With another day closer to the trade deadline, every fan is paying close attention to the NBA trade rumors du jour. Given Detroit's dire need of a trade, we continue to explore every trade opportunity with all 29 other teams in the league. Could Detroit partner with Memphis, Dallas or Houston to make a trade? Let's find out.
- NBA Trade Rumors 5: Washington, Charlotte, San Antonio
- NBA Trade Rumors 4: Miami, Orlando, Atlanta
- NBA Trade Rumors 3: Milwaukee, Cleveland, Indiana
- NBA Trade Rumors 2: New Jersey, Toronto, Chicago
- NBA Trade Rumors 1: Philadelphia, New York, Boston
Memphis Grizzlies | Southwest Division | 23 - 15
Even without Zach Randolph, the Grizzlies are the 3rd best team in the Western Conference. Add Randolph to the picture, and they're a contender. I had reservations calling them a "contender", but they've had an amazing season without their best player. I had reservations calling Randolph "their best player", but he certainly was last season. Really, that's the only roster addition this team needs-- and the big fella is expected to return in a matter of days.
Trade Status: There's really only one player the Grizzlies might trade this year, and that's OJ Mayo. The Grizzlies would be wise to hang on to Mayo until after the season, as he could be a useful bench spark during the title chase. Move him, and they might regret not having that perimeter scoring touch every contender needs. There's no reason for this team to make any moves unless they want to add second round picks to develop talent externally.
Trade Likelihood: 1/10
Pistons - Grizzlies Trade Options: The only other player the Grizzlies might part with is Hamed Haddadi, but Detroit would need to part with at least one second rounder to make that happen. I'd be okay with this, but it may not work without sending a player back to Memphis. However, Detroit could simply hold the pick and see what Haddadi is worth on the free agent market this summer, where he will be unrestricted and fully available. Haddadi would be better suited to a training camp invite and potentially the bi-annual exception, given he's not offered more elsewhere.
Dallas Mavericks | Southwest Division | 23 - 18
The NBA champs are behind the Grizzlies in their own division, and they might be in need of a deadline deal to remain a contender. That means this team needs a significant trade, something that brings in a nice piece in exchange for expirings, picks and/or players.
Trade Status: Dallas has expirings ($22M between Jason Kidd and Jason Terry), but they only have one pick in the 2012 draft, good for the end of the second round. They may want to hold those expiring deals, since Dallas is one of the few destinations Dwight Howard has interest in. If they're moving anyone, it'll likely be Lamar Odom, Shawn Marion or Vince Carter. Marion has $17M left on his contract, Odom has a partially-guaranteed $8.2M and Carter has $6M split between two more years, both of which are only partially-guaranteed. These cash savers are likely to interest someone around the league, possibly even the Pistons.
Trade Likelihood: 3/10
Pistons - Mavericks Trade Options: The Pistons are unlikely to have much interest in those players, however. They're old, middling or worse in the talent department, and they'd come to Detroit only to be voided as soon as possible. What would Detroit send out in return? Only the things it doesn't really want. Dallas had interest in Tayshaun Prince last season, and they might still (despite the fact that Prince's production has fallen off a cliff). Detroit could offer Prince for Odom and Dallas' 54th pick in the 2012 draft, and Dallas might bite. Odom can then be cut for a portion of his contract next season and he can return to one or the other LA teams with his tail between his legs.
Would Tayshaun Prince give Dallas a better shot at the title? Marginally, maybe. If the new environment, the reunion with Rick Carlisle and the shot at another ring could help anyone, it'd be Tayshaun Prince. He could be the fourth option once again, possibly even supplanting Shawn Marion from the starting lineup, and get back to what made him so valuable in the first place-- the ability to entirely shut down Kobe Bryant. There are no muscly SFs in the west at present, so Tay could get back to using his length to make an impact on the defensive end. Dallas won't like the price tag, but so long as they can get under the cap next season (which they can), they can take a shot for Dwight Howard.
Houston Rockets | Southwest Division | 21 - 19
Surprisingly, the Houston Rockets have been a frequent subject of trade rumors for some pretty big names. Apparently, they almost landed Pau Gasol in the Chris Paul market earlier this season. They're also in consideration for the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Golden State apparently won't stop calling Houston for a deal. Why is everyone so interested? Luis Scola.
Luis Scola? Really? I might be looking at a different Luis Scola than the NBA decision makers. The guy will be 32 by the end of this season. He's deteriorating, fast, and he's got $31M left on a contract that expires in 2015. Yes, Walter Sobchak, apparently the whole world has gone crazy.
Trade Status: To be fair, Scola is gathering interest as part of a package that includes either Kyle Lowry or Kevin Martin. Lowry is off to the best season of his career, and Kevin Martin has actually had his second full season of healthy play. If Houston can get the kind of value that has been available to them thus far, a package of Martin and Scola would be wise of Houston to trade, given their age, contracts and current production.
Trade Likelihood: 7/10
Pistons - Rockets Trade Options: If the other shoe doesn't drop for Houston, they could have plenty to offer Detroit. The problem is that the Pistons don't have a lot to offer that the Rockets would need. They're stacked up front, with young bigs like Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris and Jordan Hill fight for minutes while Hasheem Thabeet gathers dust. Thabeet, Terrence Williams, Jonny Flynn and others could be cut this season, or they could have their team contract options sent to another franchise. If there's anything Detroit could offer Houston that didn't involve picks, they should at least make a call for any of these young, under-explored players who are about to become free agents.