With the NBA trade deadline less than two weeks away, rumors are aplenty and flying high. The buzz around the league is at its loudest and fans should expect to have their minds blown in the near future.
In Brooklyn, the Nets could be shopping Kris Humphries in exchange for a shooter, a strange move considering how the team signed him to a two-year deal during the offseason. Just the same, adding a solid scorer to anchor the second unit would make the team better, and seeing what tricks GM Billy King has left in his bag will be something to watch in the near future.
Down south in Atlanta, the uncertainty surrounding star forward Josh Smith continues to grow. Will GM Danny Ferry move him, or will the Hawks let Smith play out his contract and risk losing him for nothing this summer?
Oh, and did I mention that the Clippers could be looking to make a move?
It's time to dish on the league's latest rumors, fans, so fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be one heck of a ride!
Nets Seeking to Deal Humphries?
The Nets signed power forward Kris Humphries to a two-year, $24 million contract last July, and team management hoped that he would continue to be the excellent rebounder he proved himself to be over the team's final seasons in New Jersey.
Unfortunately, such was not to be. Humphries is averaging just 5.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game this season and has been relegated to the bench in favor of Reggie Evans. Given his salary, it's just not worth it to keep him around much longer.
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, a deal involving Humphries may be in the works. The Nets have reached out to the Charlotte Bobcats regarding a deal for guard Ben Gordon, who could help the Nets instantly. Brooklyn ranks 21st in three-point shooting, and a pure shooter in Gordon could thrive in P.J. Carlesimo's fast-paced offense while also stretching the floor.
On the season, Gordon is averaging 13 points per game while shooting an astounding 41.5 percent from three-point range.
The deal makes sense money-wise since both players share the same salary, so it's really just a matter of the Nets and Bobcats' GMs working out the deal and pulling the trigger. Given the needs of both squads, this one seems inevitable.
The Continuing Saga of Josh Smith
Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that the Atlanta Hawks will not give Josh Smith a max contract once he hits free agency, so it appears that the writing is on the wall. This time next season, Smith will not be in Atlanta.
Fortunately, the team will have plenty of potential trade partners should they decide to deal him before the trade deadline, a move that ESPN's Chris Broussard says has a 60 percent chance of happening.
Chris Broussard @Chris_Broussard
Source close to situation says "60 percent" chance ATL trades Josh Smith b4 deadline. Brooklyn one of several teams interested.2013-2-8 23:30:22
Oddly enough, one of the teams interested in Smith is the Brooklyn Nets. He would definitely be a good fit for the team, but it could cost GM Billy King. As Broussard told ESPN's Marc Stein, Atlanta will want a top young center in return, and the Nets don't appear ready to deal Brook Lopez.
This is a rumor fans should look at with a wait-and-see approach, but expect the ground to shake if a deal is indeed made.
Lob City Set to Make a Deal?
The Los Angeles Clippers are set to make a lot of noise in the playoffs, but have struggled in going 3-7 over their last 10 games. Adjustments need to be made, and GM Gary Sacks is not above making a move at this year's deadline.
While some figure point guard Eric Bledsoe to be the team's best trade chip, ESPN's Marc Stein has another theory. Rumor has it that when push comes to shove, center DeAndre Jordan could be on the move.
As much as the Clippers dread the thought of parting with Bledsoe before they have Paul's signature on a new deal, sources close to the situation acknowledge that the Clips know it's just as dangerous (or maybe even more so) to leave the current roster as is and expose themselves to an early playoff exit because DeAndre Jordan's offensive limitations or free throw woes (or both) render him a playoff non-factor. Or because Lamar Odom proved too small and ground-bound to close games alongside Griffin when it mattered most.
Word is there's frustration on both sides when it comes to Jordan, with the 24-year-old center unquestionably hungry for more playing time and a expanded role from Del Negro, amid presumed skepticism from the coach that he'll ever be able to produce like the third-highest paid Clipper should.
Trading Jordan would definitely be a risky move by the Clippers, especially if they can't get a solid center in return. Just the same, it's hard to find a reason to keep Jordan around, especially when he is making $10.5 million this season and posting just 9.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
However, Sacks needs to think about what is best for the team and come up with the best formula for winning. If that means dealing Jordan, so be it.
Nothing is definite yet on this end, but it's something worth keeping an eye on if the Clippers' struggles continue.