With all the talk surrounding a possible deal sending Kevin Garnett to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan, pretty much every other deal or possible trade has taken a backseat. Another big name that has been mentioned as trade bait is power forward Josh Smith down in Atlanta.
The official deadline for any trades in the NBA is just three days away at 3:00 pm eastern time, February 21.
On the topic of Tar Heels who have already changed uniforms this season prior to the deadline, there has only been two. The first involved was shooting guard Wayne Ellington who was packaged in a deal with Marreese Speights, Josh Selby, and a future first round draft pick of the Memphis Grizzlies were sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers for second-year big man Jon Leuer. For the Grizzlies, the deal cleared up about 6 million dollars in cap space.
The other former Tar Heel involved in a pre-deadline deal was the 13th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Ed Davis. The Toronto Raptors traded Davis, Jose Calderon, and a 2013 second-round draft pick to Memphis for Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi. Calderon didn’t even get a chance to settle in after the Grizzlies sent him to the Detroit Pistons for ten-year veteran Tayshaun Prince and 24-year-old Austin Daye.
The question that now remains is, we will see any other former Tar Heels change area codes before Thursdays deadline?
Though Harrison Barnes being dealt out of Golden State is very doubtful and would be foolish, reports have surfaced that Barnes name has been mentioned a lot when teams have contacted the Warriors about trade possibilities. Warriors GM Bob Myers has said that the team will be open to making moves but odds are they won’t include their current starting small forward. Considering Golden State is currently a playoff lock with the group they have intact, the only way Barnes would be traded is if the Warriors got a lot more than what they feel Harrison Barnes is already worth to this current group headed for the post season.
Another former Tar Heel in his first NBA season who could possibly be on his way elsewhere is Kendall Marshall. Many fans in Phoenix have already labeled Marshall as a bust even-though he hasn’t had much of an opportunity to prove naysayers otherwise. With Goran Dragic as the starting point guard and Sebastian Telfair also on the roster, until recently, minutes for the former Tar Heel Marshall have been few and far between. Odds are, Telfair will go before Marshall does but the demand for Telfair doesn’t seem too high. The player with the most trade value currently on the Suns roster is Marcin Gortat and several teams have inquired about him. I would not be surprised if Gortat was packaged with Telfair or Marshall and sent to a team looking for a big man for a playoff push, or in Telfair’s case, a team looking for a decent back-up point guard who could give you minutes immediately.
A guy who was mentioned in part of the Rudy Gay trade before Gay landed in Toronto was Vince Carter. The Mavericks are currently 4 games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and could be a team that tries to free up money and cap space to go after big name free agents in 2013-2014. Carter and Shawn Marion have been mentioned as names possibly on the trading block even-though both have somewhat resurrected their careers this season in Dallas. The future hall of famer and former Tar Heel Vince Carter is averaging over 13 points a game in over 25 minutes a game while also shooting over 40% from the field and from behind the arc. Mavs Head Coach Rick Carlisle has told the media he doesn’t believe any trades will be made by his team before the Thursday deadline. Yet, with Mark Cuban at the helm, you can’t count out anything. And if I was Vince-sanity shooting the way he is this year, I would definitely want to take my talents to a team who could contend for a title this season. Something Dallas will probably not be doing come early June.
Now, with All-Star weekend over and the deadline rapidly approaching, the rumors of who could land where have started to spread like wildfire. Odds are we will see several more trades in the next few days that could potentially put a few teams over the top and others could make a deal that sets their team up for a late season playoff push. For some, the thought of being shipped out-of-town to a playoff contender has to be a welcoming idea. But then for those who are sent from a good team with championship aspirations to a team rebuilding with a losing record, well, that idea for some is probably depressing. Rumors aside, like some of the ones I may have just created out of hearsay, we will just have to wait a see.