As the NBA closes in on the 2013 trade deadline, we take a look at which names are being floated in the biggest musical chairs game of the pro hoops scene. Who will switch teams, and who will sit out the unpredictability of the deadline? Find out now.
Josh Smith will SWITCH
J-Smoove is the biggest name of the lot, and it’ll be plenty interesting to see where he ends up. We might see a reunion with JJ at Brooklyn, or have Smith go West all the way to Phoenix. It’s all up in the air, but I’m pretty sure he’s out of his ATL jersey by the deadline’s expiration.
|Josh Smith is ready to leave Georgia behind.|
(image by John Raoux/AP)
Paul Millsap/Al Jefferson will SWITCH
Destination: Los Angeles (Clippers that is). Utah HAS to let either (or both) go, or risk losing either (or both) for nothing when the season ends. I’m sure Vinny Del Negro would love to have another big who can do more than hop (bye bye DeAndre Jordan). I’d pick Jefferson, coach Vinny.
Rip Hamilton will SIT
Sadly, no longer any sign of D-Rose really making a solid comeback this season, so I think the Bulls would do well to keep Rip and take their chances. Unless, of course, they can ship him to, say, Boston and get Paul Pierce in return, or trade him for a draft pick and NOT suffer luxury tax woes.
Ben Gordon will SIT
Charlotte has all the reason in the world to deal away the overpriced and underwhelming Gordon, but will there be any takers? Which team will take the refuse of the league’s worst club? Yeah, thought so, too.
Eric Bledsoe will SWITCH
See the earlier thing about the Clips getting either Millsap or Jefferson. Yes, that won’t happen unless Bledsoe is dealt, too.
JJ Redick will SWITCH
He’s young, he’s a lights out shooter, and the Magic are going nowhere. Think a younger Kyle Korver, or a MUCH younger Mike Miller. Wouldn’t be surprised if he goes to either Big Apple team for MarShon Brooks or the next guy on this list.
|JJ Redick will probably walk away from the Magic kingdom very soon.|
(image by Willie J. Allen, Jr./AP)
Iman Shumpert will SWITCH
Shump could be dealt away for Redick, or any other guy who can shoot better from beyond the arc and be a little better on D. The bottom-line is the Knicks, if they are serious about threatening Miami in the East, have to make a tweak or two to transcend into the next level.
Pau Gasol/Dwight Howard will SIT (but either SHOULD switch)
Lakers will be too stubborn to move their biggest offseason acquisition since Shaq. They will play better compared to the start of the season, but they won’t be in any of the Top Four West teams conversations as long as the real big baby is in town.
Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network and the Associated Press):
Final Score: Charlotte 105, Orlando 92
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Gerald Henderson scored 24 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Charlotte Bobcats to a 105-92 win over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday. Kemba Walker also scored 24 points while dishing out seven assists, while Byron Mullens finished with 20 points and 12 boards for the Bobcats, winners in two of their last three games. Nikola Vucevic scored 18 points to go with 11 rebounds and Andrew Nicholson scored 13 points and grabbed 12 boards for the Magic, who have dropped 14 of their last 15 games. Arron Afflalo scored 18 points and Maurice Harkless added 15 points and six rebounds in the setback.
Final Score: Toronto 96, Washington 88
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Ever since Rudy Gay's arrival in Toronto, the Raptors continue to make a nice push up the standings. As the second half of the season begins, the Raptors are hoping that Gay can lead them to the playoffs for the first time in five years. Gay tallied 24 points and eight rebounds in Toronto's 96-88 win over the Washington Wizards. Since the three- team swap that landed Gay, who's already made two game-winning shots, on Jan. 30, the Raptors have won six of their last eight contests. Currently the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference, Toronto sits five games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff spot. DeMar DeRozan added 24 points in the triumph. Bradley Beal netted 25 points to lead Washington, which has dropped two straight on the heels of a four-game winning streak.
