NBA Trade Deadline: Five Bold Predictions for Josh Smith and Company
As the NBA trade deadline approaches, the number of rumor-tweets rapidly escalates.
Most sources suggest that this will be a quiet deadline, with teams leery of the luxury tax and future ramifications of the CBA. But, as has been evidenced in previous deadlines, even "sources" can be surprised by the amount of activity.
Here are five predictions for deals that could happen in the next 48 hours.
5. J.J. Redick is Moved
The Magic and J.J. Redick have a mutual love and Orlando is asking a lot for their veteran shooter.
Still, with Orlando in the rebuilding process and a veteran sharpshooter like Redick being so valuable to a playoff team, Rob Hennigan and the Magic may not be able to resist moving their beloved shooting guard.
Chicago and Denver are two good fits. They are both potential home-court playoff teams that have sub-par three-point shooting numbers.
Rip Hamilton and Jimmy Butler or Timofey Mozgov and Evan Fournier could work, with picks being included in either deal.
4. Hickson to Houston
Portland and Houston two normally active teams, have both been pretty quiet. But a Hickson deal makes a lot of sense.
The Rockets are supposedly looking to add some offensive rebounding, but don't want to limit their cap-space for next year. Hickson, on an expiring contract and one of the league leaders in rebounds, would fit that nicely.
For the Blazers, a Hickson deal makes sense because the playoffs are looking out of the picture and Hickson doesn't look to be in the long-term plan.
The Rockets have lots of minor assets and expiring contracts that could get the deal done.
3. Spurs Make a Splash
Unusual for this franchise, the Spurs have been mentioned in trade talks for a few of the bigger names (Josh Smith, Al Jefferson).
San Antonio has been the hottest team in the league and are currently in first place. But, they realize more than any team how the regular season goes out the window once the playoffs hit.
They, like any team, will have difficulty against tough challengers like the Thunder, Clippers and Heat.
If they could add one more piece to their core of Parker, Ginobili, Duncan and Leonard, that could push them over the top.
Who will San Antonio Acquire
With Stephen Jackson's expiring contract and a plethora of younger players on small contracts, there are some interesting possibilities.
Outside of Smith and Jefferson, a deal with Phoenix for Marcin Gortat (and maybe Jared Dudley) or Utah for their other big (Paul Millsap) are intriguing possibilities.
2. California Teams Not Very Active
The Clippers are one (big, able to hit free throws) piece away. The Kings are a mess. The Lakers are a mess. Those three teams have been the subjects of some of the most rampant speculation.
In the end though, I don't see any of these teams making much of a splash in the next couple days.
The Clippers have a good team already and the right move could put them over the top. But there just doesn't seem to be an ideal trade partner.
The Lakers could use a shakeup but the Gasol injury makes that difficult. They are unlikely to trade Howard, and don't really have other tradeable pieces.
The Kings are in the middle of a sale, so if we see a move from them, it is likely to be minor and cost-cutting.
I do see the Warriors making a deal but it will be very small in nature. They are barely over the tax line and dumping a little salary can get them below.
Where does Josh Smith end up?
1. Smith on the Way Out
Well, this one hardly qualifies as bold with all the talk in the past week.
The Hawks just don't see Smith re-signing, so now it is just a matter of seeing if the right trade partner is out there.
It seems half the teams in the NBA have been connected to Smith.
Will it be Brooklyn? San Antonio? Still in Atlanta? Phoenix, Boston, Houston, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Dallas, etc., etc.?
What is your prediction for whose jersey J-Smoove will be wearing this time next week?
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