NBA Trade Deadline: Top five players who could be dealt


BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

With March Madness, NFL free agency and baseball’s Spring Training in full swing at the beginning of March, sports fans may forget about the NBA Trade Deadline on March 15.

It may be a snoozer of a deadline as the playoffs begin just six short week later and as some general manger begin to question whether this is the right year to wheel and deal. The NBA lockout put a hinder on a lot of things and this year’s trade deadline may feel the negative effects the most. So NBA fans, don’t be holding your breath that your team is going to make that one move to put them over the top next week. It likely won’t happen. Be that as it may, deal will be done. They probably just won’t have that blockbuster title with them.

Obviously there will be a lot of discussion over Dwight Howard and the ongoing saga of him going to the L.A. Lakers. But other than that, the transactions will be at a minimum during this deadline. So with not much to work with and even fewer rumors, here’s Couch Side’s predictions on the top five players who could be dealt close or the day of the NBA Trade Deadline:

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard could be the best player traded on Wednesday's NBA Trade Deadline. Photo by: Lubright / Flickr

1. Dwight Howard, center, Orlando Magic

Throughout the season, Howard has been asked to be dealt. First, it was the Lakers. Then it was the New Jersey Nets. Hell, the L.A. Clippers were even up for discussion as a possible new team. Regardless of everyone wanting him, no one was willing to pay the price that Orlando wanted. Hence, the 26-year-old is still in black and blue and the Magic are the third best team in the East. So why would the Magic want to trade him? It’s simple. D-How does not want to be there. He wants to win a ring right away. And the only way he could do so is if he ends up with the Lakers, which is about a 50-50 chance right now, in my opinion. According to a handful of general managers, teams are actually waiting on Big D to be traded before they’ll even test the swapping grounds. So if Howard doesn’t get traded soon, the deadline may be even quieter. But L.A. will most likely be the front runner if anything happens at all. Howard would be walking away from $30 million if he accepted a trade. What’s even worse, to me, is that if he gets traded to another team that already has their superstar (i.e. Kobe Bryant with the Lakers) he won’t be the main dude in that city. I honestly believe the Magic can win the Finals as early as this year, but that’s only if Superman stays in Orlando.  And the only way he’ll be playing in yellow and purple is if the Lakers are willing to trade Andrew Bynum, which a lot of sources say he will only be moved in a trade for Howard. So if L.A. is willing to part ways with their center of the future for basically the same thing only more talented, than Howard may just end up in L.A. by Wednesday.

2. Pau Gasol, power forward, L.A. Lakers

Gasol was almost shipped to the Houston Rockets this offseason, but that deal fell through the cracks. The Rockets still have interest in Gasol, however, and who can blame them? He is still easily a top five power forward in the league and can make an immediate impact for any team who lands him. L.A. will want a point guard, though, and Houston is very reluctant to offer Kyle Lowry in any sort of deal. There is also a lot of rumors surfacing about L.A. shipping Gasol to Boston for their point guard, Rajon Rondo. But all indications point to the Celtics not wanting to move the rising star. After all, Gasol is 31-years-old and Rondo is just 26.

3. Steve Nash, point guard, Phoenix Suns

Why don’t the Lakers chase Nash? At least they would have a decent point guard for maybe two more seasons. I’m really not sure why the Lakers won’t get in on trade talks for Nash, but other teams are definitely interested in the two-time league MVP. The only hold up is that Nash has to be the one at the end of the day to agree to a trade. We’ve seen the Suns very active for the past two seasons at the deadline, but I don’t see Nash leaving town unless a ligitement NBA Finals contender swoops in with something amazing.

4. Devin Harris, point guard, Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz point guard Devin Harris was traded at last year's trade deadline. Will the Jazz send him packing again in 2012? Photo by:Bryan Horowitz / Flickr

This blog maybe shoul’ve been called who the Lakers will gun for at the deadline because Harris is another guy on the trading block who the Lakers have honed in on. Several other teams have targeted the youngster, but no one is super high on him. What’s also strange is that the Jazz are willing to break up what they have right now. Utah is just a couple games out of earning the No. 8 seed, and you have to love the roster they’ve put together. It’s a young depth chart with Harris considered as one of the leaders. Trade him, and could all collapse. He may only average about nine points and four assists per game, but he’s leaps and bounds above Utah’s other options, Earl Watson and Jamaal Tinsley.

5. Monta Ellis, shooting guard, Golden State Warriors

A possible Ellis and maybe a couple of other Warriors for Howard trade would make a lot of sense. And that way, Howard could still be the go-to-guy on a team that has a lot of young talent. But Ellis is a star in his own right, averaging 21.9 points per game with six assists. He has been more or less been the backbone for Golden State in recent years and I would be shocked if he was traded. Even with a team who owns Stephen Curry, Ellis is the Warriors’ superstar. But who would sell more tickets? Monta Ellis or Dwight Howard?


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