How Kaman, Felton, Beasley and others survived the trade deadline

kamanAfter all of the flip flopping, Dwight Howard stayed put in Orlando.

So did Deron Williams with the New Jersey Nets.

And by the time the NBA trade deadline expired on Thursday, there was actually more talk about who didn’t get moved even more than who was traded at the deadline.

Here’s a quick run down of the familiar names floated about in trade scenarios over the last few weeks that will end up finishing the season with their respective teams. They are safe from the speculation — at least for now.

Chris Kaman – New Orleans Hornets

Minutes after the deadline passed, Kaman didn’t seem all too concerned with the speculation that he would be moved or even have his contract bought out by the Hornets.

“I’m still here. I figured they would not do a trade,” Kaman told Crossover Chronicles.

“New Orleans has been a great place, then Mike Dunleavy’s group might be the one to buy the Hornets. So it should be interesting.”

After arriving to the Big Easy from the Los Angeles Clippers in the Chris Paul deal, Kaman was pretty much ostracized from the team as they pursued trade talks around the league for the veteran center back in late January. But although the Hornets couldn’t find a taker — Indiana and even Miami were possible destinations — for his $14 million expiring contract, New Orleans’ front office is still considering the option of re-signing Kaman during the upcoming offseason.

Raymond Felton – Portland Trail Blazers

Marcus Camby was the first to go to Houston. Then Gerald Wallace to New Jersey. After that, head coach Nate McMillan was shown the door. And once the dust settled, Raymond Felton was still a point guard in Portland. How is that for irony?

Over the last month and with each disappointing loss the Blazers racked up, Felton was the lightening rod for criticism about his horrific play this season and tainting Portland’s locker room. Reports surfaced that he could be Los Angeles bound to the Lakers, who were in search of a point guard. That didn’t happen. Neither did the option of Portland eating his contract and releasing Felton late yesterday.

Instead the Blazers hope he can turn his season around with McMillan out of the picture. Either way, Felton is as good as gone after this season.

“We expect Raymond to finish out the season, the last 22 games, we hope that he can kind of bounce back,” acting GM Chad Buchanan said on Thursday. “I know he’s been frustrated with his play.”

Jamal Crawford – Portland Trail Blazers

Would Crawford go to Minnesota? Maybe the Los Angeles Clippers or Indiana Pacers? Or would the Orlando Magic try to land the trigger-happy shooting guard. For as much as Portland heavily courted Crawford last season, all signs pointed toward a brief stay in Rip City these last two weeks before the deadline.

Portland’s brass did admit they were in talks with teams — assumed to be with the Timberwolves in a three-way deal with the Los Angeles Lakers — about Crawford but were unable to reach a mutual agreement.

The scoop: teams apparently saw Crawford’s $5 million salary and his 2012-2013 player option as a red flag, especially when Portland was seeking to secure first round draft picks as part of the return package.

Michael Beasley – Minnesota Timberwolves

Like Jamal Crawford, Beasley would have been included in the three-way deal with Minnesota, Portland and the Los Angeles Lakers, landing the forward in L.A., but now his future in with the Timberwolves is pretty much in his own hands.

In the summer, Beasley will likely become an unrestricted free agent, as Minnesota would have to guarantee his $8 million qualifying offer in order to match any offers he receives from around the league.

“Michael is in more control of his future than even Michael recognizes,” Kahn told the Star Tribune.

“These next six weeks are very important to him. Michael’s made tremendous strides this year and I don’t think league wide people recognize that: He has been much more engaged in practices, much better on the bench, his commitment, everything. He’s been incident-free.

“I think it’s very important these next six weeks that he continue that path and demonstrate to the league that maybe some of the things people have said about him frankly have been eradicated because I think in large part they have.”

Beasley wants to player a bigger reserve role on the team. Head coach Rick Adelman wants him to play better defense.

Can the former second overall pick in 2008 step his game up in order to be back?

Antawn Jamison – Cleveland Cavaliers

Finally, something both sides can agree on. Jamison is glad to be staying in Cleveland and the Cavs are happy to have him. While Jamison’s expiring contract held some appeal, the organization feels better knowing the veteran big man can help with Cleveland’s playoff push over the next few weeks.

Believe it or not, the Cavs are just two games back of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and Jamison is crucial to their success, so even discussing buyout wasn’t part of the overall plan.

Jamison’s 18.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game meant a lot more to Cleveland than the option to even buyout his $15 million expiring contract.

Ray Allen and Paul Pierce – Boston Celtics

Danny Ainge isn’t ready to break up the band. At least not right now.

Ray Allen (and his $10 million expiring contract) drew plenty of attention from contenders around the league who would love to have his sharp shooting abilities at their disposal, just as much the Los Angeles Clippers were heavy after Paul Pierce.

With age comes wisdom — or so the saying goes — and in this case the Celtics felt it was wise to play out the season and re-evaluate the roster at the end of the year. Certainly Boston going 8-2 since the all-star break also factored into the decision process and although Ainge and Doc Rivers are still looking for a big man, that void will now be filled via free agency (insert Chris Kaman’s name here).

“If there were an opportunity to improve our future, fast-forward the rebuilding process that would otherwise take much longer, we would do it,” Ainge said in a conference call Thursday night.

“But nothing really excited us. There were deals we wanted to do and couldn’t find any takers, and deals other teams wanted us to do that we weren’t interested in.”