By Chris Mannix
February 17, 2011
Team-By-Team Trade Outlook
With a superstar on the market, a flood of expiring contracts and trade exceptions also in play and collective bargaining uncertainty as a backdrop, the trading season will be interesting to watch. As the Feb. 24 deadline approaches, here's a look at each team's trade potential. (All payroll figures are from
Eastern Conference
Atlanta Hawks
Team Payroll: $69.2 million
Potential Trade Assets: Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, Jamal Crawford, $3.6 million trade exception
At point guard, second-year player Jeff Teague has been a disappointment while starter Mike Bibby's defense makes him a liability. Meanwhile, Al Horford's father, Tito, recently told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he has been begging GM Rick Sund for years to acquire a more natural center so Al can move to power forward. But help isn't coming at those positions. According to a rival executive, the Hawks are unwilling to become luxury-tax payers. With the current payroll, Atlanta is $1.1 million under the tax.
Boston Celtics
Team Payroll: $77.7 million
Potential Trade Assets: Avery Bradley, Nate Robinson
With Marquis Daniels (neck) not expected to play anytime soon, the Celtics need a backup small forward. However, Boston has limited assets to deal, which eliminates a trade for Tayshaun Prince or Shane Battier, two defensive-minded wing players with expiring deals. The Celtics have had success luring bought-out (Sam Cassell, Stephon Marbury) or retired (P.J. Brown) players in the past, but the pickings are slim this year, unless Richard Hamilton can work out a deal with Detroit. Taking a flyer on a veteran D-League swingman (such as Joe Alexander) is another possibility.
Charlotte Bobcats
Team Payroll: $66.3 million
Potential Trade Assets: Boris Diaw, Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson, Nazr Mohammed
The Bobcats' resurgence since Paul Silas took over for the fired Larry Brown on Dec. 22 has cooled talk of deals for Jackson or Wallace. However, rival executives say Charlotte is willing to deal Diaw, who has a $9 million player option for next season. Charlotte was never interested in a deal for Ron Artest, and sources say any offers for one of the Bobcats' marquee players must include a first-round pick.
Chicago Bulls
Team Payroll: $56.8 million
Potential Trade Assets Luol Deng, Omer Asik, James Johnson
Joakim Noah is not listed as a potential trade asset because as much as the Nuggets want him in a deal for Carmelo Anthony, they aren't getting him. Chicago is still interested in Denver guard J.R. Smith, who won't be dealt until after the Anthony situation is resolved. The Bulls have invested a lot of scouting hours in the Rockets' Courtney Lee, too, though a source said Houston is reluctant to part with him. Another shooting guard, Cleveland's Anthony Parker, is also on their radar. Rival executives believe Chicago is a leading candidate to land Richard Hamilton as well, should Hamilton be bought out by the Pistons.
Cleveland Cavaliers
Team Payroll: $52.4 million
Potential Trade Assets: Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams, Ramon Sessions, Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker, $14.5 million trade exception
Cleveland is shopping Jamison, who is due $15.1 million next season. The Cavaliers are trying to use the massive trade exception acquired in the LeBron James deal to land a superstar under a long-term contract, but such players just aren't available. Expect the Cavs, who are committed to playing Manny Harris and Christian Eyenga on the wings, to make one or two smaller deals that move Parker or Moon for draft considerations.
Detroit Pistons
Team Payroll: $65 million
Potential Trade Assets: Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton, Charlie Villanueva, Chris Wilcox
Detroit tried to unload Hamilton on New Jersey (in the aborted Carmelo deal) and Dallas to no avail. The uncertain ownership situation -- current owner Karen Davidson is in the middle of a two-week exclusive negotiation to sell the team to billionaire Tom Gores -- makes a buyout (or any significant trade, for that matter) difficult, especially with Hamilton guaranteed at least $21.5 million over the next two seasons. The market for a free-agent Hamilton would be robust. The trade market is almost nonexistent.
Indiana Pacers
Team Payroll: $65.1 million
Potential Trade Assets: T.J. Ford, James Posey, Danny Granger, $3.5 million trade exception
Indiana's success under interim coach Frank Vogel has quieted talk of an overhaul. Team president Larry Bird said Granger is not available, but rival executives believe Bird would deal the former All-Star for the right price (shorter contracts, draft picks). Ford and Posey have lost their spots in the rotation under Vogel and are the most likely to go. Ford is making $8.5 million in the last year of his deal. Posey has a championship pedigree but another year on his deal at $7.6 million. If Indiana can't find a team to take Posey, it could look to buy out his contract.
