This weekend marked the NBA's 59th All-Star game, and with the second half tipping off tonight and trade deadline just a couple days away, we could be seeing some big names on the move.
On Tuesday, the first of what should be a flurry of moves took place, as the Clippers sent Marcus Camby to the Blazers in exchange for Travis Outlaw, Steve Blake and $3 million. The move gives the Blazers some inside help after losing Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla for the season. The Blazers are having a good season and are on pace for a playoff birth, but they've been starting Juwon Howard at center over the last few weeks and definitely needed to add some depth to their front court. Camby brings a tremendous defensive presence and a guy who can rebound on both ends of the floor. The 6'11" center's shot blocking and ppg numbers are down, but the Blazers don't necessarily need him to score 15-20 points per night. I think they added him with the thought that they'll need a guy to compete with the Andrew Bynum's, Tim Duncan's and Amare Stoudemire's when they get into the playoffs. Overall, I'd have to say good move for the Blazers as they get their big man without having to really part with too much, and the Clips achieved their goal in freeing up some cash.
Now, with the deadline just two days away (Thursday) all eyes are on Amare Stoudemire and the Cleveland Cavs. I'm not exactly sure why the Suns are so determined to deal Stoudemire? Over the summer, they had talks with the Warriors about possibly sending him to Golden State and it seems like they've been shopping him ever since. If the Cavs do indeed land one of the games premiere big men to pair up with LeBron James, things could scary for the rest of the Eastern Conference. Remember Kobe and Shaq in the early 2000's? That's the type of dynamic that duo would provide Cleveland, and that would really put them over the top in the East and give them a chance to compete with the Western Conference's top teams. Supposedly, the two guys who have been targeted by Phoenix in the deal are Zydrunas Ilgauskas and J.J. Hickerson, a big drop-off from the package of Andris Biedrins and Stephen Curry that they wanted from the Warriors last summer. The other squad rumored to be in the mix for Amare are the Miami Heat. Now, it adding him to Miami wouldn't quite impact the Heat as much as it would the Cavs, but if they could add Amare with Dwayne Wade, that could make the Heat the team to beat in the East. Amare is the key chip to this years trade deadline, and whoever ends up with him will drastically impact their chances at making the NBA Finals.
The consolation prize to Stoudemire appears to be Antwan Jamison. If the Suns decide to hang onto Amare, or for teams that have interest in him but can't get him, Jamison becomes the best big man on the market. Other names that could be on the move in the next few days are Tracy McGrady (possibly heading to New York) and possibly the Warriors' Corey Maggette (Cavs have interest in him).