Wolves, Blazers ready to make a deal?

Updated: February 15, 2005, 12:42 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider

The NBA trade deadline is 10 days away, and after last season's unprecedented high-profile wheeling and dealing, the expectations have been high for much more player movement.

With so much parity in the league, high-profile teams struggling and a high number of teams stocked with perhaps the most important commodity you can have at a time like this – expiring contracts – the trade deadline should be red hot.

So why is almost every team in the league reporting that phones have been unusually quiet?

"I've never seen a trade deadline this quiet," one GM told Insider. "Usually by now I'm getting 10 to 15 interesting calls a day. This year, there's really been nothing but small stuff. I think teams may be a little paralyzed by the thought of the new collective bargaining agreement. They're thinking twice about letting expiring contracts go when they know that free agency could become a lot more friendly next year."

Insider talked with a number of league executives who were reporting the same thing – the sound of silence. Some believe the coming CBA and the parity in the league right now is putting a kibosh on things.

Others think we're just in the calm before the storm. When GMs get together in Denver this weekend for the All-Star Game, things will begin heating up again.

"I don't know how to read things right now, but I believe that there will be some deals," another GM told Insider. "There are too many teams out there like the Timberwolves, Blazers and Raptors who desperately need to make something happen. Their demands will come down over the next week, and someone will find a way to get something done."

The big question is, who? In the Good, the Bad and the Upside this week, Insider breaks down six teams that are ready to deal, six teams that can't deal, eight teams that might deal and 10 teams that likely will sit this one out.

Since everyone wants to see trades happen, the Good is filled with a number of teams that are actually quite bad ...

The Good (teams ready to deal)

Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin McHale's stunning decision not only to fire Flip Saunders but also to take over as coach won't save the Timberwolves' season.

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer