Aaron Bruski

The Step-back 3

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Calm Before the Storm?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

So far this is shaping up to be one of the quieter trade deadlines in recent memory (famous last words), and as I mentioned a few weeks back the luxury tax is a big deterrent for player movement so far. 


So I’m going to cover the trade deadline news that we’ve seen since my Monday morning update, and then I’ll set the table in the wee hours of the night for Thursday morning.  From there you’ll want to follow me on Twitter here and here (go to all of our basketball crew and follow).  We’ll be covering the action live on Thursday and I’ll have a winners/losers column up right away. 


Since I won’t be sleeping between Wednesday morning and Thursday night, my weekly chat will be cancelled. 


So here is all of the trade deadline news that was fit to print between Monday morning and 7 PM ET. 




To sum up where we’re at with the Josh Smith trade, it looks like the market is softening and that three teams are emerging, the Bucks, Nets and Suns according to Adrian Wojnarowski.  The Bucks are the only team with a deal in play that makes sense for both sides, as Monta Ellis would go play next to Teague and because the Hawks are so shallow it might work.  Smith is open to re-signing in Milwaukee and is interested in what kind of talent his future team has, and the Bucks' roster isn't anything to shake a stick at right now.  Teague has the athleticism to make the potential defensive arrangement in Atlanta's backcourt be semi-workable, but this would be yet another guy taking the ball out of his hands and be bad for business.  But if you’re Danny Ferry and looking at losing Smith for nothing, or getting Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and a first, I’d think you’d try to get Ellis, Dalembert, and a pick or thereabouts and call it a day. 


To clean the reporting up, the Suns are reportedly not interested in Smith and it’s questionable if they want to wrap their team up re-signing him this summer.  The Hawks have convinced numerous teams that Smith will be traded according to Marc Stein, which is good for his chances of getting traded.  Chris Broussard echoed that a trade of Smith for Gortat is unlikely, and Ken Berger added that several teams believe the Hawks will make a run at Dwight Howard this summer, and that the Hawks aren’t getting any good offers and don’t want to take back salary in any deal.  That sentiment, of course, would suggest that the Hawks want Smoove to stay.  The Nets’ offer for Smith is the aforementioned Humphries, Brooks, and first round pick, which isn’t likely to move the needle for the Hawks. 


In any event, a move to the Bucks or Nets would ding Smith’s value and a move to the Suns would likely be neutral or close.  The best case for his value is to stay in Atlanta. 




The Celtics and Clippers have been linked in trade talks, but both of them are making way more noise than there is action right now.  The Clippers said that they’re no longer interested in a deal involving Eric Bledsoe for either Kevin Garnett or Paul Millsap, and the Celtics simply don’t have the assets to be big players in the market right now.  There was talk about the Celtics being willing to trade Rajon Rondo, until reliable Sam Amick was told that his agent was given a guarantee that it wouldn’t happen.  Interest around the league for Paul Pierce is lukewarm, and the Nets approached them with their crap sandwich offer of Humphries, Brooks, and the first for Pierce and it was met with a yawn.  The Celtics are interested in C.J. Watson, but the Nets don’t want to part with him likely because of Deron Williams’ health.  I think the Celtics want to deal, but it’ll take a lot of clock-driven pressure to turn their lump of coal into a diamond.




Talks surrounding J.J. Redick have picked up, and the Bucks have emerged as the team with the most substance behind their effort for Redick, though it’s still too early to call them the leader in the clubhouse.  They have a standing offer of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and a first round pick for him, and that move would be secondary to getting rid of Monta Ellis for Josh Smith.  It would give them a solid starting lineup and move them into the middle of the pack in the East, and create a nice on-court chemistry (Smoove issues aside).  The Pacers, Bulls, Wolves, and Grizzlies are also on the list, but a report of Iman Shumpert and a pick for Redick seems to be a bit outlandish just to rent Redick for a playoff run.  All of this will come down to the Magic’s assessment of that first round pick they’re seeking, and whether or not they want to sign him this summer.   Redick’s fantasy value is at its peak in Orlando, so owners should still be looking to sell-high here. 




Gerald Henderson is an expiring contract that makes way too much sense for the Bobcats to move.  They’re reportedly looking for a first round pick, and if you’re one or two players away I think a deal here can make sense.  Henderson’s value is probably at a high point in Charlotte, even with the guard rotation, so I’d call him a sell-high player that owners will have a hard time moving as leagues get shallower. 




