By Chris Mannix
February 11, 2010
Team-By-Team Trade Outlook
By Chris Mannix
With a potential lockout looming and multiple teams looking to slash payroll in anticipation of this summer's free-agent bonanza, the trading season could bring a handful of surprises. As the Feb. 18 deadline approaches, here's a look at each team's trading potential. (All payroll figures are from
Eastern Conference
Atlanta Hawks
Team Payroll: $65.9 million
Potential Trade Assets: F Joe Smith, C Jason Collins, F Marvin Williams
As much as Atlanta would like to add a defensive-minded center to tangle with Dwight Howard in a potential playoff matchup, it has no interest in breaking up the core to get one. Atlanta has stayed committed to developing its roster since 2004, a strategy that has paid off with an improved win total every season. Though Joe Johnson will be a free agent at the end of the season, calling the Hawks about Johnson is "pointless," according to one GM.
Boston Celtics
Team Payroll: $85.2 million
Potential Trade Assets: G Ray Allen, F Brian Scalabrine, G Tony Allen, G Eddie House
GM Danny Ainge told Boston sports radio station WEEI on Wednesday that he felt the team "needs to do something." Boston has inquired about Kirk Hinrich, but the Celtics don't have anything Chicago is interested in. Many GMs believe Ainge would jump at the chance to swap Ray Allen for Kevin Martin, but the Kings won't deal Martin (yet) in a salary dump. Ainge shot down a rumor that had Glen Davis going to Charlotte for D.J. Augustin, but Boston has been scouring the league for a pure playmaker to back up Rajon Rondo.
Charlotte Bobcats
Team Payroll: $66.4 million
Potential Trade Assets: C Tyson Chandler, F Boris Diaw, G D.J. Augustin, G Acie Law, G Flip Murray
Larry Brown has made no secret of his desire to upgrade the power forward position with a more traditional presence. After a solid rookie year, Augustin's numbers have nosedived, making him the most likely player to be dealt. Charlotte's tenuous ownership situation -- Bob Johnson is expected to sell the team sometime in the next few months -- could impede any significant deals.
Chicago Bulls
Team Payroll: $70.1 million
Potential Trade Assets G John Salmons, G Kirk Hinrich, F Tyrus Thomas, C Brad Miller, two $1.9 million trade exceptions
The Bulls are committed to dealing either Salmons (one year, $5.8 million remaining on his deal) or Hinrich (two years, $17 million), or possibly both in order to slash enough payroll to be able to make a run at Dwyane Wade or Joe Johnson this summer. Salmons has been brought up most by the Bulls. Hinrich has sparked interest from Boston and the Lakers, but neither is willing to offer more than expiring contracts. Thomas' recent dust-up with coach Vinny Del Negro was probably the last straw for the combustible forward, who is now reportedly on the trading block.
Cleveland Cavaliers
Team Payroll: $80.3 million
Potential Trade Assets: F Wally Szczerbiak, C Zydrunas Ilgauskas, F J.J. Hickson, G Delonte West, G Daniel Gibson
Cavaliers would love to get their hands on Wizards forward Antawn Jamison. However, The Washington Post recently reported that the Wizards were demanding top value in return. For the second year in a row, Szczerbiak, who can be signed for as much as a pro-rated $16.4 million, is Cleveland's biggest trade chip. Szczerbiak is unsigned and hasn't played this season, but the Cavs still own his Bird rights and can include him in a sign-and-trade, a la Keith Van Horn in 2008. Sources believe the Cavs will wait until close to the deadline to make a deal in the hope that teams become willing to dump top players for little more than salary-cap relief.
Detroit Pistons
Team Payroll: $61.2 million
Potential Trade Assets: F Tayshaun Prince, G Ben Gordon, C Kwame Brown
Don't expect Joe Dumars to make any rash decisions. The Pistons' free-fall this season has been surprising, but Dumars -- who spent $90 million on free agents Gordon and Charlie Villanueva in the offseason -- probably won't break up the team after just half a season (and an unhealthy one at that). Prepare for a quiet deadline.
Indiana Pacers
Team Payroll: $66.7 million
Potential Trade Assets: F Troy Murphy, G T.J. Ford, G Mike Dunleavy, G Earl Watson
GM Larry Bird is beyond frustrated with his team's play and is looking to shake things up. A league source said the Pacers discussed a deal that would flip Danny Granger to Minnesota for Al Jefferson, but talks quickly fizzled. Murphy is an attractive asset, but Indiana is supposedly asking for a lot for its power forward. Ford has played well recently (he scored 20 points in 27 minutes in a loss to Milwaukee) and the Pacers would like to find a team willing to take his contract ($8.5 million player option next season) off their books.
Miami Heat
Team Payroll: $73.4 million
Potential Trade Assets: F Michael Beasley, C Jermaine O'Neal, F Dorell Wright, F Quentin Richardson
Recent reports have the Heat hot after Amar'e Stoudemire. Beasley has been included in trade rumors, but Miami will only give him up in a blockbuster deal that will bring back an All-Star-caliber player. Miami is expected to be active at the deadline as it attempts to present free-agent-to-be Wade with evidence that the franchise can be a championship contender in the next few seasons.
Milwaukee Bucks
Team Payroll: $67.3 million
Potential Trade Assets: F Kurt Thomas, G Luke Ridnour
The Bucks have been flooded with calls about Thomas, a capable frontcourt defender who is in the final year of his contract. Portland is believed to be interested, but the Blazers haven't offered a package that would interest the cost-conscious Bucks.
New Jersey Nets
Team Payroll: $59.4 million
Potential Trade Assets: G Devin Harris, C Tony Battie, F Yi Jianlian, G Chris Douglas-Roberts, F Jarvis Hayes, G Courtney Lee, 2010 first-round pick
Only one player (center Brook Lopez) is considered untouchable. The team has been very disappointed in the play of Harris, who has taken a step back after an All-Star season in 2008-09. The Nets will strongly consider buying out Douglas-Roberts, whose attitude has been described as "horrible," if he is not dealt before the deadline. Several teams have asked the Nets about their first-round pick, but New Jersey -- which, like most teams, is high on John Wall -- is unwilling to discuss it.
New York Knicks
Team Payroll: $86 million
Potential Trade Assets: F Al Harrington, F Jared Jeffries, G Larry Hughes, G Nate Robinson, C Darko Milicic, G Cuttino Mobley
The Knicks, who aren't interested in any deal for players signed past this season, are looking for a point guard to replace Chris Duhon, who has struggled since the second half of last season. Harrington is available and the Knicks have been recruiting a third team in a deal that would net them Tracy McGrady. A two-team swap won't work because the Rockets have little interest in any of the Knicks' players and refuse to talk about any deal that includes Jared Jeffries, one of four Knicks under contract next season.
Orlando Magic
Team Payroll: $80.5 million
Potential Trade Assets: F Brandon Bass, C Marcin Gortat, G J.J. Redick, $6.9 million trade exception
A rival executive described the Magic as being unhappy with their roster and eager to make a deal to shake things up. Bass has been a non-factor since signing a four-year, $18 million deal and is priced to move. The Magic's trade exception -- acquired in the Hedo Turkoglu deal last offseason -- is attractive to teams looking to shed payroll. Several teams have called about Redick, though the Magic have been reluctant to part with the shooting guard, who was effective during Vince Carter's putrid January.
Philadelphia 76ers
Team Payroll: $63 million
Potential Trade Assets: F Andre Iguodala, C Sam Dalembert, F Elton Brand, F Jason Kapono
It's a fire sale in Philly, and the Sixers haven't been particularly demanding about what they want in return. Iguodala, Dalembert and Brand can all be had (Philadelphia has been one of the most active teams pursuing McGrady) as the Sixers point toward next season. The Sixers have made it clear that they will not part with any of their young talent, including Marreese Speights and Jrue Holiday.
Toronto Raptors
Team Payroll: $67.8 million
Potential Trade Assets: F Chris Bosh, G Jose Calderon, G Marco Belinelli
Houston would do a Tracy McGrady-for-Bosh/Calderon deal tomorrow and might even be willing to sweeten the deal with Aaron Brooks. But sources insist that over the last few months the Raptors have gone from probable sellers to buyers on the trade market. Toronto has been looking for help at shooting guard and has been asking around about some bruising front-line help to back up finesse big men Bosh and Andrea Bargnani. As for Bosh, GM Bryan Colangelo's message hasn't changed: Bosh is not available.
Washington Wizards
Team Payroll: $79.2 million
Potential Trade Assets: F Antawn Jamison, G Mike Miller, G Mike James, C Andray Blatche
The long-anticipated fire sale in Washington has begun. The Wizards sent Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to the Mavericks in a seven-player trade Saturday. In return, the Wizards received Josh Howard, forward Drew Gooden, James Singleton and Quinton Ross. Meanwhile, the 33-year-old Jamison is being eyed by the likes of Cleveland, and the Wizards may be willing to part with the expiring contracts of Miller and James. Suspended guard Javaris Crittenton has been mentioned a lot, but a league source said the NBA would likely veto any deal involving Crittenton, who is in the last year of his contract and ineligible to play for any team this season.

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