The NBA trade deadline is still more than two months away. But the rumor mill is starting to heat up - and smart fantasy NBA players would do well to pay attention.
The biggest name on the block is still Carmelo Anthony. ESPN's John Hollinger has reported that Anthony has told the Nuggets he'll only sign a contract extension if traded to the Knicks. That doesn't mean New York is the only suitor for his services - the Bobcats are reportedly interested in bringing in 'Melo with or without an extension, and Nets sources say they aren't out of the running yet.
Any Knick deal would likely include Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler or Landry Fields - or possibly some combination thereof - along with Eddy Curry's expiring contract and a first-round draft pick they'd have to acquire, possibly by dealing Anthony Randolph. That makes Randolph a player to watch - he's out of New York's rotation right now, but that could change with a trade to, say, Houston or Indiana.
If Fields is dealt, that means the Knicks have a great deal of confidence that Kelenna Azubuike is ready to step into his role.
Other players that could get moved:
• O.J. Mayo is putting up the worst numbers of his NBA career - at least partly because he's giving up certain aspects of his game to better suit what the team is trying to do. The Grizzlies are working to position themselves to re-sign Marc Gasol, and Xavier Henry seems to be ready to take on a larger role.
• The Sixers seem to have a surplus of two/three types, and it seems clear that Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner aren't a great combination. But Iguodala has a lot of money and years remaining on his deal and a lingering Achilles' injury, which might make finding a suitor very difficult.
• The Kings have a similar glut at the four spot - seems like they could get something for Carl Landry or Jason Thompson and free up the position for DeMarcus Cousins.
• Then there's the Nets. None of New Jersey's offseason moves have panned out particularly well, and general manager Billy King is reportedly looking to make multiple deals before the deadline. Just about anyone on New Jersey's roster - with the exception of Brook Lopez - can be had in the right deal. Troy Murphy - and his expiring contract - could be a nice addition for a contender.
Picks for the Week:
The first set of picks is for players in standard leagues - guys who may be available in your average 10 team/15 player roster league. The second group is for owners in very deep leagues, and will be based more on speculation than actual numbers.
All "percent owned" stats are taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball - your mileage may vary.
Andrew Bynum (79% owned) - Making his season debut tonight against the Wizards.
George Hill (59% owned) - Hill has really picked things up after a slow start, and has now scored in double-figures in 11 straight contests.
Kirk Hinrich (45% owned) - Both John Wall and Gilbert Arenas are fighting injuries, making Hinrich a very important player for the Wizards in the short term.
Reggie Williams (41% owned) - Short-term starter while Stephen Curry works his way back from an ankle injury.
Jerryd Bayless (15% owned) - Getting an opportunity to show what he can do while Jose Calderon recovers from a foot injury. So far, so good - Bayless dropped 31 points on the Pistons on Saturday. It's not hard to imagine him winning a larger role for himself even after Calderon returns - and let's not forget, Calderon has never been confused with Lou Gehrig when it comes to durability.
T.J. Ford (3% owned) - Becoming a key bench player for Jim O'Brien's Pacers, getting a fairly consistent 20 minutes per game, more when Darren Collison struggles (which has been often of late).
Martell Webster (3% owned) - Set to be activated for Tuesday's game. Probably won't contribute much right away, but could provide some much-needed scoring punch from the wing when he gets up to speed.
Ekpe Udoh (1% owned) - The Warriors' first-round pick just made his season debut, and will be brought along slowly. But he should become a good source of blocks as he works his way into shape.
Note: Starting this week, I'll be posting some additional waiver wire suggestions every Friday on Rotowire's RotoSynthesis basketball blog, for players with weekend waiver-claim deadlines.
Follow Charlie on Twitter - @charliezegers