Monday , Feb , 16 , 2009 Oly Sandor

5 Trade Deadline Buyers: Boston, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Antonio

By week’s end, the NBA landscape could look very different. Two factors are driving player movement. First, almost all teams are freeing up salary space for the summer of 2010, either to re-sign their own talent or add a big name. Second, the poor economy has forced a review of all contracts. Most players are available; only a select few are untouchable …

5 Trade Deadline Buyers: Boston, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, and San AntonioEvery week HoopsVibe The Blog drops a basketball List for fans to weigh-in on. We call it ‘Listed’ … 

The All Star game is done. Full steam ahead to Thursday’s trade deadline.

By week’s end, the NBA landscape could look very different. Two factors are driving player movement. First, almost all teams are freeing up salary space for the summer of 2010, either to re-sign their own talent or add a big name. Second, the poor economy has forced a review of all contracts. Most players are available; only a select few are untouchable.

Right now, it’s a buyer’s market. The league’s wealthiest and strongest are well positioned to add talent for a playoff run. In this edition of ‘Listed’, HoopsVibe The Blog is naming five contenders who could be even tougher come Thursday afternoon.

As always, read the post, form an opinion, and get at us with thoughts on the deadline’s five biggest buyers.

Boston …

Their bench has fallen short, so the world champion Celtics are looking at backup forwards and point guards to replace P.J. Brown and Sam Cassell. With a top-heavy salary structure, new additions must have expiring contracts. Hopefully, GM Danny Ainge steers clear of the Stephon Marbury albatross.

Cleveland …

One of the NBA’s deepest squads, the Cavaliers aren’t upgrading for this year. Instead, GM Danny Ferry is burning up his Blackberry in search of players to convince superstar LeBron James to ink an extension. But Ferry must be careful. The wrong move could wreck chemistry and influence James to head elsewhere.

Denver … 

Nene and Kenyon Martin have contributed to the Nuggets’ turnaround. Still, The Mile High City needs a legit seven-footer to compete with the Spurs and Lakers. Unfortunately, ownership will opt for a cost-effective veteran.

Los Angeles … 

The co-MVPs of the All-Star Game have been playing nice, throwing each other very public compliments. Here is the question: are Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant scheming on a reunion?

Well, the Lakers need a short-term fill-in for the injured Andrew Bynum. And the Suns, because of financial difficulties, are looking to dump salary. But moving a ‘max’ contract is complicated and convincing the Buss family to forgive O’Neal for his insults could be impossible.

San Antonio … 

Quietly, the Spurs have had another fine season. Even with their strong record, Gregg Popovich is looking to add more than blending, bench pieces. The rumour mill has them eyeing New Jersey’s Vince Carter and Detroit’s Rasheed Wallace.

What team adds salary and/or talent at the deadline? Boston? Cleveland? Denver? Los Angeles? Or San Antonio? Get at us in the comment box below or come back to HoopsVibe the Blog for more NBA Tidbits. Photo courtesy of y roc30.