Since JO always comes up in national media trade talk, I figured this was relevant. According to Sheridan, JO's not going anywhere. As in, less likely than Melo, Shawn Marion or Elton Brand, not going anywhere

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insid...t&lid=tab4pos1

Superstars, super deals: Who's on the move?




By Chris Sheridan
ESPN.com

You know that saying, that nobody in the NBA is truly untradable? After all, Shaquille O'Neal was traded, wasn't he? And Wilt Chamberlain. And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And Allen Iverson.

Well, it really isn't true.

There actually are a handful of players, probably about a half-dozen, who couldn't be pried away at any price. At least right now. "I think it goes probably Yao [Ming], [Tim] Duncan, Kobe [Bryant], Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, and a few guys are right there on the cusp. But that would be my five, and I would say right now they're untradable," Elton Brand of the Los Angeles Clippers told ESPN.com this week.

What about Dirk Nowitzki?

"Oh yeah. Can't forget Dirk," Brand said.

You could probably make a pretty strong case that the list is actually 10 deep, including the likes of Steve Nash, Michael Redd, Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard. (You could have a heck of a debate over those last few spots.)

Brand, who's pretty close to the top 10 on this list, does not expect to be traded, but he believes the Clippers would move him if an unbelievable offer came their way.

"I don't think it's too absurd [to consider]. It is what is it, it's a business. And if they ever felt that moneywise or to improve teamwise, they might do something, I think it could happen. Not just because Shaq got traded or this guy got traded, but you know, it happens," Brand said.

With the trade deadline only two weeks away, Insider takes a look at a wide cross section of the league's best players, ranking the top 25 untradables and not-quite-so untradables.

We're ranking them from least likely to most likely to be traded, while also rating whether a team should trade a player, and whether it will.

Ratings are based on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest).
We'll start with the cream of the crop.

Position: C
Age: 26
Profile


1. Yao Ming, Rockets
He gets the No. 1 spot because he's the tallest player on our list. Hey, we have to use some criterion to rank these first few guys.

Should they trade him? Rating: 1
Will they trade him? Rating: 1


Position: SG
Age: 28
Profile

2. Kobe Bryant, Lakers
It's only right to note that he actually was traded once, from the Charlotte Hornets to the Lakers on July 11, 1996, for Vlade Divac.

Should they? Rating: 1
Will they? Rating: 1


Position: FC
Age: 30
Profile

3. Tim Duncan, Spurs
San Antonio hasn't traded a franchise player since George Gervin went to the Bulls in 1985 for David Greenwood.

Should they? Rating: 1
Will they? Rating: 1


Position: G
Age: 25
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4. Dwyane Wade, Heat
Because he signed a three-year extension last summer, there's always a chance Wade could force a trade when that contract is expiring -- but that wouldn't happen until midway through the 2009-10 season.

Should they? Rating: 1
Will they? Rating: 1


Position: PF
Age: 28
Profile


5. Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
Just as with Kobe, we should point out that Nowitzki was drafted by Milwaukee and traded on draft night to Dallas for Robert Traylor and Pat Garrity.

Should they? Rating: 1
Will they? Rating: 1


Position: SF
Age: 22
Profile


6. LeBron James, Cavaliers
Somebody in the top six has to be ranked No. 6, so we'll give it to LBJ because like Wade, he signed a three-year extension. But unlike Wade, LeBron may one day want to come out of the cold. Again, it wouldn't happen before 2010.

Should they? Rating: 1
Will they? Rating: 1


Position: PG
Age: 33
Profile


7. Steve Nash, Suns
You have to go back a quarter century to find a two-time MVP who was traded. The last guy it happened to was Moses Malone, who won his third MVP trophy in his first season after being traded from Houston to Philadelphia.

Should they? Rating: 1
Will they? Rating: 1


Position: FC
Age: 22
Profile


8. Chris Bosh, Raptors
If Brian Colangelo could trade him for Pau Gasol, he wouldn't. Heck, he wouldn't even deal him for Kevin Garnett and the future rights to Ricky Rubio.

Should they? Rating: 1
Will they? Rating: 1


Position: FC
Age: 21
Profile


9. Dwight Howard, Magic
We feel a little uneasy listing the league's next Big Behemoth this far down the list. But then we recall that he plays for a franchise that let Shaq get away and traded Tracy McGrady.

Should they? Rating: 1
Will they? Rating: 1


Position: GF
Age: 27
Profile


10. Michael Redd, Bucks
Team owner Sen. Herb Kohl learned his lesson when he let Ernie Grunfeld talk him into trading Ray Allen for Gary Payton and Desmond Mason. He won't make the same error twice.