Final Score: Brooklyn 113, Milwaukee 111 (OT)
Brooklyn, NY (Sports Network) - Down the stretch, Joe Johnson single-handedly brought the Nets out from the jaws of defeat. He hit a tough 3-pointer late in regulation to send the game to overtime and then went on to bury the game- winner as time expired to give Brooklyn a 113-111 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday at Barclays Center. Johnson scored 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting and Deron Williams added 19 points with nine assists as the Nets came out of the All-Star break to collect their third straight win. Brook Lopez added 19 points and nine boards in the triumph, which helped the Nets end a 13-game losing streak to Milwaukee. Brandon Jennings had a game-high 34 points and Ersan Ilyasova contributed 21 points and nine rebounds, but the Bucks dropped their fifth game in six tries. Larry Sanders returned from a four-game absence and totaled 14 points, eight boards and six blocks in the setback.
Final Score: Memphis 105, Detroit 91
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Mike Conley scored 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, while Zach Randolph registered a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, as the Memphis Grizzlies used a critical second-quarter surge before cruising to a 105-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons. Ed Davis had 14 points and Tony Allen and Quincy Pondexter each netted 10 for the Grizzlies, who have won four straight and five of their last seven contests overall. Brandon Knight scored 13 points and pulled down five rebounds for the Pistons, who have lost two of their last three games. Jonas Jerebko came in late to donate 13 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting from the floor in the defeat, with Jose Calderon scoring 10 points and dishing out seven assists for Detroit.
Final Score: Chicago 96, New Orleans 87
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - With or without Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls will continue to rely on their tenacious defense. Fresh off their All- Star appearances, Luol Deng netted 20 points, while Joakim Noah added 15 points and 17 rebounds in the Bulls' 96-87 win over the New Orleans Hornets. The Bulls originally hoped that their star point guard, Rose, who tore his ACL in the first round of last year's playoffs in April, would return after the All-Star break. But reports last week stated that he was far away from returning and may not even come back this season. Chicago, meanwhile, has remained in the playoff hunt without Rose. Currently the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference at 31-22, the Bulls came into the tilt holding their opponents to 43.3 percent shooting, which is third best in the NBA. New Orleans shot 41.7 percent (35-of-84) from the floor Tuesday. The Bulls had dropped four of their last five contests heading into the break. Eric Gordon poured in 20 points to lead the Hornets, who had won four of their past five games.
Final Score: Denver 97, Boston 90
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Three overtimes weren't needed this time. Danilo Gallinari had 26 points in the Denver Nuggets' 97-90 win over the Boston Celtics. The Celtics downed the Nuggets, 118-114, in triple overtime a little over a week ago on Feb. 10 George Karl picked up his 400th win as Nuggets head coach in the triumph. Ty Lawson added 26 points, six assists and six rebounds for Denver, which snapped its three-game losing streak that came on the heels of a nine-game winning stretch. Jeff Green netted 20 points off the bench to lead the Celtics, who have dropped two of their last three tilts since winning seven in a row.
Final Score: Utah 115, Golden State 101
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Al Jefferson led seven Utah players in double figures with 24 points as the Jazz downed the Golden State Warriors, 115-101, on Tuesday. Gordon Hayward, who had missed the last 10 games with a sprained right shoulder, scored 17 points for the Jazz, who have won three straight games. Randy Foye dropped in 15 points, while Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors added 14 apiece. Alec Burks scored 13 points and Marvin Williams added 11 in the triumph. Stephen Curry poured in a game-high 29 points on 12-for-22 shooting and Jarrett Jack added 19 points and nine assists off the bench for the Warriors, who have dropped six straight.
Final Score: Phoenix 102, Phoenix 98
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Goran Dragic scored 16 points and dished out a career-high 18 assists to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 102-98 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday. Luis Scola added 18 points Wesley Johnson scored 14 points off the bench for the Suns, who put the brakes on a four-game skid. J.J. Hickson scored 25 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, while Damian Lillard added 24 points and seven assists for the Trail Blazers, losers in six straight.
Final Score: San Antonio 108, Sacramento 102
Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Tony Parker had 30 points and 11 assists as the San Antonio Spurs held off the Sacramento Kings, 108-102. Danny Green added 21 points for the Spurs, who have won four in a row. Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili tallied 15 and 12 points, respectively. Tim Duncan had nine points and 14 rebounds for San Antonio, which has won 16 of their last 17 games against the Kings. The Spurs have also won 10 straight at Sacramento. Isaiah Thomas and Tyreke Evans ended with 22 and 20 points, respectively, for the Kings, who have lost three straight. Marcus Thornton donated 16 points.
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