NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Speculation Surrounding Cavaliers and More

The NBA rumor mill is such an intriguing topic for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it involves almost every team in the league.

After all, if we are talking playoff scenarios, it only involves those that are serious title contenders. If we are talking individual statistics and potential award winners, it only involves those teams fortunate enough to have individual superstars leading the way.

However, trade talk involves every team from the desperate ones trying to make a move to bolster their short-term title chances to the rebuilding ones that are looking to improve their long-term standing.

There were trade rumors surrounding both types of teams on Monday. Read on to find the latest.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers 

Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio passed along an update on the Cleveland Cavaliers:

Entering play on Monday, the Cavaliers were 23rd in the NBA in rebounds per game and 25th in points allowed per game. Those are the two basic stats that immediately jump out when a squad doesn’t have enough size or muscle down low on the defensive end, but it gets worse with a deeper look.

The Cavaliers boasted the third-worst opponent shooting percentage inside of five feet entering play on Monday at 64.3, which was narrowly behind only the Charlotte Hornets (65.3) and Minnesota Timberwolves (64.4), via NBA.com. That means opponents have had an easier time converting shots at the rim against the Cavaliers than all but two teams in the entire league.

It is really no wonder that the front office is looking for help along the front line with rebounding and rim-protection numbers like that.

For all of Kevin Love’s talents, his weight loss and tendency to play outside of the paint don’t help protect the basket, and Anderson Varejao is a health risk at best.

Perhaps it is time for Tristan Thompson, who grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked two shots in the victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday, to see more than his 23 minutes a night if the team can’t make a move in the near future.

The Cavaliers will need to protect the basket if they want to win an NBA title this season, so it will be interesting to see if they make any corresponding moves as the trade deadline approaches.

 

Philadelphia 76ers

Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv provided an update on the Philadelphia 76ers:

“Several NBA sources said Philly could easily trade one of their current bigs if they opt to draft Okafor at No. 1 (assuming they get the No. 1 pick).”

The Okafor in question is Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, and he has already made an impression on NBA scouts and front offices with his ability to score on the low block with strength, formidable footwork and a tenacity that helps him crash the offensive glass.

He is the best low-post scorer in the country at the college level and is only a freshman, so there is plenty of improvement in his future, which is a scary proposition for both college and NBA players.

For as immensely talented as Okafor is, though, it is surprising to hear the possibility of Joel Embiid or Nerlens Noel being thrown into trade talks. Embiid is yet to set foot on an NBA floor, and Noel has not had nearly enough time to demonstrate what he is capable of as a low-post threat.

The 76ers still haven’t won a basketball game this season and are certainly the odds-on favorite to land the NBA’s top pick when they inevitably finish with the worst record in the league. However, they are far more than just one piece away, and trading one of the young big men to get another one would mean they still haven’t improved in a number of other areas.

Philadelphia must truly think highly of the Duke star if that is its planned course of action.

One person who has certainly taken notice of the losing in the NBA with his future at stake is Okafor himself, via Zagoria:

“Just when I get on Twitter, I get Sixers fans Tweeting me, Knicks fans Tweeting me, Lakers fans Tweeting me, so I see a lot of that stuff when I get on Twitter,” Okafor told me.

He has his own set of slogans already:

“Lose some more for Okafor”

“Forget how to score for Okafor”

“Fall on the floor for Okafor”

“Just some of the slogans, they’re all pretty funny,” Okafor said. 

They may just be amusing slogans but also serve as fairly good advice for teams that aren’t going to reach the playoffs this season. Okafor is worth the losing.

 

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Should the Atlanta Hawks trade Paul Millsap?

The Atlanta Hawks made a sneaky, somewhat under the radar acquisition in the summer of 2013 by signing veteran forward Paul Millsap to a two-year, $19 million contract. Millsap spent the first seven years of his productive career with the Utah Jazz, but had become expendable to the struggling franchise looking to clear cap space.
The Hawks jumped at the opportunity to sign Millsap to a short, reasonable contract that he has since vastly outperformed, rather than retain the services of Atlanta native Josh Smith, who later agreed to a $54 million, four-year contract with the Detroit Pistons. In retrospect, it was clearly the correct decision. Millsap was named an All-Star in his first year with the team, while Smith struggled to find his role in the crowded Pistons frontcourt.
Millsap brings a lot to the Hawks: scoring (17.7 points per game), rebounding (8.4 rebounds per game), defense (2.1 steals per game), and durability (he’s missed just 8 games since joining the team). He is arguably their best pla

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The 10 NBA Players with the Most Trade Value Right Now

Speculation is in the air.

