Here is the latest buzz around the NBA with two days remaining before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline:
Update, 9:30 p.m. Tuesday
• Marc Stein, ESPN.com: Most intriguing Sacramento-based deadline story is increasingly loud buzz out there that Isaiah Thomas is available in midst of career year. ... Kings in tough spot [with Thomas] headed to restricted free agency. Of course ... anyone trading for his big stat line/low salary faces same issues.
• Alex Kennedy Basketball Insiders: Rival executives believe the Lakers and Suns will resume trade talks, with Pau Gasol ultimately being traded to Phoenix. The executives believe Pau Gasol is the best player Phoenix can realistically get for Emeka Okafor's insured, expiring contract.
• Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: [F]or real intrigue before the trade deadline Thursday, for impact that could reverberate to the top half of conference standings, there is the West. More specifically, there is the Pacific Division. The Clippers continue to look for another piece, the Warriors are aggressive in good times and now come out of the All-Star break in a precarious position to just make the playoffs, and the Suns have the assets to make a move for now and the future. Meanwhile, one of the Pacific teams out of playoff contention, the Kings, are pursuing a third (or more) trade of the regular season, while another, the Lakers, are breaking up with Pau Gasol for about the 93rd time and will finally get a resolution one of these decades.
Update, 5:30 p.m.
• Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: The Lakers and Mavericks are trying to assemble trade offers for prospective free agent Kevin Love, but thus far the Timberwolves have given no indication they'll consider moving the All-Star forward by Thursday's deadline, league sources told CBSSports.com.
• Michael Lee, Washington Post: The Washington Wizards have been mentioned in several trade rumors leading up to Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline for deals, but there have been few hints to suggest that any moves will actually get made. ... According to a league source with knowledge of the situation, the Wizards have expressed in interest in acquiring [Nuggets point guard Andre] Miller but have been unable to agree to a package that both sides are willing to accept. The main obstacle, the source said, is finding the salaries to match with the 37-year-old Miller, who earns $5.7 million this season.
• Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports: The Sacramento Kings are engaged in discussions to send guard Marcus Thornton to the Brooklyn Nets for guard Jason Terry and forward Reggie Evans, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Talks on the deal have gathered momentum in recent days, sources told Yahoo Sports, and are expected to continue until Thursday's trade deadline.
• Sam Amick, USA Today Sports: With Minnesota in eternal pursuit of keeping Kevin Love, rival teams given impression that anybody but Love himself is up for discussion.
Update, 3 p.m.
• Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: The Rockets have renewed efforts to trade disgruntled center Omer Asik, with the Philadelphia 76ers emerging once again as a potential landing spot, league sources told CBSSports.com on Tuesday. ... [T]he Sixers have more payroll flexibility than any team in the league to make a deal work. ... The Rockets want a first-round pick for Asik, sources say.
• Alex Kennedy, Basketball Insiders: The Toronto Raptors have expressed interest in acquiring Denver Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried before Thursday’s trade deadline, league sources told Basketball Insiders. Denver is listening to offers for the 24-year-old, but nothing is imminent.
• Sean Deveney, Sporting News: As has become the custom, any period of NBA trade activity features Celtics guard Rajon Rondo prominently. Also customary, though, is this: Sources told Sporting News this week that there is very little chance the Celtics find a deal involving Rondo this year.
• Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel: Power forward Glen Davis and point guard Jameer Nelson continue to be mentioned most in trade rumors [among Magic players]. ... Nelson wants to remain with the Magic for the long-term. He has said repeatedly that he and his family are happy in Central Florida, and he has not asked team officials for a trade.
Update, 12 p.m.
• Sam Amick, USA Today Sports: Trade deadline rumblings: Houston's hope of landing Bulls' [Mike] Dunleavy not looking good, as I'm told Chicago doesn't appear willing to move him. Also Rockets-related: big man Omer Asik not expected to get his wish of escaping Houston, as I'm told there's nothing brewing on that front.
• Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: Clippers interested in flipping wing player ([Jared] Dudley, perhaps [Matt] Barnes) for frontcourt help, per source. [Antawn] Jamison, [Byron] Mullens also available.
• Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer: The Charlotte Bobcats have been in contact with the Los Angeles Lakers concerning veteran big man Pau Gasol, but a source familiar with the discussion downplayed the likelihood Gasol would end up a Bobcat by Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
• Ryan Wolstat, Toronto Sun: Ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, the Raptors have been involved in talks with multiple teams that would change the team’s point guard situation significantly. With the New York Knicks continuing to aggressively pursue Kyle Lowry, who has turned in a career season, Toronto has explored complicated deals that would bring back a replacement for the soon-to-be free agent. It’s no secret Boston has dangled four-time all-star Rajon Rondo league-wide and while the asking price is steep, he has piqued the interest of Toronto’s front office, according to multiple sources. Toronto is eager to up its “star” quotient and is also enamoured with Rondo’s resume, particularly his four all-defensive team selections (two all-NBA first team). He has many backers in the organization.
