Dwight Howard. Pau Gasol. Rajon Rondo. Monta Ellis. There has been no shortage of stars identified as potential trade candidates in the weeks leading up to the 2012 trade deadline. But with just one week left for teams to work out deals, there seems to be a growing sense that this season's deadline will be a quiet one. As a source told Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Twitter link), "Fans want trades. GMs don't."
Teams may be reluctant to make major deals this season in part because of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and the compressed lockout-season schedule. Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld tweets that limited practice time and a later-than-usual trade deadline will give clubs less time to incorporate new acquisitions into their systems before the playoffs get underway. Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link), meanwhile, alludes to uncertainty among general managers about what the deadline will bring, since many teams seem unwilling to take on salary — perhaps a result of the new CBA's increased restrictions on teams above the luxury tax threshold.
There are still seven days for GMs to talk trades, and I expect things to heat up as next Thursday approaches. Underperforming teams will start feeling more pressure to make moves, and perhaps they'll become a little more willing to include an extra piece or two in their trade offers. But, for all the rumors we've heard involving stars like Howard, Gasol, and Rondo, this year's deadline may not feature the sort of blockbusters we saw last season, when Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams were on the move.