In his latest piece for CBSSports.com, Ken Berger echoes a rumor we've heard recently, writing that concerns about increasing luxury-tax penalties may make teams reluctant to deal this week. While there may be something to that idea, I'd be surprised if we don't end up seeing a handful of trades consummated by Thursday afternoon at 2:00pm CST. And Berger also shares the latest on a few possibilities, so let's round up the highlights from his column:
- The Clippers are willing to listen on Eric Bledsoe inquiries, but are reluctant to move him as long as there's even the slightest doubt that Chris Paul will re-sign this summer.
- Talks between the Clippers and Celtics involving Kevin Garnett are dormant for now. Rival execs believe that Danny Ainge recognizes that if he trades Garnett, he'll probably have to trade Paul Pierce as well, and vice versa. If the C's don't blow things up, moving Jason Terry to get under the luxury tax will also be a consideration.
- Other teams who could attempt to get under the luxury tax: The Bulls, by moving Richard Hamilton, and the Warriors, who could try to deal a couple of minimum-salary players like Jeremy Tyler, Kent Bazemore, or Charles Jenkins.
- Bergers suggests that Eric Maynor, who we heard is being shopped by the Thunder, could be a fit for the Jazz, but Utah is "consumed with the dilemma" of whether to trade Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap. I'm sure if Oklahoma City approached the Jazz with an offer, they'd listen, but it doesn't sound like a priority for Utah at the moment.
- The Timberwolves are aggressively shopping draft picks in an attempt to acquire wing help. We heard a similar report from Adrian Wojnarowski last night.