Expiring contracts aren’t quite as coveted in trades as they used to be, in part because the shorter deals called for in the latest collective bargaining agreement makes them a plentiful commodity. They’re nonetheless useful trade chips as teams look to clear cap room for a star-studded 2014 free agent class.
The Lakers seem focused on pursuing free agents this summer, but if they had a change of plans and wanted to use some of their expiring contracts to trade for a player who could help them down the stretch this year, they have plenty to offer. They’re the only NBA team with as many as 10 expiring deals this year. Pau Gasol‘s nearly $19.3MM salary is the only expiring deal they have above $4MM, but they could package several of their small contracts for a trade if they wish.
The Trail Blazers are on the opposite end of the list, with just a pair of ending deals, both of which are for the minimum salary. If they start to falter after their hot start, they can’t look to expiring contracts to help them trade for an experienced hand.
This list includes de facto non-guaranteed players — those whose contracts aren’t fully guaranteed past this season — as well as players on deals that aren’t fully guaranteed this year or in subsequent seasons. It doesn’t include players who can’t be traded because they signed after November 19th, putting them within three months of the trade deadline. Teams can’t trade any player they sign for three months after the contract is finalized. Not all of the players below are immediately eligible to be traded, but all of them will become so before the deadline.
- Lakers (10): Pau Gasol, Steve Blake, Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman, Jodie Meeks, Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, Shawne Williams, Ryan Kelly
- Jazz (9): Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins, Marvin Williams, Brandon Rush, Gordon Hayward, John Lucas III (de facto), Mike Harris, Ian Clark (non-guaranteed), Diante Garrett
- Raptors (9): John Salmons (de facto), Patrick Patterson, Greivis Vasquez, Amir Johnson (de facto), Kyle Lowry, Tyler Hansbrough (de facto), Austin Daye (de facto), Julyan Stone (non-guaranteed), Dwight Buycks (de facto)
- Wizards (9): Trevor Ariza, Marcin Gortat, Jan Vesely, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, Chris Singleton, Al Harrington, Garrett Temple, Glen Rice (de facto)
- Heat (8): Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, Ray Allen, James Jones, Rashard Lewis, Michael Beasley, Roger Mason Jr., Greg Oden
- Magic (8): Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson (de facto), Jason Maxiell (de facto), Ronnie Price (de facto), Solomon Jones, E’Twaun Moore, Doron Lamb (de facto), Kyle O’Quinn (de facto)
- Mavericks (8): Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Samuel Dalembert (de facto), Vince Carter, DeJuan Blair, Devin Harris, Jae Crowder (de facto), Bernard James
- Pelicans (8): Al-Farouq Aminu, Greg Stiemsma, Jason Smith, Darius Miller, Brian Roberts, Jeff Withey (de facto), Josh Childress, Louis Amundson
- Cavaliers (7): Andrew Bynum (non-guaranteed), Anderson Varejao (de facto), Earl Clark (de facto), Alonzo Gee (de facto), C.J. Miles, Henry Sims (non-guaranteed), Matthew Dellavedova (non-guaranteed)
- Hawks (7): Elton Brand, Gustavo Ayon, Jared Cunningham, Pero Antic (de facto), Shelvin Mack, Cartier Martin, Mike Scott
- Rockets (7): Ronnie Brewer (non-guaranteed), Omri Casspi (de facto), Chandler Parsons (de facto), Aaron Brooks, Greg Smith, Patrick Beverley (non-guaranteed), Robert Covington (de facto)
- 76ers (7): Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen, James Anderson (de facto), Daniel Orton (non-guaranteed), Brandon Davies (non-guaranteed), Hollis Thompson (non-guaranteed)
- Bobcats (6): Ben Gordon, Ramon Sessions, Jeff Adrien, Jannero Pargo, Anthony Tolliver, Jeff Taylor (de facto)
- Celtics (6): Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans (de facto), Avery Bradley, Jordan Crawford, MarShon Brooks, Phil Pressey (de facto)
- Pacers (6): Danny Granger, Luis Scola (de facto), Lance Stephenson, Rasual Butler, Donald Sloan (de facto), Orlando Johnson (de facto)
- Pistons (6): Charlie Villanueva, Rodney Stuckey, Greg Monroe, Chauney Billups (de facto), Josh Harrellson (non-guaranteed), Peyton Siva (non-guaranteed)
- Suns (6): Emeka Okafor, Eric Bledsoe, Viacheslav Kravtsov, Ish Smith (de facto), P.J. Tucker, Dionte Christmas (non-guaranteed)
- Spurs (6): Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner, Nando De Colo, Patrick Mills, Aron Baynes
- Bulls (5): Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Mike James, Nazr Mohammed, Erik Murphy (non-guaranteed)
- Clippers (5): Jamal Crawford (de facto), Willie Green (de facto), Ryan Hollins, Antawn Jamison, Maalik Wayns
