Aldridge On Raptors, Varejao, LeBron, Thunder

December 17 2012 at 12:25pm CST By Chuck Myron

TNT's David Aldridge checks in as usual on a Monday with his Morning Tip column at NBA.com, and this week's edition is full of trade rumors as talk heats up around the league. Here's a digest of Aldridge's latest scuttlebutt, with a heavy focus on the Raptors.

  • While Andrea Bargnani's elbow injury will keep him out for a month, delaying trade talk, one rival GM is convinced he'll eventually be leaving the Raptors, feeling as though there's no doubt GM Bryan Colangelo will trade him.
  • The Raptors are leery of adding another international player, according to Aldridge, which would make them reluctant to trade for Pau Gasol
  • Aldridge speculates the Raptors won't deal Jose Calderon to the Lakers, and instead ship him somewhere for a draft pick to create a massive trade exception. Aldridge writes that such a trade exception would be $15.6MM, but I believe it would be closer to $10.6MM, reflecting Calderon's salary.
  • A league executive speculates that the Cavs will hold on to Varejao through the summer of 2014, when LeBron James can become a free agent, so they can make a pitch to their erstwhile superstar. In any case, the Cavs have set Varejao's asking price too high for other teams' tastes, as they often do with their many of their players, according to Aldridge.
  • Though the Thunder are reportedly content to stand pat for now, Aldridge believes they could try to move the Raptors pick they got from the Rockets in the James Harden trade, speculating that one of their targets could be Varejao.
  • Aldridge spoke with a GM who joins the seeming consensus that the Jazz are more likely to deal Paul Millsap than Al Jefferson. The GM believes Jefferson is a better fit with Derrick Favors
  • The Bucks want an upgrade at small forward, and Aldridge thinks the team is more likely to move "one of its undersized four or oversized threes" than trade Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis.
  • The Wizards are open to trading one of their big men for veteran help at the point, where they're woefully thin in John Wall's absence.
  • The Pacers are willing to tinker, but aren't putting Paul George or George Hill on the table.
  • No one aside from Jrue Holiday is off-limits as the Sixers seek a big man, though it would take a lot to pry Thaddeus Young or Evan Turner from their hands.
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