Three teams that might trade to shed salary.
The arrival of Shaquille O'Neal and his $20 million salary this year and next season has effectively hamstrung the franchise. It's put the Suns well over the luxury tax line with more than $75 million in salaries on the books this year and next. To recoup some of that coin, the Suns have put All-Star forward Amare Stoudemire and his $34 million contract over the next two seasons on the block and are asking for a mix of expiring deals, young talent and future draft picks in exchange.
The Bucks have committed more than $180 million to Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut and Dan Gadzuric. And they took on the final three years, $42 million of Richard Jefferson's deal in the Yi Jianlian trade. All this only to be on the verge of missing the playoffs for the third straight year? Bucks owner Herb Kohl started dumping salary in last summer's three-team trade that sent Mo Williams' remaining five-year, $43-million contract to Cleveland. While Milwaukee's likely stuck with the injured Redd, Kohl could sign off on shipping Jefferson to a needy playoff team like Houston to help the Bucks continue climbing out of the hole they've dug themselves.
New Orleans Hornets
It was only a matter of time before the five-year, $64-million contract Peja's Stojakovic signed in 2006 backfired. Now, the Hornets are going through financial wrangling with the state of Louisiana, underachieving on the court and can't trade Stojakovic. Worse, New Orleans has more than $76 million tied up in salaries next season, and Stojakovic's $14.2 million in 2009-10 sets the pace. The Hornets might be forced to deal center Tyson Chandler.