Second Pass: Who should have made a trade that didn’t?
Jeremy Bauman: Atlanta ensured next to nothing by holding onto Josh Smith.
Is there a high probability of re-signing him this summer? Maybe, but one has to be skeptical of Atlanta being involved in so many trade rumors (even if some of them are nearly made up).
Smith is being paid $13.2 million this season and likely will be asking for a raise because he’s played himself into that role. At 27 years old, he’s got to capitalize on his ability to make as much money as he can.
That being said, unless the Hawks are willing to pay him that money after this season, they could lose him for nothing, a la the Cavaliers and LeBron James. Nobody wants to get caught doing that again, especially for a player of Smith’s caliber.
Maxwell Ogden: Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap of the Utah Jazz both possess expiring contracts. Each are free agents this summer and will be looking for deals averaging eight figures annually. Even if they end up taking less, one thing is clear: At least one of them will be leaving Utah for nothing.
Millsap is the only thing between Derrick Favors and a starting spot, which makes him the most likely candidate. Due to injuries, however, GMs may view Jefferson as the best available scoring center behind Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum. That could push Big Al out of Utah’s price range.
Ben Baroff: 1A. Hawks
I believe Utah would have dealt Jefferson or Millsap had it been offered anything close to 75 cents on the dollar.
A week ago, one of these two seemed like they were going to be moved. But as the deadline drew near, the rumors died down. It seems like Utah obviously wasn’t getting enough value back to sacrifice clinching a playoff berth.
The Jazz have won seven of 10 with its starting backcourt in and out of the lineup and has a legitimate chance to avoid the Spurs and Thunder in the first round if they can pass the struggling Warriors.
Atlanta is going to lose Smith for nothing, and it’s probably for the best … for Smith.
Too much damage has been done for this already suspect relationship to be repaired, especially when Smith will be seeking max money, something GM Danny Ferry has made it clear he does not want to give.