NBA Rumors: Predicting Landing Spots for Top Stars Before Deadline
The NBA rumor mill is starting to run at full throttle now with only a few days remaining before the trade deadline closes on February 21, 2013.
For many teams, that impending deadline means they're more likely to try and push for that one deal that could bring that impact player to town, or more likely to try and ship off some unwanted baggage before they start their postseason run.
Either way, the last few days of the trade window are the most frantic of them all, and given the plethora of rumored deals we've already seen so far that's saying something!
So which players are most likely to be on the move over the last few days? And where are they most likely to end up if they are dealt? Read on see the most likely landing spots for the biggest rumored players throughout 2013.
Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks have been desperately trying to part ways with Smith before the trade deadline given their recent breakdown in contract negotiations. Smith wants mega dollars from the Hawks, who don't want to give it to him, leaving the pair miles apart and the Atlanta star a very tradeable option now heading into February.
The problem has been finding a potential suitor for Smith, however, with few teams able to give the Hawks what they want for the star.
Atlanta are most in need of a big man to occupy their front court instead of Smith—something that most teams don't available to give up. And the ones that do aren't really interested in any deal in the first place.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski or Yahoo! Sports, several teams are still in the hunt for Smith, with it likely that the Hawks will move him before the deadline closes.
Still many involved for Atlanta's Josh Smith, including Bucks, Nets, Celtics, 76ers, Wizards, others, sources say. Strong belief he's moved.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 17, 2013
Out of those teams, I would say Milwaukee are the most viable landing destination for the star, and that's only because of the lack of other options on that list.
There's no way that Boston have enough assets to bring in Smith—something that could also be said for the Nets as well. Washington don't have the attraction of being a good basketball team to entice Smith, though they'll at least have some high draft picks to offer Atlanta.
Philadelphia has also reportedly pulled out of the race, which leaves us with the Bucks as the most likely landing spot for the star forward.
Milwaukee are thought to have a decent amount of cap space and a fleet of other big men at their disposal (per CBS Sports) which could see this deal go through before the deadline—especially given how eager Atlanta appear to be to part ways with Smith.
Perhaps one big man and a draft pick or two could be all the Bucks need to offer on deadline day to entice a move from Atlanta to deal Smith to them.
Predicted landing spot: Milwaukee Bucks
Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers
ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne reported earlier this morning that Bledsoe could be a viable trade option for the Clippers in exchange for Paul Milsap.
Tom Carpenter goes on to suggest just how good a deal it could be for both teams, and that it's certainly a move that makes sense before the deadline.
Millsap will be a free agent this offseason, so the Jazz would make sure they get some good value without letting him simply walk away, and Bledsoe would give them the long-term answer at point guard that they so desperately need.
The Clippers would move Bledsoe, who will be a restricted free agent after next season, and get back a much-needed and versatile frontcourt option in Millsap, who they would aim to lock up to a long-term deal.
And while few rumored deals can be taken as gospel in the rumor mill, this one seems like one that could well work for both parties involved this year.
The Clippers reportedly don't want to move Blesdoe, but if the guard is a restricted free agent at the end of next year anyway, then they might not be as opposed to the idea as it seems (per Fox Sports).
Los Angeles would like to trade Bledsoe away at some point in the near future, given the fact that he's playing behind Chris Paul and is only going to get better—making him a worthwhile trade option. They could therefore be expected to wait on this one for some time, but if the right deal is coming along at the moment in Milsap, then LA could very well pull the trigger on this one.
It's all about how much Utah are willing to give up at the moment.
Predicted landing spot: Utah Jazz (eventually)
Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
Rumors around a possible trade for Kevin Garnett continue mainly consist of talk that the Los Angeles Clippers could be making a move for the Celtics' legend.
Garnett was quoted the other day as saying that he wants to "die green" if given the opportunity (which he has with the no-trade clause in his contract), but Yahoo! Sports report that the two teams are still exploring the option of a trade anyway.
Because of his home in Malibu, and a close relationship with Clippers guard Chauncey Billups, there's hope that Garnett, a 15-time All-Star, could be coaxed into accepting a trade if an agreement is reached, sources said.
Yet this one simply isn't going to happen at all in 2013, and you can expect to see Garnett finish his career in the NBA as a Boston Celtic.
If the C's were going to try and trade Garnett, they would have done it 18 months ago when his value was much higher and the speculation about a new home was much stronger. They're not going to do it now when they've already lost Rajon Rondo for the season, and yet are still somehow in the hunt for a playoff berth once more at the end of the year.
They won't trade Garnett in 2013, and even if they wanted to, it seems that the big man is pretty adamant he wouldn't waive his no-trade contract clause.
Predicting landing spot: Boston Celtics
Where do you think the NBA's top stars will end up this season?
Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: Follow @dantalintyre
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