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NBA Insider: What surprises will Thursday's trade deadline hold?

NBA — This has the makings of a rather calm trade deadline. The penalties associated with the new collective bargaining agreement could keep some teams from making the big-player trades that used to be commonplace.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: March 10, 2012
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The NBA's trade deadline is 2 p.m. Thursday. It's the latest trade deadline in NBA history.

Will there be a huge eruption this week, or nothing more than rumblings?

Will some big names de dealt, or will teams have no choice but to stand pat in a condensed season?

With more severe luxury-tax penalties being phased in with the league's new collective bargaining agreement, teams are more likely to balk at big-salary trades rather than pay the consequences.

Also to consider with is the lack of practice time this season thanks to a 149-day lockout that shaved 16 games off the 82-game schedule.

Does a team in the playoff hunt seeking immediate help have ample opportunity to blend in a new face, or is a team better off trying to ride out the storm of uncertainty surrounding this shortened season? Pedal to the metal and hope for good health?

As is the case every year, somebody has to go first. Will that first big trade lead to more big trades? Or will the dominoes that fall this week barely make a sound?

TOP-DOLLAR CANDIDATES

Here are the most expensive trade possibilities being discussed (and the player's existing contract):

PF Pau Gasol, LA Lakers ($18,714,150 this season; next two years at $38,285,850): Houston continues to show the most interest, but are the Rockets willing to offer enough in return?

C Dwight Howard, Orlando ($18,091,770; $19,536,360 early termination option June 30): All these back-and-forth threats must come to an end this week. Look for the Magic to stand pat.

PG Deron Williams, New Jersey ($16,359,805; unrestricted free agent): Does he head to Brooklyn with Howard in tow, or does Williams head back home to Dallas in the summertime?

C Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee ($12 million; next two years at $27 million): With no surgery required on his injured ankle, trade possibilities surrounding Bogut have intensified.

PG Steve Nash, Phoenix ($11,689,062; unrestricted free agent): Even at age 38, he remains one of the premier point guards, but does the final sunset of his career come in Phoenix?

SG Monta Ellis, Golden State ($11 million; $11 million early termination after next season): Explosive player, but it has to be the right fit, and the best fit is where he's at right now.

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