The NBA trade deadline rumors always get heated up over All Star weekend. This year, the focus seems to be on teams actually trying to get rid of their best players. Although tanking is strongly discouraged by the NBA, the current playoff format encourages it. Especially in a weak Eastern conference, middle of the pack teams have a.500 record at best and have no future.
As it stands on the day after the All Star game, the NBA trade rumors seem to focus squarely on the city of Philadelphia. They are expected to make a deal at the deadline, probably moving one of their better players. Both Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes of the 76ers are on the block for future draft picks, according to sources.
The Sixers are looking to build for the future around head coach Brett Brown, a former Spurs assistant. The blueprint is to build a team around a few key pieces, with the other parts being interchangeable. Currently, the roster has very little identity or star power. Rumors have the team talking to all 29 teams looking for the best deal.
The Boston Celtics are used to being on top of the NBA world, but after the departure of their big three, they have struggled to find an identity. Rajon Rondo’s injury concerns have left the team in a rebuilding mode for the second consecutive year. Brandon Bass appears to be the most valuable asset that GM Danny Ainge has, outside of Rondo. At 28, Bass is a bruising rebounder who can knock down a jumper. One of the teams out West might look to acquire him at the trade deadline for the playoffs.
In Milwaukee, the Bucks are always active in NBA trade rumors. Most of that has to do with a poorly built roster featuring many duplicate players. Seemingly doomed to hover around the.500 mark for the last few seasons, this could be the time when GM John Hammond finally blows up the roster. Forward Ersan IIyasova reportedly wants out of Milwaukee and could be a valuable piece for a team in need of scorer.
One thing that should not be expected this year is any big names moving. Although Pau Gasol was rumored to be on the move, possibly to Phoenix, injuries have slowed those talks considerably. Beyond that the most common names mentioned are an unhappy Luol Deng in Cleveland or Omer Asik in Houston.
Unless the NBA changes their current playoff format, teams are likely to continue to try and get better by getting worse. Tanking is an ongoing problem that gets overshadowed by the cream of the crop. With LeBron James and Kevin Durant duking it out for MVP’s and championships, the rest of the league has a long ways to go. So this year the NBA trade rumors are dominated by teams wanting to actually get worse.