The usual trade deadline frenzy might yet be upon us before 3 p.m. ET Thursday. But for now, team executives believe the new trade and financial rules have had a chilling effect on the discussions.
Teams have become hypersensitive to the enhanced luxury-tax penalties and looming repeater tax, so the days of easily dumping long-term salary in exchange for a draft pick are effectively over. Plenty of teams are seeking draft picks and young talent, but those teams possessing such prized commodities aren’t willing to easily give them up.
Teams that have used their full mid-level exception this season (Boston) or bi-annual exception (Chicago) are hard-capped at $74 million. Without a third team to absorb salary, it’s going to be challenging for such teams to pull off a blockbuster trade. A team like Brooklyn is allowed to exceed the $74 million hard cap because it has not used one of those exceptions, so the Nets have more room to maneuver.
The only area of increased urgency to complete trades by Thursday’s deadline as opposed to this summer would be deals involving prospective free agents. With players like Al Jefferson and Josh Smith, Utah and Atlanta, respectively, might want to consider moving them now because there will be far fewer potential trade partners in July. Why? Starting this summer, teams whose post-trade payrolls exceed the luxury-tax line by more than $4 million will not be permitted to acquire a player in a sign-and-trade. So if the Nets want Dwight Howard, for example, it would be much easier to acquire him now.
While the Celtics were still awaiting final paperwork on a minor move they hope won’t turn out to be so minor (a 10-day contract for Terrence Williams), the club is still working extremely hard to find something else that will support its run over these next few months.
According to one opposing team executive, the Celtics “are one of the more active teams out there talking, but they really don’t have a lot of great options. They don’t have a lot to trade.”
Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick realizes that Tuesday night’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Amway Center could be his final home game as a Magic player.
But Redick said on Monday afternoon that he hasn’t received any indication that a trade is going to happen.
In fact, Redick said Magic general manager Rob Hennigan has told him that the team is “open” to re-signing him when he becomes a free agent this summer. Hennigan has stayed in touch with Redick and with Redick’s agent, Arn Tellem, in recent weeks.
The Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford tweeted out his stat line from December early Sunday morning. Jeff Newman at Bullets Forever is asking if this tweet means that Crawford in indeed unhappy in his diminished role with the team.
The tick tock will determine whether Kevin Garnett gets traded to the L.A. Clippers by Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. It’ll take the Clippers’ braintrust convincing Danny Ainge to pursue such a deal, and it’ll take someone — Ainge, Chris Paul, Vinny Del Negro, Blake Griffin, a Google Map readout showing the distance between Staples Center and Malibu — to convince KG to waive his no-trade clause.
But what determines whether such a trade would be worth it for the Clippers depends on how much the Ticket can improve L.A. within the next couple of years.
Still many involved for Atlanta’s Josh Smith, including Bucks, Nets, Celtics, 76ers, Wizards, others, sources say. Strong belief he’s moved.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 17, 2013
Over the final two days of All-Star weekend, the Clippers found themselves in the headlines linked to trades that would send young players out for veteran frontcourt help.
Saturday, a report from Yahoo Sports had the Clippers in talks with Boston for All-Star Kevin Garnett, and Sunday, an ESPN report tied the Clippers to the Utah Jazz in a deal that would send out Eric Bledsoe as part of a package that would net Paul Millsap in return.
Millsap, who is averaging more than 15 points and 7 rebounds a game, is a free agent after this season.
speculated about a possible trade that would send Evan Turner and
Spencer Hawes to Atlanta for soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Josh
Smith, but such a deal would not interest the 76ers, according to two
league sources with knowledge of the situation.
What are the chances Pau Gasol gets traded before the deadline?
J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: Zero percent. Why would anyone want a guy who’ll cost $19 million next season when he can’t play for you this season? Anyway, the Lakers can’t afford to ship him out until they get Dwight Howard to sign on the line which is dotted.
Both Cleveland and Charlotte are said to be prepared to make Oden an offer following the Feb. 21 trading deadline. Boston also remains interested, although it’s believed Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge won’t get into any sort of bidding war.