Next Wednesday, Dec. 15, the NBA trading landscape gets interesting.
That’s the day that guys signed to free agent contracts this summer become eligible for trades. So those guys your team signed this summer that seemed smart then but look like a disaster now can be shipped out — if you can find a taker.
We thought Darko Milicic and Richard Jefferson would be on that list. We were wrong.
But Ira Winderman gives us here at NBC a list of eight guys who become available and could be on the block:
Jermaine O’Neal, Celtics: Shaq is working out well, Kendrick Perkins will be back, Glen Davis is your backup four now… so Jermaine becomes expendable for the right deal.
Brendan Haywood, Mavericks: Tyson Chandler (along with young developing centers in the pipeline) make him expendable — if you can find a sucker for that six-year, $55 million deal Dallas gave him. Haywood is not a bad option for a team that needs a big, but that is a steep price tag.
Theo Ratliff, Lakers: Winderman said it best: “Well, what do you know, the Lakers signed an injury-plagued, aging center and he turns out to be injury plagued and old?”
Eddie House, Heat: He is sliding down the depth chart and may be available.
Tracy McGrady, Pistons: He’s played okay, but if the Pistons decide to blow it up and trade Tayshaun Prince and/or Rip Hamilton, McGrady could get moved, too.
Randy Foye, Clippers: Winderman again: “With the emergence of Eric Bledsoe and the return of Baron Davis, there is not much need. The question is whether interest remains elsewhere in the league.”
Anthony Carter, Nuggets: Not a guy getting a lot of run in Denver, but it comes down to if the Nuggets decide to trade Chauncey Billups if they move Carmelo Anthony. There probably is value for Carter out there.
Joe Smith, Nets: Winderman: “From opening-night starter, the veteran forward has gone to afterthought. The Nets do not need him, but a playoff contender just might find some value there as injury protection.”
Guys Winderman throws on the “maybe to be moved list” are: Joel Anthony of Miami, Drew Gooden of the Bucks and Mike Miller of the Heat. Kind of hard to see the last one, even with the emergence of James Jones.