With the All-Star Game over and the trade deadline now just days away, it's time for the league's sellers to start selling. The team with the most to give is the Nuggets, and according to Grantland's Zach Lowe, Denver is willing to listen to offers for everyone on the team aside from 20-year-old Jusuf Nurkic.
That includes Ty Lawson. The Nuggets, according to Lowe, aren't actively shopping their 27-year-old point guard, but "the sense around the league is that you could land Lawson or [forward Kenneth] Faried with a Godfather offer," Lowe writes. The Celtics have reportedly engaged Denver on exploratory talks for Lawson.
Faried is the less interesting player here. He's athletic and has a good motor, but is still an undersized power forward who can't shoot or protect the rim.
Lawson, however, remains one of the better point guards in the league. He's averaging 17 points and 10 assists per game this year and is a career 37-percent three-point shooter. There might not be a faster player in the NBA. He's also signed for two seasons after this one; he'll make $12.4 million next season and $13.2 million in 2016-17. In the new CBA, that's an affordable contract for an All-Star caliber player still in his prime. It's why Boston is interested, though Lowe reports the Celtics will not include Marcus Smart in any deal for Lawson.
For more on the active Nuggets, check out Denver Stiffs
Bucks and Larry Sanders discussing buyout
The writing for this one has been on the wall for a while. Buyout discussions between the Milwaukee Bucks and Larry Sanders have begun, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. Sanders still has three full seasons and more than $33 million left on the four-year, $44 million contract extension he signed with the Bucks in August 2013, per ShamSports.
Sanders, however, hasn't played since Dec. 23. The Bucks initially said he wasn't playing due to an "illness," but reports began to surface that Sanders no longer wanted to play basketball. Then, Sanders was suspended 10 games in mid-January for violating the league's anti-drug policy.
Sanders has not returned to the Bucks since and has been listed as out for "personal reasons" in Milwaukee's last three games. Reports in late January suggested Sanders wanted to return to the court and planned on using his 10-game suspension as opportunity to deal with his issues and "learn to live without marijuana use." On Feb. 10, Sanders took to Twitter and wrote, "Soon you all will know the truth."
It's unclear what teams might be interested in Sanders, but a 6'11 26-year-old who three years ago averaged 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in 27 minutes per game is a player who will garner interest around the league despite his off-court issues.
Brew Hoop notes how the Bucks have taken off with Sanders sidelined:
Ultimately this move would seem to be all about Sanders and the team's belief that they're simply better off without him. Surprising as it might be, Kidd's club has gone 12-7 without Sanders this season and entered the all-star break having won seven of their last eight games. Sanders is unquestionably talented, but the Bucks have clearly moved on.
Prior to his absence this year, Sanders was averaging 7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 21.7 minutes per game. He has only appeared in 50 games with the Bucks since signing that contract extension in 2013.
SB Nation presents: How Michael Kidd-Gilchrist defied the odds to reach the NBA
Mavericks lead Amar'e Stoudemire derby
The Knicks and Amar'e Stoudemire have agreed to a buyout, setting the former star free. The obvious question now is what's next. Dallas is his likely landing spot and the Clippers and Suns have also expressing interest, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
The fit with the Mavericks is an obvious one, according to Mavs Moneyball:
Stoudemire may not be the hyper-athletic dunk machine he used to be, but as the Mavs' primary offensive big man off the bench, he can more than make up for the punch lost when Brandan Wright was traded away. If you ask me, Dallas has the most to offer him in terms of a defined role, playing time, and a chance to compete for a title, but nothing is certain and plenty of other teams are in the mix.
Stoudemire is averaging 12 points and 6.8 rebounds in 24 minutes per game this season while shooting 54 percent from the field. He's no longer the star he used to be, but Stoudemire is still a capable scorer, a good teammate and a player that can help a contender off the bench.
Jason Thompson wants to be traded
There's more turmoil out of Sacramento. The latest: Kings forward Jason Thompson would like to be traded, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
The 28-year-old Thompson is averaging just 5.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in 24.7 minutes per game. He has just one guaranteed year (which will pay him $6.5 million) left on his contract and likely wants to get traded to a team where he can have a bigger role and prove himself in a contract year.