The NBA trade deadline of Feb. 21 is just over six weeks away, and as contending teams look to improve their rosters for a push to the playoffs, the trade talk is already starting to pick up.
Memphis' Rudy Gay was the hot topic yesterday, but others like Anderson Varejao, Marcin Gortat, Jose Calderon and J.J. Redick have all frequently been mentioned as well in recent weeks. But when you talk trades, you can't just focus on the big names.
What you really have to do is consider quite a few of the smaller pieces, the guys that make such deals work. You look for young guys with some upside, underpaid guys who offer value, underused veterans or just backups looking for an opportunity to start or more minutes. These aren't trade centerpieces -- they're "trade chips," if you will.
Here are 10 players I believe will become hot commodities leading up to the trade deadline: