NBA Trade Rumors
by Trevor Whenham - 1/27/2010
Thursday, Feb. 18 is a day that looms particularly large in the NBA this year. That's this year's trade deadline. The trade deadline isn't as significant in the NBA as it is in some sports, but with the looming 2010 free agency windfall and the impact the struggling economy is having on several teams this means that this trade deadline could be busier than normal, and could see some significant players on the move. Here's a look at four big-name, big-impact players who could be on the move, and what it could mean for bettors in each case.
Andrew Bynum, Los Angeles Lakers - Bynum is a young player with a lot of potential who is already playing pretty well - and very well at times. So, why would the Lakers be looking to deal for him? There are a lot of reasons. First, Bynum has developed a bad habit of getting hurt - he has only played just over 60 percent of his games since entering the league. The Lakers don't have the depth on the bench to afford the luxury of keeping a high upside guy around to play when he is able to.
Having a guy like Bynum in the front court is nice, but the Lakers have a far bigger need for depth, a combo-guard, or a more dynamic offensive threat to take some pressure off of Kobe. Bynum is also very young, so he is a couple of years away from his prime. By the time he gets there, Bryant and Gasol will be on the decline. To capture the last window of opportunity that this team has they would be better served trading Bynum for some talent more in its prime. This will be an interesting move for bettors to watch, because the Lakers have the luxury of not having to make a move unless it makes them better. they are already the best team in their conference. so another improvement could make them even better than they already are.
Amare Stoudemire, Phoenix Suns - Last year at this time we were sure Stoudemire was on the move, so it seems very likely that he will be this year. He's a free agent at the end of the season, and the Suns won't be bringing him back, so they will certainly be looking to get some value for him. He's a beast of a player and is obviously attractive to almost any team in the league. His market is limited somewhat by the fact that he isn't really interested in signing with a non-contender next year, so a team that would only have him for a couple months isn't likely to step up for him. There has been talk of destinations like New York, New Jersey, and Cleveland for him, but by far the most intriguing is San Antonio. Stoudemire and Tim Duncan would make a very scary front court, though the cost would be reasonably high - someone like Manu Ginobli - so there is a real risk of damaging chemistry if the deal happened. The Spurs need to be shaken up, though, and this move would certainly do it. It would draw a huge amount of betting attention towards the Spurs (more than they already have), but it might turn out to be a good bet in the end if Stoudemire and Duncan could find chemistry quickly.
Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors - This one is frustrating. The Raps are playing pretty good basketball recently, and are on the path to a playoff position without too much stress. If they continue this improvement of the last few weeks they could certainly win a round as well. Despite that, they almost certainly have to trade Chris Bosh and significantly damage their chances. Bosh is another free agent of 2010, and it seems quite unlikely that he would sign back on with Toronto - they just aren't going anywhere fast enough to keep him in the market. Bosh is a very special player - among a small handful of elite players in the league - so it is almost certain that they won't be able to get equivalent value back for him. Even if they do get good value the team will be damaged by losing their heart and soul. The team is likely to take a big step backward if and when a deal happens. The trick will be deciding if the size of that step is bigger or smaller than the public's reaction to it. The Raps should open the vault for Bosh, and I think that they want to, but they can't risk losing him for nothing if they don't think they are going to be able to sign him, so I think that they have to do it no matter how much it sucks - and it sucks a lot.
Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz - Boozer is a very nice player - a potential all-star this year - but it's time for the Jazz to move on, and it increasingly looks like they will. Boozer is an expensive player, and he limits the flexibility the Jazz have. That would be okay if Boozer was an ideal fit, but he's not quite consistent enough, and he doesn't get along with his teammates well enough to make him worth the investment. He's worth what he gets paid, but he doesn't do enough to make the Jazz a serious contender to make him worth that much of their payroll. He's also going to be looking for more money next year, and it is far from guaranteed that he will stay in Utah, so the Jazz are another team that is in the position of trying to get at least a little value for what they have. Boozer should be a player with real value in the trade market because he can slip into a system and help a team in a real way down the stretch - whether they can re-sign him or not.
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