There has been plenty of player movement in the 2013-2014 NBA season. The best player to be dealt was Rudy Gay in early December. Others that have been shipped off have included Courtney Lee, Andrew Bynum, Joel Anthony and Marquis Teague. With the trade deadline just more than three weeks away, a few more players, including a possible All-Star, could be on the move.
Kyle Lowry has been at the center of trade rumors, even though he’s been one of the bigger surprises this year. The point guard has helped lead the Toronto Raptors to the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors have a 2.5-game lead in the Atlantic Division, despite trading their highest-paid player after a little over a month into the season.
Lowry is second on the Raptors with 16.4 points per games, and leads them with 7.5 assists per contest, which is good for third in the conference. There’s a chance he’ll be named as a reserve to the All-Star team, and Toronto may look to trade him while his value is at its highest. Marc Stein of ESPN reports that it appears the Raptors want to deal Lowry so they don’t lose him for nothing in the offseason. He’s on the final year of his contract and Toronto isn’t likely to re-sign him.
The Raptors could finish the regular season with home-court advantage in the first-round of the playoffs, but it appears the organization realizes it can’t compete with the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers. The club is likely to let him walk in the summer if they don’t trade him. Their ideal situation might be to acquire another draft pick in a potential trade. Late in 2013, there were reports that the Raptors and the Knicks were discussing a deal that would send Lowry to New York in exchange for Raymond Felton, a future first-round pick, and possibly one of their young guards.
While Toronto has been involved in trade talks for much of the season, the Houston Rockets have been at the center of rumors just as much. Most of the reports have surrounded center Omer Asik, but now it appears that it could be some of their guards that they’re looking to send packing.
According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Francisco Garcia is being discussed by the organization in trade talks. Jeremy Lin’s name has also been linked to possible deals.
Garcia has a player option for next season, and the Rockets may be looking to ensure that they don’t have to keep the backup for 2014-2015. Lin has been much more productive as a reserve in the backcourt, but he is set to make nearly $15 million next season. The Rockets are very much in contention in the Western Conference, so they could make a deal for a playmaker in the frontcourt if one involving Lin becomes available.
While splitting time on the bench and in the starting lineup, Lin’s numbers have not improved from last season when he disappointed some after his breakout year with the Knicks. He has played especially poorly in 2014, averaging 11.2 points and shooting less than 42 percent from the field in the New Year.
Garcia, a career-backup, might not have much value at this point. He’s averaging 5.8 points and hasn’t played since Jan. 16 because of a knee injury.