Buying or Selling the Latest NBA Rumors in Mid-November
That didn't take long.
We're just a few short weeks into the season, and the trade rumors are already flying around like nobody's business.
Tyson Chandler's injury has set the New York Knicks on a hunt, first for a Manimal in Kenneth Faried and now for Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. Are the Knicks ready to make a move right now? Are the Celtics a logical trading partner?
Meanwhile out in Houston, Omer Asik might be unhappy and ready to play elsewhere after reportedly issuing another trade demand. Is it just a matter of time before Asik gets dealt? What's the plan with Chandler Parsons?
Let's tackle those questions and more with a little buy or sell of the latest rumors floating around the league.
Are the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics Going to Deal?
The Rumor: According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, the Knicks are dangling Iman Shumpert in trade talks and have made a proposal to the Boston Celtics for Rajon Rondo.
Buy or Sell: Buy the offer, sell any deal happening
Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge told The Boston Globe that he "doesn't expect anyone to inquire" about Rajon Rondo, which seems to run in direct conflict with the multiple reports that have indicated the Knicks have made an offer for Rondo.
This seems to be an annual tradition for Ainge to deny any Rondo rumors, but you can't blame him for not acknowledging this proposed Knicks deal, if true.
The Knicks simply don't have the future draft picks (none available until 2018) or the young assets to acquire a player of Rondo's capabilities. Shumpert is a nice piece, but he's not enough.
The only real deal that makes sense here for Boston doesn't involve Rondo. Chris Broussard of ESPN reports that the Celtics would be interested in acquiring Amar'e Stoudemire if they could unload the long-term deals of Gerald Wallace and Courtney Lee, who have one more year on their contracts than Stoudemire.
While Lee and Wallace are decent contributors and certainly an upgrade in talent over Stoudemire, this would zap New York's cap space after the 2014-15 offseason, which could be used to chase the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love.
Remember, the ability to acquire another star in free agency is going to be a huge part of the pitch to Carmelo Anthony this offseason, so sacrificing that for two decent rotation players on an already-deep team doesn't make a ton of sense.
I'd say the salary swap is significantly more likely than the Knicks acquiring Rondo, but my guess is that New York will explore other options for moving Shumpert instead.
Did the Denver Nuggets Insist on a Draft Pick in Exchange for Kenneth Faried?
The Rumor: Ian Begley of ESPN New York reports that the Denver Nuggets asked the New York Knicks to include at least one draft pick in the proposed swap of Iman Shumpert for Kenneth Faried.
Buy or Sell: Sell
While I don't doubt that the Denver Nuggets requested a draft pick in exchange for Kenneth Faried, I'm not buying that as the reason why the trade fell through.
The Knicks have consistently shown that they don't value draft picks very highly at all, so it doesn't feel right that one first-round pick would be the hang-up in a deal for a talented forward like Faried.
It seems more likely that the Nuggets were never all that interested in acquiring Shumpert for Faried and would only do it if the Knicks drastically overpaid with something along the lines of two future first-round picks, which would be selections in 2018 and 2020. Maybe it's more likely that Shumpert's history of knee injuries scared the Nuggets away from the table.
Something tells me this deal was never really all that close as it's being made out to be. If the Knicks were willing to throw the Toronto Raptors a draft pick for dumping Andrea Bargnani's salary, it's hard to believe that they wouldn't be willing to do the same for Faried.
Are the Houston Rockets 'Sure to Deal' Omer Asik?
The Rumor: According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, the Houston Rockets will trade Omer Asik as soon as they can find a palatable trade.
Buy or Sell: Buy
Absolute certainty regarding trade rumors usually scares me a bit, but I'm buying the Rockets finding a home for Omer Asik this season. Lineups with Asik and Dwight Howard together have failed miserably, and Asik is clearly unhappy with his reduced role.
Asik is a starting-caliber center in the NBA, so his frustrations are justified. It's fairly clear that he deserves minutes elsewhere and that those minutes aren't going to come at the expense of Dwight Howard's time.
What is Houston looking for in return? Acquiring a stretch 4 would seem to be a natural fit, though the Rockets might be able to use a little help on the wing as well.
Either way, defensive anchors in their primes aren't often readily available on the market.
Expect the Rockets to get something done in the near future, most likely after the December 15 date when all signed free agents become available via trade. It doesn't seem like Rockets general manager Daryl Morey would pull the trigger on a deal without fielding every suitor's best offer, and he can't realistically do that until that date.
Do the Sacramento Kings Have Interest in Derrick Williams?
The Rumor: According to ESPN.com's Chad Ford, the Sacramento Kings "have a lot of interest" in Minnesota Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams.
Buy or Sell: Sell
While I do believe that Derrick Williams is absolutely available for trade, I don't buy the Sacramento Kings as a good destination for him.
It wouldn't make much sense for the Kings to sign Carl Landry and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute this offseason if trading for Williams was a realistic option, unless the Kings view Williams as a small forward.
This is already a crowded frontcourt, and Williams is another undersized player who can't offer much help next to DeMarcus Cousins.
Upgrading in potential from Chuck Hayes to Williams would make some sense, but as Ford says in his chat, Timberwolves general manager Flip Saunders would likely want more in exchange.
Trading Jason Thompson seems like the most realistic option, although I'm not sure what the point of that deal is for Sacramento, aside from shedding salary three years down the line. Trading Thompson for a true small forward would seem to make more sense.
The Timberwolves may be anxious to deal Williams, but this doesn't feel like a good fit at all.
Will the Houston Rockets Decline Chandler Parsons' Option Next Year?
The Rumor: As Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle explains, Chandler Parsons may hit restricted free agency this offseason.
Buy or Sell: Buy
It may seem crazy for the Houston Rockets to decline the team option on Chandler's paltry salary worth $964,750 next season, but guaranteeing his services going forward might be the smart thing to do.
If the Rockets decline Parson's team option, it will automatically make him a restricted free agent, which means the Rockets would then have the ability to match any offer sheet Parsons signs.
If they accept the team option instead, Parsons will play for less than a million dollars next year but then become an unrestricted free agent after next season.
We can safely assume that Parsons' camp will push hard for Houston to decline the team option in order to lock down some long-term financial security, and it can't hurt that Parsons' agent is Dan Fegan, who also represents Dwight Howard.
Although passing on another year of incredibly cheap production may be tough, guaranteeing the return of a key core member is the safe thing for the Rockets to do.