The NBA trade deadline is scheduled for Feb. 21st, and teams could tinker with their rosters for a plethora of reasons, like the new salary tax burdens coming next year, prepping for a playoff run, or even gathering young talent and picks for a more long-term plan.
Either way, several players have hit the rumor mill well before the deadline for all of those reasons.
Rudy Gay, Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis is clearly looking to move the $45 million remaining on Gay’s contract, despite his stellar play over the past two seasons.
The Minnesota Timberwolves could have landed Gay late Thursday, but what Memphis wanted back in return was apparently so outrageous, that Minnesota general manager David Kahn shot it down immediately, according to ESPN 1500.
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DeJuan Blair, San Antonio Spurs
A huge dip in playing time with Tiago Splitter emerging, has made Blair expendable. HoopsWorld reported the Miami Heat almost landed Blair during last year’s draft.
The 23-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, so the Spurs could move him just to pick up an extra asset since they are not expected to re-sign him.
Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
Perhaps one of the most talented big men in two decades, the Kings looked past Cousins head case issues when they drafted him, but were reportedly nearing the end of their rope.
Cousins was tied to the Boston Celtics, even though the team suspended him for one game. After that rumor, Cousins shaped up and started playing at his talent level.
His ejection Thursday night may spark rumors again, with the Seattle Times saying the Maloofs still want a say in how the Kings are run.
Evans has just as much talent, but his spat of injuries has severely hindered his production. Still the Lakers and Grizzlies were also interested him, given Evans potential. He’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, but Sacramento could see what his trade value is now, rather than sign a lengthy extension.