With All Star Weekend close and the Trade Deadline fast approaching USSDU looks at the upcoming stories of interest for the coming week.[caption id="attachment_14203" align="aligncenter" width="632"] Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images[/caption]
The Trade Market Heats UpWith the Feb 21 trade deadline fast approaching, the NBA rumour mill has gone into overdrive with all the trade proposals and gossip. Names that have been floated around the trade market include Pau Gasol, Josh Smith, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Caron Butler, Paul Pierce and Andrea Bargnani. The most likely players that will be on the move are Josh Smith (both he and Atlanta have expressed a mutual desire to part ways) and Pau Gasol (who is very unhappy in LA). It has been a relatively quiet year with regards to trades but you never know with the NBA and a blockbuster could be just around the corner. With Rudy Gay already shipped off to Toronto, how many others will be joining new teams before the week is out?
All Star Saturday Participants Announced on FridayWith the All Star East/West teams already announced and the Rookie/Sophomore players announced there is only one thing left to do, pick the All Star Saturday contenders. This will all happen on TNT Thursday Night in the US (Friday morning for Australians) and the wait is mostly for the Dunk Contest. There are plenty of rookies and role players that have some hops and should be in it but all the talk seems to be about getting the big names back to the contest. With LeBron James famously putting his name in the hat for the 2010 edition and then not participating, will the public pressure be enough for him to finally have a go? The Three Point Shootout should also be an interesting one with a raft of great shooters already linked to the spots. Will Steph Curry get over his All Star snub and show everyone why he is such a dangerous player by dominating the Three Point Shootout?
Return of the CP3The Clippers have been on a horrid run of late and the main reason for this is the loss of Chris Paul. Their leader, both on and off the court, has missed the past nine games with a bruised knee and the Clippers have posted a 2-7 record in that stretch. While one player shouldn't make too much of a difference (Celtics are 4-0 without Rondo) it certainly had an effect on this team. Matt Barnes is getting into fights again, Caron Butler is performing suspect moves on unsuspecting European rookies and worst of all, they are losing to lesser teams. With two blockbuster road games against Miami and New York this week it is rumoured that CP3 will be taking to the court again. It can't come soon enough for this team as they need a couple of good wins to get back on track.
Who do you want to see in the All Star Dunk Contest and Three Point Shootout? Post your comments in the section below.