden State Warriors made a move to bolster their bench by getting Jordan Crawford from Boston in a three-team deal that included the Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers picked up free-agent-to-be Luol Deng from the Bulls for a passle of draft picks and Andrew Bynum’s corpse (with Indiana the most recent team to attempt to revive it).

So who could be next to move? Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report said he’s talked to his inside sources around the league and found a lot of names being frequently mentioned, including Pau Gasol of the Lakers—most recently rumored to be drawing interest from Phoenix, Arron Afflalo and Glen Davis of Orlando, Wizards Trevor Ariza and Chris Singleton, Taj Gibson of the Bulls, Sacramento’s Carl Landry, Greg Monroe of the Pistons, New Orleans’ Austin Rivers, Thabo Sefolosha of the Thunder and Toronto’s Greivis Vasquez.




Vasquez was part of the Gay deal, going from the Kings to the Raptors as part of the return package, and can be traded again because he was dealt prior to Dec. 19.

Last year’s deadline was active, but not remarkable. The biggest name to move was pending free agent J.J. Redick going from the Magic to the Bucks, but there were a plethora of deals involving spare parts.

If I were to look at the teams I most expect to be active before the deadline, New York’s tandem of the Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have to be considered, even if those are the teams with perhaps the least wiggle room in relation to contracts. Presumably, any deal involving Brooklyn or New York would need a third party to help make the money work.

The Lakers may be looking to dump salary before free agency this summer, since this season is a lost cause—L.A. is 11 games out of the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference and no team has ever come back from more than 10 games back to reach the playoffs since the NBA expanded the playoffs to 16 teams for the 1983-84 season.

Detroit could be looking to make some moves because once again, an offseason chemistry experiment has blown up in Joe Dumars’ face. This time, it was adding Josh Smith to the frontcourt and Brandon Jennings to run the offense. The Pistons responded by Smith turning into the league’s most shameless gunner from outside—he averages 3.5 3-point attempts per game while making a whopping 23.5 percent of them, Greg Monroe has looked lost at times at power forward and Jennings continued to be Brandon Jennings—shoot first, ask questions … well, never, actually.

The Bobcats might look for help as they make a push to reach the playoffs for only the second time in franchise history. Al Jefferson has been good, but Charlotte’s 3-point shooting has been abysmal.

So, yes, it’s going to be an interesting next couple of weeks or so. Around and around the rumors will go and where the players stop? We’ll find out.

Moving on to the NBA best of the week, where the players selected must play at least 25 minutes a game in more than half of their team’s games (rookies must average 20 minutes a game to be selected).

All statistical information from

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