Team Payroll: $69.2 million
Potential Trade Assets: Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, Jamal Crawford, $3.6 million trade exception
At point guard, second-year player Jeff Teague has been a disappointment while starter Mike Bibby's defense makes him a liability. Meanwhile, Al Horford's father, Tito, recently told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he has been begging GM Rick Sund for years to acquire a more natural center so Al can move to power forward. But help isn't coming at those positions. According to a rival executive, the Hawks are unwilling to become luxury-tax payers. With the current payroll, Atlanta is $1.1 million under the tax.
Team Payroll: $77.7 million
Potential Trade Assets: Avery Bradley, Nate Robinson
With Marquis Daniels (neck) not expected to play anytime soon, the Celtics need a backup small forward. However, Boston has limited assets to deal, which eliminates a trade for Tayshaun Prince or Shane Battier, two defensive-minded wing players with expiring deals. The Celtics have had success luring bought-out (Sam Cassell, Stephon Marbury) or retired (P.J. Brown) players in the past, but the pickings are slim this year, unless Richard Hamilton can work out a deal with Detroit. Taking a flyer on a veteran D-League swingman (such as Joe Alexander) is another possibility.
Team Payroll: $66.3 million
Potential Trade Assets: Boris Diaw, Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson, Nazr Mohammed
The Bobcats' resurgence since Paul Silas took over for the fired Larry Brown on Dec. 22 has cooled talk of deals for Jackson or Wallace. However, rival executives say Charlotte is willing to deal Diaw, who has a $9 million player option for next season. Charlotte was never interested in a deal for Ron Artest, and sources say any offers for one of the Bobcats' marquee players must include a first-round pick.
Team Payroll: $56.8 million
Potential Trade Assets Luol Deng, Omer Asik, James Johnson
Joakim Noah is not listed as a potential trade asset because as much as the Nuggets want him in a deal for Carmelo Anthony, they aren't getting him. Chicago is still interested in Denver guard J.R. Smith, who won't be dealt until after the Anthony situation is resolved. The Bulls have invested a lot of scouting hours in the Rockets' Courtney Lee, too, though a source said Houston is reluctant to part with him. Another shooting guard, Cleveland's Anthony Parker, is also on their radar. Rival executives believe Chicago is a leading candidate to land Richard Hamilton as well, should Hamilton be bought out by the Pistons.
Team Payroll: $52.4 million
Potential Trade Assets: Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams, Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker, Joey Graham, $14.5 million trade exception
Cleveland is shopping Jamison, who is due $15.1 million next season. The Cavaliers are trying to use the massive trade exception acquired in the LeBron James deal to land a superstar under a long-term contract, but such players just aren't available. Expect the Cavs, who are committed to playing Manny Harris and Christian Eyenga on the wings, to make one or two smaller deals that move Parker or Moon for draft considerations.
Team Payroll: $65 million
Potential Trade Assets: Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton, Charlie Villanueva, Chris Wilcox
Detroit tried to unload Hamilton on New Jersey (in the aborted Carmelo deal) and Dallas to no avail. The uncertain ownership situation -- current owner Karen Davidson is in the middle of a two-week exclusive negotiation to sell the team to billionaire Tom Gores -- makes a buyout (or any significant trade, for that matter) difficult, especially with Hamilton guaranteed at least $21.5 million over the next two seasons. The market for a free-agent Hamilton would be robust. The trade market is almost nonexistent.
Team Payroll: $65.1 million
Potential Trade Assets: T.J. Ford, James Posey, Danny Granger, $3.5 million trade exception
Indiana's success under interim coach Frank Vogel has quieted talk of an overhaul. Team president Larry Bird said Granger is not available, but rival executives believe Bird would deal the former All-Star for the right price (shorter contracts, draft picks). Ford and Posey have lost their spots in the rotation under Vogel and are the most likely to go. Ford is making $8.5 million in the last year of his deal. Posey has a championship pedigree but another year on his deal at $7.6 million. If Indiana can't find a team to take Posey, it could look to buy out his contract.
Team Payroll: $66.5 million
Potential Trade Assets: James Jones, Joel Anthony
The Heat are hamstrung by the fact that a handful of players make mega-dollars while the rest make peanuts. Miami was said to be interested in seeing Carmelo get dealt to New Jersey because of the possibility that Chauncey Billups would be included and then perhaps bought out. A source close to Billups said Miami would be his No. 1 choice if bought out. However, the Heat don't have anywhere near the assets or matching salaries to acquire Billups from Denver, nor do they have what it takes to get Nene, who is also high on their wish list. In all likelihood, the team Pat Riley expertly constructed last summer will look the same after the deadline.
Team Payroll: $68.7 million
Potential Trade Assets:Michael Redd, Corey Maggette, Carlos Delfino, John Salmons
Redd is appealing to other teams on a couple of levels. According to the Bucks, Redd, who shred the ACL and MCL in his left knee for the second time last year, is ready to play and will be back after the All-Star break. And because Redd has already missed 41 games, 70 percent of his $18.3 million contract will be covered by insurance. The bad contracts of Maggette and Salmons make it unlikely they will be dealt.
New Jersey Nets
Team Payroll: $58.1 million
Potential Trade Assets: Troy Murphy, Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, Johan Petro, Kris Humphries, Sasha Vujacic
While the Nets have made no secret of their interest in moving Murphy and his $12 million expiring contract, one concern is that trading him could permanently kill any possibility of landing 'Melo. In the meantime, the Nets, who could shed as much as $21 million off the payroll after the season and own five first-round picks over the next two years, have started evaluating 2011 free agents and the draft.
New York Knicks
Team Payroll: $58.4 million
Potential Trade Assets: Landry Fields, Danilo Gallinari, Eddy Curry, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler
The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that the Knicks rejected a deal that would have sent Carmelo and Billups to the Knicks for Gallinari, Felton, Curry and a first-round pick. That pick likely would have come from the Timberwolves, who have made it clear they are willing to send a first-rounder to New York for Anthony Randolph. And Newsday reported Tuesday that the two teams had set the parameters for a deal and talks would "heat up" after the All-Star break. Still, Knicks GM Donnie Walsh is reluctant to part with so much of the young talent he has acquired over the last three years, and several executives believe Walsh will roll the dice and hope he can get Anthony as a free agent this summer. Should a deal for Anthony fall through, the Knicks could still deal Randolph to Minnesota. A source said the Timberwolves are willing to expand the deal to include Curry. Minnesota has $12 million in available cap space and could send Corey Brewer to New York for Curry, Randolph and a first-round pick.
Team Payroll: $89.9 million
Potential Trade Assets: Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon, Earl Clark, $6.3 million trade exception
The Magic have become a game of Mad Libs. Any report that reads "Orlando called (insert team name) to express interest in (insert power forward/center)" is probably true. GM Otis Smith has come up empty so far in search of a backup big man to replace Marcin Gortat. That Smith has tried to dampen expectations means he is not optimistic about landing one before the deadline. Orlando's best hope may be for the Nets to negotiate a buyout with Murphy, whose most likely destination would be Orlando, according to a source.
Team Payroll: $68.4 million
Potential Trade Assets: Andre Iguodala, Jason Kapono, Darius Songaila, $2.2 million trade exception
Iguodala isn't off the table, but Philadelphia has not been as aggressive in trying to move him lately. Winning 10 of 14 will do that. One source said not to expect the Sixers to do anything before the deadline.
Team Payroll: $66.8 million
Potential Trade Assets: Reggie Evans, Jose Calderon, Leandro Barbosa, $12.5 million trade exception
Toronto has a fat payroll and a roster that has not generated much interest. Rival executives believe the best the Raptors will be able to get for Evans, Calderon or Barbosa are protected draft picks. If that.
Team Payroll: $58.3 million
Potential Trade Assets: Kirk Hinrich, Rashard Lewis, Andray Blatche
The Wizards are happy with Hinrich, but several contenders (most notably, the Lakers) would love to acquire him. The enigmatic Blatche (due $29.8 million over the next four seasons) is available, as is Lewis, who will make $21.1 million next season in the last year of his deal.