Miami Heat
Team Payroll: $66.5 million
Potential Trade Assets: James Jones, Joel Anthony
The Heat are hamstrung by the fact that a handful of players make mega-dollars while the rest make peanuts. Miami was said to be interested in seeing Carmelo get dealt to New Jersey because of the possibility that Chauncey Billups would be included and then perhaps bought out. A source close to Billups said Miami would be his No. 1 choice if bought out. However, the Heat don't have anywhere near the assets or matching salaries to acquire Billups from Denver, nor do they have what it takes to get Nene, who is also high on their wish list. In all likelihood, the team Pat Riley expertly constructed last summer will look the same after the deadline.
Milwaukee Bucks
Team Payroll: $68.7 million
Potential Trade Assets:Michael Redd, Corey Maggette, Carlos Delfino, John Salmons
Redd is appealing to other teams on a couple of levels. According to the Bucks, Redd, who shred the ACL and MCL in his left knee for the second time last year, is ready to play and will be back after the All-Star break. And because Redd has already missed 41 games, 70 percent of his $18.3 million contract will be covered by insurance. The bad contracts of Maggette and Salmons make it unlikely they will be dealt.
New Jersey Nets
Team Payroll: $58.1 million
Potential Trade Assets: Troy Murphy, Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, Johan Petro, Kris Humphries, Sasha Vujacic
While the Nets have made no secret of their interest in moving Murphy and his $12 million expiring contract, one concern is that trading him could permanently kill any possibility of landing 'Melo. In the meantime, the Nets, who could shed as much as $21 million off the payroll after the season and own five first-round picks over the next two years, have started evaluating 2011 free agents and the draft.
New York Knicks
Team Payroll: $58.4 million
Potential Trade Assets: Landry Fields, Danilo Gallinari, Eddy Curry, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler
The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that the Knicks rejected a deal that would have sent Carmelo and Billups to the Knicks for Gallinari, Felton, Curry and a first-round pick. That pick likely would have come from the Timberwolves, who have made it clear they are willing to send a first-rounder to New York for Anthony Randolph. And Newsday reported Tuesday that the two teams had set the parameters for a deal and talks would "heat up" after the All-Star break. Still, Knicks GM Donnie Walsh is reluctant to part with so much of the young talent he has acquired over the last three years, and several executives believe Walsh will roll the dice and hope he can get Anthony as a free agent this summer. Should a deal for Anthony fall through, the Knicks could still deal Randolph to Minnesota. A source said the Timberwolves are willing to expand the deal to include Curry. Minnesota has $12 million in available cap space and could send Corey Brewer to New York for Curry, Randolph and a first-round pick.
Orlando Magic
Team Payroll: $89.9 million
Potential Trade Assets: Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon, Earl Clark, $6.3 million trade exception
The Magic have become a game of Mad Libs. Any report that reads "Orlando called (insert team name) to express interest in (insert power forward/center)" is probably true. GM Otis Smith has come up empty so far in search of a backup big man to replace Marcin Gortat. That Smith has tried to dampen expectations means he is not optimistic about landing one before the deadline. Orlando's best hope may be for the Nets to negotiate a buyout with Murphy, whose most likely destination would be Orlando, according to a source.
Philadelphia 76ers
Team Payroll: $68.4 million
Potential Trade Assets: Andre Iguodala, Jason Kapono, Darius Songaila, $2.2 million trade exception
Iguodala isn't off the table, but Philadelphia has not been as aggressive in trying to move him lately. Winning 10 of 14 will do that. One source said not to expect the Sixers to do anything before the deadline.
Toronto Raptors
Team Payroll: $66.8 million
Potential Trade Assets: Reggie Evans, Jose Calderon, Leandro Barbosa, $12.5 million trade exception
Toronto has a fat payroll and a roster that has not generated much interest. Rival executives believe the best the Raptors will be able to get for Evans, Calderon or Barbosa are protected draft picks. If that.
Washington Wizards
Team Payroll: $58.3 million
Potential Trade Assets: Kirk Hinrich, Rashard Lewis, Andray Blatche
The Wizards are happy with Hinrich, but several contenders (most notably, the Lakers) would love to acquire him. The enigmatic Blatche (due $29.8 million over the next four seasons) is available, as is Lewis, who will make $21.1 million next season in the last year of his deal.

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