With a spiraling economy and a crop of teams looking to slash payroll in anticipation of the 2010 free-agent bonanza, this shapes up as a potentially busy trading season. As the Feb. 19 deadline approaches, let's take a look at the NBA's buyers, sellers and window shoppers.
Team payroll: $68 million
Potential trade assets: G Mike Bibby, C Zaza Pachulia
Outlook: League sources say Atlanta has zero interest in trading Bibby, who is in the final year of his contract. While the Hawks are hoping to build on last season's strong first-round playoff performance against Boston, general manager Rick Sund is using this year to evaluate talent and determine which players are in the team's long-term future. Factor in a pending court battle over co-owner Steve Belkin's 30 percent stake in the team and the fact that the Atlanta Spirit Group (which owns both the Hawks and the Atlanta Thrashers) reportedly lost more than $50 million in the last two years, and it's highly unlikely Atlanta will be buyers.
Team payroll: $80.8 million
Potential trade assets: F Brian Scalabrine, G J.R. Giddens, G Eddie House
Outlook: The Celtics continue to explore deals for shooters (a trade for Orlando's J.J. Redick was discussed) and are hoping Oklahoma City buys out veteran forward Joe Smith, whom Boston would have to persuade not to sign with Cleveland or another contender. The Celtics' best route to improve is free agency -- Stephon Marbury would become available if he agrees to a buyout with the Knicks -- because with most of their payroll tied up in the Big Three, they lack trade chips. Scalabrine and House have limited value beyond their soon-to-be-expiring contracts.
Team payroll: $62 million
Potential trade assets: G Raymond Felton, F Adam Morrison
Outlook: You can never rule out anything because Larry Brown tends to want to trade all of his players at one time or another, but the Bobcats probably are done dealing after already making two moves for three contributors (Boris Diaw, Raja Bell and DeSagana Diop). Felton will become a restricted free agent after the season, but he's been a big part of Charlotte's improved play in the new year (14.1 points, 7.2 assists in January).
Team payroll: $71 million
Potential trade assets: G Ben Gordon, F Joakim Noah, F Drew Gooden, F Tyrus Thomas, G Larry Hughes
Outlook: Word around the league is that the Bulls are open for business. Hughes, who was placed on the inactive list Wednesday after 10 consecutive DNP-CDs, has been openly shopped. Gordon, an unrestricted free agent after the season, can't be traded without his consent. Gooden is attractive to teams because of his $7.2 million expiring contract.
Team payroll: $90.3 million
Potential trade assets: F Wally Szczerbiak, F Ben Wallace, G Daniel Gibson
Outlook: It's likely Cleveland will deal Szczerbiak's $13 million expiring contract. One team to keep an eye on: the Clippers. The Cavs covet center Marcus Camby, who would bring defense and athleticism to both the center and power forward positions. The last-place Clippers could be inclined to move Camby, who is owed $7.7 million next season.
Team payroll: $94.3 million
Potential trade assets: F Josh Howard, G Jason Kidd, G Jerry Stackhouse
Outlook: Owner Mark Cuban has raved about Kidd's impact and insists Howard isn't going anywhere. The Mavs and Kings have reportedly discussed a trade that would send Stackhouse to Sacramento for point guard Beno Udrih. That deal makes sense for both sides. The Kings, who are trying to clear cap space, could buy out Stackhouse for $2 million next season. Dallas would pick up some insurance in Udrih in case Kidd doesn't return next season.
Team payroll: $69.7 million
Potential trade assets: G J.R. Smith, F Linas Kleiza
Outlook: The Nuggets need a backup big man if they hope to make a deep postseason run (they are still kicking themselves over allowing Antonio McDyess to get away through a buyout). New York's David Lee was their No. 1 target earlier in the season, but his rapid development has made him virtually untouchable. Kleiza and Smith have value; they are both young, skilled and still developing.
Team payroll: $72.8 million
Potential trade assets: F Rasheed Wallace, G Allen Iverson
Outlook: A number of teams would love to get their hands on the expiring contracts of Wallace and Iverson, but deals are long shots given president Joe Dumars' commitment to reshaping the roster over the next two seasons. The Pistons are likely to tough it out with the current roster, which when healthy is still strong enough to win a playoff series.
Golden State Warriors
Team payroll: $67.5 million
Potential trade assets: F Anthony Randolph, G Monta Ellis
Outlook: If you don't think the Warriors are a mess, just take a look at their books. Golden State is already committed to $41 million in salaries in the 2012-2013 season with just four players under contract: Ellis, Andris Biedrins, Corey Maggette and Stephen Jackson. The Warriors would love to unload Maggette, but his long-term contract and disdain for passing have teams hanging up the phone. Randolph, a rookie forward who impressed in the summer league, has been in coach Don Nelson's doghouse.
Team payroll: $75.5 million
Potential trade assets: F Tracy McGrady, F Shane Battier
Outlook: Barring a deep playoff run, this could be McGrady's final season in Houston. McGrady will make $23.2 million in the last year of his contract next season, and the front office will likely look to continue building around Yao Ming. Battier is listed here only because a lot of teams (like Boston) love him. But the Rockets would require a strong package for Battier, a consummate team player.
Team payroll: $69 million
Potential trade assets: G Jamaal Tinsley, G Marquis Daniels, C Rasho Nesterovic
Outlook: Daniels ($6.9 million) and Nesterovic ($8.4 million) both have sizable expiring contracts. Tinsley, the exiled point guard, has two years and $14.7 million left on his contract after the season, and president Larry Bird has said a buyout isn't an option. Tinsley's agent said the players' association is expected to file a grievance against the Pacers soon.
Los Angeles Clippers
Marcus Camby would appeal to a contender like Cleveland if the Clippers shop him.
Harry How/Getty Images
Team payroll: $60.6 million
Potential trade assets: C Marcus Camby, C Chris Kaman
Outlook: Word around the league is that the Clippers are willing to entertain offers for one of their big men, provided it brings an expiring contract in return. Baron Davis is available, but show me a GM who wants Davis and I'll show you one soon to be unemployed.
Los Angeles Lakers
Team payroll: $81.8 million
Potential trade assets: F Lamar Odom, C Chris Mihm
Outlook: The Lakers' biggest issue is, once again, toughness, especially after losing center Andrew Bynum for 8-12 weeks. (Though they more than held their own in Thursday's 110-109 overtime victory at Boston.) GM Mitch Kupchak will be scouring the market for a rugged interior defender. Joe Smith's name will certainly come up. Unless L.A. is willing to sacrifice one of its core players, a meaningful trade will be tough to make.
Team payroll: $52 million
Potential trade assets: F Darko Milicic, G Mike Conley
Outlook: The young, rebuilding Grizzlies will probably give this roster the rest of the season to develop. Conley hasn't proved that he's the long-term solution at point guard (O.J. Mayo might be that guy). The rumored deal sending Conley to Milwaukee for Joe Alexander and Ramon Sessions is dead.
Team payroll: $70.3 million
Potential trade assets: F Shawn Marion, C Mark Blount
Outlook: A Marion-Jermaine O'Neal swap was reportedly close last week, but O'Neal's spotty health may have slowed it down. President Pat Riley has made it clear he will not accept any contracts extending beyond 2010, when Miami is looking to be active in free agency. But that may not stop him from trying to address his need for a big man now with an eye toward pushing the team into the playoffs.