Charlotte Bobcats to acquire Evan Turner?

Recently, the Philadelphia 76ers have let it be known 4th year forward Evan Turner is available to anyone interested.  Despite the career-best 17.9 points per game Turner is producing this season, the rebuilding franchise is seemingly against the idea of signing the scorer to an expensive extension this offseason.  As a result, the ball club is scrupulously searching for a deal, as they would rather receive assets in return than lose the Ohio State product without gain.

Considering the situation, it seems as though Philly will have a tough time achieving their goal:  since Turner hits restricted free agency in the summer, it is likely most interested organizations will exercise patience and wait.  Apparently, however, this statement does not apply to all, as the Charlotte Bobcats have emerged as potential partners in a deal.  Via the Charlotte Observer:

"The Philadelphia 76ers are open to trading forward Evan Turner and the Charlotte Bobcats have looked into acquiring him, an NBA source confirmed to the Observer Monday."

The article goes on to state Charlotte believes Turner can provide the scoring punch they need to qualify for the postseason.

Obviously, the Bobcats are intrigued.  Question is, are the 76ers open to receiving what Charlotte has to offer?

While the official answer at this point is unknown, the assumption is their interest has been sparked. Currently, the Bobcats boast three first-round picks in the upcoming draft, and while all of these picks are protected (two to the Pistons' and Blazers', and their own may go to the Bulls based on protection), these are assets a rebuilding organization cannot completely ignore.  Mix in the fact the 2014 draft is expected to be loaded with talent, and it is clear Philadelphia will be tempted to at least explore a trade with Charlotte.

In addition to their picks, the Bobcats also have Ben Gordon.  Now, you are probably scratching your head as to why Philly would even be remotely intrigued by the prospect of acquiring Ben Gordon.  If I were reading this, I too would do the exact same – I mean, it's Evan Turner for Ben Gordon.  However, what if I told you Gordon is on an expiring contract worth $13.2 million?  Would this bit of information change your thoughts?

Hopefully, it would.  Unsurprisingly enough, this is indeed the case, and if the 76ers were to acquire Gordon via trade, they could shed a boatload of salary for 2014 free agency.  Contrary to popular belief, trading Evan Turner for Ben Gordon is actually an excellent option.

So, based on these facts, it is evident both ball clubs likely possess the curiosity necessary to engage in trade talks as well as the assets necessary to pull off a deal.  But is Evan Turner really the best option for Charlotte for the long-term?

That, my dear readers, is a question for another time.  If you have any thoughts, please leave them in the comment section below.

Cleveland Cavaliers to Trade Dion Waiters?

Recently, the newly-acquired Luol Deng made these comments regarding his thoughts on the Cleveland Cavaliers (via Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News):

"The stuff going on in practice would never be tolerated by the coaching staff or the front office back in Chicago.  It's a mess."

According to Lawrence, this "stuff" the small forward refers to includes players getting thrown out of practice, mouthing off to head coach Mike Brown, and threatening to not play in ball games – just to name a few.

While many of the athletes on this current Cleveland roster can certainly label themselves as guilty of these accusations, one baller who stands out in particular is second-year two guard Dion Waiters. Whether through his confrontation with Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson early in the year, or the fact he has misbehaved to the point that he was recently kicked out of practice, the Syracuse product has proven time and time again he is completely incapable of handling himself professionally.

As a result, with the trade deadline fast approaching and the Cavs looking to shake things up, the ball club is interested in potentially shipping Waiters off to another ball club.  Via Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

"Two sources close to the team confirmed that barring a significant turnaround before the trade deadline, this roster will likely face some upheaval.  That very well could include Waiters, whose act has worn thin on his teammates and various members of the organization."

It is apparent Waiters' behavior has had an extremely negative impact on the entire Cleveland organization, as the ball club is struggling to succeed in games due to the players' inability to mesh both on and off the court.  While he may be immature, Dion is undeniably one of the most talented athletes on this roster, and when a top player on a team consistently acts erratically, the unit as a whole tends to suffer the unfortunate consequences.  Therefore, the Cavaliers' thought process behind trading Waiters away makes sense:  Dion's attitude is a virus negatively infecting the franchise, and the franchise wants to simply remove said virus.

As far as other teams possessing the willingness to actually accept this virus is concerned, there are likely a plethora of ball clubs which are prepared to give Waiters a chance.  If Deng's recent comments serve as any sort of indicator, it is clear the Cavs are one of the worst-disciplined squads in the league.  Dion is a rising young prospect with a ton of offensive potential, and if he is placed in a situation where he is properly disciplined and given the chance to grow as a person, he is more than capable of thriving in the NBA.  Multiple organizations possess the ability to give Waiters this chance, and if Cleveland can find the right deal, they can undoubtedly exchange the talented shooting guard for whatever they desire in return.

Throughout the course of this season, Waiters has been connected to trade rumors involving the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Phoenix Suns – to name a few.  It will be interesting to see if the Cavs are able to ship him off to any of these teams before the trade deadline is reached.  At this point, anything can happen.

NBA Trade Rumor Wrap-Up: Greg Monroe, Jeff Green Both on the Move?

With the NBA trade deadline less than a month away (February 20th, to be exact), numerous rumors regarding potential deals have emerged around the association.  Much like high school students with their studies, ball clubs possess a tendency to procrastinate:  if they're interested in shaking up their roster, they usually wait until the very last minute to do so.  As a result, multiple trades occur during the weeks leading up to the deadline, and, to no one's surprise, an even greater amount of rumors pop up and make their way across the inter-web.

Without further ado, let us explore the most recent rumors dealing with the specific trade interests of specific organizations:

The Washington Wizards Want Greg Monroe

Recently, the Wizards expressed a desire to acquire fourth-year center Greg Monroe from the frontcourt of the Detroit Pistons.  For Washington, Monroe is unquestionably the most sensible player to pursue, as he would fit in with the current roster perfectly.

There are three reasons as to why this is the case:

1)  He's young.  At the age of 23, the man known as "Moose" is similar in age to both Bradley Beal (20) and John Wall (23).  Place Monroe alongside these up-and-coming athletes, and the Wizards would possess a core capable of wrecking havoc on the league for a majority – if not all – of the next decade.

2)  He's good.  In the midst of Detroit's crowded frontcourt which also boasts talents like Andre Drummond and Josh Smith, Monroe is currently posting averages of 14.2 PTS and 8.7 REBS.  Not too many centers can produce at this rate on their own, let alone while playing alongside the likes of Drummond (12.7 PTS, 12.6 REBS) and J-Smoove (15.7 PTS, 6.9 REBS).  If given complete command of the inside –which would undoubtedly be the case in Washington– not only would Greg's numbers improve, but the Wizards' squad as a whole would improve.

3)  The contracts of both Trevor Ariza ($7.7 M)  and Marcin Gortat ($7.7 M) expire after this season.  With Monroe due to enter restricted free agency once the current campaign concludes, the expiration of both Ariza's and Gortat's deals would allow Washington to sign the center to the max contract he deserves.

Since Monroe's restricted free agency is fast approaching and the Pistons do possess Drummond as well as Smith, Detroit is indeed open to the idea of making an exchange involving the big man. However, at this point, it is unclear as to whether or not the ball club is willing to make a deal with the Wizards. The Pistons are in desperate need of a solid wing player, and unfortunately for Washington, unless they decide to give up Beal (spoiler alert: they won't), the athletes they have to offer will likely serve as unsatisfactory options.  Rookie small forward Otto Porter Jr. might be capable of sparking Detroit's interest, but due to the slow start the 20 year old has experienced thus far in his rookie season, his value has decreased significantly since being selected 3rd overall.

To sum it up, Greg Monroe's move to the Wizards is a definite possibility.  Should Washington fail to produce a package worthy of catching the Detroit management's eyes however, it's likely the squad will simply end up pursuing the big fella come free agency.

Boston Celtics Determined to Trade Jeff Green

Currently, the Boston Celtics are undergoing a rebuild. While many are under the impression the franchise is looking to move Rajon Rondo, the reality is quite the opposite:  Boston is quite keen to keep Rondo in green for the long haul.  Rather than giving up their superstar, the club is instead intrigued by the prospect of trading forward Jeff Green.

Obviously, this makes a lot more sense:  it is better to give up a non-star player with market value than lose one of the best point guards in the game.

The question is, which athlete would the Celtics target in return for Green's talents?

One possibility:  Houston Rockets center Omer Asik.

An Asik-Green swap would work out perfectly for both sides, as Asik would serve as a solid defensive presence for Boston and Green as a reliable stretch four for Houston.  Of course, this possibility is only one of what will probably turn out to be a plethora, as multiple clubs will likely compete for the chance to receive a baller of Green's caliber (15.7 PTS, 5.0 REBS thus far in 2013/14).

It will be interesting to see who the Celtics end up receiving in return for Jeff Green.  The team is determined to shake up their roster, and with the offensive potential the forward possesses, odds are a deal involving the 27 year old gets done before the deadline.

Other Trade Rumors:

What do you readers think about these rumors?  Will any of these trade scenarios actually come to fruition, or will all these clubs fail to achieve what they desire?  Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Warriors acquire Jordan Crawford from the Celtics

The Golden State Warriors have added some much needed scoring to their bench, as they have acquired shooting guard Jordan Crawford from the Boston Celtics in a three-team deal which also involved the Miami Heat.


"The Golden State Warriors have acquired Jordan Crawford and Marshon Brooks for Toney Douglas and part of their traded player exception in a three-team trade with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.

The Warriors have been looking to improve their backcourt depth, with discussions also taking place for Kyle Lowry and Kirk Hinrich.

The Heat will acquire Douglas, while sending Joel Anthony to the Celtics.

The Celtics will also receive the protected future first round pick of the Philadelphia 76ers from the Heat, along with a future second round pick. The pick from the 76ers is lottery protected in 2014 and 2015 and then becomes a second rounder."

Through 39 games with the Celtics this season, Crawford has produced 13.7 PTS and 5.7 ASTS on 46.5 percent shooting inside the three point arc.  While his percentage from outside is not pretty (31.8 percent, to be exact), the 25 year old combo guard's ability to create looks for himself as well as others should help improve Golden State's league-worst second unit point per game production.  The addition of Marshon Brooks holds the potential to strengthen this area as well, as the Providence College product is capable of putting points on the board when given the opportunity.

For Miami, the acquirement of Toney Douglas allows the ball club to boast more depth at the point guard position.  The 27 year old one guard will likely now serve as the third string floor general behind Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole.  Also, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the loss of Joel Anthony in this deal will save the Heat upwards of $10 million in salary and luxury taxes come July.  Originally, Miami was scheduled to pay roughly $33 million, but because of this trade as well as the decision to amnesty Mike Miller back in the summer, the squad now only owes around $15.5 million.

As far as the Celtics are concerned, while Jordan Crawford played a significant role with the team's current group, the approaching return of Rajon Rondo led the organization to trade the two guard and subsequently create more play time for their star.  The two draft picks Boston received serve as the greatest assets they gained, as these possess the potential to help the ball club with their rebuild as they look to improve moving forward. Farewell, Steez.

What do you guys think of this trade?  Which ball club(s) improved their situation moving forward, and which one(s) emerged from this deal as losers?  Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Cleveland Cavaliers Acquire Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls

The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded Andrew Bynum to the Chicago Bulls, officially putting an end to the short-lived era of Andrew in Ohio.

Who did the franchise receive in return?  The dude they call Luol Deng.


"The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired All-Star forward Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for center Andrew Bynum, three future draft picks and the right to swap 2015 first round picks with the Cavs (1-14 protected), Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced tonight from Cleveland Clinic Courts."

