The NBA: Big Name Trade-ables of 2013

February 22, 2013 (Manila time).

Remember that date.

For on that day, or perhaps a few days prior, players will trade places. Perhaps your favorite NBAer will be donning a different uni for reasons that seem as baffling to you as why Nicki Minaj is still on American Idol (yes, I watch – don’t ask).

February 22 IS the NBA Trade Deadline, and which players are on the market for the Association’s version of bartering (hey, can I swap Greg Oden for like… oh fine, here have him for free)? Many, but which players have the most market value?

Let’s look at some of the most trade-able players in the following order (lowest to highest PER – Player Efficiency Rating adjusted for Pace taken from as of January 29, 2013):

Rudy Gay (MEM) – 14.39 PER
Stats: 17.2ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.5apg, 1.4spg
He’ll be traded because he’s just too expensive. USD 54 million over three years for a guy who has never been, and might never be, an All-Star? Hmmm… Gay has always been a dependable scorer and, at times, great rebounder, but he’s like a street urchin’s version of Kevin Durant. He has yet to make that big leap into stardom, and he’ll just never make that if he sticks with the Grizz. In any other team, however, he might (MIGHT) just blossom into a superstar. Right now, the teams making the most noise to take him are Toronto and Boston.

Rudy Gay is a prime target to be traded before the
deadline in late February.
(image by Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

Pau Gasol (LAL) – 15.82
Stats: 12.8ppg, 8.2rpg, 3.6apg, 1.4bpg
Despite his relative lack of playing time this season, Gasol is still regarded, by me at least, as one of the top five slotmen in the globe (top two if he’s wearing an España jersey). Like Gay, though, he’s too expensive. USD 38 million over two years for a guy averaging career-low stats? Yikes. But that’s only because he shares the Staples interior with, oh, you might have heard of him, Dwight Howard. Put Gasol almost anywhere else, and he shines like he should. Even if he is already 32. As recently as three days ago, rumors spread that Gasol and Gay might actually get involved in a three-team deal.

Josh Smith (ATL) – 17.33 PER
Stats: 16.7ppg, 8.5rpg, 4.0apg, 2.3bpg, 1.3spg
Smith is being paid USD 13 million this year, and for a guy who should’ve been an All-Star AT LEAST once already, that price is pretty fair. Whoever gets J-Smoove will get a hardworking fellow who delivers on both ends of the floor. They’ll also get a guy who’s one of the more unstable characters in the league. One big reason ATL wants to ship him out his he becomes a free agent by season’s end, and the Hawks would rather scrounge for scraps than lose Smith for nothing. Last I read, the Nuggets have shown some interest.

Tyreke Evans (SAC) – 18.45 PER
Stats: 14.9ppg, 4.8rpg, 3.0apg, 1.2spg
Evans has never blossomed in to the All-Star he should’ve already been, if his rookie year is anything to go on. He has underachieved in the past couple of seasons and it’s one big reason the Kings are, well, the Kings. It’s not that Evans is an expensive player – USD 5 million for one year – but it’s just that he no longer fits well into the whole scheme of things in Sactown (soon to be Coffeetown, Seattle). Several reports in early January expressed the Lakers as possible takers.

Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) – 18.81 PER
Stats: 12.1ppg, 4.0rpg
Many people felt the Knicks would turn their fortunes around after acquiring Amar’e. That did happen, only Amar’e wasn’t the big reason why NYK’s improvement has been overwhelming. Think Melo. Think JR Smith. Think Tyson Chandler. Okay, fine, for a while, we could think of Jeremy Lin, too. But now that the Knicks are back in the East’s elite cabinet, where will we find Amar’e and his humongous USD 41 million for 2 years contract?!?! I smell another Eddie Curry.

David West (IND) – 19.39 PER
Stats: 16.8ppg, 7.8rpg, 2.8apg, 1.1bpg
Why the hell would Indiana trade a guy who has stepped up in the absence of Danny Granger by rediscovering his fine form? Because the Pacers should be building for the future instead of focusing on the present. Keeping West means Indiana makes the Playoffs and gets bounced maybe as early as the first round. Dealing him means Indiana should still make the postseason (thank you, Paul George), and still get some major pieces that can help once Granger comes back. Why not trade Danny instead? Because Danny is not 32 years old. West is.