- Grizzlies (5): Ed Davis, Jerryd Bayless, Kosta Koufos (de facto), Mike Miller, Nick Calathes (de facto)
- Kings (5): Jimmer Fredette, Hamady N’Diaye, Isaiah Thomas, Aaron Gray, Quincy Acy (de facto)
- Knicks (5): Cole Aldrich, Kenyon Martin, Beno Udrih, Toure’ Murry, Chris Smith (de facto)
- Warriors (4): Jermaine O’Neal, Toney Douglas, Draymond Green (de facto), Kent Bazemore,
- Bucks (4): Caron Butler, Ekpe Udoh, Luke Ridnour, Khris Middleton (de facto)
- Nets (4): Paul Pierce, Shaun Livingston, Tornike Shengelia, Tyshawn Taylor
- Thunder (4): Thabo Sefolosha, Hasheem Thabeet (non-guaranteed), Derek Fisher, Ryan Gomes
- Nuggets (3): Andre Miller (de facto), Jordan Hamilton, Quincy Miller (de facto)
- Timberwolves (3): Dante Cunningham, A.J. Price, Robbie Hummel
- Trail Blazers (2): Earl Watson, Will Barton (de facto)
ShamSports was used in the creation of this post.
The heavily discussed Kings/Raptors swap has spurred a discussion on advanced basketball metrics, mostly due to Rudy Gay. Some statheads have suggested Gay’s presence in Sacramento might stand to hurt Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins‘ chemistry on the floor, but the latest piece from Alex Kennedy at HoopsWorld examines why numbers might not tell the whole story for Gay. Here are some tidbits on Gay and the Western Conference as a whole:
- In his piece, Kennedy suggests it’s not unthinkable that Gay might turn his efficiency numbers around, pointing to Monta Ellis as an example of a player who didn’t reach his full potential until a later stage of his career than most players.
- Conversely, Mark Deeks of ShamSports breaks down the reasons why he believes the Kings spent too much to acquire Gay in his piece at SB Nation. Among his list of reasons, Deeks believes Gay’s presence will add nothing to Sacramento that they didn’t already have besides another expensive contract.
- Richard Jefferson doesn’t blame the Jazz‘s lack of success on Tyrone Corbin, reports Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. The forward recently blasted critics who have tried to fault his coach for the team’s struggles : “As far as lashing out and putting pressure on a coach, that’s unfair… Everybody’s an armchair quarterback.”
- Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports speculates that LaMarcus Aldridge probably won’t participate in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, based on his lack of history in international competition.
- The Clippers’ recent signing of Stephen Jackson will help bolster a squad that’s recently been bit by the injury bug. Losing J.J. Redick, Matt Barnes, and Reggie Bullock will be a challenging hurdle for Los Angeles to overcome, and Jovan Buha from ESPNLosAngeles.com examines how Jackson might fit in and help ease the club’s pain.
There are 16 teams in action tonight in what is largely an East Coast-based slate. We do have five Western Conference teams playing, however, including the Suns and Lakers later tonight. Let’s take a look at what else is going on out West on Tuesday night:
- The Timberwolves don’t appear to be targeting D.J. Augustin, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. The Raptors waived Augustin to make way for yesterday’s trade, and the Bulls are the front runners to land him.
- Joel Freeland looks much tougher than he did last year, and Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com wonders if it stems from a fight he and Luke Babbitt had during practice late last season. For what it’s worth, Freeland has become a mainstay in the Blazers‘ rotation, and Babbitt is out of the league.
- The Rockets are targeting a proven veteran small forward in an Omer Asik trade, one of the many kinds of assets the team is looking for as it seeks to deal its backup center, as HoopsWorld’s Steve Kyler notes. Kyler also examines the Thunder’s approach to player development.
- Speaking of Asik, the Rockets center is changing agents, switching from Andy Miller to the high-powered Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media Group, reports Ken Berger of CBS Sports. As Berger details, Tellem must wait 10 days before his representation of Asik becomes official. Assuming the proper paperwork is submitted today, Tellem can take over for Asik on December 20th, which is a day after Houston’s original target trade date of the 19th. It is also worth noting that Miller has taken legal action in the past when his clients have been poached.
- Responding to news that the campaign for a vote on the Kings‘ arena subsidy has turned in up to 40,000 signatures for their cause, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson cautioned the public that the group is “not folks who have Sacramento’s best interests in mind,” reports Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee.
