T-Mac, Carter big names on the block

Updated: April 19, 2004, 9:37 AM ET
By Chad Ford | NBA Insider
Maybe it's time for David Stern to recruit Donald Trump. In the first season of the popular reality show The Apprentice, Trump took his interns to meet the venerable George Steinbrenner, who gave the kids tips on everything from buying a World Series to firing a manager. Trump was grinning like a Cheshire cat the entire time. Steinbrenner may know a thing or two about kicking people to the curb, but he has nothing on the Donald.

The NBA could use some of the Donald's expertise. These days, it seems GMs are launching the soon-to-be-trademarked phrase, "You're fired!" on a weekly basis.

Everyone knows coaches are the first to go in the NBA, and a record 18 have been run out of town over the past year. With as many as eight more poised to get the ax this summer, GMs are running out of heads to roll.

Are the player's next? The signs are pointing to an emphatic yes. Already we've heard more trade rumors in April than we usually hear at the trade deadline. The kicker is that the names being bandied about aren't scrubs with little market value -- they are marquee players who stumbled badly on lottery teams this year.

McGrady. Carter. Iverson. Brand. Abdur-Rahim. Allen. ... You're fired?

The list is a who's-who of talented underachievers, and it doesn't stop with them. With the exception of the Utah Jazz, who have no real stars to trade, every lottery team is flirting with the idea of trading one of its biggest stars this summer.

Who's on the block? Who's most likely to be traded? Where could they be heading? Insider has the answers ...

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer