Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith isn't going anywhere, despite all the rumors suggesting he'll be dealt.
Smith isn't the only big-name player who won't be traded before the February 21 deadline, either. For all the chatter surrounding which teams want to go after such-and-such a player, there isn't really much substance to the many rumors swirling around.
It may seem like an easy thing to trade players for those of us who've only ever done so on our video-game consoles. In reality, coming to an agreement about an NBA star who's due for a new contract after the season is up is much harder than most of us realize.
Note: Kevin Garnett isn't included on this list, since he has categorically refused to drop the no-trade clause in his contract (h/t USA Today's Jeff Zillgett). Additionally, Dwight Howard isn't included, since the Los Angeles Lakers have categorically squashed any rumors that he could be traded (h/t Los Angeles Times' Eric Pincus).
Josh Smith, PF, Atlanta Hawks
Via Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnorowski on February 13:
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
Here we are, almost a week later, and Smith is still being peddled around to no effect.
According to The Detroit News' Vincent Goodwill:
Smith is approaching free agency this summer, and has not gotten along with new GM Danny Ferry , while also clashing with coach Larry Drew , who suspended him for a game this month.
Ferry is shopping Smith hard, and was in Houston for the weekend. Two teams to watch, according to league executives: Dallas and Phoenix.
Smith's inconsistent attitude and performance likely has something to do with the fact that Atlanta can't find a trade partner, here. Plus, as Goodwill reports, he's about to be an unrestricted free agent who wants a max-contract, and there's no guarantee he'll stick around with any team that trades for him now.
Smith is undoubtedly talented, so the Hawks aren't going let him go for cheap.
There is simply too much baggage on this train, and Smith will end up staying in Atlanta to finish the 2012-2013 season.
Eric Gordon, SG, New Orleans Hornets
ESPN's Chris Broussard (Insider protected) recently floated the idea that the Hornets would be looking to make a deal for star shooting guard Gordon:
We all know Eric Gordon wanted to sign with Phoenix last summer and many around the league believe he would still rather not be in New Orleans. That's prompted several clubs to call the Hornets about Gordon's availability. Those calls, in turn, led New Orleans to start calling around to gauge Gordon's trade value.
Gordon will be a restricted free agent over the summer, meaning the Hornets have the option to match any offers he receives from other teams. A prime example of this is when we saw Jeremy Lin head to the Houston Rockets this past summer when the New York Knicks made a decision not to match Houston's offer.
The fact that, "many around the league believe he would still rather not be in New Orleans" has the Hornets' brass scrambling to make a deal that would benefit the club.
At this point, though, teams would be better off just waiting until the end of the season and then signing him, rather than shelling out draft picks.
Andrea Bargnani, C, Toronto Raptors
Bargnani has been the source of many a rumor of late, and the latest rumors have him potentially heading to the Chicago Bulls or to the Utah Jazz.
That's not likely to happen, though, via the Toronto Sun's Ryan Wolstat:
Utah continues to take offers for both Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, both free agents this summer. The team has talked to the Raptors in the past about Andrea Bargnani, but since Utah is hoarding cap space, a deal is highly unlikely.
Speaking of Bargnani, Chicago would love to have him, but the Raptors have no interest in taking on the mammoth contract of Carlos Boozer.
Well, then. It would seem that settles that.
It's not hard to see why Toronto wouldn't want to take on Boozer's massive contract, though. He's still due $32.1 million over the course of the next two seasons.
Bargnani still has two more years left on his contract, during which time he's set to earn $22.25 million. After it's all said and done, Bargnani is likely to be traded, but it's not happening until this summer (h/t Toronto Star's Doug Smith).
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