• Marc Spears, Yahoo Sports: Source said Kings and C's discussed a deal involving Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore and a pick for Rajon Rondo, but Rondo wasn't interested in re-signing with Sacramento and the Kings strongly value McLemore.
• Baxter Holmes, Boston Globe: No doubt, [Rajon] Rondo has been involved in countless trade rumors throughout his career, but the chatter has been especially loud lately amid the rebuilding Celtics’ wheeling and dealing. Last fall, [Celtics president Danny] Ainge admitted in a radio interview that in 2011, the Celtics were engaged in talks to trade Rondo for All-Star point guard Chris Paul. Multiple league sources said that while several teams have inquired about Rondo, the Celtics have only had only one realistic conversation about potentially moving him -- the one that involved Paul. Time has passed and the circumstances might have changed, but it stands to reason that if the Celtics’ asking price for Rondo is a player of Paul’s caliber, then few players can match up, making it all the more unlikely that a deal like that comes along.
• Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald: Sources around the league have confirmed that calls have been made to the Celtics regarding [Rajon] Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Jeff Green and Kris Humphries. But as of last night, there were no ongoing talks regarding any of them. There is no question the C’s would like to get something done this week, even if it is merely scrubbing their salary list a little further and getting in better position for this summer and beyond. But [Celtics president Danny] Ainge told the Herald Friday he is also open to selling off some of his assets (picks, veterans, young players) if he can acquire a top of the rotation player now.
• Paul Coro, Arizona Republic: There is the known big-splash conversation (Pau Gasol), the plausible move for frontcourt help (Brandon Bass) and a more preposterous, no-chance scenario (Zach Randolph) being floated on Phoenix’s trade-rumor seas. Almost all, if not all, of the scenarios will sink. ... A trade would have to be overwhelmingly sensible for the Suns to sacrifice anything they have set up for the future, as far as salary-cap space or their accumulation of first-round picks (six in the next two drafts) to bring in young talent or package for a superstar trade.
• Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer: The Bobcats are looking to make just their second playoff appearance in their decade-long history. Obviously they could use some help offensively, as they are 24th or worse among 30 NBA teams in scoring, field-goal percentage and free-throw percentage. They have some potential assets to deal, in Ben Gordon’s expiring contract (a $13.2 million cap value) and future first-round picks owed them by Portland and Detroit.
• John Reid, New Orleans Times Picayune: With Thursday’s trade deadline approaching, speculation persists about the New Orleans Pelicans' front office listening to offers for Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans. But Pelicans coach Monty Williams said after Monday’s practice that he expects for both players to still be with the team after the trade deadline passes.
• Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times: There are 678,595 reasons why the Bulls won’t be buyers when the NBA trade deadline comes and goes Thursday. That’s how much they’re below the luxury-tax line since unloading Luol Deng in January. But selling is a different story. Mike Dunleavy and Kirk Hinrich could become movable assets if the right deal comes along.
• Mitch Lawrence, New York Daily News: [Raymond] Felton has had a bad season and again is the subject of trade talk with the NBA trade deadline on Thursday at 3 p.m. ... “There’s no question that the Knicks want to upgrade that position," one Eastern Conference executive said on Monday night. “That’s their top goal."
• Marc Berman, New York Post: The Knicks have spent the last couple of months investigating point-guard upgrades, failing in attempts to land Rajon Rondo and Kyle Lowry. Now reportedly they have inquired about Atlanta point guard Jeff Teague, who once played for [Mike] Woodson with the Hawks. However, what makes such a deal a longshot for on-the-block Iman Shumpert is Teague has a long-term contract that would cut into the Knicks’ ballyhooed cap space for 2015 -- the selling point they are using to convince Carmelo Anthony to re-sign. The Knicks are expected to pass on Teague. ... One scenario thrown out was a three-team deal that would have Teague going to Toronto with a draft pick, [Lowry to the Knicks and Shumpert to Atlanta. One source said the teams had not discussed that scenario and the Raptors probably aren’t trading Lowry.
• Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo: The Memphis Grizzlies are discussing a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves centered on forward Chase Budinger and guard J.J. Barea, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Memphis wants to include forward Tayshaun Prince into the package and the deal could be expanded to include guard Tony Allen, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
• Jerry Zgoda, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Yahoo! Sports reported Monday the Wolves have discussed a trade with Memphis that would send offensive-minded reserves J.J. Barea and Chase Budinger for defensive-minded Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen. Dante Cunningham and Luc Mbah a Moute are others who could be traded by Thursday. Barea’s departure would create a need for a backup point guard such as Denver’s exiled Andre Miller, unless the Wolves intend to rely upon Alexey Shved and A.J. Price there.Christopher Dempsey, Denver Post: