Trade Deadline Countdown

Happy New Year’s Eve. There’s a Christmas wishlist hangover in my house. Things to exchange for different sizes. Things to exchange for things we want and things to exchange so we don’t have to look at. Kind of reminds me of parts of the Timbewolves roster. I don’t want to look at JJ Barea dribbling into ecstasy any more than I want to look at Luke Ridnour try and break down his man off the dribble or miss an open jump shot or Derrick Williams languish on the bench when he could be off playing and developing as a stretch-power forward for someone who actually needs one.

Hoopsworld’s Steve Kyler writes that if you think your favorite trade targets are sitting on the shelf, waiting for you to reach the front of the line and swap that Christmas sweater, you’d better look at that line again and consider what it’s going to take to get to the fron of the tortured metaphor…

JJ Redick, Orlando:  The Orlando Magic are on the clock. Redick hits unrestricted free agency in July, meaning the Magic stands a chance of losing him for nothing in return. Because Redick is on a three-year contract he is not eligible to sign a contract extension, meaning he couldn’t opt for more years with the Magic today even if he wanted to.

…there was a real sense when the season opened that Redick was not part of the long-term plan and would be a chip the team looked to cash before the trade deadline.

There is a reality that the Magic won’t control the free agent process and there is risk of losing an asset, and if the Magic trade Redick, it would be because of that fear …

Magic sources say moving anyone on the roster will be about what does it achieve in the long-term – can they shed an unwanted contract? Can they add a better fitting piece? Can they obtain youth or draft assets?

There does not seem to be any “desire” on the Magic’s part to move Redick. However, it does seem as the trade deadline inches closer the Magic are going to decide if Redick is worth the risk.

Redick is unrestricted, so barring a sign-and-trade, a trade for him would be a 2013 rental and need to include a prospect (D-Will) and taking on a bad contract (of which they have plenty, Turkoglu, Nelson, Davis). Not a great deal of downside, if a 3rd team were used to take on the bad contract part. The Wolves would have an expiring to offer if the Brandon Roy situation plays out favorably for them.

Front court help?

Anderson Varejao, Cleveland:  The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to say they are not moving Varejao, who still has two more years on his deal after this season.

Anderson has been a solid contributor for the Cavs and is a favorite of head coach Byron Scott. That said there seems to be inevitability to the Cavs cashing in Varejao, especially as they move towards playing the youth they have drafted over the last two years.

League sources say the Cavs are asking the moon for Varejao today, and that if they cling to their valuation of Varejao as an All-Star type talent, they may not find many buyers.

Varejao has this year and two more seasons left on his deal worth $27.1 million, which isn’t a terrible contract for a guy averaging 14 points and 14 rebounds per game.

League sources say Varejao is one of the more talked about trade targets in the league and that there are a number of teams that would move for him. However, Cleveland values him too and unless someone makes a serious offer for Varejao, the Cavs say they don’t have interest in trading him.

That could and likely will change at the trade deadline, but right now Varejao might be the most overvalued would-be trade asset in the league.

There isn’t exactly a lot of surprise in here: Scott likes the steady veteran presence of Varejao, the Cavs overvalue him. If Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller and Samardo Samuels are your other best bigs, I’d say Varejao would be a nice safety blanket for a head coach. The roster is green as grass, and save Kyrie Irving, they have a lot of growing to do. What else do the Cavs have to shop? They’re going to hope they solve whatever roster problems they can with a Varejao trade. Is D-Will enticing enough to move the dial? Can the Wolves rise to the top of Varejao’s suitor list without plucking some draft picks from somewhere?

The NBA’s trade deadline isn’t until Thursday, February 21st. Should the Wolves choose to wait out Roy’s looming retirement and sign a warm body to fill Josh Howard’s roster space, they’ll have a better chance of the Magic and Cavs lowering their asking price. But can they navigate their tougher new year schedule?

The ball drops Feb. 21st.

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Tags: Anderson Varejao Derrick Williams JJ Redick Minnesota Timberwolves Trade Deadline

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