For Chicago, this serves as an absolutely fantastic move.  Not only does the organization receive three picks from a struggling Cleveland squad, but with the Bulls expected to waive Bynum before the second half of his $12.3 million contract becomes guaranteed on Tuesday, they will succeed in saving themselves more than $15 million in salary and luxury taxes as well. With the franchise looking to shake things up amidst another tragic injury to Derrick Rose, the salary dump and draft picks should only help Chicago as they look to build a new core around Rose moving forward.

However, as far as Cleveland is concerned, making this move was not the wisest decision.

Sure, the Cavs now boast the best small forward to play for their team since LeBron James. Yes, Luol Deng is capable of scoring efficiently, rebounding consistently, and defending exceptionally.  The player Cleveland acquired is not the problem

The timing of the acquirement, however, is.

Next summer, Deng will become an unrestricted free agent, as him and Chicago failed to come to terms on a contract extension before the season began.  When he does hit free agency in July, it is safe to assume multiple ball clubs will vie for his services.  With the former All-Star set to hit the open market at the age of 29, it is likely he will express interest in signing with a contender since he is entering the back-end of his career.

All of this is bad news for Cleveland.

At this point, with the Cavaliers currently "boasting" a record of 11-23, it is clear the franchise won't be competing for a championship anytime soon.  Also, with rising point guard Kyrie Irving serving as the squad's number one option, Deng will be playing as the second option on a non-contending team.  Due to these facts, it is obvious there is absolutely no incentive for the small forward to stay with the Cavs beyond 2013/14.

Basically, this is what I am trying to say:  barring some sort of drastic change in Cleveland's play during the remainder of the season, it seems as though the organization gave up three quality draft picks for just a half-year rental of Luol.

Don't get me wrong, the Cavaliers' decision to rid themselves of the annoyance known as Andrew via trade was smart.  I mean, why would they not try to gain assets in favor of just cutting the center and gaining nothing?  However, while the player Cleveland chose to receive in return is exceptional all-around, Deng's impending unrestricted free agency along with the Cavs' current situation makes this move a mistake.

If Cleveland wanted Luol Deng, they should have waited until free agency to pursue him.  The franchise jumped the gun on the forward a bit too soon, and unless the team can succeed in completely turning around their current campaign, they will be biting themselves in the butt for giving up their draft picks come July.

Carmelo Anthony Interested in Joining the Lakers?

Heading into the 2013/14 campaign, the New York Knicks were expected to perform as a top five team in the Eastern Conference.  Thirty games in, the ball club "boasts" a repugnant record of 10-21 on the year.  That's good for 13th in the East at this point in the season.

Thus far, it's safe to say New York's play has served as nothing more than a huge disappointment.  Superstar Carmelo Anthony represents the face of his squad's troubles, despite the fact he is currently averaging 26.3 points per game, seeing as he is the most talented baller on the roster.

According to reports, this fact alone may cause Melo to leave when he hits unrestricted free agency in 2014.  Via Marc Berman of the New York Post:

"On Christmas, Stephon Marbury sat four rows behind the Knicks' bench — his first visit to the Garden in three years. Anthony sat on the bench in a brown suit, missing his first game with a sprained left ankle. Marbury and Anthony are products of Brooklyn — Coney Island and Red Hook, respectively. Marbury became such a pariah among Knicks fans the Garden didn't have the heart last week to put him on the scoreboard for a "once-a–Knick-always-a-Knick" introduction. 'He saw Marbury get heckled by some fans on Christmas,'' one source told The Post. "He doesn't want to be the next Marbury. He's very sensitive.'"

It is truly heartbreaking to know Marbury's sad, sad fate.  What athlete in their right mind would want to go down in history as a "pariah" to their ball club, as Berman perfectly puts it?

Certainly not Carmelo.  Which is why if New York begins to spiral once again into a losing era – and at this point, it seems they are on track to do so – Anthony may end up taking his services elsewhere. And apparently, the Los Angeles Lakers are one of a few destinations the small forward already has on his mind. More Berman:

"Anthony wants to play for a winner, but desperately wants to play in a big market because of his business ventures — his Jordan Brand sneaker line, his PowerCoco energy drink, his watch deal. That is why New York, Los Angeles, where he has a home, and even Chicago are on his short list, according to a source."

