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Friday, November 1, 2013
Jameer Nelson next big name to be dealt?

By Marc Stein

One week removed from the season's first big trade -- Marcin Gortat to Washington -- you're surely wondering: Who's next?

To borrow from one of legendary wheeler-dealer Don Nelson's pet phrases: Jameer Nelson is a good name.

The Magic, according to the latest rumbles, would surrender Nelson today if offered a future first-round pick for him. Orlando GM Rob Hennigan continues to chase draft picks and young assets above all else as he remakes the Magic.

The problem is that teams have never been more reluctant to surrender first-round picks -- and the cap-friendly contracts they carry -- than we see nowadays. Even a proven point guard like Nelson, who's making a reasonable $8.6 million this season and is owed only $2 million guaranteed next season, could struggle to command one in return.

Perhaps a contender will be willing to make that sacrifice as we get deeper into the season, needing that one final piece for a playoff push, but first-rounders and their precious rookie-scale contracts are, well, precious. Which is why Chicago never had a hope of acquiring a future first in exchange for young guard Marquis Teague no matter how hard the Bulls tried to get one for Teague throughout October.