Nobody is doubting Josh Smith’s talent. But in a contract year, you better show it.
- It’s been an up-and-down contract year for Smith, so much so that the Atlanta Hawks are taking trade offers for him, according to NBA.com’s David Aldridge: “The Atlanta Hawks are entertaining trade offers around the league for forward Josh Smith, but have yet to decide whether they will deal the ninth-year forward, according to league sources. Smith, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution late last month that he believes he’s a max player, which would mean he’d be in line for a five-year deal worth around $94 million from Atlanta.”
While the Hawks would love to keep the Atlanta native, Smith’s desire to be a max player in this bottom-line league has led GM Danny Ferry to rethink the long-term future of the franchise.
- According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, the Cleveland Cavaliers are prepared to make a two-year offer to Greg Oden after the All-Star break: “The Cavs are expected to offer free agent center Greg Oden a two-year contract with a team option for a third year after the Feb. 21 trade deadline passes, a league source said. The Cavs have about $4 million in cap space, which they are preserving now for potential trades. Teams around the league don’t want to sign Oden until after the trade deadline.”
Oden, who has also has been on the radar of the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, would give the Cavaliers a very intriguing core of young talent. He would help bolster a big rotation of would-be All-Star Anderson Varejao, emerging forwards Tristan Thompson and Marreese Speights and promising rookie center Tyler Zeller to go along with young guards Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. With a plethora of cap room and draft picks in their back pocket, the Cavs – 6-3 in their last nine games, by the way – will be thinking playoffs in 2013-14.
- Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas is reporting that if traded, Mavericks forward Shawn Marion will not report if he is sent to a bad team: The 14-year veteran, who has played for four teams, figures it is just part of the business. Besides, Marion claims that he’d simply refuse to report if the Mavericks trade him to a bad team. “If I’m going to get traded, they’re going to tell me what’s going on and where I’m going,” Marion said. “Because if I’m going to a (expletive) situation, I’m not going. It’s just that simple.”
- Still on the trade deadline topic, Chris Broussard of ESPN is reporting that the Charlotte Bobcats and Brooklyn Nets are in talks to swap Kris Humphries and Ben Gordon: “The talks are ongoing, but sources said no trade is imminent. A Gordon-for-Humphries trade works financially as both players make $12 million a year. The Nets’ interest in Gordon stems from their need for better ways to space the floor. Ranked 21st in the league in 3-point shooting, Brooklyn regularly has seen opponents clog the lane.”
- Trades aren’t the only thing effecting NBA rosters today. Sixers shooting guard Jason Richardson will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury, and Rajon Rondo’s ACL injury may not be as serious as initially reported, according to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan: “Rondo’s agent, Bill Duffy, told CSNNE.com earlier this week that the injury is a partial tear of the ACL. The All-Star point guard will miss the remainder of this season, but the Celtics continue to say he’ll be ready by training camp in the fall.”