Now, when Berman mentions Los Angeles, he is referring to both the Clippers and the Lakers.  However, the only LA squad which can actually sign Melo' straight up is the purp' and gold, as the Clips do not boast the cap space necessary to do so.

This is not the first time Carmelo has been linked to the Lakers, as talk regarding this possibility has existed since the summer. With LA being a big market city and Kobe Bryant and Melo' possessing a close friendship, it seems reasonable to believe the high-volume scorer is seriously considering the move to the LakeShow.

Question is, should the Lakers seriously consider signing him?

Sure, Los Angeles has room to sign Anthony to a max deal despite recently signing Kobe to a 2 year, $48.5 million contract extension.  But is he really the all-star athlete the organization wants to place alongside Bryant?  Both ballers have made careers out of serving as their respective ball club's leading scorers:  Bryant averages 25.5 points per game for his career, and Carmelo averages 25.1.  If these two point producers joined forces, would they be able to co-exist, or would there be an extreme struggle for scoring authority?  My vote is on the latter.

Yes, the Lakers are currently rebuilding, but signing Carmelo Anthony to a max contract is clearly not the answer moving forward.  Even if Kobe is only a shadow of his former self coming off his most recent knee injury, Melo is still not the best option as a leader for this squad.  The fact of the matter is, Anthony has proven himself incapable of leading a ball club to a championship, and while he may be able to win one under the proper circumstances (i.e. playing alongside a pass-first PG), his style of play will never be enough to lead a team to glory.  This is truly the main reason Los Angeles should avoid inking Carmelo:  his lack of leadership alone will fail in helping them reach their ultimate goal.

As of now, it is unclear as to whether or not the Lakers share Anthony's interest.  Heck, it's not even clear that Carmelo wants to leave New York.  At this point, multiple possibilities still exist. 

But if it does come down to Anthony abandoning the Knicks, expect the Lakers to be in the mix.  Carmelo will undoubtedly come knocking.  However, do not expect LA to let him in.

Cleveland Cavaliers Interested in Acquiring Luol Deng

Recently, it has been reported the Chicago Bulls are open to trading upcoming unrestricted free agent Luol Deng.  While the franchise does desire to retain the small forward and re-sign him in free agency this summer, the fact they did not sign the 28 year old to an extension leaves them vulnerable to losing him in 2014 with nothing gained in return.  As a result, trade talks are ongoing because opposing organizations understand this possibility.

Currently, numerous ball clubs are intrigued by the prospect of adding Deng to their starting line-up, whether it'd be through a trade or free agency.  Apparently, the Cleveland Cavaliers are included on this list.  Via Aggrey Sam of Comcast SportsNet:

"His upcoming status has resulted in the likes of the Cavaliers, Mavericks, Lakers, Raptors, Spurs, Grizzlies and Nets, among others, already expressing interest in Deng, according to league sources."

It is clear the Cavaliers need an upgrade at the three spot, as the combination of Alonzo Gee and Earl Clark is statistically one of the worst small forward combos in the league.  Luol Deng's ability to score, rebound, and defend would undoubtedly improve this position for Cleveland instantly, so it makes perfect sense that the franchise is expressing interest in the two-time All-Star.

Question is, should Cleveland aim to acquire Deng via trade, or should they wait for him to hit unrestricted free agency in 2014?

If any team mentioned in Sam's report can meet the Bulls' current asking price of a young player and a first round pick, it's the Cavaliers.  With their roster consisting of ten players aged 25 or younger – including three of their prime producers in Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, and Dion Waiters – Cleveland is more than capable of providing exactly what Chicago desires.  As long as the front office succeeded in establishing the right type of package, the organization could easily convince the Bulls to cough up Deng.

However, despite this fact, the Cavaliers are better off waiting for free agency in 2014.

By acquiring the nine year veteran via trade, Cleveland would be running the risk of holding on to him as a half-year rental.  The Cavs would likely give up youthful talent for Deng which they would otherwise keep, and if the small forward decided to sign elsewhere in 2014, they would have basically given up this talent for nothing.  Next summer, the franchise will boast roughly $26 million in cap space (not including players with non-guaranteed deals in 2014/15).  Deng will likely be looking for a contract paying roughly $12-14 million a year, and if the Cavs decide to wait, they will be able to easily provide this without giving up any of their youth.

Whether Cleveland trades for Luol Deng or decides to wait until free agency, they will have to end up bidding with others for his services either way.  Considering the reality of the situation, it is better for the Cavaliers to wait instead of giving up quality players.

Andrew Bynum Suspended Indefinitely by the Cleveland Cavaliers

After signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers this past summer, it seems Andrew Bynum's time with the ball club has reached it's conclusion.

During the course of the short time Bynum and the Cavaliers have spent together, the relationship has deteriorated significantly.  Cleveland has had enough of the former All-Star and his poor attitude, and as a result, the organization has suspended him indefinitely and is interested in unloading him via trade.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

"The Cleveland Cavaliers are determined to unload Andrew Bynum in a trade after their partnership with the former All-Star center has rapidly deteriorated, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Cavaliers have no intention of Bynum ever playing another game for them, a source with direct knowledge of the franchise's plans told Yahoo Sports after the team announced Saturday it has suspended Bynum indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team."

As I mentioned, the Cavaliers suspended the 26 year old center due to the fact he has displayed a very poor attitude.

What exactly has Bynum done?

The answer is simple and should come as no surprise:  the big man has consistently expressed the desire to not play basketball anymore.

More Adrian:

"The Cavaliers believe Bynum has been a "disruptive" presence within the team and have lost hope the partnership can be salvaged, sources said. Bynum often expressed a lack of desire to play and practice and was convinced by the Cavaliers not to quit previously, sources said."

With Bynum displaying this type of disgusting attitude, it seems as though it will be impossible for Cleveland to find a willing trade partner.  However, if they succeed in quickly finding a ball club interested in shedding some salary off of their books, then the Cavaliers should be able to pull off a deal.

When Cleveland signed the seven footer to his two year, $24 million deal last offseason, only $6 million in the first year of the contract was set to be guaranteed.  However, if the big man is not waived by January 7, he is due the full $12 million for the first season.  So, in order for the Cavaliers to achieve their goal of unloading themselves of Bynum, they must find an organization willing to shed $6 million off their books during the course of the next eleven days.  Otherwise, they will likely waive the big man themselves and receive no potential assets.

It is no wonder few franchises expressed an interest to sign Andrew Bynum last summer:  he lacks the commitment and desire necessary to play in the NBA.  The Cleveland Cavaliers took a chance, and the action unfortunately failed to pan out.  Thankfully, however, the organization was smart and only guaranteed a quarter of the money for which he signed.  As a result, while the chances of Cleveland turning around their 10-19 start to the season are beginning to look slim, the odds of them redeeming their mistake with Bynum are still highly probable.

So keep your heads up, Cavs' fans.  Who knows, maybe the franchise will be able to actually acquire quality assets in return for the big fella.  At this point, multiple options with this situation still exist, and it is possible the squad improves from the outcome moving forward.

Orlando Magic Uninterested in Trading Arron Afflalo

It is no secret the Orlando Magic are one of the worst ball clubs in the NBA this season, as the team is currently sitting in 14th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 8-20.  Considering the fact the East boasts 5 ball clubs with losing records in the top 8 and the Magic are nowhere near playoff contention, it is safe to say this squad is undoubtedly headed for the lottery.

While Orlando is indeed struggling mightily, a huge positive for this organization does exist in the form of shooting guard Arron Afflalo.  Up to this point, the 28 year old has provided exceptional play, as he currently possesses averages of 21.9 PTS, 4.6 REBS, and 47.2 percent shooting from the field.

