Alright folks, Trade Deadline Morning is here, and with reports already starting to roll in we’re going to jump right in it.
First things first, here is a list of all the people you need to follow today on Twitter:
Here is the link to the player news page where all of our official takes will be blurbed in real-time.
Finally, here are the links to Wednesday’s trade deadline update, Ryan Knaus’ top stashes, this past weekend’s trade deadline update, Mike Gallagher’s top sell-high guys, Adam Levitan’s top trade candidates, and the initial trade deadline kickoff. I’ve listed them in the order that they were published (newest to oldest), so you can judge whether the information is still relevant. There will be links for each player so you can dive down and get the most recent information with a simple click.
We’ll publish a winners and losers column after the deadline so be on the lookout.
This report is up to date as of 10 AM ET, and from here all of the updates will be carried on the player news page.
Without further ado…..
JOSH SMITH, THE BUCKS, SUNS, AND NETS
This story is going to develop over the next few hours, and right now I’d call the Bucks the favorites simply because it’s the only deal structure I’ve seen that gives the Hawks a semi-decent return and also gives Smith a solid landing spot. Talks have surrounded Monta Ellis, and the Hawks are trying to pry Larry Sanders too. Ekpe Udoh's name has recently been added. This doesn’t sound like a lot if it’s only Ellis and minor parts, but he has just a one-year player option ($11M) on his current deal and would fit next to Jeff Teague in a shallow wing situation.
The Nets have offered Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and a future first rounder, and that is not moving the needle according to most sources. The Suns reportedly (Steve Kyler) grabbed Marcus Morris to sweeten a potential deal and many reporters have called them the favorites, but an equal number say they’re not inclined to make Smith their franchise player and it’s unclear if he would re-sign there. Marcin Gortat, Jared Dudley, and 1-2 first round picks (one high pick, one Lakers pick) are being discussed, and Gortat + two picks would reportedly be enough to get the deal done according to Ken Berger, but Phoenix doesn’t want to part with their high pick or multiple picks.
The Hawks have said that they’re looking for young players, expiring contracts, picks, and specifically a young big man.
Again, a lot of this will come down to where Smith is willing to sign a long-term deal, assuming no contender comes out of the woodwork and is willing to rent. Smith wants to play for a contender and has said that he would play in Milwaukee even if Ellis isn’t there, specifically saying the city and weather aren’t a problem, though it’s unclear if Sanders’ exit would impact that decision. The Bucks have pieces they can offer in Samuel Dalembert, who has reportedly earned some favor in Milwaukee after his recent strong play, and Ersan Ilyasova isn’t off the table by most reports. Milwaukee can always sweeten a deal with Beno Udrih and John Henson among others. The Bucks have also discussed a follow up deal of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and a first round pick to swing J.J. Redick, and if they can prove they can do that then that would make their roster a pretty nice pitch to Smith.
The Nets are reportedly targeting Smith as their highest priority (Broussard) and trying to get a third team involved, knowing their current offer probably won’t work, and along with dark-horse Washington they are the teams most “diligent” in their pursuit of Smith (David Aldridge). The Celtics are probably in the mix to some degree, as semi-reliable Chris Broussard has said Rajon Rondo could be available and a Jeff Green sweetener could do the trick. There is also talk that they might keep Smith and try to make a run at Dwight Howard in free agency, and that shouldn’t be ruled out.
For what it’s worth, Milwaukee beat writer Gery Woelfel has been very plugged in on this deal and says league sources believe that Phoenix has the upper hand. Ken Berger echoed that report. Adrian Wojnarowski adds that the Hawks would prefer to trade him to the Western Conference. Woj also added that the Rockets are lingering, but the Hawks’ desire for Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons is a non-starter. Ken Berger adds that they are in “high-level” talks, but both reporters have indicated that the Rockets don’t want to overpay.
To add favor to the Bucks scenario, Devin Harris is reportedly on the block (Woelfel) and wouldn’t mind returning to his hometown in Milwaukee.
That’s a lot of analysis to say we don’t know where he’s going, but if you’re reading the tea leaves for this one very big domino those are the most recent reports. Smith would hold his value in Phoenix and could conceivably improve, while the Nets would be bad news, and the Celtics, Bucks, and Wizards would also be a sap to his value. Houston could be interesting but it’s a bit too unlikely at the time of this post (9:30 ET) to change his fantasy situation. In Atlanta he gets to do what he wants, and in these other locations there is more depth to steal away touches. I’d be willing to discount a round or two off his current value just to mitigate some of that risk, especially with the name value he has that’s running a round or two higher than his real value.
Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks have been dangled to every basketball team on the planet, so owners should pay attention to where the smoke is the thickest and assess if either player can make an impact there. Both will be risky plays even if they land in the most ideal of circumstances.
The writing on the wall is that the Magic won’t want to pay $7 million for four years as a starting point for his deal, and therefore they will want to get as low as a late first round pick according to Chris Mannix. The Spurs have jumped into the mix, the Bucks are offering a first and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and the Pacers, Grizzlies and Bulls have also been noted. I’d expect a few other teams to join, and we’ve gone on record a few times calling Redick a sell-high guy for the chance he moves. He’ll have a hard time reproducing the touches he gets in Orlando. I’d call the Bucks the favorites in the aforementioned Josh Smith scenario, but I wouldn’t bet my dog on it.
THE CELTICS, BOBCATS, AND CLIPPERS
The talk of a deal with the Clippers has died down and/or ground to a halt (depending on who you listen to), with both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce being discussed at some point in time. A lot of focus has been on KG, who is said to be open to a deal to the Clippers (or not), and is favored by the staff and players there. For now, I wouldn’t worry about those talks.
Some more likely targets have emerged in Charlotte, where Gerald Henderson and Ramon Sessions have been discussed as possible targets. Both could retain some value in Boston, but it would likely have to be accommodated by an exit of Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, or Jason Terry. Bradley and Lee have been discussed by the Wolves, with Lee having played for Rick Adelman in Houston. In general, the winner and/or loser between Henderson and Sessions will be the guy that doesn’t leave Charlotte with the other heading out. I think both guys should be owned in most cases for the chance they win in that equation, as the effects will probably last throughout the rest of the year.
Back to the first paragraph, the exciting and unlikely scenario would be that the Celtics find a deal that makes sense as a rebuild, and then they start moving their superstars.
The Clippers are the source of many competing reports, ranging from likely to deal to not likely to deal at all. Eric Bledsoe should be stashed for the chance he blows up in a beneficial trade, but beyond the Celtics deal he hasn’t been named in any specific rumors. DeAndre Jordan was dangled and might be the most likely Clipper to be traded outside of Caron Butler, and he is worth a small amount of added consideration for the chance he gets more playing time elsewhere. Talks of landing Paul Millsap have died down completely.