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NBA Trade Deadline approaching...but still may be a dud

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA's All-Star break this year is the longest ever, nearly double that of prior seasons. What is usually a 6 day break has become a 10 day break for most teams, including the Phoenix Suns.

Most of those extra days were added after the All Star game on Sunday. A year ago, most teams played Tuesday night - just two days later - while this year most teams don't play again until Friday.

This extra time was built in to allow the game's best players to have a few needed days to rest their bodies midseason. It used to be that All Star participants had to choose between a crazy hectic weekend schedule or a few days to rest.

Last year, Goran Dragic was picked for the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. Not a big commitment on the court: two minutes of actual action with a basketball. Even the All-Star game players find they don't have to put out a bunch of effort in the big game itself. It's an exhibition and nearly every players treats it as such. Witness the 163-158 final score. In regulation.

However, the weekend commitments for the All-Star participants are quite exhausting. Last year, Dragic (who was only in the Skills Challenge) was booked for various charity appearances, media sessions and party appearances over the entire weekend. His young family did not even join him for much of it because he was so busy.

This year, with four full days between game days, even the All-Stars get some time to decompress before the grind kicks up again.

Those extra rest days for the players don't mean as much to the front offices.

While the total break between games has increased from about 6 days to 10 days, the trade deadline is still and has always been about 4 days after the All-Star Game concludes.

It's just that this time there's no distraction of regular season games during those four days. Front offices are working in a vacuum, able to focus on nothing but roster management.

One of the biggest concerns during this extra-long break?

"Who knows what the availability of people is," president Lon Babby said last week on ArizonaSports.com. "There are people who will be unavailable because they decided to take a break.

"And there's the logical situation of when the player has to report. Normally, the player has to report within 48 hours. So now the question is what happens if you make a trade and its beyond 48 hours before they can report (because of the break). But those are logistical questions that I'm sure will get resolved."

That is likely one of the reasons we've seen no trades yet, and might not see any trades until tomorrow at the earliest. You can't ask the players you just acquired to cut their break short simply to meet the 48-hour rule.

General Manager Ryan McDonough also commented last week that the extra days could be a negative in that general managers might be more hesitant to complete deals with all the extra time without games as they hold out for a better offer.

But all this build-up, all this anxiety, will likely end up with very little of consequence happening.

This year has already seen a few rotation-impacting trades. Players like Mo Williams (Hornets), Jeff Green (Memphis), Timofey Mozgov, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert (Cavs), Dion Waiters (OKC), Corey Brewer (Rockets), Rajon Rondo (Mavericks) and Brandan Wright (Suns) have already bolstered playoff teams. And I didn't even mention the Clippers acquiring Austin Rivers.

Are there any big trades left to make this week?

Let's take a look at least years deadline deals. The guys traded in these finals days a year ago include such luminaries as Steve Blake, Marcus Thornton, Jason Terry, Roger Mason Jr., Spencer Hawes, Andre Miller, Luke Ridnour, Austin Daye, Aaron Brooks, Danny Granger, Evan Turner, Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens.

Yep, there's your 2014 trade deadline. Not a difference maker among them.

Not sure if the 2015 deadline will be much different.

There are a lot of names floating around, but it takes two to tango. Just because team A wants to acquire player X doesn't mean player X's team wants what team A has to offer.

In the Phoenix Suns' case, other teams want Goran Dragic. But the Suns would much rather trade them Isaiah Thomas or any number of other players on their roster while keeping Dragic. That negotiation will kill a lot of trade plans for both the Suns and their trading partners.

The Suns are trying to make a big splash, but what is that splash? Acquiring an All-Star? Sure, Ryan and Lon want that. But what teams will be willing to trade their All-Star in the coming days?

There is the danger that the Suns spend so much time trying to close a deal (or two) that die on deadline day at the expense of other deals that could have happened instead. It's all a house of cards. Or a shell game. Or whatever analogy floats your boat.

The fact is that willing trade partners come and go as they talk to 29 other teams. A deal that was available on Tuesday may no longer be there on Thursday, yet that deal you really want to consummate might not be decided until Thursday and if it falls apart you're left holding the bag.

Will there be a match at some point?

Maybe. But don't hold your breath.