Due to his positive production thus far, numerous franchises have contacted the Magic with the intent to somehow acquire Afflalo via trade.  However, Orlando has yet to succumb to these outside pressures.  From Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:

"NBA teams keep inquiring about whether guard Arron Afflalo is available for trade. Orlando keeps saying no, a source said."

Now, since the Magic currently possess one of the ugliest records in the league, many people would argue the franchise is crazy for failing to listen to offers from opposing organizations.  I mean, why would Orlando not attempt to shake their roster up if the current one is experiencing so much struggle?

Two reasons:

  • Despite all the losing this squad will endure this season, their future is in fact very bright.  With this roster boasting talented youth such as athletic combo guard Victor Oladipo and boarding beast Nikola Vucevic, the Magic possesses the potential to qualify for the postseason a year or two down the road.  Arron Afflalo is capable of playing a vital role in Orlando's success in the future, and with the UCLA alum only due $15 million over the course of the next two years (a bargain for the way he's producing), keeping him in the mix will only help the franchise achieve their playoff hopes moving forward.
  • Ever since entering the NBA in 2007, Afflalo's production has improved every single season he has played.  Since the shooting guard is currently in the prime of his career at the age of 28, it is easy to envision him continuing this level of play for at least a few more years.  While he probably will not surpass the scoring average he is posting at this point in time, the fact he will likely continue to perform similarly in the future is reason enough for Orlando to hold on to him for the remainder of his current contract.

The fact that numerous franchises are enquiring about Afflalo proves he is indeed a special ball player.  If the Magic plans on contending for a postseason spot later on in the future, their best option is to keep talent on their own roster.

New York Knicks Interested in Rajon Rondo?

For a struggling squad, the New York Knicks are certainly feeling quite confident.

With the ball club currently boasting a 9-19 record and sitting in 11th place in the disgustingly dreadful Eastern Conference, the organization is planning on beginning a complete rebuild.  As expected, scoring maestro Carmelo Anthony is still included in the Knicks' long-term plans.  However, New York is determined to land themselves a second star player as well.

The athlete they have in mind:  passing phenom Rajon Rondo.

Via Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

"According to league sources, the Knicks' first prong is to try to attract the Celtics' Rajon Rondo. This idea has been tossed around in various forms for a while now, it's not shocking. But the way the Knicks are hoping to get Rondo is a little unusual.

It's not in free agency in 2015 but later this season or next summer when he comes back from a torn ACL. The Knicks are hoping Rondo will be interested in making a maneuver similar to what Anthony did back in 2011 and eventually try to force a trade to the Knicks, sources said."

It is evident the Knicks do not desire to experience another season similar to the one they are currently going through.  The franchise's mindset is focused on winning as soon as possible, so the plan for them moving forward is to obtain quality pieces as quickly as possible.

Now, New York's method of choice to acquire Rondo is not as crazy as it sounds.  The Boston Celtics are an organization in the midst of a rebuild, and with their star player possessing only one guaranteed year on his contract after this season, it is highly possible the point guard applies pressure to the ball club by threatening his departure in free agency.  With the ballers Boston currently boasts, Rondo is unquestionably the best athlete on this team.  His future – whether it involves a trade or free agency – could potentially be under his complete control.

Ok, so maybe it does seem a little crazy for the Knicks to bank their hopes on a situation which is completely out of their hands (at this point, at least).  However, before you write this off as unrealistic, just remember:  it worked when they acquired Carmelo.

Of course, since Rondo is currently recovering from a torn ACL and has yet to play a single game with the Celtics' new group, anything can end up happening.  The odds of him playing well with Boston's new players and expressing a desire to stay are just as likely as the odds of him forcing a trade.  As of now, there is just too much uncertainty to even create a valid analysis of the situation.

But the New York Knicks are confident.  They have their sights set on the future, and both Carmelo and Rondo are a part of their vision. Do you think New York's vision could possibly come to fruition?