The 2014 Trade Deadline is in full-swing and we’re just hours away from what could be anything from a total dud or a mild surprise. Stories are changing in real-time and I will be updating this document all the way through Thursday morning before we’ll shut it down and brace for the onslaught of Tweets, phone calls and texts (NOTE: THIS DOCUMENT IS NOW SHUT DOWN AS OF 10 AM ET. CHECK OUT OUR PLAYER BLURBS OR YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER FOR THE LATEST. WE'LL BE BACK AFTER THE DEADLINE WITH WINNERS, LOSERS AND A FULL BREAKDOWN).
Important Programming Note: The players listed in the sections below are not imminently being traded and some are outright bad rumors. Completed trades are clearly marked. I’ve tried to remove the gunk but with so much action it’s helpful to know which guys have no chance of being traded even though they're hot in the rumor mill.
This is 30 teams deep and comprehensive, including conversations I’ve had across the NBA landscape and the review of reports from anybody and everybody that may have information to help owners.
You’ll want to follow our NBA crew on Twitter, who can all be found on our NBA home page, and you can click here to follow me for all the breaking news and information.
This document has been updated in full as of: 10:00 a.m. ET on Thursday.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $50,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Thursday night's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $7,500. Starts at 8pm ET on Thursday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Jeff Teague
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Omer Asik, Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman
Commentary: Danny Ferry is not thrilled with Teague’s contract and current production for good reason – he has really struggled and something isn’t right. The Hawks aren’t going to treat him as a toxic asset, but with the Knicks reportedly interested in Teague as a backup option as they focus on Kyle Lowry. Now that the Knicks are in limbo following the Iman Shumpert injury and Teague tweaked his ankle tonight, we could see rumors surrounding Teague slow down.
Asik would be an interesting fit in Atlanta that would allow Al Horford to move to power forward, but Ken Berger reports that the Rockets are asking for too much right now. The Hawks are interested in both Hill and Chris Kaman, highlighting their need for not just big men but NBA level players, as well. Hill has about four suitors according to a local media report so it's hard to peg their probability of landing in the ATL.
Bottom Line: Teague’s value is currently unchanged by trade rumors until something substantial pops up. Asik would not impact any of the Hawks’ fantasy assets in a meaningful way, nor would Hill or Kaman. There's more than enough minutes to go around and these would be ideal landing spots for both players, though owners shouldn't go wild projecting their value just yet.
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Rajon Rondo, Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries, Jeff Green
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Gordon Hayward
Commentary: The Celtics are primed for the rumor mill as a rebuilding team with plenty of future draft picks and players that are reasonably tradable in Bass and Humphries. Bass’ $6.9 million contract next season isn’t terribly prohibitive and he can be a solid backup big man or plug-in starter for a playoff team. The Bobcats and Warriors have been linked to him but those rumors have died down, mostly likely because the Warriors and Celtics are looking for bigger fish. The Bobcats have lost momentum in general on the trade front, but their situation could change. Humphries’ big $12 million expiring contract is one of many that is flooding the market, but unlike other guys he can still play. The Celtics would like to move Green but his contract has only received a positive rumor out of Mitch Lawrence at the NY Daily News, who is hit or miss.
The big story is and may always be Rondo, though. The Knicks are throwing everything including the kitchen sink at Boston, but unfortunately that doesn’t hold much weight. The going rate for Rondo appears to be two unprotected first round picks and/or a combination of young players to make Danny Ainge pull the trigger. The Knicks, Raptors and Sacramento are among “four or five teams” that are pushing the hardest for Rondo according to Sam Amick, with the Knicks seeking a star to placate Carmelo Anthony and the Raptors seeking a replacement for Kyle Lowry, who local writers don’t think will be in the team’s future plans. None of these rumors has passed the smell test, and not because of the various reports but because teams aren’t likely to come up with what Ainge wants.
The Celtics would love to reunite Hayward with Brad Stevens, but they haven’t been willing to part with a first round pick. This is something that I don’t see as outlandish, but also something that I’d expect more smoke on if it was truly in discussion.
Bottom Line: Bass’ value probably doesn’t get better moving to a contender. Humphries would be interesting in the right location, but there’s not enough to hold onto to consider a stash. Rondo owners can safely ignore the rumors at this time. Green’s value should be on the upswing if he survives the deadline, as expected at this time, and the only active (and old) rumor of Atlanta’s interest would be a best-case scenario in a trade.
