Tis the season of trading
For months, NBA analysts have circled December 15, when players signed in the offseason can be traded, on their calendars. December 19 is another crucial date on the NBA trading calendar. Players cannot be moved again for two months and, as luck would have it, exactly two months after December 19 marks the eve of the NBA trade deadline. So right now, between the 15th and the 19th of December, front office personnel around the league are likely working the phone lines and planning current and future moves.
Earlier this month, news broke that Houston wanted to ship Omer Asik before December 19. Asik's name has been mentioned in trade rumors since well before the season tipped, but he is certainly not the only impact player that could be moved during this trade window. Rajon Rondo rumors seem to be gaining steam as well and Mark Deeks, over at SB Nation, put together a whole list of players signed this past offseason that are now eligible to be traded as well as provided valuable information about some of the finer points of this trade window.
Looking through the list of players now eligible to be traded, there are some big free agents that aren't going anywhere (Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala, etc.) and a whole lot of insignificant players who would not be very fun to write about, but there are certainly some interesting trades out there now that a whole bunch more players can be moved.
Looking at the list, here is my list of players that I could see moved in the next few days.
Nick Young, Los Angeles Lakers
Young is second on the team in shot attempts, first in points, third in 3PT attempts and fourth in minutes. When the Lakers were Kobe-less, they needed someone to gun and Young fit very comfortably into that role. Since Kobe returned, LA has played five games. It's a small sample size, but in the five games since Bryant's return, it seems to be either Kobe or Young on any given night. Kobe's scored 20+ twice and in both of those games, Young had a GameScore in the single digits. In those games, he shot less and less effectively, including a 2-for-10 shooting night against the Bobcats. In the three games that Kobe has scored fewer than 20 since returning, Young is averaging 19+ points per game on 46.5% shooting.
All of these numbers point to a pretty obvious conclusion: both guys need the ball. Maybe the Lakers are better with more offensive weapons in a D'Antoni system, but no one would be surprised if an improving Kobe made Young obsolete within a few weeks.
The Bulls, on the other hand, are desperate for an offensive spark. He could supply some of that Nate Robinson-esque offensive energy that came in handy last year for a team that's currently ranked 28th in the NBA in points per game.