This Saturday, the shopping, hunting, and deal brokering began. It was the first day players who signed new contracts in July can be traded. This brings a fresh 108 players into the sphere of trade possibilities.
One of the most highly discussed potential trades throughout the entire season has been Pau Gasol. His name has been linked with potential trades to seemingly every team in the NBA. The facts on Gasol is that he has $20 million coming his way next year — according to his current contract — he’s 32-years old, and he has tendinitis in his knees. Some continue to preach that Minnesota is a natural home for the big man because they already have his fellow countryman Ricky Rubio. Yet, the only way this deal could ever move forward would be in a multi-team scenario, since the Timberwolves really don’t have a 1-to-1 comparable body to offer. If Gasol makes it through the entire season a Laker, it will be a miracle.
The next juiciest name available this Dec. 15 is Anderson Varejao. Varejao has proven he is a solid double-double man, averaging 14.3 points and 14.8 rebounds a game this season. Sources appear to be mixed as to Varejao’s enthusiasm to get out of Cleveland. Some seem to think his on-court chemistry with Kyrie Irving might be enough to make him stay. Plus, the fact that Cleveland is asking a premium for their big man may also keep him a Cav. His $9.1 million next season and team-optioned $9.8 million the following year make him a reasonable deal for many teams looking for a versatile and mobile big man. It’s a 50/50 chance Varejao gets moved.
Another buzz-worthy name potentially on the trading block is Brandon Jennings. As Milwaukee drifts out of playoff contention, they may want to ensure something in return for their star point guard who will enter free agency this summer. Jennings is going for 16.9 PPG, 6.0 APG, and 3.2 RPG this season on a struggling Bucks team. He’s only been in the league 3 seasons, but has already made himself known as a quality point man with both the ability to distribute and get his own shot. If Jennings gets antsy to get out of Milwaukee, he will find a number of teams hungry for his skill set. Jennings will stay a Buck. He likes being a big fish in a small pond and with Monta Ellis still in Milwaukee, this duo isn’t jumping ship if they can get paid.