Al Jefferson (UTA) – 20.62 PER
Stats: 17.2ppg, 9.7rpg, 1.1bpg
Al Jefferson could have been an All-Star with his numbers, but he isn’t. He might stay in Salt Lake and finish the season as a Jazzman, but I suspect he won’t. He’s being paid USD 15 million this year, and, just like the Smith thing, it’d be better for Utah to ship him by February 22 or lose him by season’s end. Some possibilities? I can actually see him going to Indy in exchange for West, or maybe, here’s one, shipping Jefferson to Philly for Thaddeus Young and maybe a couple more pieces. Should be a win-win. So, Utah, let’s do it!

Al Jefferson's contract is expiring, which means -- Off you go!
(image by Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images)

Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network):
January 27
Boston 100, Miami 98 (2OT)
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Despite discovering some troubling news midway through the contest, the Celtics were able to outlast the Miami Heat in Ray Allen's return to Boston. Paul Pierce notched a triple-double and put his team ahead for good with a jumper late in the second overtime period, as the Celtics defeated the Heat, 100-98, at TD Garden. Mired in a nine-game shooting slump, Pierce broke out on Sunday with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for Boston, which played without All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo and will do so for an extended period of time. Rondo, who injured his knee in a double-overtime loss to Atlanta on Friday, was scratched just prior to start of the contest and was sent to a local hospital for an MRI, which revealed a torn ACL. A surgery date has not yet been determined. The Celtics, however, were able to end a season-long six-game losing streak in receiving 24 points and 11 rebounds from Kevin Garnett. Jason Terry and Jeff Green added 13 and 11 points, respectively, off the bench in the victory. LeBron James totaled 34 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists for the Heat, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Chris Bosh followed with 16 points and 16 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade added 17 points and seven assists in defeat. In his first game back in Boston since leaving the Celtics this past summer for Miami, Allen received a mixed reaction from the crowd during a video tribute upon his entrance, but scored 21 points off the bench on 7-of-17 shooting for the game.

LA Lakers 105, Oklahoma City 96
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Perhaps a more generous Kobe Bryant is the answer to the Lakers' problems. For the second consecutive game, Bryant finished with more assists than shot attempts and Los Angeles took down the Oklahoma City Thunder, 105-96, at the Staples Center on Sunday. Bryant scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting and matched Friday's assist total against Utah with 14 to help the Lakers to their second consecutive victory. He also tallied nine rebounds. Five other Lakers scored in double-figures, with Steve Nash scoring 17 and Paul Gasol pouring in 16 off the bench. Metta World Peace tallied 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Dwight Howard battled foul trouble most of the contest. He scored eight points and grabbed 10 boards. Kevin Durant scored a game-high 35 points and Russell Westbrook contributed 17 points with 13 assists, as the Thunder alternated wins and losses in capping a six-game road trip. Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins each scored 10 in defeat.

New Orleans 91, Memphis 83
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Ryan Anderson knocked down seven 3-pointers en route to a game-high 22 points off the bench, as the New Orleans Hornets took down the Memphis Grizzlies, 91-83, on Sunday at FedEx Forum. Jason Smith followed with 16 points and Greivis Vasquez handed out 11 assists to help the Hornets halt a two-game skid. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol each recorded a double-double, with Randolph registering 20 points and 13 rebounds and Gasol adding 14 points and 11 boards for the Grizzlies, who had won two straight and four of their last five.

Detroit 104, Orlando 102
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Brandon Knight made back-to-back 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter, helping the Detroit Pistons beat the Orlando Magic, 104-102, on Sunday. Knight went 12-of-16 from the floor and made five 3-pointers en route to 31 points for the Pistons, who snapped a two- game skid. Greg Monroe added 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists. J.J. Redick made eight 3-pointers and ended with 31 points for the Magic, who have lost five in a row and 16 of their last 18 games. Jameer Nelson and E'Twaun Moore had 18 points apiece. Glen Davis donated 17 points and 12 rebounds for Orlando, which fell to 8-16 at home this season. Nikola Vucevic tallied 12 points and 17 boards.

