Josh Smith, Emeka Okafor, Rasheed Wallace: Who Needs to Move On?

Greg Haefner@@ghaefSenior Analyst IJuly 21, 2008

Is Emeka Okafor done in Charlotte? Will Josh Smith find himself dawning Detroit blue next season? Have the Pistons finally had enough of Rasheed?

We've seen a lot of moves already go down this offseason, but some would argue that we haven't yet seen enough.

There are plenty of players whose names have been mentioned in trade rumors, but still haven't been moved.

So which "on the block" player would be best suited with a new team?

Let's take a look at the guys whose names we could see in deals very soon:


Josh Smith, F, Atlanta Hawks

Josh Smith is a core piece of the up-and-coming Atlanta Hawks, so it would be very tough to envision them letting him go.

That being said, he has been mentioned in several trade rumors, most recently with the Detroit Pistons.

According to, various internet sources are spreading rumors of a sign-and-trade deal already in place with the Pistons, though nothing is confirmed.

The move would make sense for Detroit, not so much for Atlanta. Detroit would get a young and freakishly athletic guy, who could be a vital piece to their seemingly eminent rebuilding process.

The other trade rumor that was swirling around Smith was with the L.A. Clippers, but with the recent addition of Marcus Camby, that deal is not going to happen.

Smith would be well suited to remain in Atlanta in my opinion, as he is part of their young core which looks poised to make a run in the postseason for a long time to come.


Emeka Okafor, F/C, Charlotte Bobcats

Emeka Okafor is a great player stuck in a terrible situation. No matter who Charlotte puts around him, they simply can't seem to win.

Whether it's drafting a point guard in Raymond Felton, landing a big-time scorer in Jason Richardson, or failing miserably to get a fellow post player with the bust that is Sean May, Charlotte just can't seem to do anything right.

You have to put a lot of the blame on the organization's drafting: passing on Brook Lopez in this past year's draft, and landing major busts in Adam Morrison and Sean May. Okafor cannot be happy.

Okafor should be looking for a sign-and-trade deal to a contender or at least a team that looks like they could make the postseason sometime in the near future.

He turned down a five year, $60 million extension from the team last year, and that sent a powerful message. I wouldn't bank on him being a Bobcat for much longer.

It's anyone's guess where he'll end up, but he could benefit from going anywhere outside of North Carolina.


Tracy McGrady, G/F, Houston Rockets

Tracy McGrady is another guy whose name has been brought up a lot around the Motor City. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith reports that McGrady was, and still is, open to the option of playing for the Pistons.

If the two teams can agree on a deal, it might lead to McGrady winning the first postseason series of his career.

McGrady has a good thing going in Houston, but wherever he goes, he'll play at his normal superstar level.


Ron Artest, F, Sacramento Kings

Ron Artest has been shopping himself around the league, now acting as his own agent, and the only team out of the running seems to be the Denver Nuggets.

That's not to say Denver ever wanted him, they've just had their Ron-Ron invitation revoked after Artest said "I cannot play in Denver because they question my drive to finish my career off strong and not embarrass my family."

Well, it's still unclear where he'll end up, but rest assured he won't be sporting the Kings' purple this upcoming season.

The teams with known interest in Artest's services right now are the L.A. Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks, with only the Mavericks having made an offer to the Kings so far.


Rasheed Wallace, F/C, Detroit Pistons

Sheed is a walking, talking headache. But he is also a very good player.

When he wants to be, Sheed is All-Star caliber, but how often does that happen?

His technical fouls, and subsequently his suspensions, drive coaches, GMs, and fans all crazy. Only until he hits one of his trademark three-pointers leaves everyone content for the time being.

There is no denying Wallace's talent, only his work ethic. Joking around with Kevin Garnett during the Eastern Conference Finals didn't help his case. He seems to be one of the most likely faces in Detroit to be moved, along with Chauncey Billups.

Wallace may be more attractive due to his expiring contract, versus Billups' contract which pays him $36.3 million over the next three years, with a team option for the 2011-2012 season.

After he spent all of one game with Atlanta during the 2003 season before being traded again to Detroit, Wallace is no stranger to being moved around.


All of these players could see their names in the news shortly, and it would be interesting to see how they do should they be traded.



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