As NBA trade rumors continue to fly leading up to Thursday's deadline, there remain a lot of teams that could really use more size. It's the most prized commodity in this league, and there are inevitably more teams trying to acquire it than teams that want to give it up. In that vein, the most important player on the trade market, outside of Carmelo Anthony of course, may be his former teammate Nene.
Unlike Anthony, Nene would like to stay with the Nuggets. The Nuggets agree, according to Chris Tomasson of Fanhouse, and are trying to work out a contract extension with him. Nene reiterated on Tuesday that he wants to stay with the team, but as always, it is a matter of dollars and cents. He can opt out of his contract after the year, and would like to have a new deal in place before the new CBA.
"This is where I want to be,'' Nene told FanHouse after Tuesday's game. "I have family here. Today, I'm here. Tomorrow, I can't control. I'm here right now.''
When it comes to a contract extension, Nene said, "I definitely hope I get one.''
Nene is said to be seeking a five-year contract worth close to what Joakim Noah and Al Horford signed for last summer ($60 million). But if a contract extension cannot be worked out, then the Nuggets may look to trade Nene and get some value back for him before losing him for nothing. If so, there will be a lot of suitors lined up for him. Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Rockets, Heat and Thunder lead the way, but there are undoubtedly more. As the trade deadline grows closer, this is a situation that bears watching.
Other trade buzz out there:
- As we noted earlier, the Miami Heat are trying to trade Mike Miller, who signed a five-year, $30 million contract last summer. Don't expect many teams to be interested at that price.
- The Devin Harris sweepstakes appear to be down to Dallas and Portland, with the Mavericks in the lead.
- If the Mavericks trade for Harris, the major piece going back to New Jersey will be Caron Butler and his expiring contract. Butler, however, defiantly tweeted last night that he "ain't going no where."
- The Knicks need size, and have asked about Portland's Marcus Camby, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Portland, however, is looking for other more attractive trade options.
- It looks like the Nets and Warriors are close to agreeing to trade Troy Murphy to the Bay Area for the expiring contracts of Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright, according to Wojnarowski. The Warriors will also receive a conditional 2012 second-round pick, then buy out Murphy. The trade could also be a larger part of a Harris swap. Several contenders are interested in Murphy once he is bought out.
- The Nuggets are unlikely to make any more trades, according to Tomasson. Takes at face value, it means Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, J.R. Smith and Nene will all stay with the team past Thursday.
- The Hawks, needing a point guard, have engaged the Wizards on a trade involving Kirk Hinrich, reports David Aldridge of NBA.com. The Hawks are only willing to offer Mike Bibby back at this point, because they feel the salary savings will appeal to the Wizards. The Wizards, on the other hand, want a prospect and a draft pick. The Hawks don't really have any prospects (maybe Jeff Teague and Jordan Crawford), and their pick is expected to be late in the first round.
- The Rockets are expected to be active, and their players know it, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
- One guy likely to leave is backup shooting guard Courtney Lee. The Bulls are interested, offering a first-round draft pick, according to Wojnarowski. Chicago made a smaller move yesterday, sending James Johnson to Toronto for a first-round pick initially controlled by the Miami Heat, so they have more picks and more cap space to fill its shooting guard hole.
- The Celtics continue to search for a backup small forward, and have engaged the Suns in discussions around their three wing players: Grant Hill, Jared Dudley and Mickael Pietrus.
- The Cavaliers continue to shop Anthony Parker, but they want a player in return instead of a draft pick. They have asked the Bulls about Omer Asik and the Celtics about Semih Erden, but have been rebuffed, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. Lloyd also reports that Jamario Moon and Leon Powe are likely to have their contracts bought out after the trade deadline.
- The Clippers are seeking a small forward, even after being rebuffed by the Nuggets for Gallinari, according to ESPN's Chad Ford. The Cavaliers also asked about Gallinari, but were shot down.
- Detroit's Tayshaun Prince does not believe he is going anywhere, and it sure sounds that way.
- And finally, here's a fun one from Chad Ford: the Grizzlies apparently had internal discussions about moving Zach Randolph, and were thinking of asking the Magic if they would be interested in a package of Brandon Bass and Jason Richardson. Neither team made the offer, but who says no first? It's an interesting question.