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NBA trade rumors: Who’s going, who’s staying put?

Will Dwight Howard stay or go?  Check out some biggest names being thrown around NBA trade rumors. | Tom

Will Dwight Howard stay or go? Check out some of the biggest names being thrown around in NBA trade rumors. | Tom Cruze/Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 13, 2012 12:54PM

After spending a significant portion of last week at college basketball conference tournaments scouting potential 2012 draft picks, NBA executives turn their focus to Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.

Will it be a busy or quiet week?

With only six weeks of the season left after Thursday, do teams preparing for a playoff run and chance a change in player chemistry in such a short time frame?

Teams also must factor in the long-term impact of changes from the new collective bargaining agreement. The more punitive luxury tax will take effect in 2013-14, so teams will be cautious about taking on money that could put them over the limit.

Take 34-year-old Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce, who is under contract for $16.7 million next season and $15.3 million in 2013-14. He could help a team but perhaps put it over the luxury tax. Does the team think twice before committing a big salary to an aging veteran?

And what of teams that have carved salary-cap space for next season and beyond? They view cap space in free agency more valuable in acquiring players than trades.

What’s needed and who’s out there?

The Los Angeles Lakers are looking for a point guard. The Minnesota Timberwolves have a sudden need at guard with Ricky Rubio (torn knee ligament) out for the season. CLICK HERE for some of the trade prospects that are out there.

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