The New Orleans Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers, two non-elite playoff teams out West, are active as NBA trade rumors pick up this week. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (via Blazersedge) reports that the Hornets have been active in seeking frontline help in advance of the Feb. 24 NBA trade deadline, and that the Blazers are among the teams potentially in position to peddle some big men.
Hornets' rumors are focused on finding a third big man, likely a center, to augment New Orleans' David West-Emeka Okafor frontline. Of course, getting Okafor back would be a big boon to the team; Okafor has missed the last eight games due to an injury that wasn't initially expected to keep the center out of action for more than a week.
Portland could supply such a big man. From Berger:
One exec said he believes Portland GM Rich Cho is "poised for a pretty significant 24th." Given the grim prognosis for star guard Brandon Roy and the uncertainty about what cap space will be worth under the new labor rules, Cho is seriously considering cashing in on the expiring contract of Joel Przybilla and the essentially expiring deal of Andre Miller, whose 2011-12 salary is fully non-guaranteed.
Przybilla is a bit close to Okafor in terms of on-court value; both are defenders, and while New Orleans has hung its hat on defense all season, it desperately needs scoring punch to help Chris Paul and West. Antawn Jamison is mentioned as another potential option for the Hornets.
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