Marc Spears hid a few nuggets in his power rankings, including that the Wolves are not shopping Luke Ridnour and also that the Bucks aren’t going to be trading Monta Ellis.  Maybe he sees some angles that we’re not seeing, but both reports fly in the face of everything we’ve heard so far.  I’ll keep his report in the back of my mind, but for now I’m not moving the needle.  If he had made those issues the subject of a column, I’d give them a bit more credibility, too.  




Talk surrounding the Jazz frontcourt has ground to a halt and it’s similar to the Andrea Bargnani situation in that everybody knows the team needs to get rid of one of their guys, so the offers are slow to come in.  The Clippers stopped sniffing around an Eric Bledsoe for Millsap deal, which was probably a smoke screen given the presence of Blake Griffin.  Chris Broussard’s most recent shaky report says the Jazz are discussing a Millsap for Derrick Williams deal, but that barely passes the laugh test.  I think the Jazz will eventually find a team that is willing to give them a fair deal for one of Millsap or Al Jefferson, and that the Jazz will be reasonable about things knowing they need to develop their youth.  I’m still working to stash Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors is a must-stash. 




As mentioned, the market for Andrea Bargnani has softened and beat writer Doug Smith doesn’t expect him to get traded until this summer.  This would be bad news for Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson, but don’t panic if you own either of them just yet.  Things could change and the Raptors could peg him for a limited role only to be expanded if Johnson gets dinged up. 




Just to tidy up the Bucks situation, it looks like Monta Ellis and Samuel Dalembert are the likely pieces heading out, and the deal that makes the most sense right now for them is Josh Smith and J.J. Redick coming in.  It’s far from a certainty, but Brandon Jennings doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere and I don’t think the Bucks will be willing to include Ersan Ilyasova




The Bulls are willing to trade Richard Hamilton.  Denver rejected a deal of Brandon Roy’s bad contact and a first round pick for Timofey Mozgov, which says a tiny bit about both Roy and Mozgov.  The Pistons are getting inquires on Rodney Stuckey and Jonas Jerebko the most according to the Detroit Free Press, who adds that they’re likely done with big moves until the summer, but let’s be real.  Their entire team is on the block and if they can get rid of some of their bad contracts they won’t hesitate to pull the trigger. 


The NOLA Times-Picayune floated the idea that the Hornets would be interested in sending Eric Gordon to the Warriors for Klay Thompson.  As I said on Twitter, if I was running that team and I could turn Gordon into Klay Thompson or Tina Thompson I’d immediately bet on myself for Executive of the Year.  That deal is going nowhere.  The Rockets have put Terrence Jones on the block, which means they’re probably not sold on his future and want to see what they can get while there’s some ambiguity there.  Gerald Green is available and Alex Kennedy’s report that Danny Granger was available made a bit of sense, but Kevin Pritchard aggressively shot it down on Twitter. 


Mike D’Antoni is still intrigued by Raja Bell, which in a season of bad decisions makes perfect sense.  The Knicks are interested in Jermaine O’Neal, which could inadvertently help out Marcin Gortat.  The Knicks would then have a who’s who of injury prone former stars at big man.  The Knicks are also shopping Ronnie Brewer, and will give him away for a song.  The trade discussing Marcin Gortat to Oklahoma City was very specific, and included P.J. Tucker and Gortat for Kendrick Perkins, Jeremy Lamb and a first.  It wasn’t sold very hard by the Suns beat writer reporting it, and then it was shot down by a local radio guy so there’s probably nothing there. 


The Blazers are willing to deal J.J. Hickson, but he has a no-trade clause and needs to stay put to exercise his Bird Rights, so it’ll take a good trade in his eyes to make any deal work.  The Spurs are likely to move DeJuan Blair, and I’ll be watching to see if he lands in a sneaky good location.  The Raptors have interest in Sebastian Telfair, and it seems like they really want out of the John Lucas business, which is just weird. 

Aaron Bruski has covered hoops for Rotoworld since 2008 and has competed in national fantasy sports competitions for nearly two decades. In 2015 he was named FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year. You can also find his work over at ProBasketballTalk, where he received critical acclaim for his in-depth reporting of the Kings' relocation saga. Hit him on Twitter at Aaronbruski.
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