Posted: Monday February 20, 2006 1:37PM; Updated: Monday February 20, 2006 3:20PM
Averaging a career-high 18.3 points per game, free-agent Al Harrington will likely not finish the season as an Atlanta Hawk.
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More than half of the teams in the league will be actively seeking to deal before Thursday's trade deadline. Here's the rundown of what they will be looking to do.
Atlanta:Al Harrington is having a terrific year, and the Hawks have made a habit of moving free-agent veterans (Rasheed Wallace, Antoine Walker) each of the past two years. But Harrington's price may be too high: Last month the Hawks refused to send him to Denver for Nenę and two No. 1 picks.
Chicago: The Bulls are likely to retain Tim Thomas' $14 million salary through the deadline in order to reap the salary-cap relief his expiring deal will offer this summer. In the meantime, don't be surprised if they pursue other options this week.
Cleveland:Drew Gooden will be moved only if doing so will clearly improve the Cavaliers this season. After their second-half collapse last year, they can't afford to do anything that could put their playoff status at risk.
Dallas: The Mavericks usually like to make a move at deadline time, but they would be crazy to mess with their chemistry this time around.
Denver: Winning the division title is their No. 1 priority. Kenyon Martin knows the team has been trying to trade him, and he could be hard to live with if he isn't moved. Earl Watson, Nenę and Voshon Lenard could be dealt individually or as part of a larger package. The Nuggets and Knicks are the team most likely to make trades this week, though not necessarily with each other.
Golden State: Dealing for Carlos Boozer or another low-post scorer could resolve the Warriors' biggest issue while launching them back into the playoff race.
Houston: Everyone knows that the Rockets could use more athletes, but who on their roster is healthy enough or young enough to net anyone capable of making a long-term impact? Their epidemic of injuries has made it difficult to predict how a newcomer would fit into the larger puzzle.
Miami: The Heat have to win now, so if they can conjure up a trade that will improve their skittish chemistry, they'll go for it.
Minnesota: There isn't a move imaginable that can lift the Timberwolves back into contention, but they'll be generating rumors all week.
New Jersey: Acquiring an athletic big man could give the Nets hope of running past Miami in the second round. Alas, that big man probably doesn't exist.
New York: The surest of all things is that the Knicks will make a deal. Yet they've generated so much trade paradoxical speculation and gossip that there's no predicting which way they'll go.
Orlando: Unless they fear that his trade value will plummet, the Magic should be in no hurry to move Steve Francis. Better they spend the next two months taking a read of Darko Milicic before deciding on their next step.
Philadelphia: Someday soon the 76ers will have to start rebuilding, but they probably won't take those drastic (i.e. trading Allen Iverson) steps until summer.
Portland:Ruben Patterson or Theo Ratliff could be attractive to a contender.
Seattle:Flip Murray, Reggie Evans and Vitaly Potapenko are all available. The Sonics need to improve their depth while looking forward to a bounce-back season next year.
Toronto: Will they trade free-agent point guard Mike James? Chris Bosh won't be happy if they do.
Utah: The Jazz will move Boozer either this week or this summer.