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NBA Rumors: Latest on Josh Smith, Paul Pierce and Others on the Market

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NBA Rumors: Latest on Josh Smith, Paul Pierce and Others on the Market
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There are plenty of NBA Rumors swirling around. What's the latest on Josh Smith, Paul Pierce and some of the other players on the market?

After the Rudy Gay trade, teams now have a feel for the market, and will be more willing to pull the trigger?

The trade deadline is fast approaching, and rumors will increase in the days ahead.

We'll make it simple for you and keep the biggest rumors in one placeright here.

 Read on to find out the latest on some of the big-name players on the market. 

 

Josh Smith

Josh Smith will be a free agent at the end of this season, and the Atlanta Hawks might decide to trade him before the deadline.

If they do, the Phoenix Suns will be interested.

According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com, the Suns covet Smith and would be willing to part with Marcin Gortat to get him. 

The Suns, according to Kennedy, would also have enough flexibility to go after more free agents:

If the Suns trade for Smith and re-sign him over the summer, they could have as much as $20 million in cap space still left over, assuming all of their current options are declined and next year’s cap sits at $59 million as projected. That means they can add Smith and still have money to sign a second big-name free agent such as Dwight Howard or more realistic options like Monta Ellis, Andre Iguodala or Paul Millsap.

Smith is a star, averaging 16.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He's a top-flight scorer and defender who commands double teams. Any team that gets him will be instantly upgraded. 

Plenty of teams, like Houston and Dallas, are interested, but in Gortat the Suns have the best asset to offer Atlanta.

However, John Gambadoro of KTAR Radio in Phoenix is not convinced that the Suns will go for Smith:

 

The Josh Smith watch will be fascinating, as many contending teams would love to add a player of his caliber to their roster. 

We'll make sure to watch the rumors to see where he might land. 

 

Paul Pierce

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When Rajon Rondo went down with an ACL tear and took Boston's playoff hopes along with him, teams became interested in Paul Pierce.

The Celtics, according to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld, are at least entertaining it:

League sources familiar with the talks with Boston say that this won’t be an ordinary decision for Boston on Pierce and that they are overly sensitive to Paul’s history and historic value to the franchise and that while he may be the best trade chip they have to cash, deciding to ultimately move him is going to be a very thought out and deliberate process.

Trading someone who has been so valuable to the franchise will be tough, but Pierce will have suitors on the open market. 

If the team does decide to trade Pierce, the Memphis Grizzlies will be interested, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports. 

The Grizzlies lost their best trading chip when they sent Rudy Gay to Toronto, but newly acquired Ed Davis might intrigue Boston as Kevin Garnett's long-term replacement.

Pierce would be a great addition to any team. Despite getting older, Pierce can still score, as evidenced by his 18.7 points per game.

A player like Pierce could be the difference between winning a championship or not. 

If the Celtics do trade Pierce, it won't likely happen until right before the deadline, as the Celtics have to wrestle with trading their star. 

 

Andrea Bargnani

According to Eric Koreen of the National Post,  the Raptors are shopping Andrea Bargnani:

 

With Rudy Gay in town, Bargnani becomes expendable. Bargnani is valuable as a floor-spacing center. He's averaging 16 points per game this season.

Still, his numbers are down in every major category, while his minutes are up from his career average. 

Bargnani has never lived up to the hype of being the first-overall pick in 2006, but despite his down season, Bargnani will still have suitors. 

A team like the Lakers or Rockets could find themselves quite interested in Bargnani's services. The Lakers would love Bargnani as a replacement for Pau Gasol.

His name should be one we hear quite frequently as the deadline approaches, because the question is not if, but when, he'll get traded. 

 

Chris Kaman

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Chris Kaman could be on the block

The center recently suffered a concussion and has seen diminished minutes, as Brandan Wright and Bernard James have cut into his time.  

Kaman, who's averaging 12 points and six rebounds, would provide valuable frontcourt depth for many contending teams.

Look for Miami, Boston and New York to kick the tires on Kaman. 

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