The Rockets prefer to trade Omer Asik to an Eastern Conference team, and the Sixers, Hawks and Bucks are three clubs that appear to be strong candidates to land the 7’0″ center, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Portland had seemed to be an aggressive suitor based on the team’s reported discussions with Houston, but the Trail Blazers are enamored with what Robin Lopez has given them, and they aren’t planning to make a run at Asik, Stein writes.
Sixers GM Sam Hinkie was with the Rockets front office when they signed Asik in 2012, and his affinity for the 27-year-old from Turkey is one reason Stein believes many around the league are mentioning Philadelphia as a viable destination for Asik. Sixers power forward Thaddeus Young could fit together with Dwight Howard, Stein points out, adding that Philly isn’t likely to be able to find a player like Asik in the 2014 draft.
The Bucks are about to start looking for trades in the wake of a disappointing 4-16 start, Stein hears, concluding that Milwaukee could be Asik’s next home. That would seem to suggest the Bucks would be willing to trade Larry Sanders, whom they signed to a four-year, $44MM extension this past offseason, but that’s just my speculation.
Houston is no doubt one of many teams eyeing Paul Millsap‘s two-year, $19MM contract as an attractive bargain, so Stein figures the Rockets and Hawks could hook up on an Asik trade. Grantland’s Zach Lowe discussed the possibility of such a swap a few weeks ago, writing that it would work well for both teams and that Hawks GM Danny Ferry might take flak from Western Conference executives for giving such a significant boost to the contending Rockets.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey is also concerned about strengthening his Western Conference competitors, and that’s why he wants to send Asik to the East. Stein doesn’t think Morey will be doctrinaire about the idea, but the ESPN scribe points out that Asik is just the sort of defensive force who could cause Dwight Howard trouble in the playoffs.
LaMarcus Aldridge spoke to Jim Rome of CBS Sports Radio this week about the trade rumors that surrounded him this summer, chalking it up to passing frustration, as Ben Golliver of Blazer’s Edge notes in his transcript of the most notable passages.
“It was just me being overly emotional at the time,” Aldridge said. “Nobody wants to lose. I’m in my prime right now. At the time, I was a little emotional about not winning or what not. After I had time to talk to (Blazers GM) Neil (Olshey) and the team, I knew they were going to make some moves, bring some guys in.”
Aldridge is eligible to sign an extension, and when Rome asked whether he’d sign one, Aldridge said he’ll deal with the matter in the offseason. His decision will be a key story next summer, and as we await that, there’s more out of the Northwest Division:
- Damian Lillard, the Blazers‘ other linchpin, doesn’t seem at all reticent about his willingness to commit to the team long-term, judging by his comments to Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune. “I love it here,” Lillard said. “Hopefully this is where I’ll always be. I’m not saying that just to be politically correct. I really hope so. My family likes it here. Hopefully it will be a career-long thing for me.”
- Gordon Hayward discusses this year’s steep increase in his on-court responsibilities with USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt. Hayward professes his love for the team and calls himself a “Jazz guy” in response to a question about his upcoming restricted free agency.
- Brian Shaw had been passed over multiple times for head coaching jobs, but before landing his Denver gig this summer he was confident he’d wind up with the Nuggets, Nets or Clippers, tweets Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
Beckley Mason of the New York Times examines the chemistry and cohesiveness that have galvanized the Trail Blazers this season, prompting LaMarcus Aldridge to call this the ‘happiest time in his career’: “Guys are playing so (unselfishly) — our team chemistry is unreal right now…Coach Stotts gives us the freedom to play loose and make plays, and guys aren’t abusing it.”
Veteran point guard Earl Watson also weighed in: “Everyone accepts their role, and the roles were never defined. It’s the truth of our team, the DNA of our team. The way we fit together, it’s like the perfect storm, so to speak.”
Here’s more out of the Western Conference tonight:
If it looks like Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is only now starting to formulate a plan for offseason pickup Michael Beasley, you’re not far off, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. ”With Michael,” Spoelstra said, “it was more about, initially, we felt he was part of our family. We drafted him. We spent a lot of time with him, not only during those two regular seasons, but during the offseasons and we just wanted to open up our arms back into our family,” the coach said. Here’s more from around the Association..
- Damien Wilkins, who was in training camp with the Hawks over the summer, has reached agreement on a deal with Beijing in China, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM.
- Victor Claver spoke with El Mundo after the rumors about his future published by Spanish media and Emiliano Carchia of Sportando provides the translation. “Portland is the team where I want to play. But at the same time I want to play more and here I don’t have chances to. The season is very long, let’s see if something will change. Right now I am not thinking about returning to Europe. I have no idea if there is a chance to be traded. But if it happened, I hope it is for the better,” said the Spanish forward.
- Nick Young has jokingly touted himself as a Sixth Man of the Year candidate at times this season, but coach Mike D’Antoni believes the swingman has a legitimate shot at the award, notes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
- D’Antoni is overseeing a locker room with ten players on expiring contracts, but he appears much more effective at building camaraderie with this Lakers team than with last year’s, as Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times observes.
- In this week’s mailbag, Mary Schmitt-Boyer of the Plain Dealer fields questions on the possibility of the Cavs trading for Luol Deng and more.
The majority of Hoops Rumors readers who voted today think at least one New York team will make the playoffs this season, in spite of a combined 7-24 record for the Knicks and Nets. That might not be the case if those clubs were in the much tougher Western Conference. The Hawks are in third place in the East with a 9-8 record, while the Lakers have the same mark and sit in 10th place in the West. The imbalance figures to soften to some degree as the season wears on, but it’s still troubling for Western teams competing for a postseason berth. Here’s more from the West:
- Wesley Johnson could have signed for more money and years to play with that Atlanta team and its much easier road to the playoffs, and the Bucks also offered a better deal than the Lakers, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Coach Mike D’Antoni‘s system prompted Johnson to instead choose the L.A. and a one-year contract for the minimum salary.
- César Nanclares of TuBasket.com hears that Victor Claver is strongly considering a return to Europe amid disappointment over a reduced role this season with the Blazers (translation via HoopsHype). Nanclares points out the Spanish native’s contract runs through this season and next and that Portland isn’t likely to let him engineer a buyout this season, though the scribe wonders if the Blazers might be willing to cut ties this summer.
- Rockets forward Omri Casspi is leaving agent Steven Heumann of the Creative Artists Agency and will sign with Dan Fegan of Relativity Sports, as Fegan tells Sportando contributor David Pick.
- Former second-round draft pick Chukwudiebere Maduabum has signed with Tin Kalev Tallin of Estonia, Sportando’s Enea Trapani reports. The Nuggets hold the rights to Maduabum, the 56th overall pick in 2011.
While ownership, team executives, and coaches may sometimes choose to tank games (usually referred to by some as “focusing on the future”), Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld writes that players aren’t in on it, especially if they’re trying to prove themselves or avoiding the possibility that their potential replacement gets drafted.
Here’s more of tonight’s miscellaneous news and notes:
- Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (via Twitter) wonders if the Raptors should look to move DeMar DeRozan while his value is high, especially if they can’t find a taker for Rudy Gay.
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel writes that the Magic are trying to figure out center Nikola Vucevic‘s worth and thinks that the potential numbers on an extension could be between what Larry Sanders and Nikola Pekovic got from their respective teams this past summer.
- Looking back at how his tenure as the Trail Blazers’ head coach came to an end, Pacers assistant Nate McMillan tells Joe Freeman of the Oregonian that his one regret was trying to fit Gerald Wallace into the starting lineup (to keep the veteran from becoming disgruntled) despite Nicolas Batum needing the development.
- ESPN looked to 5 of its writers to give their thoughts on how much hope that Knicks, Nets, Cavaliers, Bulls, and Lakers fans should have moving forward this season.
- Hoopsworld’s Moke Hamilton discusses what he calls the “Derrick Rose dilemma” for Chicago – deciding whether or not to stay the course or start tear down the current team in order to build for the future.
- Although it’s possible that the Bulls will make a move or two to address the team’s current situation, Herb Gould of the Chicago Sun-Times points out that the return of Jimmy Butler to the lineup will help and how Chicago already proved they can at least stay competitive during the regular season without Rose.
Three Northwest teams will host games tonight, including the Thunder welcoming the Warriors to Oklahoma City for a rematch of perhaps the best game of the season’s first month. As we look forward to the evening’s schedule, let’s check in on a few items out of the Northwest….
- The Knicks are in Denver tonight, which will result in the inevitable look back on the 2011 trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York. As Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post writes, that deal should continue paying dividends for the Nuggets this season, since Denver could end up with both a playoff berth and a lottery pick, thanks to the Knicks.
- Wilson Chandler, one of the players acquired by the Nuggets in that Carmelo blockbuster, has long since moved on, as he indicates to Dempsey. “It’s just another game,” said Chandler of the Knicks’ visit. “It’s been a long time since that trade.”
- After the Trail Blazers bolstered their roster over the summer, LaMarcus Aldridge decided it was time for him to step up and take a larger leadership role with the club, writes Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
- Brandon Rush, who was acquired from the Warriors by the Jazz in July, appears ready to return to action, as Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune observes. Making $4MM in the final year of his contract, Rush could turn into an intriguing deadline trade chip if he stays healthy and plays well for Utah over the next couple months.