The NBA’s annual trade deadline is Thursday at 3 pm ET. Anyone that thinks they know who is going where also thinks they know who killed JFK.
Still, it’s important to identify the prime trade candidates and think about what the fallout will be if a deal does go down. Some guys are worth stashing already and others could end up worthy of instant waiver adds.
Here are the names that could be on the move by Thursday afternoon, beginning with those most likely to get traded:
1. Michael Beasley, SF, Wolves
Minnesota’s offense runs better when the ball-hogging Beasley isn’t on the floor, so they’ve relegated him to a bit bench role and put him on the trading block. His scoring ability is unquestioned, however, so if he lands a starting job in a new home he’ll be a must-add. The Lakers have a hole at small forward and are reportedly interested.
Roster stash: Michael Beasley, Derrick Williams
2. Chris Kaman, C, Hornets
Kaman was actually shut down for a couple weeks in late January while the Hornets explored a trade. It didn’t materialize, so he came back and is now getting 16.1 shots up over his last 10. If Kaman gets dealt, he’ll take a huge hit in value and Gustavo Ayon’s role will be more secure. The Pacers and Heat have reportedly shown interest.
Roster stash: Gustavo Ayon, Carl Landry
3. Ramon Sessions, PG, Cavs
Sessions’ wildly productive per-minute ability is well-known in fantasy circles, but he’s not getting enough burn behind Kyrie Irving. Sessions is going to opt out of his contract after this season anyway, so the Cavs might as well take what they can get right now. He’d look real nice as the Lakers’ starting point guard. In 89 career starts, Sessions has averaged 14.8 points, 7.5 assists, 4.0 rebound and 1.1 steals.
Roster stash: Ramon Sessions
4. Stephen Jackson, SF, Bucks
An ineffective Jackson grew frustrated quickly in Milwaukee and predictably clashed with coach Scott Skiles. He’s been expecting a trade ever since. Jackson’s $10 million salary next season makes things tough, but the Bucks are certainly motivated to move him.
Roster stash: Stephen Jackson
5. Dwight Howard, C, Magic
Orlando has been insistent that they are not trading Howard. In fact, they’ve let it be known that they want to add pieces in an effort to convince Dwight to stay. This is either a really strong bluff or a suicide mission by the Magic. Right now, no one knows. If Dwight does move, Hedo Turkoglu is a good bet to go with him. That would open up a lot of room on the wings.
Roster stash: Glen Davis, Jason Richardson, J.J. Redick
6. Kirk Hinrich, G, Hawks
The Hawks desperately need size and Hinrich offers market appeal thanks to his $8 million expiring contract. The problem is that Hinrich has managed just 6.0 points and 2.6 assists in his five starts this season. There are productivity concerns here, even if he lands as a starter somewhere.
Roster stash: Kirk Hinrich, Jeff Teague
7. Jose Calderon, PG, Raptors
The Raptors have seemingly had Calderon on the block forever, but have never been able to complete a deal. There hasn’t been much smoke here, but there is a lot of fantasy intrigue because of Jerryd Bayless’ raw offensive ability. Calderon is also currently nursing an ankle injury. In 31 career starts entering Sunday, Bayless averaged 15.5 points, 4.8 assists and 1.0 3-pointers per game.
Roster stash: Jerryd Bayless
8. Boris Diaw, PF, Bobcats
The Bobcats have reached the point of no return with Diaw thanks to his chubby body and lazy demeanor on the court. The talented Frenchman either wants a buyout or a trade and the team appears ready to accommodate him. He’s as good as gone, but a motivated Diaw would regain value thanks to his roto-friendly game. Disappointing teammate Tyrus Thomas is also a trade candidate.
Roster stash: Boris Diaw, Tyrus Thomas, D.J. White
9. Jamal Crawford, SG, Blazers
Portland is 20-21, making them likely to shake things up. Crawford reportedly plans to opt out of his contract after this season anyway, so teams have been in touch. The Wolves aren’t going to move Luke Ridnour thanks to Ricky Rubio’s torn ACL, but the Clippers could still be interested. Randy Foye isn’t a championship-contending shooting guard. Fellow Blazer Raymond Felton is available as well.
Roster stash: Jamal Crawford, Wes Matthews, Raymond Felton
10. Pau Gasol, PF, Lakers
An erroneous report on Friday had Gasol gone, but remember that he was traded as part of the Chris Paul veto deal a few months back. If the Lakers can get similar talent for Gasol, they’ll move him in what would shape up as a blockbuster. A point guard or small forward -- not a power forward -- would likely be coming back to the Lakers.
Roster stash: Troy Murphy, Josh McRoberts
11. Roddy Beaubois, G, Mavericks
Roddy Buckets is always bouncing back between Rick Carlisle’s doghouse and the rotation. That helps explain why the “untouchable” tag is now off. Owner Mark Cuban believes the Hornets are interested and thinking about Beaubois with free reign to fire on an awful team is mouth-watering. His career per-36 minute numbers include 17.6 points, 1.9 3-pointers and 1.7 steals.
Roster stash: Roddy Beaubois, Delonte West, Vince Carter
12. Andray Blatche, PF, Wizards
The Wiz are going to do all they can to unload Blatch and his $35 million contract, but the market is going to be really soft. They’ll have to take pennies on the dollar. Still, it’s hard to keep a guy getting booed so mercilessly at home that he can’t even play his game. Perhaps one NBA GM will believe in the 16.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals Blatche averaged as a starter last season.
Roster stash: Trevor Booker, Andray Blatche
13. Antawn Jamison, PF, Cavs
It seems like the Cavs plan on holding Jamison despite his $15 million expiring contract. It makes sense when you consider they’re only 1.5 games out of the playoffs and would have to take back an awful contract anyway. But there will be rumors here as Jamison’s “stretch 4” ability is intriguing to contenders.
Roster stash: Tristan Thompson, Samardo Samuels
14. Monta Ellis, SG, Warriors
Ellis trade rumors have become an annual tradition. This year, the Warriors have been linked to a “rental” of Dwight Howard, but that seems unlikely. We merely need to have his backups on the back-burner this year.
Roster stash: Klay Thompson, Brandon Rush
15. Rajon Rondo, PG, Celtics
Much like the Pau Gasol situation, it’s going to take a monster offer to get anything done here. If the Celtics are going to rebuild, they should be doing it around Rondo -- not dealing him away. And with the windows of the Big Three almost closed, Rondo seems likely to stay barring a total blowup.
Roster stash: None