All in, or sit out: NBA teams decide as trade deadline nears

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What to Expect at the NBA Trade Deadline


NEW YORK (AP) -- The East was a two-team race at last year's trade deadline, and Larry Bird made the move he thought would win it.

When the Indiana Pacers acquired Evan Turner from rebuilding Philadelphia, they hoped it would provide the scoring punch to beat out Miami and reach the NBA Finals. It didn't, and Turner is now in Boston.

Now the Pacers are trying to get in the postseason, two games out of eighth place and seeking a spark that could sling-shot them past others down the bottom of the playoff ladder. Bird promises to be as aggressive as when his team on top.

"We're always looking to improve the team and obviously there's a lot of improvement that needs to be done," the Pacers' president said recently. "So we'll look around the league and talk to a lot of different people and see what's out there and hopefully we can do something that makes us better."

If not, he said, he'll wait until the summer.

That's what every NBA team has to decide in the next couple of days.

The trade deadline is Thursday afternoon, and with many teams in contention, the question is whether that makes them more conservative or cautious.

Help could be found in the hours before the NBA returns from its All-Star break. But some will be hesitant to tinker with so little time left in the season. The Turner deal, in which Indiana traded popular veteran Danny Granger, certainly didn't help its locker room chemistry.

Plus, teams can plug holes by simply opening their wallets, without costing any assets.

Houston signed Josh Smith after he was waived by Detroit, Amare Stoudemire is headed to the Mavericks once he clears waivers, and other veterans could be bought out and become free agents after the deadline.

One of the most intriguing moves could involve Ray Allen, who will have contending suitors if he opts to play after sitting out all season.

The teams most motivated to deal might be the disappointing ones. Brooklyn probably can't find a taker for Deron Williams with all his injuries and dollars left on the $98.5 million contract he signed in 2012, but was close to moving Brook Lopez earlier this season. Denver's rocky season should have contenders calling to inquire about Arron Afflalo, Ty Lawson or Wilson Chandler.

The right move can help someone surge through spring. The wrong one could mean an early start on summer.

Don't count on top stars changing teams - none has at the deadline since Utah surprisingly sent Williams to the Nets on the eve of the 2011 one. Teams more likely trade at this point to clear cap space for the summer, which is why the New York Knicks could seek a deal for Jose Calderon after already shipping out guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert.

Cleveland acquired them and, along with getting Timofey Mozgov from Denver in a separate deal, perhaps proved the best moves for this season were already made.

Dallas acted quickly to acquire Rajon Rondo from Boston in December, not long before Memphis capitalized on the Celtics' youth movement to deal for Jeff Green.

For Golden State and Atlanta, the current NBA leaders, their winning moves maybe came long ago.

The Warriors got Andrew Bogut from Milwaukee at the 2012 deadline to provide some muscle in the rugged West. Five months later, the Hawks acquired Kyle Korver from Chicago, and he could be headed for the best perimeter-shooting season in NBA history.

"When I got traded to Atlanta I was coming from Chicago and I wasn't really all that excited about it, to be honest with you. But all the people that Danny Ferry kept on bringing in, they've been not just good basketball people, but good people," Korver said.

"When I was a free agent two summers ago, I chose to come back. We had some opportunities to go to some teams that already were more established and could win, but I just really believed in what Atlanta was building and what they were doing. I could see my role in it and I just wanted to be a part of that. I never thought that it would come together this quickly."

That's the lightning in a bottle every team is hoping to catch.

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All in, or sit out: NBA teams decide as trade deadline nears
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: A jersey to be worn by LeBron James #23 of the Eastern Conference Team prior to the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
During an interview with Carmelo Anthony before the NBA All-Star Game, TNT's Craig Sager said he plans to return to work by March 1, if all goes well. Sager has been off the air since April after being diagnosed with leukemia.
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Jerseys to be worn by players of the Eastern Conference Team prior to the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Marc Gasol of the Western Conference All-Stars checks out his phone in the locker room prior to the game against the Eastern Conference All-Star in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Dwyane Wade #3 and Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait prior to the 2015 NBA All-Star Game as part of the 2015 All-Star Weekend at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Tim Duncan #21 and Chris Paul #3 of the Western Conference talk to LeBron James #23 of the Eastern Conference before the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by KIA as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Pau Gasol #16 of the Eastern Conference and Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies greet each other before the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by KIA as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Christina Aguilera performs at the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Christina Aguilera performs at the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Christina Aguilera performs at the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Nas performs at the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Kevin Durant #35 of the Western Conference All-Star Team waves to the crowd prior to playing the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Stephen Curry #30 of the Western Conference All-Star Team waves to the crowd prior to playing the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Stephen Curry #30 of the Western Conference All-Stars goes up for a shot against the Eastern Conference All-Star in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK,NY - FEBRUARY 15: LeBron James #23 playing for the East Coast all-stars goes up for the dunk during the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York,New York NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK,NY - FEBRUARY 15: Kevin Durant #35 playing for the West Coast all-stars comes away with the rebound during the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York,New York NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK,NY - FEBRUARY 15: Jeff Teague #0 playing for the East Coast all-stars goes up for the layup during the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York,New York NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Western Conference All-Stars goes up for a rebound against Kyrie Irving #2 the Eastern Conference All-Star in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Western Conference All-Stars goes up for a dunk against the Eastern Conference All-Star in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Western Conference All-Stars goes up for a dunk against the Eastern Conference All-Star in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: John Wall #2 of the Eastern Conference dunks the ball during the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by KIA as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Marc Gasol #33 of the Western Conference All-Stars goes up for a dunk against the Eastern Conference All-Star in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Kyrie Irving #2 of the Eastern Conference drives to the basket during the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by KIA as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Western Conference dunks the ball during the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Kyrie Irving #2 of the Eastern Conference All-Star Team goes up to shoot during the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK,NY - FEBRUARY 15: Marc Gasol #33 playing for the West Coast all-stars and Stephen Curry #30 playing for the West Coast all-stars goes up for the ball during the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York,New York NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Christina Aguilera and the Rockettes perform prior to the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: John Wall #2 of the Eastern Conference All-Star Team dunks during the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Kevin Durant #35 of the Western Conference All-Star Team shoots during the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Klay Thompson #11 of the Western Conference All-Stars goes up for a shot against the Eastern Conference All-Star in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
East NBA All Star Pau Gasol of the Chicago Bulls scores during the 64th NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden in New York February 15, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
East NBA All Star John Wall of the Washington Wizards goes to the basket during the 64th NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden in New York February 15, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets and the Western Conference dribbles the ball during the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
East NBA All Star John Wall of the Washington Wizards scores during the 64th NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden in New York February 15, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: The jumpball between Pau Gasol #16 of the Western Conference against Marc Gasol #33 of the Eastern Conference to tipoff the 2015 NBA All-Star Game as part of the 2015 All-Star Weekend at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: LeBron James #23 of the Eastern Conference All-Stars goes up for a dunk against the Western Conference All-Stars in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Jeff Teague #0 of the Eastern Conference All-Stars goes up for a shot against the Western Conference All-Stars in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Tim Duncan #21 of the Western Conference All-Star Team goes up to dunk during the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Western Conference dunks against the Eastern Conference All-Stars during the 2015 NBA All-Star Game as part of the 2015 All-Star Weekend at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Western Conference celebrates after winning the MVP Trophy after defeating the Eastern Conference in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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