In this morning's column, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld looks at the top trade candidates in the league. Let's dive in..
- League sources say it would be almost impossible for the Raptors to move Andrea Bargnani and the three years and $32.25MM remaining on his deal until he returns and proves his elbow isn’t going to be a problem. Toronto hopes that he can return sometime in early February so teams can get a good look at him before the February 21st trade deadline and won't seek much in return. However, club sources say they don't want a ton of long-term salary unless they're getting exactly the right player.
- The stance from the Lakers is that they are not looking at deals for Pau Gasol and word is that they're not looking at deals at all. The Lakers have taken stock of the marketplace for the big man and have found it to be somewhat disappointing. There are deals for Gasol, but all of them either have the Lakers taking back multiple assets, which they cannot do without eating some contracts or taking on bad deals. Team sources say the goal is to compete for a championship this year and that Gasol, at this point, gives them the best chance for that.
- On January 7th, the Lakers will need to decide on guaranteeing the non-guaranteed contracts of rookies Robert Sacre and Darius Johnson-Odom. The Lakers could opt to cut one or both and open roster spots for free agents, other cut players with non-guaranteed deals, or 10-day contracts (which begin on January 10th).
- There has been speculation that Antawn Jamison wants off of the Lakers because of his decreased playing time, but the forward and sources close to him say that's not the case.
- League sources say Anderson Varejao is one of the more talked about trade targets in the league, but the Cavs are asking the moon for the big man. If they cling to their evaluation of Varejao as an All-Star type talent, they may not find many buyers.
- League sources openly question if there is a marketplace for Richard Hamilton, who has had a lot of injuries since joining the Bulls and question whether or not he’ll be anything more than a role player on another team.