Should they? Rating: 1
Will they? Rating: 1


Position: PG
Age: 25
Profile


11. Gilbert Arenas, Wizards
We believe Grunfeld also learned his lesson from the Allen trade, but we also remember Ernie once telling us, "Everyone in this league gets traded."

Should they? Rating: 1
Will they? Rating: 1


Position: FC
Age: 28
Profile


12. Jermaine O'Neal, Pacers
"We are not looking to trade Jermaine, period," Pacers president Donnie Walsh said. "I've never taken a call or made a call on Jermaine." Still, O'Neal has said that he may ask out of Indiana if he feels winning a championship there is impossible.

Should they? Rating: 2
Will they? Rating: 1


Position: SF
Age: 22
Profile


13. Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets
Why so far down the list for such a key member of the draft class of 2003? Because of his sometimes knuckleheaded behavior, and because the Nuggets -- still trying to work Allen Iverson into their system -- could get a boatload for him if they wanted to move him (which they don't).

Should they? Rating: 2
Will they? Rating: 1


Position: C
Age: 24
Profile


14. Eddy Curry, Knicks
When I asked Isiah Thomas earlier this week who on the Knicks was untouchable, we expected him to at least list Curry. Instead, he went absurdly overboard and said everyone on the Knicks was untouchable. Puh-leeze! You think Thomas wouldn't be eager to trade Steve Francis (owed $34 million over the next two years) -- or to a lesser degree, Stephon Marbury (owed $42 million for two more years) -- if he could find a taker?

Should they? Rating: 2
Will they? Rating: 1


Position: PF
Age: 27
Profile


15. Elton Brand, Clippers
Insider told him he'd probably make the top 10, but after replaying the tape of his comments from above, and factoring in Brand's knowledge of owner Donald Sterling's mind-set, we're giving him the honor or the first likelihood rating that is not a 1. After all, the Clips are not even a .500 team right now.

Should they? Rating: 1
Will they? Rating: 2


Position: SG
Age: 31
Profile


16. Ray Allen, SuperSonics
When Clay Bennett and his partners from Oklahoma City bought the team, this was the No. 1 asset they purchased. A high-ranking Sonics source said there has not even been a single phone call inquiring whether Allen might be available.

Should they? Rating: 2
Will they? Rating: 2


Position: F
Age: 28
Profile


17. Shawn Marion, Suns
A couple of years ago after Robert Sarver purchased the team, he actually wanted to trade Marion after a misunderstanding between the two, but was talked out of it. The only way such talk gets revisited is if Phoenix fails in the playoffs or Marion struggles. He is owed $34 million over the final two years of his contract after this season.

Should they? Rating: 2
Will they? Rating: 2


Position: PF
Age: 25
Profile


18. Zach Randolph, Trail Blazers
As Portland owner Paul Allen continues to rebuild around young players, at some point he'll have an opportunity to sell high on Z-Bo, who is a link to the Blazers' unsavory recent history. But with Randolph and the Blazers improving measurably, it'd be a surprise to see him trade away one of the West's top three low-post scorers.

Should they? Rating: 2
Will they? Rating: 2


Position: SF
Age: 26
Profile


19. Richard Jefferson, Nets
And now we get to the most disappointing team in the Eastern Conference. If Kevin Garnett ever hit the market, this is the player the Nets would build an offer around. Nets president Rod Thorn has been gauging what the market would be for Vince Carter and Jason Kidd, but this is the Nets player other teams covet most.

Should they? Rating: 2
Will they? Rating: 2


Position: PG
Age: 33
Profile


20. Jason Kidd, Nets
If and when the Nets decide to blow it up (and we expect them to be patient at least through the end of this season), they'll be able to extract the most value out of Richard Jefferson and this guy, whose two prior trades were preceded by the same type of personal tumult he's going through now.

Should they? Rating: 2
Will they? Rating: 2


Position: PG
Age: 30
Profile


21. Chauncey Billups, Pistons
He should be the No. 1 free agent on the market this summer. Detroit president Joe Dumars says he's willing to pay whatever it takes to keep Billups, but he'll likely be bidding against the Bucks, who will be willing to overpay. So there's a chance that, as with Ben Wallace, the Pistons could lose Billups and get nothing in return.

Should they? Rating: 3
Will they? Rating: 2


Position: C
Age: 34
Profile


22. Shaquille O'Neal, Heat
As they reload for the future (win or lose this season), should the Heat build around Shaq and Wade, or just Wade? As O'Neal approaches 35, the shelf life on his trade value is rapidly expiring, and the $60 million remaining on his contract doesn't help. But he is Shaq, after all, and he's already been traded once.

Should they? Rating: 3
Will they? Rating: 2


Position: GF
Age: 23
Profile


23. Paul Pierce, Celtics
Danny Ainge told ESPN.com's Chad Ford last week that no one on the Celtics is untouchable other than Pierce, which means he's willing to give up Al Jefferson in the right trade -- something he seemed unwilling to do earlier this season when Allen Iverson was available. But it'll take a lot more than Jefferson to pry Pau Gasol away from Memphis.

Should they? Rating: 4
Will they? Rating: 2


Position: GF
Age: 30
Profile


24. Vince Carter, Nets
Like his teammate Kidd, Carter is going through a divorce. Unlike Kidd, he is close to finalizing that divorce -- and the Nets are hoping Carter responds positively after the breakup becomes final. VC can opt out of his contract after this season, but he'd be giving up $16.3 million to enter a free-agent market in which he almost certainly won't be able to get that same salary for 2007-08. Logic dictates the Nets hang on to him, then do a sign-and-trade over the summer if Carter opts out and wants out.

Should they? Rating: 2
Will they? Rating: 3


Position: SF
Age: 27
Profile


25. Rashard Lewis, SuperSonics
Another player with an opt-out, he'd be giving up $21 million if he chose to become a free agent this summer. Some in the Seattle front office believe he's more likely to sign an extension or wait until 2009 to become a free agent than he is to opt out, but that could be wishful thinking. Lewis is very frustrated by the swift decline of the Sonics, so watch for whether he makes any public statements about his plans for his opt-out clause.

Should they? Rating: 3
Will they? Rating: 3


Position: F
Age: 25
Profile


26. Andrei Kirilenko, Jazz
A couple of years ago he would have been a lot higher on this list, but now he's a guy owed $64 million over the next four years who's struggling to score 10 points a game. If owner Larry Miller felt he wasn't getting his money's worth (and Miller often feels that way), he'd have no trouble finding suitors -- as he found out last month when several teams responded to Miller's public comments on the "thin ice" under Kirilenko by inquiring about his availability.

Should they? Rating: 3
Will they? Rating: 3


Position: F
Age: 30
Profile


27. Kevin Garnett, Timberwolves
If the trade everyone has been speculating on for the past two to three years ever were to happen, there's a far, far greater chance that it would happen this summer instead of this month. But Garnett has been pretty consistent in saying he has no desire to leave 'Sota. And there's no way Kevin McHale wants to be remembered in his home state of Minnesota as the guy who traded Garnett.

Should they? Rating: 3
Will they? Rating: 3


Position: SF
Age: 27
Profile


28. Ron Artest, Kings
There are rumblings around the league that Artest wants out of Sacramento badly, which would explain why he's been on his best behavior and playing so well lately. A quiet, productive Artest is easier to move than a wild child Artest. The educated guess here is that he ends up in Miami, and soon.

Should they? Rating: 3
Will they? Rating: 4


Position: PG
Age: 28
Profile


29. Mike Bibby, Kings
For a while the conventional wisdom was that Bibby would opt out of the final two years of his contract this summer, but after underperforming for the floundering Kings, he'd be taking a huge risk by giving up $28 million in guaranteed money. Sacramento GM Geoff Petrie -- along with the owners, the Maloof brothers -- is open to all ideas.

Should they? Rating: 4
Will they? Rating: 4


Position: FC
Age: 26
Profile


30. Pau Gasol, Grizzlies
Jerry West declares there is no fire sale in Memphis. But Gasol is on the market, and when teams bid for the 7-foot Spaniard, their offers -- which apparently have been insufficient so far -- indicate they believe the Grizzlies have to move him. Owner Michael Heisley is being told by his executives that it probably makes a lot more sense to hold onto Gasol until the summer, when 20 or so teams will be much more eager to overhaul their rosters. Jerry West is scouting in Spain until the middle of next week, which might or might not affect the progress of trade negotiations.

Should they? Rating: 4
Will they? Rating: 4



Our list has to end somewhere, so we'll wrap up by noting the status of some of the game's brightest young talents.
Carlos Boozer would seem a fit for the untouchables list, except for the fact that he was a central figure in the trade talks the Jazz were having a year ago, and his trade value has never been higher.

Second-year point guards Chris Paul and Deron Williams are still on their rookie contracts and aren't going anywhere.
Joe Johnson could go on the market over the summer if Steve Belkin takes over ownership of the Hawks, given that Belkin's previous regime was disrupted by acquisition of Johnson, for whom he thought the Hawks were paying too much.

The Chicago Bulls foursome of Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni and Ben Gordon cannot be regarded as untouchable, because it'll take at least one of them to pry Gasol away from Memphis or KG from Minny.

And if you're wondering whether Rasheed Wallace has a fifth team in his future ... Sheed's trade value will only shrink from here on out, at least until he approaches the end of a contract that will pay him almost $30 million over the final two years.

Chris Sheridan covers the NBA for ESPN Insider. To e-mail Chris, click here.