Dec. 15 is the date when most players who signed in the offseason can be traded, so it marks the opening of NBA "trade season." Some rumors have already started to circulate and there will be plenty more between now and the deadline.
With trade season now open, here are the players and situations to watch.
Already in rumors
Kevin Martin, Minnesota Timberwolves: Martin was signed when Kevin Love was around and the Timberwolves were looking to make the playoffs. Once they went into rebuilding mode, the 32-year-old scorer made little sense on their roster. With Minnesota's postseason hopes dwindling after a hot start and plenty of young talent to develop at the wing, the front office has made him available in trade talks, according to The Associated Press. Two unnamed teams have reportedly showed interest in the past. Martin has a player option next season worth around $7.4 million but will likely opt out and seek one last multi-year contract.
Ty Lawson, Houston Rockets: The Rockets acquired Lawson in July but he has disappointed in Houston, averaging career lows in almost every category. Lawson's representatives are trying to find him a new team and the Rockets are willing to accommodate a trade, reports Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Lawson is on the last year of a contract that is paying him $13 million.
Keep an eye on
Howard is unhappy with his current role in Houston, though Houston's interest in the disgruntled Markieff Morris, it's fair to assume that the Rockets pull of some sort of move prior to the trade deadline.and the Houston Rockets: Houston already fired its head coach, so we know it's willing to shuffle things around. Rumors are swirling that
Pau Gasol// , : The Bulls have one of the deepest frontcourts in the league on paper, but all three big men have their flaws and are 30-plus years old. Noah and likely Gasol (player option) are set to hit free agency, and the Bulls may want to get get younger rather than pay up for aging big men. Gibson still has another year left after this one on his contract, but younger power forwards and are in place. Chicago's roster is unbalanced, so one of these players could be dealt for help on the wing, which would subsequently open up time for Portis.
veterans: The Lakers brought in veterans , and this offseason with the hope that they'd bring the team some respectability. Instead, Los Angeles is awful again, so Mitch Kupchak may want to see what he can get in exchange for one or more of these players. Hibbert is a giant expiring contract and Bass could become a free agent as well, while Williams is in the first year of a three-year, $21 million deal. is also a prime candidate to be dealt, although he still has three years left on his contract including this one (player option in the final year).
The rumors are coming
they've shown no inclination of doing -- trading Cousins could be the way they go.: The Boogie situation is always one worth monitoring. So it goes when you take a mercurial superstar and put him on the roster of one of the most confounding teams in the league. Cousins has struggled a bit this season (he's shooting just 42 percent from the field), but he's still a 25-year-old star who's under contract for the next two-and-a-half years. If the 10-15 decide to start over again -- which, to be fair,
: That massive six-year, $124 million deal he signed with the in 2010 is finally coming to an end, which means the 34-year-old swingman is no longer a player impossible to move. Of course, Johnson is also no longer the player he once was (11.2 points per game on 36 percent shooting), but he's still a big wing with the ability to score. There are many teams that could use a player like that, and the would certainly be willing to ship Johnson off if doing so netted them any sort of draft pick.
* * *
SB Nation presents: The Year 2015 in Sports, Reviewed