Trade rumors and speculation abound as the NBA season nears the finals, and teams who are left out of the big show try to make it in next year.
There is nothing that reminds you of your own team's deficiencies like watching other teams succeed, so all those teams that underperformed are looking for ways to fix whatever problems they had during the regular season.
For example, the Charlotte Bobcats had a decent season, but they certainly have some holes to fill if they want to be serious contenders next year. They finished 3rd in their division at 43-39, and would like to do better next season. To do that, they need an upgrade at the small forward position and added depth at point guard.
According to ESPN blogger Marc Stein, Charlotte already has its eye on two potential trade targets to fill the gaps.
The rumors have already begun that Coach Steve Clifford would like to get Jameer Nelson from Orlando, after Clifford worked with him in Orlando as an assistant coach. Clifford has also been fond of Magic swingman Arron Afflalo, so both are expected to be among the Bobcats' trade wants.
Nelson would certainly help out at the point guard position. He averaged 12.1 points per game and 7.0 rebounds per game this season and would be a great rotational option.
Afflalo averaged 18.2 points per game while connecting on 45.9 percent of his field-goal attempts over the regular season, so he.would boost the Bobcats offense.
Charlotte is not the only team seeking ways to get better, and in Philadelphia winning awards like the NBA Rookie of the Year, might just mean you are better trade bait. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sixers point guard Michael Carter-Williams is the subject of trade rumors in Philly, just after winning the award this year.
Like in smart business, in Basketball it's wise to sell things that are overvalued and buy things that are undervalue, according to the Inquires' column. It's hard to say the Rookie of the Year is overvalued, but the there is a case to be made that if the Sixers were to indeed trade Carter-Williams, Dante Exum from Australia would be the best replacement for him.
In a way it's hard to believe that the Sixers might trade the only real highlight they had from last season, but it's also hard to argue against the upside that Exum has and the superstar potential he possesses for the team.
Maybe we will see the pair of them is a Sixers uniform next year.
And in the Carmelo Anthony hunt, the player regarded by most experts as this year's best trade prospect, the Dallas Mavericks are hoping to be on his short list.
Again, according to Stein at ESPN, what you hear is that the Mavs are quietly optimistic they will be on that short list of teams granted a face-to-face visit with the New York Knicks' scoring machine, just as they were with Dwight Howard last summer.
Dallas understands that asking Dirk Nowitski to carry the load is a bit much for the 16 year vet, and they are hoping to get some help this offseason. Many see Melo as the perfect addition to the team.