HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We don’t have Carmelo Anthony, the Denver Nuggets or New York Knicks to kick around anymore.
They did their deal. They completed the trade that’s been rumored for so long, leaving us with two days before Thursday’s trade deadline to examine the rest of the landscape and see if there is anyone else out there willing to take the plunge.
Will there be anyone else out there interested in making a deal that is a franchise-changer?
We put the question the question to Kevin McHale of TNT and NBA TV fame — who was also the Timberwolves former GM. “This could definitely force some other teams into doing something,” McHale. “There is usually a snowball effect with these sorts of things.”
The Nuggets have several players whose futures could shift between now and Thursday’s trade deadline. Al Harrington was rumored throughout the past few months as being a factor in a potential ‘Melo deal. J.R. Smith is likely playing out his final days in a Nuggets uniform. And Nene has to be dealt with as well, since his current deal expires after this season.
There are other veterans out there who have been rumored to be on the trading block — Steve Nash, Stephen Jackson, Jamal Crawford, etc. — who could see their names circulate heavily in the next 48 hours.
NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner breaks down a few of the potential deals here. And his list includes a couple of HT favorites:
• Houston is said to be open to trading almost anyone, though the price tags slapped on the various Rockets are said to be too high. “Something is going to happen,” point guard Aaron Brooks, a prime candidate to be packing, told the Houston Chronicle. Said teammate Shane Battier: “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the next few days being over.”
• The Nets, whose owner Mikhail Prohkorov poked and prodded the Knicks-’Melo deal with a sharp stick until it finally stirred, might deal point guard Devin Harris. Possible destinations, according to the Bergen Record, include Dallas (if New Jersey can get Felton from Denver) and Portland (with playmaker Andre Miller as Harris’ likely replacement).
• Atlanta and Portland both crave point guards. Houston and Minnesota both crave trading point guards. Someone, quick, dim the lights and turn on some romantic music!
• Cleveland has sat on its roster of complementary players too long already but finally might get serious about a rebuild with this deadline looming. Veteran Anthony Parker is a prime trade target, but there are several more on the Cavs’ roster.
• Among contenders, Boston is quite open about its search for a backup to Paul Pierce, what with Marquis Daniels (bruised spinal cord) out indefinitely. Possible candidates rounded up by the Boston Globe include Parker, Washington’s Josh Howard, New York’s Roger Mason and Indiana’s Dahntay Jones.
It’s now or never time for those teams that want to make a move and try to move up the food chain this season. For those doing the “preparing-for-the-future” tango, we’ll let you sit this one out and not chastise you.
But those teams that are itching to do something, those willing to take a risk to make your team better than it is right now, what are you waiting for?