Even though the NBA regular season is still in its early stages, teams are already starting to seek out potential trades. Big names like Pau Gasol and Amar'e Stoudemire are already being thrown around, although nothing is imminent.
It's no surprise front offices are already trying to get a feel for the market. By now, they understand what their rosters are going to need moving forward and it never hurts to seek a deal before the deadline, when the asking prices usually jump.
Let's break down some of the early rumors making the rounds.
The Milwaukee Bucks are committed to a youth movement, which has left Gooden on the bench. He's handled the situation like a pro, but it's hard to imagine he's happy about it given the fact he averaged 14 points and seven rounds last season.
Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal-Times reports the Bucks are trying to find a trade partner for the veteran, but have come up empty so far. Gooden's contract has been the main sticking point. He's making just under $7 million.
Gooden can still make an impact. Even though other teams might not be willing to make a move for him yet, there will surely be desperate teams that start calling once the season gets a little deeper. It's a situation worth monitoring.
Pau Gasol and Amar'e Stoudemire
One of the more interesting cases is that of Gasol. The Los Angeles Lakers star has seemingly been getting tossed around the rumor mill for two years without actually getting traded. The latest name thrown into the mix is Stoudemire.
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld.com reports there have been whispers about a potential swap, but sources on both sides aren't seeing a path to an agreement as of now. Once again, money is an issue. Stoudemire has a monster contract, which looms over a potential deal.
It's easy to see why the rumor has surfaced. Gasol would be a better fit playing with Carmelo Anthony and Stoudemire has thrived under Mike D'Antoni in the past. Fans shouldn't hold their breath, though. There are a lot of hurdles in the way.
Smith will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end. It's something that always presents an interesting dilemma. The Atlanta Hawks don't want to see him walk away without getting something back, but he's a key piece of the franchise.
As it stands now, the team is hoping to keep him and sign him to a long-term extension during the offseason, according to Kyler. He states the Lakers and Houston Rockets would be heavily involved if things changed in the coming months, though.
NBA fans know by now that things can change on a weekly basis, especially when it concerns a star like Smith potentially hitting the market. While the team appears confident a deal will get done, a better view of the situation will be known before the deadline.