The NBA trade deadline is just hours away, and as would be suspected, the rumors surrounding certain noteworthy players have the hoops world buzzing.
Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett has a no-trade clause, yet his name continues to surface, while Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick—who is in the midst of a career year—has been at the epicenter of reported discussions amongst several franchises.
Here is a breakdown of the latest chatter surrounding KG, Redick and other big names that could be on the move within the next few hours.
An unbreakable link has attached Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers, who are still interested in sending Eric Bledsoe and center DeAndre Jordan to Boston in exchange for The Big Ticket.
Garnett has repeatedly denied his interest in moving to a different NBA destination in what is his 18th and possibly final NBA season. Considering how the Celtics have been faring on the court lately in winning eight of their past 11 games, it's hard to blame him.
But the Clippers are still apparently not done pushing, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald:
Have avoided reporting every hiccup because much is slim sourced. But hearing of a new push within the Clippers to do something w/Celts.— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) February 21, 2013
To clarify: Some people w/in Clips want to do the Celt deal. Not sure others in organization are onboard. Some internal issues here.— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) February 21, 2013
Although Garnett is not directly mentioned here, he has been relentlessly pursued by the Clippers leading up to Thursday.
Bulpett also provided a report prior to these tweets that had a source outline the very intriguing possibility of Garnett going to the Clippers:
“From what I hear, the Clippers just don’t want to give up those guys,” said one source, referring to Bledsoe and Jordan. “I think there are some in their camp that do, but as an organization, they’ve pulled back. The thing is, it would make a lot of sense to them. The people that are against this have no idea how much Garnett could do for them. When you look at what that team is lacking, Garnett could easily put them over the top. And the crazy thing is, Bledsoe and Jordan probably won’t be on the floor much or at all in the fourth quarter once the playoffs get here.
It's worth noting that some of the LA brass isn't exactly down to do this deal, which makes sense. The Clippers are sitting in third place in the Western Conference and riding a four-game winning streak, and any disruption of the team chemistry could hurt their momentum.
Nevertheless, this will be a rumor worth monitoring until 3 p.m. ET hits.
ESPN insider Chris Broussard listed out all the interested suitors in the Magic guard on Thursday:
Indiana, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Washington all showing interests in JJ Redick— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 21, 2013
Redick likes it in Orlando, but will be seeking a lucrative, multi-year extension as a free agent this offseason. It's unclear whether the Magic would pay him big money, but there are plenty of teams willing to acquire him now.
It would be somewhat surprising to see the Magic not pull the trigger on this deal. Risking Redick walking this summer without any return value is something that Orlando can't afford to do in its current rebuilding state.
CBS Sports' Ken Berger reports that the Milwaukee Bucks are being increasingly aggressive in their pursuit:
Bucks "keep upping the ante" in pursuit of J.J. Redick, source says. Could mean confidence growing that they will land Josh Smith.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 21, 2013
Redick is averaging 15.1 points and 4.4 assists per contest for Orlando, while still maintaining his characteristic sharpshooting ability. Many contenders could use his hustle and sweet stroke in the playoffs, but it remains to be seen how everything unfolds.
The Atlanta Hawks forward has been among the most buzz-worthy players discussed, linked to so many different teams.
Contrary to what's been floated out there, Josh Smith, has no issue with finishing out season with the Hawks. Simply wants to get to FAgency— Sekou Smith (@SekouSmithNBA) February 21, 2013
One exec involved in talks w/ATL for J Smith now saying "50/50 chance he gets traded." That's a downgrade from yesterday.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 21, 2013
Smith has never made an All-Star team, but definitely has that type of ability and may be better suited in another NBA city. With incredible athleticism and defensive prowess for a power forward, Smith does struggle with shot selection at times and still is a bit unpolished offensively.
But the 27-year-old has played extraordinarily well recently for Atlanta, and is averaging 19.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists in the month of February.
GM Danny Ferry may need to address the issue of Smith's future in the offseason, where he might let him walk for nothing. That would be a cost-effective strategy in the hopes of landing another player, but look for Ferry to try to still move Smith before the day is over due to so many interested parties being involved.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Boston Celtics are interested in acquiring the explosive Sacramento Kings guard.
Latest word out of Boston: Celtics making deadline-day run at player they've pursued before ... Tyreke Evans— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 21, 2013
Evans could provide the Celtics with a lot of versatility. He has played as the point guard, 2-guard and even as a small forward during his time in Sacramento. But the Kings' roster is overcrowded with perimeter players, and Evans could use a new destination to showcase his talents.
A great one-on-one player who can take almost anyone off the dribble, Evans could fill in right away at the point guard position as a facilitator, opening up opportunities for easy buckets for Garnett and open shots for the Celtics' shooters.
Back in December, ESPN's Chad Ford noted that Celtics general manager Danny Ainge really liked the prospect of acquiring Evans before the draft.
With the injury to PG Rajon Rondo, there is an opportunity for Evans to see significant minutes right away depending on who Boston gives up to acquire him.