Blog Entry

Vegas oddsmaker: expect busy NBA trade deadline

Posted on: March 7, 2012 4:10 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 4:43 pm
Dwight Howard could determine whether or not this is a busy NBA trade deadline. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver   

Will we see two hectic NBA trade deadline days in a row? Las Vegas seems to think so.

The 2011 trade season was crazy, but the biggest deals -- Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks and Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets -- were both completed in advance of the Feb. 24 deadline. Even so, Gerald Wallace, Kendrick Perkins, Baron Davis, Shane Battier, Aaron Brooks and Jeff Green were just some of the names that moved on the final day of the trade season.

This year, Vegas oddsmaker Bovada anticipates a similar level of activity. On Wednesday, the site set the over/under on trades that will happen on the March 15th deadline at 6.5. Of course, this number is for entertainment purposes only.

It goes without saying that the biggest potential trade chips are Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol. Both are listed at even odds if you want to bet "yes" on them moving. 

So will we see seven trades? Given the slow run-up of rumors it looks a little bleak right now. Let's take a look from both sides.

If this does wind up being a quiet trade season, you can bet on the following factors emerging as explanations after the fact.

Howard's uncertainty

Teams with top-tier assets are on hold as they wait for the Howard situation to clear up. If it gets closer to the deadline and he winds up staying in Orlando, rival GMs will have the choice of scrambling to execute a back-up plan or simply holding their cards until the offseason. It's essentially the same thing if he winds up moving late. For teams not in the transaction, they won't have days to weigh their options as they did following the Anthony and Williams trades last year.

Lockout schedule

The delayed start to the 2011-2012 season also pushed back the trade deadline. With six weeks until the playoffs, the temptation to fold the tent and wait until Draft season could be strong for teams that either aren't true contenders or have already dropped out of the playoff chase. It's much easier to write-off a 66-game season than it is an 82-game season. A number of teams have tanked hard since the beginning of the season using the same logic.

Established dominance in the East

In the East, Chicago and Miami have separated themselves so far from the pack that GMs may have trouble selling their owners on a win-now move that requires taking on salary. Why stock up only to get cut down by two truly elite teams? That train of thought is compounded by what is expected to be a strong free agency class. Taking on salary now means less flexibility later.

If, on the other hand, we do see a flurry of deals, here are a few factors that might trigger them. 

Wide open West

If there's activity for basketball reasons, there's a good chance it happens out West given the possibility that 4.5 games separate seeds 3 through 11. If someone wants to pay to make a push, they will be able to do so.  The Clippers, Lakers, Mavericks, Rockets and Timberwolves would all seem to have interest in making their team better for a little postseason fun.

Luxury tax  

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, high payroll teams are set to be hit with major fines for going over -- and eventually, for staying over -- the luxury tax line. Already, we saw one high-profile salary dump for tax purposes, when the Lakers moved Lamar Odom to the Mavericks.  It doesn't have to be big names or big salary numbers that move, though. Simply shipping an extraneous smaller-salary (over multiple years) guy to a team with cap space for oblique future Draft considerations could wind up saving a taxpayer real money when everything is added up down the line.

Danny Ainge 

The Boston Celtics are always active and this year they have assets galore plus plenty of motivation to move them given the uncertain direction going forward. Last year, Ainge made trades both big (Kendrick Perkins) and small (Luke Harangody). It's difficult to imagine he could sit on his hands with Boston limping along as the No. 7 seed.

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 5:34 pm

Vegas oddsmaker: expect busy NBA trade deadline

KG will prob retire after this season, he talked about it during the lockout and i dont see him testing the FA market, if Ainge was smart he would offer KG back to the Twolves for Derrick Williams, he hasnt done much but he also doesnt play enough to find out how good he is. Plus if there shopping him straight up for Gasol why wouldnt him for KG begood? I also would trade Allen, i think he has a team option on his contract next year and wants to come back, but i highly doubt theyll take him back, why not get something for him. They have no shot in the playoffs this year since the HEat and Bulls are playing outta this world, so why not retool and have thenew guys with Pierce and Rondo get alittle playoff run in them and bulid on it next year. Plus we get Green back next year .

Since: Jan 14, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 5:10 pm

Vegas oddsmaker: expect busy NBA trade deadline

Great point on the New Jersey one Melo really could make that forward position work with Humphries and Lopez.
And MarShon Brooks could really learn many things and moves from Melo.
And also you could have some good and valuable money left over going into the Free Ageny period..... 

Since: Jan 14, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 5:05 pm

Vegas oddsmaker: expect busy NBA trade deadline

I would not be surprised if Ainge traded Allen for a player and a draft pick.But if he was smart if u look at how well KG's been doing you'd think he'd just lose him in free agency. BUT you could get quite well potential if you look at how much his stats have went up after the All-Star break.....

Since: Mar 18, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 1:48 pm

Vegas oddsmaker: expect busy NBA trade deadline

Wow dragonfire73, you hit it on the head exactly!

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2012 1:13 pm

Vegas oddsmaker: expect busy NBA trade deadline

i don't think he is talking about carmelo trade.   that is 2011

Since: Feb 20, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:08 am

Vegas oddsmaker: expect busy NBA trade deadline

you are unfortunately applying fantasy basketball to real life situations.....carmelo is struggling but the knicks waited for two years to get him just to give him away a year later????  just plain dumb

Since: May 1, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:27 am

A Better Fit for New York and Brooklyn

The Knicks and Nets need to work together and for the sake of New York professional basketball make a move that will benefit both franchises, trade Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin for Deron Williams.

New York needs a top point guard to run D'Antoni's system and Williams being paired with Amar'e Stoudemire would be a big advantage for both of them. Williams performs better being the second scoring option and will thrive with D'Antoni, giving Amar'e Stoudemire exactly what he has needed all this time.  The Knicks move Landry Fields into the starting small forward spot, Iman Shumpert at shooting guard and J.R. Smith becomes the sixth man backing up at the two and three positions. Having Williams running the show in New York would be huge for everybody involved.

The Nets win big here too! They get a super star who is from Brooklyn, along with Jeremy Lin and Brooklyn's 243,000 Asian population with 163,000 being Chinese Americans. Think of the homecoming the Nets will get when they move into their new stadium, who could ask for more. The Nets weakest position now becomes their strongest with Anthony, the backcourt stays intact with Lin and Farmar anchoring the point, and the Nets keep the dream of landing Dwight Howard alive; maybe even increase their chances of landing Howard considering his friendship with Melo.

It's a win, win situation for both teams and something they can make happen, only if they would see the light before it's too late.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or