Well, the Magic, Wizards and Suns showed us, didn’t they? More to the point, they shut us up.
“No one is taking on Gilbert’s deal.”
“The Magic aren’t unloading Rashard’s contract.”
“The Suns are stuck with Turkoglu.”
We all either said it or thought it. For years, the crutch in shooting down the wildest trade permutations was that there simply were some contracts in a salary-cap world that were untradeable. Or so we were lead to believe.
Instead, in the spirit of the season, Orlando, Washington and Phoenix got involved in a bit of re-gifting. The lesson to us all is that apparently anyone can be moved with a little creativity and a lot of equivalent desperation.
So picking up where the Magic, Wizards and Suns left off, we look at a few other deals heretofore believed to be immobile.
Luol Deng, Bulls: Including this season, four years at $51.3 million remain. The Nuggets apparently had no interest during the early rounds of Carmelo talks, but for a suitor that otherwise would be unable to lure talent in free agency, there is value there. With the Bulls so deep into Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, and soon Derek Rose, there will be a need to sort things out.
Anderson Varejao, Cavaliers: Including this season, five seasons at $43.1 million remain. The money is a bit extreme for a complementary piece, and what the Cavaliers need at this stage is a post presence more than a hustle player. It would behoove just about every contender to consider the possibilities.
Brendan Haywood, Mavericks: Including this season, five seasons at $41.7 million remain. Dallas made the offer this summer when Haywood was viewed as a starter, a role he no longer fills with the Mavericks. But it is a role he could possibly fill elsewhere.
Richard Hamilton, Pistons: Including this season, three seasons at $35.5 million remain. He wants out and the Pistons have little need for a disgruntled scorer on the downside. At $12.5 million, he is a bit pricy to be utilized as a reserve by a contender, but could be swapped in a deal for another team’s headache.
Baron Davis, Clippers: Including this season, three seasons at $41.7 million remain. Speaking of another team’s headache, the Clippers need to make this go away sooner rather than later. At this point, Davis has to play himself into a trade, show there still is something there.
Travis Outlaw, Nets: Including this season, five seasons at $35 million remain. Well, that didn’t take long, did it? Now the challenge is searching for another 2010 offseason signing that soured just as quickly elsewhere.
Elton Brand, 76ers: Including this season, three seasons at $51.2 million remain. For our money, we make this the new clubhouse leader as the league’s current most untradeable contract.
Josh Childress, Suns: Including this season, five seasons at $33.5 million remain. Can they coax him back to Greece?
Jose Calderon, Raptors: Including this season, three seasons at $29.3 million remain. And who exactly thought this was a $10 million player? The Raptors have been trying to push him out seemingly since the deal was signed.