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 – from the Los Angeles Clippers to the San Antonio Spurs to the Washington Wizards to the Phoenix Suns to Brooklyn Nets to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Teams all have the same questions about Smith.
Rival GMs insist Rondo’s available. Could they pry Josh away from ATL w/out giving up Pierce or KG? Jeff Green would be good fit in ATL
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 20, 2013
Kupchak said that, for the record, Dwight Howard won’t be traded.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 20, 2013
The Raptors would move Andrea Bargnani in the right deal, but teams do not detect urgency on Toronto’s part.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 19, 2013
In trying to move J Smith, ATL called LAC and asked about Bledsoe. Short conversation. Clips not really interested in trading for Smith.
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 19, 2013
The usual trade deadline frenzy might yet be upon us before 3 p.m. ET Thursday. But for now, team executives believe the new trade and financial rules have had a chilling effect on the discussions.
Teams have become hypersensitive to the enhanced luxury-tax penalties and looming repeater tax, so the days of easily dumping long-term salary in exchange for a draft pick are effectively over. Plenty of teams are seeking draft picks and young talent, but those teams possessing such prized commodities aren’t willing to easily give them up.
Teams that have used their full mid-level exception this season (Boston) or bi-annual exception (Chicago) are hard-capped at $74 million. Without a third team to absorb salary, it’s going to be challenging for such teams to pull off a blockbuster trade. A team like Brooklyn is allowed to exceed the $74 million hard cap because it has not used one of those exceptions, so the Nets have more room to maneuver.
The only area of increased urgency to complete trades by Thursday’s deadline as opposed to this summer would be deals involving prospective free agents. With players like Al Jefferson and Josh Smith, Utah and Atlanta, respectively, might want to consider moving them now because there will be far fewer potential trade partners in July. Why? Starting this summer, teams whose post-trade payrolls exceed the luxury-tax line by more than $4 million will not be permitted to acquire a player in a sign-and-trade. So if the Nets want Dwight Howard, for example, it would be much easier to acquire him now.
While the Celtics were still awaiting final paperwork on a minor move they hope won’t turn out to be so minor (a 10-day contract for Terrence Williams), the club is still working extremely hard to find something else that will support its run over these next few months.
According to one opposing team executive, the Celtics “are one of the more active teams out there talking, but they really don’t have a lot of great options. They don’t have a lot to trade.”
Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick realizes that Tuesday night’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Amway Center could be his final home game as a Magic player.
But Redick said on Monday afternoon that he hasn’t received any indication that a trade is going to happen.
In fact, Redick said Magic general manager Rob Hennigan has told him that the team is “open” to re-signing him when he becomes a free agent this summer. Hennigan has stayed in touch with Redick and with Redick’s agent, Arn Tellem, in recent weeks.
The Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford tweeted out his stat line from December early Sunday morning. Jeff Newman at Bullets Forever is asking if this tweet means that Crawford in indeed unhappy in his diminished role with the team.