Hawks forward Smith reacts after a shot in the first half during their game against the Celtics in Game One of their NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs basketball game in Atlanta

Report: Josh Smith ‘not opposed’ to re-signing in Milwaukee if traded to Bucks

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As the trade deadline rapidly approaches, the biggest name expected to be dealt is Atlanta’s Josh Smith.

The latest reports have Milwaukee, Brooklyn, and Phoenix as the most likely trade partners, and if the most recent information out of Smith’s camp is indeed true, then the Bucks may have reason to push even harder to secure Smith’s services.

From Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:

Josh Smith is not opposed to Milwaukee — the city or the weather — and likes the Bucks’ roster enough to re-sign there if traded, a league source told CBSSports.com Wednesday.

With less than 24 hours before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, the Bucks, Suns and Nets are the most realistic suitors in a trade for Smith, sources said. Milwaukee’s chances of landing the 6-9 forward were viewed in some league circles as diminished by the team’s small-market and cold-weather status. Smith, however, is more interested in the talent he’ll be playing with than geography.

That last part might be the reason Smith ends up elsewhere.

In order to trade for Smith, the Bucks would have to part with Monta Ellis at minimum, which would break up the backcourt team of Ellis and Brandon Jennings that would likely be part of the reason Smith would be excited to re-sign in Milwaukee in the first place.

Nevertheless, it’s good news for the Milwaukee front office that a high-priced free-agent-to-be would consider signing a long-term deal with the franchise. We’ll see if the Bucks are able to walk the fine line between giving up enough for Smith in trade, while still retaining enough talent to keep him excited about playing there in the future.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Clippers ready to win West?

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With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).

Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.

It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.

The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).

Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.

Stephen Curry gives high five while his shot is in air (video)

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Stephen Curry said the defending-champion Warriors would have no problem picking up where they left off.

His swagger certainly remains intact.