NBA Trade Rumors: Josh Smith and Young Stars Worth Gambling on

Peter EmerickSenior Writer IIMarch 12, 2012

NBA Trade Rumors: Josh Smith and Young Stars Worth Gambling on

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    As the March 15 NBA trade deadline approaches names like Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Kyle Lowry and even Carmelo Anthony will undoubtedly dominate the headlines.

    While some of those players listed above might actually be involved in trades before the trade deadline passes, they might not necessarily be the players on the trade block that can make the most immediate impact for their respective teams.

    There are a number of younger players that teams should be interested in as we head towards the March 15 trade deadline.

    Guys like Josh Smith and J.J. Hickson, whose upside is so high that teams should be willing to take a gamble even in spite of their weaknesses, like immaturity and a lack of discipline.

    Ahead is a list of five younger players that teams should take a serious gamble on as the 2012 NBA trade deadline of March 15 approaches.  

J.J. Hickson

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    The Sacramento Kings are reportedly shopping power forward, J.J Hickson hard, and while it makes sense to move the often-immature forward, it also makes sense for teams interested in padding their roster at the interior positions to be interested in him.

    J.J. Hickson isn't setting the world on fire this year, with averages of only 4.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, but he's also producing at that level on an average of only 18.5 minutes per game.

    The Sacramento Kings don't really have a need for Hickson and his production on their roster, which makes it all that much more enticing for teams to try and trade for Hickson while they are able to get a serious deal on his athletic talents.

    While there's no doubt that Hickson is often times an immature and undisciplined player, on the right team, he can certainly make a difference with his explosive athleticism and versatility.

    Teams looking to bolster their front-court production, like the Celtics, Thunder and Warriors, would be wise to offer the Kings a second-round draft pick for Hickson, as he could be a real difference maker on the right team. Just like he was in his glory days with LeBron in Cleveland.

    There's a high-risk/reward ratio with Hickson, but I'd argue that on the right team, the value that Hickson presents is well worth the risk. 

Nick Young

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    ESPNLosAngeles is reporting that the Clippers are still looking for the answer at the shooting guard position after losing Chauncey Billups to a torn Achilles tendon in late February.

    While the Clippers have shown interest in guys like Boston's Ray Allen and Portland's Jamal Crawford, there's a younger guy that the Clippers need to gamble on, and that is the Washington Wizards' Nick Young.

    Nick Young is the kind of athletic guard that the Clippers need to solidify their offensive performance moving forward into the second half of the 2011-12 NBA season. So far this season, Young is averaging 16.6 points per game on 40 percent shooting from the field, which is the kind of production the Clippers are looking for.

    The only problem is that the Clippers don't have too much to work with in terms of talent and draft picks, as they sent their first-round pick to New Orleans in the Chris Paul deal. While Washington's asking price may be too high for the Clippers, he's still worth taking a gamble on for other teams interested in adding young and productive talent.

    Teams like the Lakers and Timberwolves haven't necessarily shown interest in Young yet, but they should, as he could help them solidify their depth chart at the shooting guard position as they move towards the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

C.J Watson

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    FoxSportsOhio is reporting that while the Bulls are pleased with C.J. Watson's play this season, they are still willing to listen to offers from teams in need of a point guard before the March 15 trade deadline.

    Watson is averaging 9.8 points and 3.8 assists in just 21.5 minutes per game in back-up time behind Derrick Rose, and he's undoubtedly a productive piece of the Bulls' success so far this season.

    While it's going to take quite a deal to get the Bulls to trade Watson, there's no doubt that teams like the Lakers, Timberwolves and Trailblazers should take the gamble of realistically pursuing Watson, as he could easily be a productive, starting point guard in the NBA on most teams.

    The Bulls have been silent on how much it's going to take to pull Watson away from them, but it's realistic to think that teams could grab C.J Watson from the Bulls for a first-round draft pick and a young prospect in return.

    With guys like Kyle Lowry, Ramon Sessions and Jamal Crawford getting a majority of the attention as we draw closer to the trade deadline, C.J. Watson is the kind of player that teams could get for a bargain and still be the point guard that helps them heading into the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

Josh Smith

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    Right on cue, Josh Smith is apparently requesting to be traded once again from the Atlanta Hawks, according to reports from Yahoo.

    While one has to question Josh Smith's maturity and ability to lead, there's no doubt that he's one of the most exciting talents under the age of 27 in the NBA today.

    The athletic and versatile power forward is having the best year of his career, averaging 17.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and twp blocks per game with a PER of 19.81. That is absolutely the kind of production that teams can build around as their franchise talent, no matter how mature or disciplined Josh Smith really is.

    If I was a team like the Boston Celtics, looking to get a little younger at nearly every position, I would aggressively pursue Smith, as he could learn from older guys like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett while still solidifying the future of the franchise.

    While it will take quite a package to pull Smith away from Atlanta, any team interested should be willing to throw everything they have at the Hawks for him, as he has the raw talent and freakish athleticism that teams can build around.

    I'll be shocked if Josh Smith is moved before the trade deadline, just because of how valuable he is to Atlanta, especially without Al Horford, but there's no doubt that teams will be interested in him, and rightfully so. 

Ramon Sessions

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    The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly willing to trade Ramon Sessions for a first-round draft pick, and in my opinion, that's not really too much to ask for for a 25-year old point guard with the talent that Sessions has.

    It's no secret that the Lakers are, and have been, interested in the talents of Ramon Sessions for some time now, and rightfully so. Sessions is averaging 10.6 points, 5.1 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game, which is just the kind of production the Lakers are looking to get out of their currently underperforming point guard position.

    It's a bit shocking that the Lakers haven't agreed on a trade with the Cavaliers, especially if all they want for him is a first-round pick in the 2012 NBA draft. I know teams are concerned about the possibility of Sessions not re-signing with the team he's traded to, as his contract is up at the end of the season, but with the talent Los Angeles has, they should be confident that they could entice him to stay.

    Whether it's the Lakers or not, teams should be interested in acquiring the talents of Ramon Sessions because he is one of the most productive and efficient point guards that are currently on the trading block.

    Teams should take a gamble on Sessions because he's the kind of gamble that has a high payoff, especially if he ends up on a team with legitimate title hopes, like the Los Angeles Lakers.

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