With a lockout looming and no hard evidence Denver's Carmelo Anthony is leaving, the NBA trade winds remain calm as the Feb. 24 deadline approaches.
Many agents believe there will be no significant deals if Anthony stays put. If Anthony is dealt, however, some dominoes could start to fall.
Here are the most exciting (potential) trades:
1. Carmelo Anthony, F, Denver: New York most likely will deal directly with the Nuggets. Minnesota said it has no interest in trading Corey Brewer, which blows up the three-team trade that's been swirling. The Timberwolves will deal for Anthony Randolph. The Nuggets could end up with Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton and draft picks for Anthony and Chauncey Billups, but an aging Billups doesn't fit New York's up-tempo approach. This could be a yearlong process for Knicks — drop Billups after this year, bid for Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler or O.J. Mayo this summer, then get Chris Paul in 2012.
2. Steve Nash, PG, Phoenix: Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby insists he's not trading Nash. He doesn't want the franchise to start from scratch. However, Phoenix also would be foolish not to look long-term and could explore swapping Nash when the new CBA is in place. Interested parties include Orlando, Atlanta, Portland, Toronto, a potential return to Dallas, or possibly Minnesota as a mentor to Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, who is struggling in Barcelona (22.0 mpg; 6.2 ppg; 4.1 apg; 17.9 percent from 3-point range).
3. Andre Miller, PG, Portland: The point guard position is stacked throughout the league, particularly in the Western Conference. With the Trail Blazers still in the playoff picture and not wanting to deal Miller to anyone inside the conference, this could be an opportune time for Portland to look East. How about dealing Miller (and possibly Rudy Fernandez) to New Jersey for Devin Harris, who is a blur and seven years younger than Miller? Miller is in the final year of his contract with a team option coming up next season.
4. Andrei Kirilenko, F, Utah: Though he has missed only seven games this season, Jazz fans have questioned the toughness of Kirilenko, who will likely bolt after this season. He certainly won't command the $17.8 million contract he has now, so the Jazz has to get something while it can for Kirlilenko. Under new ownership, the Pistons are looking to deal Richard Hamilton ($12.5 million through 2013), who would be a solid addition to a Utah team that has struggled lately.
5. Anderson Varejao, PF, Cleveland: He is lost for the season with a torn tendon in his foot and ankle. The Cavaliers are ready to deal, but is Varejao damaged goods? Could this be a career-threatening injury? He has solid numbers (9.7 rpg; 9.1 ppg; 1.2 bpg) and will average $8.4 million in salary the next three years, which also is appealing. Another possibility is New Jersey power forward Kris Humphries, who becomes a restricted free agent this year. Hello, Thunder?