NBA Trade Deadline Looms: Update - 2011

       Yesterday we saw the Knicks-Nuggets-Timberwolves complete a blockbuster 12-player deal and today was no different in star NBA talent moving around. The Utah Jazz and New Jersey Nets are completing a deal that would swap former-All-Star guard Devin Harris and 2010 first-round pick Derrick Favors for Utah's two-time All-Star point guard Deron Williams. The Nets also sent $3 million in cash and two first-round picks to the Jazz. This is a huge short-term win for New Jersey, who land one of the game's best point guard and gives the team a consistent threat to run the team with Brook Lopez in the low blocks. Unfortunately for the Nets, Williams is only signed until the end of the 2011-12 season, which means he can bolt free agency in the summer of 2012.

        For Utah, the trade adds some size and a much-needed defensive presence in the frontcourt that already has Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. It has been rumored that the Jazz will spend the next day or so before the trade deadline to rid themselves of Andrei Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur and Raja Bell.

        In other trade fronts, the Nets are freeing up Troy Murphy to go to Golden State along with a second-round pick in exchange for Brandan Wright and center Dan Gadzuric, an eight-year vet. Wright's athleticism and versatility could make him a dangerous threat to run the pick-and-roll with the newly-acquired Deron Williams. Murphy will likely be bought out by the Warriors and could end up in Orlando, a team that would love to put his size and outside game next to Dwight Howard down low.

        Sacramento and New Orleans are putting the finishing touches on a deal that would send forward Carl Landry to the Hornets for shooting guard Marcus Thornton and an additional piece like frontcourt piece David Andersen. Kings' coach Paul Westphal sat Landry on Tuesday for his first missed game of the season, creating even more buzz that Landry was on the move.

        Charlotte is definitely shopping Gerald Wallace, who will likely either end up in Portland or maybe even Cleveland. The Bobcats and Cavaliers may work out a deal to use their trade exception generated in the LeBron James free agent catastrophe from this past summer. With Portland, the Blazers could use Wallace in their frontcourt, one that has seen Greg Oden, Marcus Camby go down so far this season.

        Memphis was looking around to move O.J. Mayo and Hasheem Thabeet in the last week or so, but now that the Grizzlies are just a half-game back on the Utah Jazz, they may be reluctant to make such a move. Some speculated that starting power forward Zach Randolph- a 20 point, 13-rebound per game performer, may be headed to Orlando.

        It's been quite public that Chicago is looking for a shooting guard to piece next to Derrick Rose in the backcourt because the combination of Keith Bogans, Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver just isn't cutting it. Rose is having an MVP-like season (25 points, 8 rebounds, 4 rebounds per game), while Joakim Noah (14 points, 12 rebounds) and the addition of Carlos Boozer (19 points, 10 rebounds) have provided the Bulls with the low post-presence they've lacked in recent years. They are unlikely to part with 2008 second-rounder Omer Asik, a 7-footer who can run the floor and score around the rim or Taj Gibson, a 2009 first-rounder. They have an additional first-round pick that they picked up yesterday in shipping James Johnson to Toronto. Anthony Parker, Courtney Lee, or O.J. Mayo remain possibilities.

By President Corey Ruff - 2-23-11