ESPN.com's Marc Stein has posted his latest Weekend Dime column, featuring updates on several prominent players whose names have been featured in trade rumors ahead of the February 21 deadline. Here are the highlights of Stein's report:
- Stein doesn't believe the Lakers will trade Pau Gasol before the deadline, although the Raptors are making a push to acquire him with a package built around Andrea Bargnani.
- Although the Clippers have shown no indication of wanting to trade Eric Bledsoe, a swap of the third-year guard to the Celtics for Paul Pierce could make the most sense for both sides, Stein writes.
- Celtics GM Danny Ainge recognizes that Pierce and Kevin Garnett don't have the value that would likely make it worth trading then, so he may instead look to move Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, or Jeff Green to get the team under the luxury tax threshold.
- The Hawks have been gauging trade interest in Josh Smith, Stein reports. Although they are very open to moving the forward, there is hesitance because other teams don't want to risk him walking in free agency and Atlanta doesn't want to take on long-term salary.
- Executives around the league don't expect the Jazz to trade Al Jefferson, saying they will either move Paul Millsap instead or stand pat.
- Given their ownership situation, the Kings will likely not make any moves before the deadline. There has been interest in Tyreke Evans, although DeMarcus Cousins remains untouchable.
- The Trail Blazers are not looking to make any moves that will help them in the short term, preferring to preserve their flexibility.
- Teams expect the Magic to trade J.J. Redick, but executives tell Stein that GM Rob Hennigan is asking for young talent or draft picks for the veteran sharpshooter.