HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — When I made the joke to NBA TV analyst Brent “Bones” Barry Tuesday during The Jump about this being a great time for NBA trade rumors, he reminded me of the flip side.
“It’s not a great time for player to hear their names in all these rumors,” Barry said.
Count Trail Blazers center Marcus Camby among those players that don’t seem terribly excited about being in the trade-rumor mix these days. The pre-Christmas chatter had Camby and veteran teammates Andre Miller going to Charlotte in a deal for D.J. Augustin and Gerald Wallace — a scenario (rumored, mind you) that apparently outraged the 15-year veteran to the point that a source told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard:
“If he was traded to Charlotte, he would think about retiring,’’ the source said. “He’s made plenty of money. He’d rather play, but he’s at the point in his career where he doesn’t want to get bounced around from team to team. If he’s traded, it would have to be to a contender.’’
Surely, Orlando qualifies as just that, a contender.
We have to admit, a trade that would send Camby to Orlando — where he could work alongside Dwight Howard — intrigues. The Magic have fortified their perimeter with their recent deals for Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Gilbert Arenas. Where they were left vulnerable was inside, by moving Marcin Gortat to Phoenix and getting young, raw big man Earl Clark in return.
With Howard, Camby, Clark and Brandon Bass up front, the Magic would certainly have the bodies needed to fight the Celtics and Heat in a playoff series. (Don’t think Magic GM Otis Smith hasn’t already dreamed about that.)
Granted, we hate to speculate on Camby’s future, especially after thinking about what Bones said about players dreading this time of year before the February trade deadline, when seemingly everyone is in play.
His ultimate desire is to remain in Portland. After signing a two-year, $21 million extension with the Blazers in the spring, Camby moved his family to Portland and has his two young daughters enrolled in school there. One place Camby wouldn’t mind going is Houston, where he lives in the offseason.
With productive big men at a premium, several clubs are interested in Camby’s services. He’s still averaging 11 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a game, which would provide a huge boost to any contender. While acquiring Camby is probably a long shot, Orlando is one team I’m told has an interest.
But if we’re going to play the trade-rumor game for the next six to eight weeks, I’d rather we do it with players that will actually change the dynamic of the entire league.