Now that the Carmelo Anthony trade to the New York Knicks is finally completed, we can finally focus on what the rest of the teams will do at the NBA Trade Deadline. The Anthony saga was very clearly holding up any potential movement that would occur. Now that it's over, we can start to consider which teams may be active this week.
Here is Part 4 of a team-by-team breakdown of what we should expect as the NBA Trade Deadline draws near. We already discussed the Atlantic, Central, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest divisions, so now let's move on to the Pacific Division. The Lakers are probably going to stay quiet, but will anyone else be active?
Los Angeles Lakers
Record: 38-19, third in the West.
Holes/weaknesses: Bench depth, if anything.
Trade assets: Nothing.
Other pieces involved in rumors: Ron Artest (four years, $28 million remaining).
Targets: Kirk Hinrich (maybe)
Summary: General manager Mitch Kupchek issued a threat that trades may be on the way soon, but it's largely empty. The Lakers have no contracts that expire this season (unless Shannon Brown opts out), traded their draft pick to remove Sasha Vujacic from their payroll and lack any real youngsters. They also have traditionally resisted midseason trades because of the difficult adjustment to the Triangle, with the Pau Gasol move in 2008 being the notable exception.
If I were GM, I would ...: Do nothing. This mix is this mix.
Record: 27-27, 10th in the West.
Priority: Make the playoffs.
Holes/weaknesses: Rebounding, interior defense, perimeter defense.
Trade assets: Vince Carter's sort-of expiring contract ($4 million guaranteed next year), Goran Dragic, Robin Lopez, their 2011 first-round pick, Orlando's 2011 first-round pick.
Other pieces involved in rumors: Josh Childress (four years, $27 million left), Mickael Pietrus (player option for $5.3 million next year).
Summary: The Suns are not trading Steve Nash, so they will soldier on toward what they hope is a playoff berth, despite being two-and-a-half games out. They've tried to move Childress, but nobody seems interested, so it'll probably be a quiet deadline.
If I were GM, I would ...: Shop their upcoming draft picks, including the one from Orlando, as a means to dump long-term salary, like Childress or Hakim Warrick.
Golden State Warriors
Record: 26-29, 11th in the West.
Priority: Make a playoff run, for some reason.
Holes/weaknesses: Size, perimeter defense, bench depth.
Trade assets: Expiring contracts of Dan Gadzuric, Brandan Wright and Vladimir Radmanovic, high 2011 second-round pick from New Jersey (but no first-round pick)
Other pieces involved in rumors: N/A
Targets: Nene, Chris Kaman, Troy Murphy, a top-flight wing player.
Summary: The Warriors are positioning themselves as buyers for a playoff run, which doesn't make much sense given what little they have to trade. Unsurprisingly, they are getting rebuffed when trying to shove their nose in the chase for big men. There remains a chance they will break through, but they're thinking a little too big. Instead, they could look to add more bench pieces, or failing that, get their first-round pick back.
If I were GM, I would ...: Chill out. The Warriors have a developing young team. There's no need to rush into a panic move. Play out the season, look for that elusive big man later, and try to get your pick back somehow.
Los Angeles Clippers
Record: 21-35, 13th in the West.
Priority: Continue to build around young talent.
Holes/weaknesses: Turnovers, long-range shooting, depth, perimeter defense, small forward.
Trade assets: Rasual Butler's expiring contract, Craig Smith's expiring contract, their own 2011 pick, the Timberwolves' 2011 pick (top-10 protected, but unprotected in 2012).
Other pieces involved in rumors: Chris Kaman ($12.7 million for one more season).
Targets: Danilo Gallinari
Summary: The Clippers have a nice young core that they could wait to breathe, but do have a couple intriguing assets, including a potential unprotected first-round pick. They dangled it to the Nuggets for Gallinari, according to reports, who would fill a void at small forward. They also could move Chris Kaman, who has become expendable with DeAndre Jordan's emergence.
If I were GM, I would ...: Pass on the Gallinari deal, look for something better and keep peddling Kaman, asking for a draft pick and expiring contracts back.
Record: 13-40, 14th in the West.
Priority: Avoid long-term salary commitments.
Trade assets: Samuel Dalembert's expiring contract, Carl Landry, Donte Greene, Omri Casspi.
Other pieces involved in rumors: N/A
Summary: The Kings' situation is put on hold because of the uncertainty surrounding a possible relocation, which is too bad. Samuel Dalembert and Carl Landry have value to contending teams, and it doesn't look like the Kings are going to bring either back next year. Oh, and don't worry: the Kings won't trade DeMarcus Cousins.
If I were GM, I would ...: If possible, shop Dalembert and Landry. Tons of teams need interior help, and both of those guys are big men. Ask for draft picks in return.