So too is stuffing. And gravy. Maybe that’s what we’re smelling. But we’re also detecting a hint of NBA trade speculation.

The league is months away from incessant trade chatter, but here at Bleacher Report, we—like crazed Thanksgiving evening shoppers minus the craziness—put stock in head starts. That brings us here, speculating and hypothesizing, reflecting and deliberating, trying to figure out who the NBA’s most valuable trade pieces are to start 2014-15.

Rankings for this Off-Broadway exercise will rely heavily on a number of things. Performance and statistics will matter as usual. Contract statuses will also hold weight—meaning a Josh Smith-for-anyone-of-value scenario will not follow. Perhaps a player is entering free agency and prepared to leave or his team doesn’t want to pay him. Whatever the case, it will matter.

Listed players must also be expendable to the point that they could wind up on the trade market. Anthony Davis isn’t on here, folks. He’s chillaxing atop Untouchable Mountain with LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant, among many others.

There has to be a case for players to be here. That’s the point. And in the end, using all our criteria, rankings are determined by keeping one question in mind: Which players can help broker significant trades as contractual or talent centerpieces?

Come hither, friends—with or without your gravy-drenched stuffing. The time for speculation is upon us.

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NBA Trade Rumors: Analyzing Latest Speculation on Brandon Bass and More

While NBA teams across the league settle into the early going of the 2014-15 season, front offices are deciding what is a big enough sample size of games to start making some moves. 

After all, you don’t want to upset any potential chemistry before it can even develop, but if you rack up enough losses before the All-Star break, it can derail any hopes at landing home-court advantage in the playoffs.

Of course, there are also those teams that are rebuilding and looking for younger assets or draft considerations in place of the veteran players on the roster.

With all that in mind, it should come as no surprise that there is trade speculation circling around the Association in November. Read on to find out the details.

 

Brandon Bass

Steve Bulpett of BostonHerald.com passed along the latest on Brandon Bass:

Brandon Bass has continued to play very well for the Celtics, which means there’s a chance he may not be with the team this entire season.

Scouts and opposing front-office types have begun to speak and inquire about the 29-year-old forward, a practice that’s generally a precursor to discussing a trade.

Bass is on the final year of a contract that pays him $6.9 million, which is a fairly attractive number for a contending team looking to add frontcourt depth. Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo commented on these rumors in that same Bulpett piece:

If there’s a team competing for a championship and they could steal him, that’d be big. He’s one of the best mid-range shooters in the league.

He’s a professional. That’s why he’s here. That’s why he’s getting paid the big bucks. He does what it takes to stay at this level, and he’s playing at a high level. Regardless of whether he’s starting or coming off the bench — you know, there are nights where he may play 30 (minutes) or play 10 — he’s consistent. He’s always been really consistent and ready to go.

The Celtics are not going to compete for a title this season and are in rebuilding mode with young pieces like Marcus Smart and Jared Sullinger on the roster.

Bass is 29 years old and on the last year of his deal, so this could be an opportunity to get a solid asset or two in return for a player who won’t likely be contributing for the Celtics when the squad is ready to compete again.

He is still a solid scorer (8.9 points a game in his career) and can bang around down low if needed. What’s more, he can work in pick-and-pops with his shooting touch (as Rondo alluded to) and spread the floor for penetrators

Bass is a playoff-tested veteran who has experience on some of the league’s biggest stages. A contender could certainly find room for that as part of the rotation off the bench down the stretch of the season.

 

Andrei Kirilenko

Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com provided an update on the Cleveland Cavaliers and any potential interest in Andrei Kirilenko: “The Cavaliers are monitoring Andrei Kirilenko’s state of affairs in Brooklyn, Northeast Ohio Media Group has been told – though it’s more due diligence at this point than anything else.”

To say this has been a disappointing start to the 2014-15 campaign for the Cavaliers would be a massive understatement. Instead of running rampant through the league with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, the team has been crippled by defensive issues and is off to a 5-7 start.

It may seem desperate to go after Kirilenko since he has taken a leave of absence from the Brooklyn Nets and has averaged a whopping 0.4 points a game in 5.1 minutes this season, but the Cavs have allowed 102.7 points a game this season. There is a glaring need for potential defenders, even if those defenders are 33 years old.

