NBA Trade Rumors: Struggling Teams Looking to Make Changes

Joshua J VannucciniSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 2, 2014

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 24: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics greets J.R. Smith #8 of the New York Knicks following their game on January 24, 2013 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The NBA's trade deadline isn't until February 20, but some teams are looking to shake things up as soon as possible. A plethora of teams, most of them in the Eastern Conference, need to make a move badly to ensure they remain competitive over the course of the season.

While some deals have potential, and others seem far-fetched, some big names are being mentioned in possible trades.


Orlando Magic to move Jameer Nelson/Glen Davis?

The Orlando Magic willingly entered a rebuilding strategy with the departure of Dwight Howard two seasons ago. It would seem the team is also willing to embrace a youth movement as well.

According to HOOPSWORLD's Steve Kyler, the Magic are looking to move Hedo Turkoglu, as well as Glen Davis and Jameer Nelson. Per Kyler's report:

League sources characterize the Magic as 'value shoppers' in the current trade market. They have a couple of players that they would entertain moving, namely guard Jameer Nelson and forward Glen Davis but do not seem overly engaged on trying to craft a deal for either one and are turning away calls and offers on guard Arron Afflalo.

Orlando has intriguing prospects at all three positions that the aforesaid trio fulfill, so the decision to make way for the team's younger players is understandable.

With rookie Victor Oladipo and guys like Tobias Harris, Andrew Nicholson and Nikola Vucevic, giving them the keys to the franchise is preferable to older veteran players that have reached their potential.

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 20:  Hedo Turkoglu #15 of the Orlando Magic warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks on January 20, 2013 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and
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It's likely the Magic will look to dump salary, as it would seemingly defeat the purpose of moving said players only to take back personnel of similar value (or lack thereof).

Few teams would be able to take on any of those three players outright, but the Magic should be able to find some value regardless.


New York Knicks looking to acquire Rajon Rondo?

This might be the oddest of the bunch, but the Knicks are seemingly looking to persuade the Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo to force a trade to New York.

Per the report from's Brian Windhorst: "Like with Anthony when he applied pressure to the Denver Nuggets by threatening to leave in free agency, the Knicks wonder if Rondo will be able to have a say in where he might be traded if the Celtics end up fearful he'll leave in free agency."

It's bizarre to think New York would pull such a move, potentially tampering with Rondo's dealings with the Celtics. He remains sidelined while recovering from a torn ACL, but it isn't totally unlikely Rondo could end up with the Knicks.

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 27: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics smiles from the bench during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies on November 27, 2013 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
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It might not be through a trade this season, as New York doesn't truly have the assets or players to entice Boston. Rondo's contract equates to $12 million this season, which means the Knicks would have to package multiple players to match that amount.

In any case, New York might be looking in all the wrong places to improve. Rondo will be coming off a serious injury, with his return date uncertain, and trading for such a player could go two ways. That isn't to say Rondo can't or won't return healthy, but it's too ambiguous for the Knicks to go all-in. 


Los Angeles Lakers looking to move Pau Gasol?

Pau Gasol's name is involved in trade rumors: What else is new?

Gasol has struggled for most of this season, despite averaging 15.1 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Lakers. He's shooting a career-low 44.3 percent from the field and clashes with the system of head coach Mike D'Antoni.

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 20: Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates following a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on December 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees t
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Gasol's name has been linked with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Brooklyn Nets, with only the former team being a realistic option.

According to's Marc Stein, Los Angeles reportedly offered Gasol for Nets center Brook Lopez. The concept of such a deal is laughable, given Lopez's potential and Gasol's lack thereof.

Per Stein's report, "Sources say that the Nets balked at the idea when it was presented." For obvious reasons, the Nets would rather keep their up-and-coming big man for the time being. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Lakers are discussing a deal that would swap Andrew Bynum for Gasol. Per the report from Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shellburne of, L.A. would seemingly waive Bynum's non-guaranteed deal upon acquiring him to save approximately $20 million in salary and luxury-tax penalties.

However, Shelburne and Stein also reported on Tuesday that the Lakers are reluctant to part with Gasol in the near future given the current spate of injuries the Lakers have suffered.

The trade wouldn't provide immediate improvement for the Lakers, but it would help lessen the load payroll-wise going forward. L.A. no doubt wishes to free up as much cap space for next season, despite Gasol's contract expiring at the season's end.