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Trade deadline buzz: Nuggets, Magic active

With the NBA trade deadline now just one week away, it's time to dribble through the latest gossip as we inch toward next Thursday's 3 p.m. buzzer for deals:

Brook Lopez. Reggie Jackson. Arron Afflalo.

When you survey general managers, those are the names that come up most frequently when you ask for the biggest names likely to move before the deadline.

But there's a reason for that.

Don't forget that we've seen quite a bit of trade action already, with Boston shipping out both Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green, and LeBron James' Cavaliers swinging separate deals to acquire Timofey Mozgov and two former Knicks in Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith.


The Nuggets, widely regarded as the team most aggressively trying to clean house, have made a number of players available this month.

Afflalo, Jameer Nelson and Randy Foye, sources say, are all in play. The price for Afflalo, though, is said to be high, with Denver seeking at least one future first-round pick in exchange for the swingman, who holds a $7.5 million player option for next season that will allow Afflalo to either become a free agent or continue for one more season at his current salary.

Most rival teams nonetheless see Afflalo as more likely to be dealt before the deadline than Wilson Chandler, with Denver's demands for Chandler said to be even higher. Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly is known to be a Chandler fan, leading to the belief that the former Knicks player is the on short list of players Denver isn't shopping these days alongside Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried and rookie sensation Jusuf Nurkic.

As ESPN.com first reported recently, Denver's offer to Brooklyn for Lopez -- J.J. Hickson, JaVale McGee and one of the two first-round picks it acquired from Cleveland for Mozgov -- has been repeatedly rejected by the Nets.


Orlando, thanks to a surplus of young big men, has made Andrew Nicholson available, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com on Thursday that the Magic are working with Nicholson's agent, Mark Bartelstein, to find a new home for the 25-year-old Canadian, who was selected 19th overall by the Magic in the 2012 NBA draft.

ESPN.com reported last month that Bartelstein is likewise working with the Phoenix Suns to find a workable trade for big man Miles Plumlee.


Word is the Celtics intend to keep Tayshaun Prince through next week's deadline to see if they can make use of Prince's $7.7 million salary in yet another trade. Only after the deadline passes, sources say, does Boston plan to seriously engage Prince in buyout discussions.

Brandon Bass and Marcus Thornton are two more Celtics who can be made available, as Boston continues to seek to shed salary and stockpile draft picks for the future.