Cleveland needs a wing defender who can help James stop penetration from shooting guards and small forwards. Of course, it could also use a rim protector.

If nothing else, Kirilenko could hypothetically give James a few extra minutes of rest a night as a 6’9” stretch forward. He could also provide a lengthy body as part of the perimeter defense’s rotation and at least challenge outside shooters on a nightly basis.

It is worth noting that Haynes said the interest was diligence more than anything else, and Kirilenko is certainly not the ultimate answer to get the Cavs over the eventual NBA title mountaintop, but something may need to be done in Cleveland if James is going to win his third ring. 

Even if that something is taking a flier on Kirilenko.

 

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Reports: Jeff Green, Brandon Bass Drawing Trade Interest For Celtics

BOSTON — Trade talk concerning the Celtics isn’t a new development this season. For a change, however, it doesn’t center on point guard Rajon Rondo.
While Rondo continues to be the Celtics’ most intriguing trade piece — largely because he’s simply their best player — he’s not the only guy attracting attention. Opposing teams have begun inquiring about power forward Brandon Bass, the Boston Herald reports, while the trade market for small forward Jeff Green is as strong, “if not stronger,” than demand for Rondo, according to CSNNE.
“They’re two totally different players and their roles with a team are different, too,” the unnamed league executive told CSNNE’s A. Sherrod Blakely, referring to Green and Rondo. “But Green can do a lot of things to help just about any team, as long as you’re not making him the guy you build around. Green’s the guy you add to the guy you’re trying to build around.”
Bass, meanwhile, enjoys strong interest around the l

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NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Speculation on Corey Brewer and Eric Gordon

If you thought the rumor mill stopped when you graduated high school, think again. 

Rumors and speculation are ever-present in the NBA, even if the actual trade deadline isn’t until Feb. 20.

Read on to see the latest whispers surrounding Corey Brewer of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Eric Gordon of the New Orleans Pelicans.

 

Corey Brewer 

Marc Stein of ESPN noted that the Houston Rockets could be moving in on Brewer:

It should come as no surprise that the Rockets and possibly the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in Brewer for his defensive prowess on the wing (he was averaging 2.2 steals a game and 2.3 allowed field goals made coming into Saturday’s game, via NBA.com). He could also help spell LeBron James in Cleveland or James Harden and Trevor Ariza in Houston. 

However, a trade takes two sides, and it is certainly intriguing to look at this from Minnesota’s perspective as well. Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press provided some context to the Timberwolves’ side of things from head coach Flip Saunders:

To make matters even more interesting, things recently took a turn for the worse in the health department for the team, which could impact the decision-making process with Brewer, via Stein:

Stein touches on the two possibilities now available to the Timberwolves. In terms of winning now, they’ll need Brewer for depth purposes. However, Minnesota is in a daunting and loaded Western Conference and probably won’t be making the playoffs this season. 

Trading the 28-year-old Brewer could expedite the rebuilding process because it would lead to more losses and a better draft pick. That mindset could certainly come into play closer to the trade deadline if and when the Timberwolves have completely fallen out of playoff contention.

 

Eric Gordon

Nakia Hogan of NOLA.com provided an update on the possibility that the New Orleans Pelicans could trade Gordon:

“Although, at times, it appears as if Eric Gordon is an odd cog with the Pelicans, the front office and coaching staff still believe Gordon is a key piece to the team. … Don’t expect the Pelicans to make a move simply to rid themselves of Gordon’s salary.”

Gordon was scoring less than 10 points a game and shooting 38.6 percent from the field entering Saturday’s contest, so he isn‘t exactly dominating for the Pelicans. However, with 17 points on Tuesday against the Sacramento Kings and 13 against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, he could be turning the corner.

There is also something to be said for letting the roster develop together in the early going because the Pelicans have playoff hopes in the deep Western Conference.

Hogan noted that if the team could find an attractive deal that bolstered those playoff chances and allowed it to move that unfavorable contract, it would jump all over it, but that should come as no surprise. Finding a trade that improves your team on the court in the immediate future and alleviates salary-cap concerns is not easily done.

If Gordon’s comments during the offseason, when the team was deciding whether to use him as a starter or sixth man, were any indication, he still sees himself as a leader, via John Reid of NOLA.com: ”I won’t get into that because I thought they brought me here to lead and set the tone for the team. I’ve got a lot to prove in my career and I’m still young (25). So the more durable I am will really show what I’m capable of.” 

The only way he can serve as a leader is if he is still on the roster, even if he is making more money than any other Pelican.

 

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NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Andrei Kirilenko and Corey Brewer

The NBA rumor mill may dominate headlines in the summer when Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James are deciding their future, but there are subtle, under-the-radar moves to be made in the early season.

Teams are always looking to improve, shed salary or shake up the roster, so it is no wonder that there are some mid-November NBA trade rumors circulating around the Association. 

With that in mind, read on to see the latest surrounding Andrei Kirilenko and Corey Brewer.

 

Andrei Kirilenko 

Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com passed along an update on Kirilenko’s status with the Brooklyn Nets:

Tim Bontemps of the New York Post added more context to these discussions by noting that Kirilenko took a leave of absence from the team for personal reasons starting with Friday’s contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Rod Boone of Newsday added more on the situation, including a quote from head coach Lionel Hollins:

Kirilenko has only appeared in seven of his team’s first 11 games and played a whopping 36 combined minutes in those contests. He has been a solid contributor throughout his NBA career, so the 2014-15 campaign has been something of step back. But Bontemps did point out that the leave of absence was reportedly not from his lack of playing time.

If the Nets do trade Kirilenko, it would make sense if it came after Dec. 15, since that is when all rookies and players signed over the summer are eligible to be swapped.

From Philadelphia’s perspective, Sergey Karasev likely holds more value than Kirilenko. Karasev is only 21 years old and was a first-round draft pick in 2013. While he has yet to produce at the NBA level, the 76ers are in full-blown rebuild mode and could use more young assets. 

At his best, Karasev could be a versatile forward who could stretch the floor with his impressive perimeter shooting ability.

 

Corey Brewer 

Marc Stein of ESPN.com passed along the latest on Brewer of the Minnesota Timberwolves:

It is not surprising that the Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers would want Brewer given his defensive abilities. In fact, the argument can be made that it is surprising that the Cavaliers are not making a bigger push for Brewer, considering their biggest weakness is on the defensive end.

Perimeter defense is a luxury at the NBA level, and, entering Friday’s game, Brewer was only allowing two defended field goals made per contest (made shots when Brewer is defending the opponent) and held opponents to a two-point field-goal percentage of 8.6 percent lower than their normal two-point field-goal percentage, per NBA.com.

Brewer was also averaging 2.1 steals per game thanks to his length at 6’9” and overall quickness, which helps him dart in and out of passing lanes.

Cleveland was allowing 103.1 points a game before Friday’s contest with the Washington Wizards and could use another small forward to limit LeBron James’ overall minutes before the playoffs.

As for the Rockets, they are much better defensively and check in at third in the NBA in points allowed per game at 92.2, but they do not have a lot of depth behind James Harden and Trevor Ariza at shooting guard and small forward. Harden and Ariza are the top two on the team in terms of minutes per game and could use someone else to bolster the rotation from off the bench. 

The Cavaliers could use Brewer’s defense, and the Rockets need more depth. It will be fascinating to see how this process plays out.

 

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How the Orlando Magic made the trade of the summer

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Before free agency started last June, on the day of the draft, the Denver Nuggets and the Orlando Magic made a trade. The Magic sent Arron Afflalo to Denver for his second stint with the Nuggets, and Denver sent back Frenchman Evan Fournier, entering his third season, along with a second-round pick (which would become Devyn Marble).
At the time, the Magic and their general manager, Rob Hennigan, were mocked for participating in such a clearly one-sided trade. Afflalo had just finished his seventh NBA season and, incredibly, he had improved his scoring average during each and every year: from 3.7 points per game as a rookie with the 2007–08 Detroit Pistons to a team-leading 18.2 pointers per game with last year’s Magic. Factor in Afflalo’s considerable reputation as a hard worker, plus his relatively team-friendly $7.7 million salary (plus a $7.9 million player option for 2015–16), and who wouldn’twant that guy on their team?
Fournier, meanwhile, appeared to be an unproven com…

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NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Speculation Surrounding Rajon Rondo and More

The NBA season can be broken into three acts—the pre-trade deadline, the post-trade deadline and the playoffs.

While the actual trades will likely come closer to the Feb. 20 deadline, there are always plenty of rumors circulating around the league in that pre-trade deadline period. The 2014-15 campaign has been no different.

With that in mind, read on to see the latest speculation concerning the Houston Rockets and Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics.