Players traded IN: Marcus Thornton
Players traded OUT: Jason Terry, Reggie Evans
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: None at this time
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Jordan Hill
Commentary: The Hill deal had a lot of steam until about 2 p.m. ET when Howard Beck reported a tapping of the breaks. Fast forward to late Wednesday night and a handful of teams had joined the 'sweepstakes.' It won’t be the best thing for Hill’s value if he lands in a sort-of crowded frontcourt, but if the Nets are going to pay a massive luxury tax bill then it’s reasonable to expect that he plays 20 or more minutes per game. Hill’s value would have been highest in L.A. if Mike D’Antoni was forced to play him following a Pau Gasol trade, but D’Antoni has never been a fan of Hill and this could be a net positive move when all of the dust settles.
Thornton’s value can only go up in Brooklyn and he could add punch to a unit in desperate need of some, but expecting anything more than 20 mpg to start is overoptimistic. Thornton’s struggles on defense and his style of play aren’t likely to translate well with veterans Deron Williams, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but if he buys in and his new teammates buy in then it’s possible he reprises some of the old magic.
Bottom Line: If you’ve been stashing Hill it’s probably worth it to hang tight through the deadline to see where everything goes, but if you come across a mid-level stash or free agent then feel free to make the move. Thornton should be considered a low-level stash for deeper leagues at this time.
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Ben Gordon, Ramon Sessions, Bismack Biyombo
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Evan Turner, Arron Afflalo, Gary Neal, Caron Butler, Brandon Bass, Greg Monroe, Jordan Hill, Anthony Morrow
Commentary: The Bobcats were among the hot teams in the rumor mill and sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning they started to cool off significantly. Monroe’s name hasn’t come up in a week, and neither has Bass’. Afflalo rumors have been tepid at best, and a deal including Neal and Butler fell apart in the last 24 hours according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The Turner rumors appeared to have significant weight and by the looks of it the teams abruptly changed course. Gordon and Sessions are expiring deals and Biyombo is a sweetener with very little upside. I’d expect the Bobcats to reboot their efforts but it’s been a somewhat stunning turnaround in terms of smoke.
Hill was added to Charlotte's wish list by ESPN L.A. following the Steve Blake trade and it's possible they're setting their sights lower. Morrow was added to the list early Thursday morning when he was ruled an unlikely get for the Bobcats. Stein added that Gary Neal was still in play and that Sessions was being dangled as the bait. Sam Amick tweeted something to that effect, too.
Bottom Line: Until talks pick up steam there is no fantasy impact here.
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Mike Dunleavy, Kirk Hinrich
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: None
Commentary: Management is sensitive to what trading one of these veterans would do to the relationship with Tom Thibodeau. The Rockets were eyeballing Dunleavy and the Warriors have called on Hinrich. GM John Paxson has downplayed the deadline since the start.
Bottom Line: Unless something drastic happens, owners don’t need to gameplan here.
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Luol Deng, Jarrett Jack, Anderson Varejao, Dion Waiters, C.J. Miles, Alonzo Gee, Earl Clark
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman, Omer Asik, Jimmer Fredette, Pierre Jackson, David Lee
Commentary: The Cavs are among the most interesting trade deadline teams because of the firing of GM Chris Grant, as they have gone from a splashy team to one that is now trying to add pieces to placate Kyrie Irving and make a playoff run. They’ve also won six games in a row amidst a number of Cumbaya reports and rumors have slowed down considerably.
That said, the reality behind Luol Deng’s future isn’t looking great for Cleveland after they gave up so much to get him. They’re facing getting nothing for a player that will be a sought-after free agent this summer that they have little chance of signing. They’ve spoken with the Kings and Warriors according to local beat guy Sam Amico, which is interesting after uber-reporter Tim Kawakami spit-balled a David Lee for Deng and Waiters deal a few weeks back that there has been literally no reporting on.
