With the Feb. 21 trade deadline a month away, the rumor mill is starting to run overtime. While that usually means a lot more talk than trading, it doesn't mean there aren't deals that <i>should</i> be made. What deals? How about for the players in the following rundown, all of whom could use a fresh start with a new team. This list, of course, doesn't include each and every Knick who probably wouldn't mind a trip away from the circus that is Madison Square Garden.
2 of 13Manny Millan/SI
The NBA's best pure point guard has come out with a trade request, which will lead to daily rumors involving contenders such as Dallas, Denver and Cleveland. But superstars with huge contracts (like Kidd's $19.7 million salary in 2007-08) are always difficult to deal, especially during the season.
3 of 13John W. McDonough/SI
When Wallace signed a four-year, $60 million deal in 2006, he was supposed to tamp down any offensive uprisings, not start them. Yet, in not even two seasons, he has done little more than set small fires in the team's locker room. But with the unproductive Wallace having $28 million due the following two seasons, along with the wheels of a quickly aging 33-year-old, this unhappy marriage isn't likely headed for divorce soon.
4 of 13AP
Odd that O'Neal would potentially hurt his trade value by raising the possibility that he may rest his sore knee the remainder of the season. After all, the 11-year veteran has been hinting in the media for the last two seasons about how he would welcome a trade out of Indiana, a stance that likely hasn't softened given new Pacers coach Jim O'Brien's fast-paced attack. "He needs to be in a more regimented, half-court offense," a scout said.
5 of 13Elsa/Getty Images
Gasol, booed at times in Memphis, has made a greater impression for what he doesn't bring than the 19 points and nine rebounds he does average for the Grizzlies. "He wants to be <i>the</i> guy but he needs tough guys around him," a scout said. "He was most successful under former coach Mike Fratello because he ran a lot of plays where Pau received two screens to get the ball, so he didn't have to go run to the block and fight to create position. Now they have young guards, and he gets frustrated easily when they call a play for him and the ball doesn't get to him."
6 of 13Greg Nelson/SI
Former teammate Gilbert Arenas claimed earlier this season that Hughes is unhappy in Cleveland, where the poor-shooting guard has been booed at home and talked privately with coach Mike Brown about his role on the team. Hughes' name has surfaced in trade rumors all season, but with $26 million left on his contract through 2009-10, he won't be easy to deal.
7 of 13Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
After his agents spent the summer trying to land him a bigger role elsewhere, Pietrus begrudgingly signed a one-year qualifying offer for $3.47 million, less than the $5.3 million per year he was seeking. Playing 10 fewer minutes a game than he did last season -- and suffering diminished returns on his stats -- hasn't brightened his mood. At the beginning of January he said he would welcome a trade.
8 of 13David E. Klutho/SI
A gifted shooter, Smith has yo-yoed in and out of coach George Karl's lineup -- and doghouse -- with some poor shot selection, and even poorer defense. When asked recently if Smith might be used as a backup point guard, Karl told the <i>Denver Post</i>, "That would be a lot of fun, putting your worst turnover-per-minute man at point guard."
9 of 13Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Soon to be 30 years old, and with visions of conference title series still dancing in the recesses of his head, the Kings' point guard isn't looking to oversee the rebuilding project facing his team of seven years (in addition, Beno Udrih played well as the starter while Bibby sat out two months with a thumb injury). Cleveland is interested in Bibby, as are the Heat and any number of teams in search of a veteran point who can stroke the three-pointer.
10 of 13Greg Nelson/SI
Redick, the 11th pick in the 2006 draft, has seen his minutes cut nearly in half in his second season. That likely won't change anytime soon with new Magic coach Stan Van Gundy opting for "better defensive options on the roster." In his personal blog, Redick said he's "frustrated" because "it's been proven that even if I play well in the limited minutes I get that not much is going to change."
11 of 13Manny Millan/SI
After the Rockets recently won seven of 11 games with McGrady on the shelf with a knee injury, some wondered if the Rockets might be better off without him. "I don't know if he's completely sold on everything that's going on with the team, but he's always been known as a little bit of a front-runner to begin with," a scout said. Though Houston now seems to be adapting to coach Rick Adelman's free-flowing, up-tempo offense, McGrady, to some, still appears to be yearning for the days when former Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy handed him the ball and told him to direct the offense.
12 of 13AP, John W. McDonough/SI
Luke Ridnour/Earl Watson/Delonte West
Three point guards, one starting role. With the Sonics in the midst of rebuilding, and a slew of contenders starving for point guards, it seems only a matter of time before the loser of this three-way derby is shipped off for a draft pick or a promising youngster. Now if coach P.J. Carlesimo could only decide whether he wants Ridnour's offense, Watson's defense or West's shooting.
13 of 13Greg Nelson/SI
Williams certainly is not the sole cause of the Heat's misery, but his career-low 8.9 points and 38 percent shooting sure haven't helped, and have gotten him benched at times by coach Pat Riley. With Williams' $8.9 million salary due to come off Miami's books this summer, the smart play would be for the Heat to pocket the salary-cap savings. But with short-term fixes on the market in the likes of Andre Miller and Mike Bibbby, Williams' contract is a significant trade chip for a coach who has never had a strong stomach for losing.
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