While a number of NBA executives are anticipating a quiet trade deadline, the conversations ESPN.com's Chad Ford has had still lead him to believe that significant deals will be made. In an Insider-only piece, Ford listed ten impact players who could be moved, from the most likely (Rajon Rondo) to the least likely (Steve Nash). Here are the highlights from Ford's column:
- Even though the Celtics insist they won't trade Rondo, that isn't consistent with what rival GMs are saying after talking to GM Danny Ainge. Ford thinks Ainge would move Rondo if he could get two solid pieces in return.
- The Hawks have been exploring potential Josh Smith deals "for years" and would be interested in an offer that nets them a legit point guard and a decent forward.
- Chris Kaman has drawn "a lot of interest" from the Warriors, Rockets, and Heat.
- The Blazers appear more open to trading Gerald Wallace now than they were at the start of the season. Ford thinks the Magic could make a big push for the 29-year-old forward.
- If the Magic hang onto Dwight Howard, the Nets will stay the course with Deron Williams, but a Howard trade anywhere besides New Jersey could force the Nets to explore trade options for Williams.
- Ford says it doesn't make much sense for the Suns and Steve Nash not to consider a trade, since Phoenix could end up losing Nash for nothing at season's end anyway.
- Monta Ellis, Pau Gasol, and Eric Gordon also cracked Ford's list.