Contenders Looking to get Better as Trade Deadline Approaches

The team that was built to defeat the Heat, sits six games behind Miami. It is the time of year for teams like the Brooklyn Nets, feeling good but not great about their competitive positioning, to bolster their rosters.

Teams like the Nets, Clippers, Celtics, Spurs, Knicks, Pacers, Bulls, Hawks, Thunder, Nuggets, and Jazz could all be looking to make moves that would either put them in a better position to win now or strengthen their position for the future.

Young players like Eric Bledsoe of the Clippers are now being shopped for proven veterans who could help close the gap necessary to make an elite team a championship team.

Rajon Rondo of the Celtics, who is out for the rest of the year, is also on the trading block so that Boston could add pieces necessary to make a run with aging legs THIS year while management may also be shopping older stars like Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett to begin the rebuilding process.

While most of the chatter centers on the teams above (with the Clippers, Celtics, and Nets involved in the most rumors), each NBA franchise could be taking a look at players like J.J. Reddick (Magic), Evan Turner (76ers), Andrea Bargani (Raptors), Marcin Gortat (Suns), or Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson (Jazz).

Or, they could be considering a major overhaul by looking at one of these star players:

  • Josh Smith, Hawks (pictured)- The team that stands the best chance at landing the star forward is probably the Brooklyn Nets. However, Smith, whose contract expires at the end of the year, has already made clear he plans to ask for a maximum level deal. While the Nets have been rebuffed on their offer of Kris Humphries and Marshon Brooks, that may be the best deal for Smith. The Bucks and Suns, two teams that are rumored to be in talks with a number of contenders, could also be in the picture as they could put an intriguing offer on the table for the Hawks. The Boston Celtics are also intrigued by Smith, but it is unlikely they have the necessary pieces to land him unless they offer…
  • Paul Pierce, Celtics- it is unlikely that the Celtics will part from the long-time face of their franchise, however, there are rumors of potential talks with the Hawks and the Clippers. Danny Ainge has made it clear that he is not opposed to doing a complete revamp of the Celtics roster right now. Such an overhaul might also include…
  • Kevin Garnett, Celtics- Ainge seems to want to deal KG, but the future Hall of Famer has expressed a desire to stay in Boston and has a no trade clause which would allow him to veto any deal. Even the Clippers, which would seem to be a preferred destination for Garnett, are not confident that they could sway the aging star. Beyond Garnett, the biggest name who could be dealt is…
  • Dwight Howard, Lakers- This has nearly no chance of happening as the Lakers management seems committed to trying to keep Howard as a co-star now and future centerpiece in the post-Kobe era. However, a deal with the Brooklyn Nets, Howard’s long preferred destination, would make a lot of sense for both teams and it may be premature to rule it out. The Lakers may have to evaluate what would keep Howard in LA beyond his contract expiration at the end of the year. Could Phil Jackson be the long term solution?

Tomorrow’s deadline certainly holds a lot of intrigue, but it is hard to predict any certain or near-certain deals. Stay tuned to Breitbart Sports for updates on the NBA Trade Deadline.

Follow Cole Muzio on Twitter @ColeMuzio


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