Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks dribbles the ball against Shawn Marion #0 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on February 11, 2013 in Dallas,
(February 10, 2013 – Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)
NBA trade deadline is 3 p.m. $T Thursday, leaving teams scrambling to make moves
Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith may be biggest name moved before deadline
Milwaukee Bukcs looking to make moves, particularly showing interest in J.J. Redick
• Marc J. Spears, Yahoo! Sports: The Boston Celtics can discuss a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers or any other NBA team all they want, but Kevin Garnett says it won’t matter. Asked Saturday if there was any circumstance or team that could entice him to give up his no-trade clause and leave Boston, Garnett said, “No.” Even so, the Clippers still believe they can get Garnett to accept a trade if the Celtics tell him they want to make a deal, a source told Yahoo! Sports. … The Celtics and Clippers have been discussing a deal that would send guard Eric Bledsoe and center DeAndre Jordan to Boston for Garnett. The two teams have talked regularly, but the biggest hurdle to clear could be Garnett’s no-trade clause. The Clippers hope they can convince Garnett to join them because his offseason home is in Malibu just outside Los Angeles. Garnett also is close friends with former Minnesota Timberwolves teammate Chauncey Billups, who is now in his second season with the Clippers. The Clippers own the Western Conference’s third-best record at 39-17 and are attracted to adding a big man like Garnett who could open up the offense with his jump shooting, giving Blake Griffin more room to play in the post.
• Dan Woike, Orange County Register: [Clippers] Vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks was at Sunday’s game in Houston, and he’s well aware of the rumors surrounding his team. “We’re listening,” he said. “But we love our team. If there’s something out there that makes us better, we’ll do it.” According to sources, the Clippers aren’t in any advanced trade discussions at this time, but the team could be aggressive at the deadline. The Clippers entered the All-Star break on a four-game winning streak after getting Chauncey Billups back into the lineup. If the team doesn’t find a suitable deal, the Clippers would be comfortable standing pat because of the versatility of the current roster provided by the team’s depth.
• Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein, ESPN.com: The Los Angeles Clippers’ options for dealing Eric Bledsoe should they reverse course and decide to part with their prized young point guard appear to be increasing before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. Sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com late Saturday there is a level of mutual interest between the Clippers and Utah Jazz in exploring a deal that would feature Bledsoe as the headliner in a trade package for Jazz forward Paul Millsap. Although two sources with knowledge of the Clippers’ thinking insisted during All-Star Weekend that Bledsoe would not be moved in coming days and strongly predicted L.A. would stand pat, two other sources indicated the Clippers and Jazz will at least discuss the feasibility of a trade headlined by Bledsoe and Millsap before the deadline.
• Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports: Still many involved for Atlanta’s Josh Smith, including Bucks, Nets, Celtics, 76ers, Wizards, others, sources say. Strong belief he’s moved.
• Darnell Mayberry and John Rohde, The Oklahoman: The NBA’s trading deadline is now just three days away, and when it comes and goes Thursday the league’s landscape could be drastically different. How it impacts the Thunder and its chase to the championship remains the biggest question. Will Kevin Martin still be in Oklahoma City by the end of the week? What about the multiple draft picks the Thunder owns? Or Eric Maynor. The Thunder could use more rebounding, perimeter shooting and, above all, inside scoring. But it’s been quieter than normal on the trade front in OKC, which could mean something or nothing at all. Of course, there’s always the possibility that we see nothing happen.
• Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee: Will the Kings make a deal at the trade deadline? Don’t hold your breath. “It’s very unlikely we’d move any of our top players at this point,” basketball president Geoff Petrie said. The unsettled ownership situation has put deals on hold. The Kings’ most desirable player is [DeMarcus] Cousins, but even before the ownership situation became uncertain, the Kings weren’t dealing him.
• Charles F. Gardner, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The next few days will determine plenty about how the Milwaukee Bucks approach the final 31 games of the season. And whatever happens before Thursday’s league trade deadline also could have a serious long-term effect on the Bucks’ fortunes. Bucks general manager John Hammond faces a dilemma with his two starting point guards. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis have led the team into playoff position at the all-star break, although the Bucks have been on a roller-coaster ride thus far. They are 26-25 and in the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot, which would put them in a first-round matchup against LeBron James and the Miami Heat, if the season ended right now. … The contract situations of the two players could have an impact on what happens this week. Ellis has an $11 million player option for next season and can leave to become an unrestricted free agent. Jennings will be a restricted free agent in the off-season but has hired a new agent, and his camp is sending signals it will be seeking a lucrative deal. The Bucks will have a right to match any offer but whether they want to do so is something they have to ponder. So whatever the Bucks do, it will affect their prospects the rest of the season as well as for the long term.
• Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Understand that if [Mike] Miller does make it through the season [with Miami], he almost assuredly be an amnesty cut in the offseason, with an additional two seasons on his contract at $12.8 million total. Also understand that if Miller is dealt, an acquiring team would lose the rights to such an amnesty move. Based on Miller’s negligible playing time, the trade market would appear non-existent. Unless, of course, a team in contention retains memories of what Miller did to end last season’s NBA Finals.
• Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle: With Thursday’s NBA trade deadline fast approaching, there have been few moves and relatively little movement in that direction compared to previous seasons. That will likely change, but for many teams, the goal has been to make salary maneuvers as much as roster changes. In many ways, that could drive the Rockets’ decision-making more than in any of Daryl Morey’s previous seasons as general manager. He has never let a deadline pass without a move but will be extremely cautious to protect his salary-cap flexibility heading into next summer’s free agency. If anything, he is more likely to use the roughly $6 million in cap room he has to take on salary temporarily to acquire extra draft picks.
• Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press: [T]wo sources said this past week that the Pistons likely are done with major moves until the summer. One source even said: “You have already had the main course. You aren’t getting seconds.” The main course obviously was the [Tayshaun]Prince-[Jose]Calderon deal. But the source added: “You might get dessert.” However, there are two things to remember: First, with a payroll just over $68 million, the Pistons are well over the salary cap and close to the $70-million luxury-tax line. The Pistons aren’t in position to take on additional salary without giving up salary. Also, if the Pistons are inclined to trade a player for a draft pick, the team would be left with only 12 healthy bodies. (Andre Drummond is expected to miss a month with a back injury.) For the right deal, you could see general manager Joe Dumars rolling with a smaller roster, but it’s a legitimate concern in case injuries hit. That doesn’t stop teams from calling around and asking about Jonas Jerebko and [Rodney] Stuckey, two players opposing teams ask about most.
• Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports: Many trying to lure Denver into talks with all the talented, versatile assets Masai Ujiri has gathered, but Nuggets unlikely to make deal.
• ESPN.com: Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak denied a CBSSports.com report that the Lakers and Celtics were in preliminary talks to trade Dwight Howard for Rajon Rondo. “I haven’t talked to Danny Ainge in weeks,” Kupchak told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard. “I made the statement a week or two ago that we’re not going to trade Dwight Howard and that hasn’t changed.” When asked if a possible Howard-for-Rondo trade was discussed when he spoke to the Celtics weeks ago, Kupchak again said no. He said at no point this season has a Howard-for-Rondo trade been discussed. Earlier Friday, Howard addressed the possibility of being traded before the celebrity All-Star Game. Asked if he’d be shocked if the Lakers moved him in the coming days, Howard said: “Well, they told me they weren’t going to trade me. So, yeah, I would be surprised.”
• Doug Smith, Toronto Star: Word from the executives I talked to over the weekend here and by electronic methods, all suggested there’s not an awful lot of trade activity percolating right now, which we all know can change at the drop of a hat. The big one, of course, is [Raptors big man Andrea] Bargnani and one note I got this weekend simply said: “Looks like the summer.” Now, I know [Raptors GM] Bryan [Colangelo] pretty well and I would say he’ll do something small this week, it’s like second nature to him, to make a deadline-week deal just to be in the fray. But, at this minute, there’s nothing serious going on for anyone, which is good since I have an hour of work and then a three-hour flight to deal with.
(PhatzRadio / USA Today) — After eight-plus seasons, almost All-Star forward Josh Smith and the Atlanta Hawks have decided it’s time for a change.
So the Hawks are trying to trade Smith before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, and like that awkward Facebook friend page you come across, it’s complicated.
Several teams have expressed varying degrees of interest in Smith, among them the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, and the Phoenix Suns. But despite the fact that officials from several involved teams are under the impression that Smith will definitely be traded, a person with knowledge of the Hawks’ strategy said it’s not inconceivable that they hold onto him past the deadline. The person requested anonymity because of the private nature of the plan.
Teams all have the same questions about Smith.
1. Will Smith re-sign with the team that acquires him? No team wants to give up key assets for the remaining two months of the season and get nothing long term.
2. Do teams want to sign Smith, who will makes $13.2 million this season, to a five-year deal for maximum money? That’s a lot to invest in a quality player who has never been a first-, second- or third-team All-NBA selection or an All-Star.
There’s also a third issue that concerns league executives: How will Smith impact the locker room? The Hawks suspended and fined Smith earlier this season for “conduct detrimental to the team.”
The Hawks would be well within their right to assume they won’t land Lakers center Dwight Howard or Clippers point guard Chris Paul as free agents this summer, meaning the notion of re-signing Smith could be appealing as a way to utilize the $38 million in salary cap space this summer. And while Smith has made it widely known that he wants a max deal, there’s no clear indication that he will be offered one this summer and the Hawks could find themselves cutting the sort of compromise deal they envision. If the Hawks had their way before Thursday, they would find a deal that included a young center (because they see Al Horford as a power forward), expiring contracts, desirable players on rookie contracts and/or draft picks.
Brooklyn’s offer, which doesn’t appear to be enticing to the Hawks, is MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and a first-rounder for Smith, a person familiar with the proposed deal told USA TODAY Sports. The Nets are unwilling to include a second first-round pick at this time. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of fluid negotiations.
The Boston Celtics are also known to be pushing for Smith, with a deal presumably involving small forward Paul Pierce.
Whatever interest the Wizards had in Smith has disappeared, and Washington is not willing to give up any of the players Atlanta seeks for Smith, a person familiar with talks between the two teams told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak public about trade talks.
If the Hawks are seeking a center, rookies and draft picks, the Wizards aren’t trading Nene, Bradley Beal and draft picks for Smith. The Wizards might end up making a small move, but since this team just got healthy with the return of John Wall, the front office wants to see how this group plays together before making a major trade.
The Bucks are considering putting Monta Ellis in a deal for Smith. There is some concern that Ellis will opt out of the final year of his $11 million deal and go where he wants in free agency. But, that’s serious money to walk away from, and it’s unlikely Ellis walks away from that for a long term deal. Ellis, 27, can collect $11 million next season, and still get the similar long-term deal starting with the 2014-15 season.
One rival executive said fourth-year point guard Brandon Jennings and forward Ersan Ilyasova are not expected to be traded. But center Samuel Dalembert (expiring deal worth $6.7 million) and fourth-year forward Ekpe Udoh could help get the deal done.
CELTICS TAKE SURPRISE APPROACH
Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge is a good listener, and league executives continue to call Ainge about point guard Rajon Rondo’s availability even though Rondo is out for the season with a torn ACL, an NBA executive told USA TODAY Sports.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about ongoing negotiations.
Yet according to Rondo’s agent, Bill Duffy, Ainge said on Wednesday that Rondo will not be traded.
Ainge also said on Tuesday that the Celtics aren’t in the market for a major deal.
BUCKS BEING AGGRESSIVE
The Bucks are active. General manager John Hammond plays the laid-back, gee-shucks Midwesterner. But he likes the trade game. He has shown an interest in Orlando Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick, but the Magic are not enamored yet with anything the Bucks have offered.
Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is one option, but Orlando does not like his contract. But the Magic aren’t interested in the remainder of Mbah a Moute’s contract — two years, $8.97 million. There is also interest around the league in Bucks center Ekpe Udoh, who is still on his rookie deal.
The Magic have wanted to know Redick’s future price. Hoping for a hometown discount, Orlando is not willing to pay much above what he makes now ($6.19 million this season), and Redick wants a significant raise — close to $10 million a season. Orlando continues to take calls on Redick’s availability, and the Magic are looking for at least a first-round pick.
WIZARDS GUARD ON HIS WAY OUT?
Washington Wizards shooting guard Jordan Crawford is not pleased with his reduced role, and the Wizards are looking to move him, a person familiar with Washington’s thinking told USA TODAY Sports.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about trade talks.
On Sunday, Crawford tweeted his December stats: 19 points, six assists, five rebounds per game. But Since Jan. 1, Crawford is averaging just 20 minutes, 8.6 points, 1.9 assists and 1.5 rebounds. Crawford did not play in Washington’s 96-88 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, the fourth consecutive game he received a “Did Not Play – Coach’s Decision.”
GORDON ON THE MARKET?
According to the New Orleans Times Picayune, the Hornets are interested in doing a deal in which Eric Gordon would go to the Golden State Warriors and second-year guard Klay Thompson would be part of New Orleans’ package. But while it’ s known that Gordon would love to play for the Warriors, they have shown no interest in acquiring him for quite some time. As we wrote last week, however, Gordon’s situation is fluid.