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NBA Trade Rumors: Pistons, Pelicans among teams shopping for DeMarre Carroll?

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of year again, where we get hot and heavy on the NBA trade rumors. The NBA Trade Deadline isn’t until February 8, 2018, but now that contracts have been guaranteed for the remainder of the season and the playoff push is starting to take shape, the rumors are about to get kicked into overdrive.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, there are a few teams vying for the services of Nets’ veteran swingman DeMarre Carroll. He’s first on a Woj list of small forwards who teams are “targeting.”

Woj’s colleague, Kevin Pelton, had tweeted at the end of November that he thought Brooklyn would try to move him...

One of the teams interested in Carroll, according to the Detroit Free Press, is the Detroit Pistons. Another, according to a Pelicans fan blog, is New Orleans who was told Demarre Carroll is a “real target.”

The Free Press noted in mid-December that the Pistons were “outbid” for Carroll’s services back in 2015, when he became a member of the Toronto Raptors. Carroll has a reasonable price tag, where he’s owed $15 million next season, but there is one holdup: his health.

Carroll is out of the lineup on Monday night due to a right knee injury he suffered against the Boston Celtics on Saturday. We still don’t know the severity of the injury, but should it keep him out for a prolonged time-frame, that could derail any immediate trade talks. Also, it’s the same knee that kept him out of more than 50 games two years ago.

The other issue would be matching up the return value. The Nets would have to take back a contract, but unless you take back Jon Leuer, who is owed $19 million over the next two seasons, or Reggie Jackson, owed $35 million over the next two, you’re probably going to have a hard time finding a match.

Avery Bradley and Anthony Tolliver are both unrestricted free agents next summer and could get it done — salary-wise — but do the Pistons give up on Bradley for Carroll? And what’s the “sweetener” for the Nets? Luke Kennard and Stanley Johnson don’t seem viable - maybe a future first-rounder?

As for the Pelicans’ interest, a deal there is more difficult to imagine. DeMarcus Cousins is an expiring, but it’s hard to imagine he’d get moved, particularly to Brooklyn. Solomon Hill is still recovering from serious hamstring tear and although he’s five years younger than Carroll, he isn’t as good. New Orleans is also a hard-capped team. They can’t make any deals that add to their payroll.

As Woj noted, “No one is taking the moribund contracts of Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca without the Pelicans including a first-round draft pick -- if not more -- in the deal.”

Or more likely, none of this happens and Carroll plays out the season with the Nets. But it’s fun to prognosticate, isn’t it?