In addition to providing an update on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, Chris Broussard shares rumors about a handful of big-name trade candidates in his latest Insider-only ESPN.com column. Let's dive in….
- The Rockets still have interest in Pau Gasol but want to build around Kyle Lowry rather than include him in any Gasol deal. The Timberwolves haven't talked to the Lakers in months about Gasol, while the Bulls have shown some interest in the Spaniard.
- Sources tell Broussard that the Celtics have determined they're not title contenders this year and would prefer to move Rajon Rondo rather than deal with the "headaches" he brings.
- Broussard hears that if Monta Ellis were traded, the Warriors guard would like to join the Lakers, Bulls, or Magic (alongside Dwight Howard), but none of those scenarios appear realistic.
- The Timberwolves offered Michael Beasley to the Lakers in exchange for the higher of L.A.'s two first-round picks, but were turned down. The Lakers are torn on Beasley — because L.A. is over the tax line, the team would be adding more than just Beasley's $6.26MM cap figure. I imagine they'd also prefer to use their trade exception to acquire a point guard.
- The Hornets' asking price for Chris Kaman has dropped since earlier in the season. They're seeking a draft pick, even just a second-rounder, for the center.
- LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum are "virtually untouchable" but the Blazers would talk about anyone else on their roster, particularly Raymond Felton and Gerald Wallace.