The Kings are looking for a splashy deal but their only real asset that they’re willing to part with is Isaiah Thomas and though he might outplay Kyrie Irving on many nights, that’s just not happening if you’re Cleveland. Chris Kaman isn’t somebody the Cavs are going to overpay for and talks have stalled there, and talks about Gasol have stalled too – but that’s a splashy move that hasn’t been ruled out. The new Lakers plan to keep Gasol being reported by Marc Stein may mean that talks have effectively been squashed even if it hasn't been reported yet. Omer Asik talk has all but vanished over the last week. Ditto for Waiters.
The talk surrounding Jack has solidified around the Kings, too. The Cavs simply need to find a team to take on Jason Thompson's contract and a deal to rid themselves of Jack's contract will be all but done (no easy task). Though it’s a red flag that Cleveland doesn’t want to keep Jack, the Kings make sense given owner Vivek Ranadive’s experience as a minority owner of the Warriors, and Jack could support both guard positions if newly acquired Jason Terry’s knee doesn’t hold up or he gets bought out. Folks also don't have to look much further than the Kings' prior interest in Monta Ellis and their current backup PF Carl Landry to see how the Warriors connection has paid off in the past, either. Jack would be promoted as a much-needed veteran presence and keep Thomas from playing over 32 minutes per night.
Or not? An interesting report emerged early Thursday morning in which Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, a solid source of Cavs info, writes "(Jack) hasn't been what the Cavs expected on the court and he hasn't been the locker room influence many expected, either." Ouch. It's tough to dissect that but there haven't exactly been glowing reviews of Jack taking charge, so if we're grading we'd have to give Jack an 'I' for incomplete rather than passing any judgment in that department. The report also touches on other important issues like Deng, but on Jack it's reported that the combo guard prefers the ball in his hands and that isn't happening in Cleveland. In Golden State he was given the rock and that allowed Stephen Curry to play off the ball. The Kings don't have a Curry to play off the ball while Jack takes point guard roles, so the system issue isn't solving itself, aside from the unlikely event that Jack is given the reins over developing and emerging point guard Isaiah Thomas. That's a lot of questions and not that many good answers.
The reporting on Deng is the actual lede in Lloyd's piece and it goes on to explain how Deng was brought in as Chris Grant's guy and how now he's essentially on the outside looking in. By the sounds of things he's a little bit pissed off over the whole ordeal and that's the impetus for putting Deng on the block, and Lloyd goes on to write that a first round pick and a replacement at the '3' position would get him moved "today." This shouldn't be construed to mean that a trade is imminent or even likely, but the flavor of what's going on behind closed doors should give owners a bit more insight into their own decision-making processes.
The interest in D-Leaguer Pierre Jackson (held by NO) could be in response to the chance that Jack gets dealt. Alonzo Gee and Earl Clark would be filler to any deal.
Bottom Line: There are a lot of variables here but Luol Deng owners should hang tight through the deadline to see what happens. Things couldn’t be much worse than they are in Cleveland. Jarrett Jack could use a change of scenery but he’s not earning an even timeshare with Thomas in Sacramento. Even if he did he’d have a hard time floating standard league value. Anderson Varejao’s value can only go down in most locations. Waiters’ value is highest in Cleveland where they need him to work out. There’s not enough smoke behind these potential deals to consider the impact of new players in Cleveland, but any big man acquisition would hinder Tristan Thompson’s already mediocre value.
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Shawn Marion, Shane Larkin
Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Luol Deng, Kevin Love, Spencer Hawes
Commentary: Among the quietest teams on the trade front, none of these players are likely to be traded by current reports. Marion has struggled mightily since returning from his shoulder injury and somebody wearing a tin foil hat might think he’s taking it easy so he doesn’t get traded. The Mavs need a big man and would love to get Hawes but they’re not trading a first for him and there has been no smoke whatsoever for about two weeks there. Larkin’s inclusion has come late and would be an enticement for teams to take on Marion, but again, there’s not much action here. The Love rumors were quickly shot down by Marc Cuban and local writers that astutely pointed out that the Mavs are nowhere near able to offer the assets the Wolves would want for Love. That deal was shot down quickly by Minnesota reporters, too. The Mavs’ interest in Deng was reported at about 3:30 p.m. ET today (Wed), but just like the Love report (from Ken Berger as well) there is no real traction here because they can’t offer Cleveland enough, according to Berger.
Bottom Line: Marion’s value would likely take a dip unless he was somehow traded to Philly, which isn’t on the table right now. There are no real adjustments to make on Dallas players at this time.