Kevin Garnett

Last week, I wrote who would get my vote to be fantasy basketball all-stars at the halfway point of the NBA season.

Now, let’s take a look at the players who have only let you down thus far with the midseason “all-bust” team.

Starters:

PG – Derrick Rose (CHI): We all heard about “the return.” Rose’s vertical increased, he developed a better jump shot and he was set to come back and be a top fantasy player. Unfortunately, the injury bug seems to be clinging to Rose as he suffered a torn medial meniscus in his right knee in late November. After missing all of last season, he is out yet another season. It couldn’t have gone worse for fantasy owners who more than likely picked him pretty high.

SG – J.R. Smith (NY): The reigning Sixth Man of the Year is struggling heavily this season. Not only is he getting in trouble with the NBA for untying people’s shoes or getting benched by his head coach, virtually every statistic he was good for last season has taken a turn into the wrong direction. Smith went from averaging 18.1 points per game last season to just 12 this season. His free throw percentage is down from 76.2 percent to 61.7 percent. He also is shooting a career-low 36.9 percent from the field. Last year, he shot 42.2 percent.

SF – Josh Smith (DET): One of the guys who normally performs at a high level in almost every statistical category is not doing so hot in Detroit. His points, assists, rebounds, three-point percentage and field goal percentage are all down significantly. What is going on with J-Smoove?

PF – Kevin Garnett (BKN): Let’s face it. The Nets entire team is a bust. However, KG is going through some struggles as father time may officially be hitting him. He is playing just 21 minutes a game this season, while only averaging 6.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He is also shooting only 41.9 percent, as opposed to his 49.6 percent last season.

C – JaVale McGee (DEN): Before he could make is usual appearance on “Shaqtin’ A Fool,” McGee fractured his left leg and has been out indefinitely. With George Karl gone and Brian Shaw in for the Nuggets, McGee was expected to log more minutes and have a bigger fantasy impact this season. That has not been the case – not to mention, in the five games he played this season, he was averaging just 7.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.

 

Bench:

PF – Kenneth Faried (DEN): George Karl sure did love the Manimal, but Brian Shaw seems as if he is confused with how to play Faried – seeing as how he plays just under 24 minutes per game. His rebounding and scoring numbers are both down from last season and his numbers have been very inconsistent. It is hard to get a feel for Faried right now, but he certainly is not playing as expected coming into his third season in the NBA. Maybe Shaw will figure it out, but for now, he’s a bust.

SG – O.J. Mayo (MIL): At this point, Mayo is arguably not worth owning in some leagues. His minutes are down significantly from last season when he was in Dallas, but more importantly, he is shooting just 39.6 percent, scoring 12.2 points per game, and his assist numbers are down from 4.4 to 2.4 per game.

SF, PF – Gerald Wallace (BOS): Wallace wasn’t supposed to be a star or anything too special, but he was expected to produce. Now, he is probably a free agent in most leagues. Nothing more to say other than playing under 23 minutes, scoring 4.6 points and grabbing 3.3 rebounds per game. Wallace is most likely done as a fantasy player.

SF, PF – Ersan Ilyasova (MIL): Ilyasova is getting essentially the same amount of playing time as last season. However, his field goal percentage is down, his points are down, his rebounds are down and his three-point percentage is down. Ilyasova is very inconsistent for whatever reason this season, and all owners can do is be patient with him.

PG – Deron Williams (BKN): Williams is just another Nets player on the list. Their whole team has potential to be on this list. The numbers don’t lie, though, and Williams is averaging only 13.6 points and 7.0 assists per game, which are both the lowest they’ve been since his rookie year. His free throw percentage is down as well. Jason Kidd and Deron Williams may be having some issues.

PF, C – Larry Sanders (MIL): If this dude didn’t block so many shots, he would probably be dropped, although those numbers have dropped since last season. His points, rebounds, assists, free throw percentage and three-point percentage are all down too. Who knows if this has to do with his new contract, new coach, his misspelled tattoo from the offseason or all of the above, but this is a bust-season for Sanders.

PG Steve Nash (LAL): Fantasy owners knew he wouldn’t be the Nash of old, but we sure didn’t know he would be the old man, Nash. At 39, Nash has been injured almost all year with his back. Although he is set to return to the lineup soon, he is expected to play limited minutes. Nash, who used to be the assist king, is not worth owning in virtually any league.

NBA trade deadline looms — where is Atlanta's Josh Smith headed?

The NBA trade deadline is 2 p.m. ET Thursday, and this gives us roughly over 24 hours until then.

Around this time every year, NBA fans are bombarded with trade scenarios, rumors and a lot of very unlikely speculation that can cause their blood pressure to spike.

This season is no different of course, so here are the major players involved in rumors and the likelihood you’ll see those respective players actually being traded come tomorrow.

Kevin Garnett: Unlikely

There has been a lot of speculation as of late about what will happen with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in Boston after the recent season-ending injury to Rajon Rondo. The Celtics seem to be caught between a rock and a hard place trying to figure out if they should rebuild or try to win now.

Kevin Garnett has been tossed around heavily in recent days in a trade scenario that would send him to the Los Angeles Clippers in a package revolving around Eric Bledsoe.

It seemed very unlikely all along that Garnett would be traded, simply because it’s hard to imagine a situation where the Celtics' brass parts ways with a player who’s been so loyal to the franchise.

To add to the unlikelihood of seeing Kevin Garnett in any other color than green this season is a report from Adran Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday saying talks between the Celtics and Clippers have died. And among other reasons, Kevin Garnett has a no-trade clause and has stated he doesn’t intend to waive it.

Dwight Howard: Unlikely

The Dwight saga that many fans (including myself) thought would end once he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers surprisingly hasn’t ended. Dwight is still one of the more common words you hear in the news, and simultaneously one of the least common names you see on the stat sheet.

Howard is not going anywhere. A strange rumor involving Howard and Rajon Rondo arose for a few days and died very quickly. It didn’t make much sense for LA to trade with their storied rivals in Boston, and it really didn’t make much sense to acquire an injured Rondo since Steve Nash still has a year and a half left on his contract.

Howard simply won’t be traded because there won’t be a deal worth taking on the table before tomorrow’s deadline. The Lakers appear to be ready to roll the dice and see what happens in the offseason, and Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has stated the Lakers will not trade Howard. Fans should start preparing for Howard's Indecision III this summer.

Josh Smith: Likely

I hope this deal is likely, at least for effort's sake. The Atlanta Hawks have engaged in trade talks with just about every team in the NBA. All right, not really, but they have been involved in talks with Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Milwaukee and even the San Antonio Spurs.

It seems likely that Josh Smith will be a Hawk, simply because of how involved the Hawks have been in trying to find a deal for him, joined by the fact that Josh Smith is seeking out a max deal when his contract expires this summer.

Not many teams believe Smith deserves a max deal, but the Philadelphia 76ers have appeared to be one of the most likely places for Smith come tomorrow. Philadelphia is still without Andrew Bynum and will probably be willing to sign Smith in the offseason in order to pair him with Bynum, or give Josh Smith the reins of the team if Bynum is unable to come back from injury. The Sixers are offering Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, two young pieces the Hawks can build around.

If Smith doesn’t go to Philadelphia, you could also see him in Milwaukee, who has offered Monta Ellis, a free agent this coming summer. Monta’s talent and expiring contract could be very tempting for a team like Atlanta moving forward.

If any of these players are likely to be traded by tomorrow, expect it to be Josh Smith. But the most likely scenario is the trade deadline coming and going without any major moves revolving around star players. You’ll probably see a few role players being swapped, but with talks dying down it appears that the big names will stay put for the time being.