Team Payroll: $84.8 million
Potential Trade Assets: Caron Butler, Rodrigue Beaubois, Ian Mahinmi, $4.3 million trade exception
The Mavericks are a sleeper team in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. Dallas can offer Butler's $10.6 million expiring contract and young talent in Beaubois and Mahinmi, who in the last week has supplanted Brendan Haywood as Tyson Chandler's backup. The free-spending Mavs might even be willing to take on one of the Nuggets' bad contracts (Al Harrington, Renaldo Balkman) in a deal. Still, Jason Terry told reporters this week that the Mavs, who have won 12 of 13, don't need a deal. He might be right. Besides, Dallas' best addition might be the dynamic Beaubois, who made his season debut Wednesday in his return from foot surgery.
Team Payroll: $83.5 million
Potential Trade Assets: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, J.R. Smith, Nene, Al Harrington
"Once this 'Melo deal goes down," a rival executive said, "there is going to be a fire sale in Denver." The Nuggets' objective in any deal (including Anthony) is young talent, short contracts and draft picks. That's why multiple sources believe Denver will continue to try to engage New Jersey before pulling the trigger on an Anthony deal. The Nuggets face a difficult decision with Nene, who is in the last year of his deal. It is unlikely that Nene will want to be part of a long-term rebuilding process in Denver, and the Nuggets may be forced to deal him if they are not willing to overpay to keep him in the offseason
Golden State Warriors
Team Payroll: $66.9 million
Potential Trade Assets: Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, Brandan Wright, $2 million trade exception
At the impetus of new owner Joe Lacob, the Warriors have been actively pursuing deals. They inquired about Nene and have told teams they will listen to offers for either Ellis or Curry. Part of the reason: Golden State knows that with Ellis and David Lee tied to big-money deals until at least 2013, a trade may be the only way to bring in an accomplished star. Still, a lesser deal involving Wright, who has not lived up to expectations in three year with the Warriors, is more likely.
Team Payroll: $73.8 million
Potential Trade Assets Yao Ming, Shane Battier, Jared Jeffries, Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, Courtney Lee, $6.3 million trade exception
The Rockets have been busy, inquiring about stars Carmelo Anthony and Steve Nash while dangling the expiring contracts of Yao (70 percent of which is covered by insurance), Battier and Jeffries, as well as Lee. A source said the Rockets are still in the mix for Anthony, but even if they don't get him, they're determined to use their assets to acquire veteran talent. A center is the No. 1 priority -- like the Warriors, Houston asked about Nene recently -- as the Rockets feel a quality pivot would solve many of their problems. GM Daryl Morey has never been a fan of free agency, preferring to restock through trades. Expect Houston to be very active during the next week.
Los Angeles Clippers
Team Payroll: $53.9 million
Potential Trade Assets: Baron Davis, Chris Kaman, Rasual Butler
The emergence of DeAndre Jordan as an athletic complement to Blake Griffin has made Kaman expendable. Coach Vinny Del Negro acknowledged earlier this month that the team was open to dealing Kaman, who is owed $12.7 million next season in the final year of his deal. A source said the Clippers are interested in Portland's Andre Miller.
Los Angeles Lakers
Team Payroll: $90.4 million
Potential Trade Assets: Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest, Shannon Brown
According to a league source connected to the talks, negotiations for a Bynum-Carmelo deal are "dormant, but not dead," although executives around the league are skeptical that L.A. would surrender a dominant inside presence like Bynum even for a talent like Anthony. Still, there is said to be a divide in the Lakers' front office about Bynum's value. In addition, sources said L.A. rebuffed was rebuffed earlier this month in its pursuit of Washington's Kirk Hinrich, while Artest-Gerald Wallace talks with Charlotte went nowhere.
Team Payroll: $67 million
Potential Trade Assets: Hasheem Thabeet, Zach Randolph, O.J. Mayo
The Grizzlies have been fielding calls for Mayo, who wasn't missed much while he served a 10-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy. SI reported in November that Randolph, an impending free agent, was pushing the Grizzlies' front office for a deal to Detroit, and veteran writer Sam Smith reported that the Magic had expressed an interest in Randolph. The player the Grizzlies have been peddling the most is Thabeet, the former No. 2 pick who has been a bust. "He's got no value, in my opinion," an NBA personnel scout said. "But it only takes one team to like him."
Team Payroll: $45.6 million
Potential Trade Assets: Jonny Flynn, Corey Brewer, Sebastian Telfair, Martell Webster
The Wolves want Anthony Randolph from New York and are open to acquiring Eddy Curry in a salary dump. Several teams have called Minnesota to gauge GM David Kahn's interest in using the Timberwolves' $12 million in cap space in a multiteam deal. ESPN.com reported last week that Minnesota inquired about Steve Nash, though the Suns insist Nash isn't going anywhere. Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio continues to generate interest and Timberwolves executives have been overseas scouting him the last few weeks. One point guard -- Rubio or Flynn -- will eventually have to go.
New Orleans Hornets
Team Payroll: $65.7 million
Potential Trade Assets: David West, Marcus Banks, Jason Smith, $9.7 million trade exception
GM Dell Demps said recently that the Hornets, who are owned by the NBA, would likely exceed the luxury tax (they are about $5 million under the threshold) only if it meant acquiring a "home-run hitter." Translation: Carmelo Anthony. New Orleans, which has lost nine of 11, is exploring deals for a backup center and small forward. Trade rumors continue to swirl around Chris Paul, but it's unlikely the All-Star point guard will be traded while the league is running the team.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Team Payroll: $58 million
Potential Trade Assets: Jeff Green, Nick Collison, Morris Peterson
Collison has an interesting contract. He will make $13.3 million this season but his salary drops to $3.3 million next season, $2.9 million in '12-13, $2.6 million in '13-14 and $2.2 million in '14-15. The Thunder are not sold on Jeff Green as the answer at power forward, either. However, Oklahoma City ranks as the least likely team to make a move, as conservative GM Sam Presti still values development over the urgency of winning now. Besides, OKC will have a chance to make big upgrades this summer (when big men like Kendrick Perkins are free agents) and in 2013, when Kevin Love will be available and the Thunder's core players (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, James Harden) will still be in their mid-20s.
Team Payroll: $65.9 million
Potential Trade Assets: Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Mickael Pietrus
Though Nash's agent, Bill Duffy, told ESPN.com that it might "be prudent for the Suns to start looking at their long-term future in the summer," the Suns continue to deny any interest in trading their franchise player. Boston would love to deal for Hill, but the Celtics don't have much to offer.
Portland Trail Blazers
Team Payroll: $72.9 million
Potential Trade Assets: Marcus Camby, Andre Miller, Joel Przybilla, Nicolas Batum
Portland is at a crossroads. Brandon Roy's knee problems are career threatening and there is a feeling within the organization that new GM Rich Cho may look to rebuild. That would mean trading Miller, who has high value, and either Camby or Przybilla, both attractive to size-starved teams. Batum has drawn interest, but the Blazers prefer to keep the 22-year-old small forward as part of a core that includes LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews.
Team Payroll: $44.6 million
Potential Trade Assets: Samuel Dalembert, Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, Omri Casspi
The Kings have no interest in dealing DeMarcus Cousins, whose behavior has (justifiably) drawn criticism. Sacramento still believes in the rookie's considerable talent. The Kings has plenty of holes and lots of financial flexibility with their league-low payroll. But their plan remains to stay under the salary cap for next summer, when they will have less than $30 million committed to player salaries.
San Antonio Spurs
Team Payroll: $69 million
Potential Trade Assets: Tiago Splitter
San Antonio has a deep roster, great chemistry and the best record in basketball. Any moves the Spurs make will be minor, like the recent signing of sharpshooter Steve Novak to a 10-day contract.
Team Payroll: $77 million
Potential Trade Assets: Andrei Kirilenko
The Jazz have a big chip in Kirilenko's $17.8 million expiring contract that they have dangled in pursuit of another scorer, according to two sources. Utah has a lot of things to consider over the next week, like the fact that it's over the luxury-tax line and has lost 13 of 17 (including three in a row since Tyrone Corbin replaced Jerry Sloan) to fall into a tie for eighth in the West.