NBA Trade Talk Includes Pau Gasol & Kevin Love; Vince Carter Is Nearing The End

Who’s excited to see Ricky Rubio finally play NBA basketball? We’re trying to see what the fuss is about. Rubio, who arrived in Minnesota yesterday, has great court vision and is adept at dribbling. The pluses – that we’re sure of – pretty much stop there. He defers and avoids creating for himself with no steady jumper. At 16, he was a phenom. But now at 21, what is he? Did he already peak? All is not lost for Rubio though. He could flourish if he develops his midrange game and incorporates floaters into his repertoire. You don’t have to be a five-star athlete to be a problem. It remains to be seen but, in the long run he can make things work in the NBA … Speaking of Rubio, we’re ripe for a discussion about which position “runs” the NBA. The “it’s a point guard’s league” motto has popped up more than a few times in the past year. Stars, vets and emerging 1’s left their mark throughout the season, from MVP Derrick Rose to long-time pro Jason Kidd to developing youngsters like Jrue Holiday and Darren Collison. Kyrie Irving‘s potential #1 status would perpetuate the trend. He may not be as good as his forerunners but it’d nonetheless be a symbolic gesture for the importance of the point … Swingmen, pure off-guards and traditional 4’s trail the league’s court generals. Yet things get really ugly when you get to the centers. The complete dearth of quality 5’s has us wondering what happened to the big man? Now, they’re mainly used to clog the lane, grab boards and get garbage points. Dwight Howard‘s far and away the best center in the league. We’re not holding our breath on seeing a revival via this year’s draft either. Enes Kanter is the most notable center prospect, but he hasn’t had many opportunities to shine against great competition. How much better would the league be if the center spot ever came back in a big way? … With a draft devoid of big names and big talents, you can expect trade rumors to take over Thursday night. Pau Gasol, Andre Iguodala, Monta Ellis, Chris Kaman, Jonny Flynn and Kevin Love are just a few of the names that have been mentioned as potential movers. At least give David Kahn credit for being aggressive. He got Rubio when no one ever thought he would. Now, he’s shopping the second pick in the draft and there also appears to be some truth to the rumor that Kevin Love could be had for the right cost. Kahn is interested in teaming Rubio with another Spaniard, Pau Gasol, and there are rumors a proposed trade had Love and the second pick in the draft going to L.A. for Gasol. We have a hard time believing that. But could the two teams meet somewhere in-between? … The Warriors are denying that Ellis is being shopped. Yet no one believes them. At some point in the next year or so, whether it happens now or at the trade deadline, Ellis will probably be gone … Perhaps the craziest trade rumor so far comes from Milwaukee where sources say the Bucks offered Andrew Bogut and the 10th pick to Minnesota to move up to the second spot. If Kahn pulled that off, he’d be off the hook for Kaaaaaahnnnnn jokes for at least a few months … While he more than likely won’t be traded, Vince Carter is on his way out of Phoenix. With his contract next season only partially guaranteed, the Suns plan to kick him to the curb within the next few days. Is this the end of an era? And if it is, what will be your definitive VC memory? At the time it happened, who would’ve ever thought the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest would be that? That was supposed to be just the beginning … And it looks like Toronto will hire Mavs assistant Dwane Casey as their new head coach … Check out the stories of some of the guys who came through Los Angeles this weekend for the Red Bull King of the Rock tournament … We’re out like VC.

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