Josh Smith of the Atlanta  Hawks walks off the court against the Chicago Bulls during the second half of Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference second round playoff basketball game in Chicago

Latest buzz: Monta Ellis for Josh Smith? I’m not so sure.


For a trade to come to fruition, both teams have to feel like they are winning, that they are improving. Sometimes as fans we can look at a trade from our team’s perspective and think, “this is a great deal” while the other side would say “are you kidding?”

With that we bring you the latest in the Josh Smith trade rumor mill, via ESPN’s Marc Stein.

On the surface, this deal makes some “you take my problem, I’ll take yours” sense.

And if you are the Hawks this deal makes more sense — Monta Ellis and Jeff Teague make a potentially dangerous if inefficient backcourt. But is that really enough for Smith? It’s a big step back and they have to pay big to keep Ellis this summer when he becomes a free agent.

On the other side, while the Bucks would get the better player, you think Josh Smith is staying there this summer? You think the Bucks are going to sign up for offering max or near-max deals to Smith and Brandon Jennings this summer?

But that’s the talk out there today. There is a lot of talk.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.