The trade deadline is a bit like multi-million dollar window shopping in that teams suddenly see and want things they never really knew they needed. Antawn Jamison becomes available, and all of a sudden every team in the league is desperate for his scoring at the 4. Caron Butler’s on the block, and everyone desperately wants his versatility and toughness, despite the fact that he’s having a down year. Even the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have the best record in the league and the likely MVP, are looking to upgrade.
Indisputable talents like Jamison, Butler, Andre Iguodala, and Amar’e Stoudemire all make sense as trade bait. If your team is amassing talent or looking to bound over the top, those are the kinds of players you want on your squad. But one of the most popular names in trade rumors has been Indiana’s Troy Murphy, a sweet-shooting big man that seems to have shed the “soft” label from his Golden State days. Suddenly every team in the league covets Murphy’s combination of range and rebounding, and the Pacers seem to have their pick from at least several potential deals (even one from the Bucks).
But Murphy’s suitors aren’t strictly playoff-bound clubs. According to Sam Amick of the Sacramento Bee, the Kings are also interested in adding Murphy to their core, despite being a good 10 games out of the playoff race. The potential deal would revolve around Kenny Thomas’ (woof!) expiring contract and one of Sacramento’s young, cheap talents.
The Kings may already have two solid bigs-in-training with Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes, but Murphy would provide a happy medium between the two. Though his shooting is much more reliable than Hawes, the Kings would be in a good place if Spencer could learn a thing or two from Murph on how to be an effective rebounder despite not being on the low block. Troy could form a pretty interesting three-man big rotation with Thompson and Hawes, in that he’s able to complement both players’ games well without stepping on anyone’s toes.
But the Kings acquiring Murphy is anything but a given; they’ll have to stave off a number of teams from around the league that are currently pursuing his services.