 

Houston Rockets

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle passed along an update on the Rockets’ personnel plans:

The Rockets have been actively seeking to deal the $8.34 million trade exception that came with the Lin trade in a change to their original strategy, according to a person familiar with their trade talks around the league.

The Rockets have talked to teams about 10 to 12 players, the individual familiar with the trade talks said. 

Feigen also mentioned that Houston is looking to add a player to strengthen the overall rotation instead of someone to simply bolster one position, but it is hard to ignore the fact that Terrence Jones is out with injury, and the power forward depth is lackluster at best.

Houston is fresh off a 98-92 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night in which it was outrebounded, 47-38. Granted, a major reason for that discrepancy is that Dwight Howard didn’t play, but the Rockets could certainly use another frontcourt option to help the big man down low on the glass and as an interior defender.

Houston could wait until closer to the deadline when more players will theoretically be available in potential trades, but Feigen pointed out that a smaller deal now involving the trade exception could actually improve its options in February in any possible larger deal for a more marquee player. 

It remains to be seen how this situation unfolds, but it is fairly clear that the Rockets are going for a title this season.

 

Rajon Rondo

Howard Beck of Bleacher Report noted that the Celtics could have a Rondo predicament on their hands:

These are the questions that may come to define the Celtics’ season, or at least the period between now and the Feb. 20 trade deadline. Rival executives say that Ainge has been firm in his stance that Rondo will not be dealt. But many of those same executives believe that Ainge has to trade Rondo, to avoid losing him for nothing next summer.

Beck also passed along a quote from a general manager: “They’re definitely bravely saying they won’t trade him at this point. I definitely think it’s the right thing to trade him. I think Danny knows it.”

The Danny he is referring to is Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge.

This is the question that is going to dominate any and all talks about the Boston Celtics all season. They are not a serious contender even in the watered-down Eastern Conference, and they would probably be better off in the long term losing more games than they win this season to improve future draft positioning.

Getting rid of Rondo in a trade would certainly increase Boston’s chances at losing the rest of the 2014-15 campaign and would also open up more playing time for rookie point guard Marcus Smart. If nothing else, it would provide an opportunity for Smart to pick up critical confidence and experience as a potential leader of the team.

Rondo also represents Boston’s best chance to get a number of assets in return in any potential trade, be it draft considerations or young players.

The flip side of that is that Rondo is a unique talent who doesn’t come around very often. He is still only 28 years old, and Boston could re-sign him as a franchise cornerstone and build a winner around his abilities. If it could add another young piece or two to a core of Rondo, Smart and Jared Sullinger, Boston could have a possible playoff team within a year or two.

Re-signing Rondo would in all likelihood require the Celtics (or any team) to give the point guard a max contract.

Regardless of the strategy the team takes, Rondo’s early play has strengthened arguments for both positions.

He is spearheading a Boston attack that is third in the NBA in points per game with nightly averages of 10.4 points, 11.8 assists and eight rebounds. He is not exactly doing it with a team of All-Stars surrounding him, either. 

His impressive play will help the team land more in return in any potential trade or help lure other players and free agents in if Boston decides to build around him in the future. Since there are multiple ways in which this situation could unfold, the Rondo saga will certainly be one of the most intriguing NBA storylines to follow for the rest of the season.

 

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6 Best Trade Destinations for Minnesota Timberwolves’ Corey Brewer

Corey Brewer may not be with the Minnesota Timberwolves for too much longer. 

“The Minnesota Timberwolves, fresh off heavy back-to-back losses in New Orleans and Dallas and in the latest indication of their growing focus on the future, are in active trade discussions with multiple contending teams pursuing veteran swingman Corey Brewer, according to league sources,” reports ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, revealing the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets have emerged as the primary suitors for the 28-year-old’s services. 

So long as the Wolves can receive future assets in return, it makes sense for them to shop Brewer. After all, trading him would free up minutes for the many young players on Minnesota’s roster, as well as clear the books a bit and save the organization some money. It’s Shabazz Muhammad, Glenn Robinson III, Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins who are the future of this franchise on the wings after all. 

Brewer, a small forward who can also play the 2, is averaging 9.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.7 steals through nine outings in 2014-15, but it’s production that would be best utilized by a different team. Plus, we know he can do more when he’s not playing behind Wiggins and receiving only 22.9 minutes per game.

Chances are, Brewer will be dealt to a contender in need of some perimeter defense and transition offense, if he’s moved at all. But which squads present the best fit for his talents?

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