New York 106, Atlanta 104
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony's go-ahead three-point play with 12.5 seconds left capped a 42-point night and lifted the New York Knicks to a 106-104 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Josh Smith's 3-pointer at the buzzer from the left wing was off the mark. Anthony nailed a franchise record-tying nine triples for New York, which shot 59 percent (16-of-27) from beyond the arc. Anthony's nine treys matched a mark held by John Starks, Latrell Sprewell -- who did it twice -- and Toney Douglas. Amare Stoudemire and J.R. Smith poured in 18 points apiece, while Raymond Felton tallied 12 points and 10 assists in the triumph. Jeff Teague netted 27 points, while Smith added 20 for the Hawks, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

Dallas 110, Phoenix 95
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 points apiece to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 110-95 win over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. Marion also had nine rebounds and five assists in his 1,000th career game. Vince Carter added 15 points, Elton Brand scored 12 and Dahntay Jones finished with 11 for the Mavericks, winners in six of their last eight games. Goran Dragic scored 18 points and dished out eight assists, Luis Scola scored 14 points and P.J. Tucker and Michael Beasley added 12 points apiece for the Suns, who fell to 4-19 on the road this season.

LA Clippers 96, Portland 83
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Blake Griffin had 23 points, nine assists, five rebounds and two steals, helping the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Portland Trail Blazers, 96-83. Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe added 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Clippers, who snapped a four-game skid. Los Angeles played its fourth straight game without All-Star point guard Chris Paul due to a bruised right kneecap. LaMarcus Aldridge ended with 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who had a brief two-game winning streak snapped. Damian Lillard and J.J. Hickson tallied 16 and 15 points, respectively.

January 28
Golden State 108, Cleveland 95
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Klay Thompson had no problem shouldering the scoring load for Golden State with Stephen Curry out nursing an injured ankle. Making a career-best six 3-pointers, Thompson set a personal high with 32 points to lead the Warriors to a 108-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena. Thompson hit 13-of-24 shots from the field -- missing just two from long distance -- as Golden State (28-17) captured its fifth win in seven contests to notch its best start through 45 games since the 1991-92 season. The Warriors were also without Harrison Barnes (knee), Carl Landry (shoulder) and Andrew Bogut, who returned to the lineup after a 38-game absence on Monday, but sat to rest his surgically repaired ankle on the second night of a back-to-back. Jarrett Jack added 26 points to go with 12 assists and David Lee tallied 20 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists in the victory. Kyrie Irving came into the contest scorching hot, but scored just 14 points on 5-of-17 shooting for Cleveland, which saw its three-game winning streak come to an end. He had scored at least 30 in each of his past three games. Tristan Thompson totaled 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller finished with 18 and 16 points, respectively, in the setback.

Milwaukee 117, Detroit 90
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Brandon Jennings tallied 20 of his 30 points in the third quarter as the Milwaukee Bucks downed the Detroit Pistons, 117-90, on Tuesday. The Pistons had a 28-19 advantage after a quarter of play, but the Bucks outscored Detroit 72-40 over the next two periods to turn the game into a rout. Mike Dunleavy added 17 points off the bench for Milwaukee, which has won five of its last six games. Andre Drummond tallied 18 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for the Pistons, who have dropped three of their last four contests.

Portland 106, Dallas 104
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - LaMarcus Aldridge poured in a game-tying 3- pointer late and then delivered the deciding bucket as time expired to send the Portland Trail Blazers to a 106-104 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. The Trail Blazers rallied from a 21-point third quarter deficit before Aldridge stepped back in the corner to drain his first 3-pointer of the season and tie the game at 104-104 with 4.5 seconds left. After O.J. Mayo was called for an offensive foul at the other end, Aldridge caught the inbounds pass and swished a fadeaway jumper as the buzzer sounded to give Portland to its third victory in four games. With his 11th double-double in the month of January, Aldridge totaled 29 points and 13 rebounds. Dirk Nowitzki knocked down a triple prior to Aldridge's 3-point make to give Dallas the lead with 11.4 seconds remaining. He finished with 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting for Dallas, which had won six of eight games coming in.

LA Lakers 111, New Orleans 106
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Ball facilitator may not have been a term used to describe Kobe Bryant in the past, but if his last three games are any indication, the future Hall of Famer is willing to take on that role for the team's success. For the third straight game, Bryant finished with double- digit assists, and for the third game in a row the Lakers have ended up in the win column, including a 111-106 triumph on Tuesday. Bryant, who had registered 14 assists in each of his last two games, finished with 11 helpers and also scored 14 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Dwight Howard scored 24 points and Earl Clark added 20 points and 12 boards for the Lakers, who have strung together three straight wins for the third time this season. Antawn Jamison and Steve Nash finished with 16 and 12 points, respectively, in the victory. Eric Gordon poured in 25 points and Greivis Vasquez scored 15 points and dished out 15 assists for the Hornets, who have dropped three of their last four games overall.

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