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Countdown to the NBA Trade deadline...


As we draw closer to the trade deadline, I decided to save my article about Elite status and focus in on the importance of keeping up with the rest of the league. Thought I'd give you an update on all the trade rumours that i've been seeing in the last couple of weeks.

Currently the Toronto Raptors sit in 5th place overall with a record of 28-23, 5 game ahead of the bubble pack(Chicago, Charlotte, Miami, Milwaukee; ) With the trade dealine looming on February 18th 2010, the rumour among the league should draw the interest of the Toronto Raptors.

Of the top 4 teams in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks are the only team that seems like they will stand pat. Cleveland Cavs are dangling Ilgauskas, the Celtics are ready to part with Ray Allen, and the Orlando Magic have enough depth to make a move to shore up the hole that Vince Carter was supposed to fill this year. Meanwhile below them, Charlotte will most likely stay pat, Chicago is itching to make some big moves, Miami is starting to realize that Wade can't be the answer to everything, and Milwaukee knows they need to make a key move, if they are to compete for the playoffs this year.

Amare Stoudemire has been the centre of much trade discussion, his impact in coming to the East could really hurt the Raptors come playoff time.  Rumours for Amare have him being sent to Philadelphia(who sits in the 10spot) or Miami(which would give them a serious 1-2 punch), or New York. There's even speculation over Stoudemire going to Chicago, especially with all the loose pieces that Chicago can deliver. Speaking of the Chicago Bulls, they have been linked to rumours about the organization being unhappy with the growth of Tyrus Thomas. Both Hinrich and Deng have been linked to rumoured deals as well.  As well, another significant mention is, Andre Igoudala, who has also been linked to rumours of going to Boston or even Phoenix.

This trade deadline has also been about the moving of big contracts, in order to position teams for next year's game changing  offseason. Chicago is one of those teams that could make a move to free up contract space to make them a contender in the FA market next year. Another player worth mentioning that could land a spot on a top calibre team is Carlos Boozer. Utah definitely would love to move him so that they could sneak in under the luxury tax. If he lands on an East coast team, that could strike havoc in the Raptor's quest for the playoffs as well.

With all these possiblities, Brian Colangelo really has to stay active in trade talks and be ready to make a move.

Here are my rankings on teams in the Eastern Conference that are most likely to make a move(@-least likely):

RANK TEAM GAMES BEHIND TRADE?
1  Cleveland --  @@@
 2.  Orlando 6.5   @
 3.  Boston 7.5   @@@@
 4.  Atlanta 7.5   @
 5.  Toronto 12.5   @@
 6.  Chicago 15.5   @@@@@
 7.  Charlotte 15.5   @
 8.  Miami 16.5   @@@
 9.  Milwaukee 16.5   @@@
 10.  Philadelphia 21  @@@@
 11.  New York 21  @@

 I really wish I could include some sources but honestly, I read these through surfing on the internet or watching tweets in twitter over the past couple of weeks. By no means have I made anything up, its out there, go find it yourself if you don't believe....

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