Trade Deadline: Who's Next?

The Wizards and Mavs made the first big deal of trade deadline week. If the rumor mill is to be believed, the Caron Butler/Josh Howard swap was just the first of many.

Camby Heading to Portland?
Portland needs a center -- no surprise there. And it sounds like they may get their man by sending Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw to the Clippers and bringing back Marcus Camby.

The parameters of the deal make some sense -- the Clippers are deep at center, with Chris Kaman having a career year and promising second-year man DeAndre Jordan waiting in the wings. Portland is loaded on the wings, and with Nicolas Batum drawing comparisons to Scottie Pippen with his play since returning from injury, Outlaw is an unnecessary luxury. Plus, his deal -- and Blake's -- expires after the season, which gives the Clippers additional flexibility under the cap this summer.

But it sounds like there are still significant hurdles to leap before this one gets finalized. Camby, according to some reports, hates the idea of uprooting his family, and was hoping to re-sign in LA this summer. The Nuggets have expressed interest in re-acquiring Camby, and could make an offer that would trump Portland's. And there are also reports that the Clippers will insist on including Al Thornton or Sebastian Telfair in any Camby deal, in the hopes of clearing even more cap space.

Stoudemire to Miami?
Last week, the leading contender to acquire all-star center Amar'e Stoudemire was Cleveland. Now, it seems the most likely destination is Miami. The big question seems to be whether or not Miami is willing to include Michael Beasley in the deal, and whether or not Phoenix will be willing to accept Jermaine O'Neal.

O'Neal makes just under $23 million this season. Stoudemire's contract is for $16.3 million and change. Accepting O'Neal's massive expiring deal would mean the Suns would have to send additional players to Miami to balance the numbers, and it's unclear whether or not Steve Kerr is willing to do so at this point.

It's hard not to like the idea of Beasley in Phoenix. On the receiving end of Nash's feeds, he could well turn into the offensive monster we expected when he came out of Kansas State. But rumor has it Suns owner is less convinced, and worries about "character issues."

Who's Going to Cleveland?
If Stoudemire isn't going to Cleveland, who is? The Cavs have been kicking the tires on Antawn Jamison and Troy Murphy for months now, and both those players would seem to be pretty good fits. But another name -- Golden State's Corey Maggette -- has been added to the mix in several recent reports. Any of the above would seem to fit the "floor-spacing big" profile that Cleveland GM Danny Ferry has been chasing for the better part of a year.

Murphy would be the least expensive option of the three, with just one more year at about $11 million remaining on his deal. Jamison has two years and about $28 million remaining his contract after this season, and Maggette has three years and $30 million.

McGrady to New York?
The original format of the McGrady-to-the-Knicks deal included a third partner, with Al Harrington going to Washington, Caron Butler to Houston and McGrady to New York. With Butler dealt to Dallas, that concept is obviously dead. But a new version of the trade has reportedly emerged, with the Knicks sending Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill, expiring contracts, draft picks and cash to Houston in return for the faded superstar.

On some levels the deal makes much more sense for New York, clearing Jeffries' contract off the books and making a run at LeBron-plus much more feasible. But you have to wonder if it makes sense for a rebuilding team to sacrifice their 2009 draft pick and picks in 2011 and 2012 -- especially when they have no first-rounder in 2010.

Of course, if McGrady does land in New York, he'll almost certainly be worth a roster spot. Even after the knee injuries, which have robbed him of much of his explosiveness, he'd fill a major void for the Knicks as a playmaker/point forward.


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