NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Big Names Floating in Trade Speculation

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IFebruary 5, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27:  Pau Gasol #16 and Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate a play during a 106-95 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on January 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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With the NBA trade deadline looming on Feb. 21, there are some big names popping up in trade rumors.

Who knows how many, if any, of these guys will be traded. What we do know is there have been plenty of discussions about the possibility. 

Here is the latest on four of the bigger stars who are generating plenty of trade buzz. 


The Lakers' Twin Towers

With the Los Angeles Lakers toiling under .500, this proud franchise is engulfed with trade rumors. The majority of these rumors have centered around their two talented big men: Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard.

Gasol has been the subject of heavy trade speculation for over a year, and Dwight has again popped up in the speculation he owned last year, as the Lakers' underwhelming season has progressed.

Well, Lakers general manager, Mitch Kupchak let it be known that the team is not seeking a trade, and that any major trade is "unlikely." Newsday's Steven Marcus provides us with this quote from Kupchack:  

We will not make a trade. We will not trade Dwight Howard. We have no intention of making a trade. It's unlikely that we'll make any trade with any of our principal players. To make another change at this time of the year being behind the eight-ball like we are, I think that would just make it more difficult. The talent is there. We have to find our way.

So, Kupchack made it as clear as possible they are not trading Howard, and that it is unlikely that Gasol will be shipped. However, general managers aren't always at their most honest as the trade deadline approaches. 

Needless to say, I wouldn't be shocked to see a big trade with the Lakers go down. 


Kevin Garnett 

With Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger set to miss the rest of the season and the Celtics sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, it could finally be time to blow up this roster with an eye towards the future.

So, it should be no surprise that Kevin Garnett's name is popping up. Sean Deveney of Sporting News, had a recent report stating that the Los Angeles Clippers would like to add KG's services and that "team officials have been talking" about a possible deal.

However, ESPN Los Angeles’ Ramona Shelburne offers up a tweet that would lead us to believe this deal is still a ways off from happening: 

Despite the injuries, the Celtics have actually won four in a row, so I would expect them to at least wait and see if they can keep this hot streak going before blowing up the roster. 

Also, it is important to note that with any trade involving KG, he will have to approve the deal. He has a no-trade clause


Josh Smith

Josh Smith's contract expires at the end of the season, so get used to seeing his name bandied about.

Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld lets us know that he is already generating plenty of interest. 

However, there could be a huge snag in any potential trade for Smith. ESPN's Marc Stein explains:

I've likewise heard from a couple of teams that have pursued Smith in recent weeks that they've cooled on the idea because the 27-year-old is likewise reluctant to commit to a Carmelo Anthony-style extension as part of the trade.

I don't understand why Smith would be reluctant to sign a Carmelo-like extension. 'Melo did alright for himself in that deal. However, if he is, I certainly understand why teams would be reluctant to pull the trigger.