Babcock arrived in Toronto after years with the T'wolves, and it's likely the two teams have talked. Whether they could forge a deal to send Marshall and Rose to Minnesota, perhaps for Sprewell's expiring contract, is doubtful. But look for Toronto to do something in an effort to clean up what's becoming an increasingly messy situation.
Like Toronto, Portland also finds itself in turmoil these days. The Darius Miles saga is just the latest fiasco, following the Qyntel Woods dog-fighting allegations and Zach Randolph's battles with teammates over shot selection. Meanwhile the team is struggling on the court. Last week they lost to the Hornets for the second time in a month. GM John Nash says he's not necessarily looking to make a deal, but Portland has two players with expiring contracts in Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Damon Stoudamire. Derek Anderson also came out recently and said he'd welcome a trade to Houston, which reportedly has been dangling Maurice Taylor.
Allen Iverson might have backed off his latest trade demand, but it certainly doesn't lessen the pressure on Sixers GM Billy King to make a move to improve the team. Among King's possible targets could be the Hawks' Antoine Walker. He played well for Jim O'Brien in Boston, and he represents no long-term obligation since he's in the final year of his contract. The Sixers have Glenn Robinson's expiring contract to offer the Hawks in return, though they would have to include another player to make the salaries match up. Would Philly give up a Willie Green or Kyle Korver, as well as future draft picks, to take a short-term gamble on Walker? It depends on how badly they want to get to the playoffs this season. Would the Hawks make this deal for a Big Dog who won't even suit up? Let's just say it wouldn't hurt their chances in the draft lottery.
Isiah Thomas made two huge moves last year, first acquiring Stephon Marbury from the Suns (for Antonio McDyess) and then Tim Thomas and Nazr Mohammed from the Bucks and Hawks, respectively (for Keith Van Horn and Michael Doleac). With his team still struggling, he could try to shake it up again. Thomas reportedly has strong interest in Marshall, an outside shooting big man who could help the Knicks go small and spread the floor a la the Suns. Unfortunately for Thomas, New York has little to offer except big contracts that are anathema to rebuilding teams like the Raptors. Plus, Toronto reportedly wants teams to take Rose in any deal for Marshall. Thomas and Rose didn't see eye to eye during their time together in Indiana, and it's hard to believe the Knicks would take a chance given Rose's remaining contract.
Even more than the T'wolves, the Heat feel they have a chance to win the NBA title if they can add one more piece. While the impending Alonzo Mourning acquisition reduces the urgency somewhat, Miami president Pat Riley would no doubt still like to add an outside shooter. Jones has not been consistent this season, and has a big enough contract to make a deal for a Sprewell or a Rose work under league rules. However, Jones' contract (two more years, $30 million) also makes it more unlikely those teams would want him.