The NBA trade deadline often brings about some of the most exciting—and unexpected—action of the season.
Things should be no different in 2013, as plenty of speculation and numerous rumors have surfaced over the past few weeks concerning potential trades and transactions around the league.
This buzz ranges from some of the game’s biggest stars down to role players being moved for salary-cap purposes, and all signs point to major deals going down over the next few days.
Let’s take a look at the exact date and cutoff time for the league office to accept potential deals, some of the hottest rumblings from insider sources and more in this trade deadline guide.
Trade Deadline Date: Thursday, Feb. 21
Cutoff Time: 3 p.m. ET
It’s important to note that the league office will not accept a trade if it comes in after the 3 p.m. deadline. This happened most recently in 2011, when the Memphis Grizzlies were all set to ship O.J. Mayo to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Josh McRoberts and a first-round pick but couldn't place the call in time to make things official.
J.J. Redick for Iman Shumpert
The New York Knicks are serious about making a championship run in 2013, which is why it makes sense that they are discussing exchanging their second-year guard for the Orlando Magic's veteran shooter.
According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, the two sides would need to involve other players or bring in a third team to work out a satisfactory deal, but Redick and Shumpert would be the main pieces.
The Knickerbockers are loaded with aging talent and only have a legitimate chance this season and the next to claim a title, so they would be setting themselves back by trying to develop Shump.
Redick is a much better fit given his ability to stretch the floor and make savvy plays, even if his athleticism is tenfold less than the former Georgia Tech star.
Oklahoma City Shopping Eric Maynor
The Oklahoma City Thunder have a superstar in Russell Westbrook and a solid backup in Reggie Jackson, so it makes sense that third-string point guard Eric Maynor is on the block.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the organization is “aggressively” looking to swing a trade for the fourth-year man out of VCU, but the asking price is high.
With Maynor only averaging 2.8 points, 2.0 assists and 0.5 rebounds in 2012-13, it will be interesting to see if any team in the league is willing to gamble on him turning things around with a change of scenery.
There’s clearly no room for the 25-year-old guard on the OKC roster, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see Maynor’s stock drop as the minutes tick closer to the deadline.
Josh Smith Rumors
The Atlanta Hawks' star forward is the biggest name on the block at this year’s deadline, and it’s not surprising that numerous franchises are reportedly in the running to land him.
ESPN’s Marc Stein has the latest on a number of potential deals for J-Smoove, as the insider’s sources indicate that the Brooklyn Nets are in the midst of negotiating a three-way trade.
However, the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks are also strong contenders to land the versatile forward, while the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards are apparently discussing various ways to add Smith to their roster.
There will surely be many more reports and rumors leaking out concerning the ATL superstar in the next couple days, so keep an eye out.
Dwight Howard Will Not Be Traded by Los Angeles Lakers
As much as some Lakers fans want Howard off the roster, there’s just not a chance that GM Mitch Kupchak parts ways with his prized offseason acquisition so quickly.
Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio noted that the front office guru has already made it clear that Dwight isn’t going anywhere, even if Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol all have questioned the center’s commitment.
With the All-Star break ending, L.A. is still very much in contention to make the playoffs, and for better or worse, it’s going to need D12 to accomplish that goal.
Howard will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, so expect the drama to start again in just a few short months.
Atlanta Hawks Will Definitely Move Josh Smith
J-Smoove has been the most talked about player over the past few weeks and it’s likely he'll be wearing a new uniform within the next 48 hours or so.
Stein reported that the Hawks have made it known they are “definitely” going to trade Smith by Thursday afternoon, as the organization feels that the forward’s free-agency plans are too unpredictable.
Smith’s contract runs out this summer, allowing him a chance to sign wherever he wishes come July, but he could easily extend if he winds up in a great situation at the deadline.
Expect the Unexpected
As usual, the trade deadline will bring about unexpected deals and transactions that seemingly come out of nowhere.
It’s a completely unpredictable and absolutely wild point of the NBA season, as front offices shed—and spend—money with reckless abandon.
With so many big names on the block and franchises looking to make financial maneuvers, the 2013 deadline will be nothing short of thrilling.