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Trade deadline buyers wait on league financial update

Plenty of trade talk, but so far no trade action. What is going on, not going to be one of those trade deadline bust years is it?

It may be more about waiting until David Stern tells them the real picture with league finances this weekend in Dallas.

The public will get commissioner David Stern’s typically rosy state of the league address Saturday night, but the executives contemplating taking on tens of millions through pending trades don’t want the sanitized version. They want to know where they stand, and how the decisions they make between now and the Feb. 18 trade deadline will position their franchises for some rocky times ahead.

“I think the uncertainty has slowed everybody’s roll until they get the state of the union at the league meetings,” one Western Conference executive said. “The one thing that makes this interesting is that there’s always buyers and sellers. The sellers are far more plentiful than the buyers, so buyers are going to be really deliberate when it comes to taking on future money.”

This is a buyers market -- if you’ll take on salary (and have expiring deals to give up). The economy and threat of changes to the CBA that could leave them hanging will make those buyers think twice, however. There are teams that will do it, will spend to win today, but they are holding out for a Gasol-like deal right now (although that trade looks much more fair in retrospect). However, like you at a bar, their standards will go down as last call/the trading deadline gets closer. There will be a few big deals made.

Just don’t expect any this weekend. The owners want Stern to lay out the finances first.